On Saturday, September 7, 2014, my wife and I spent a week in Topeka . . . just kidding. We left Kansas City at 5 AM and got back home about 10 PM. I don’t really want it to sound bad because we actually had a great time. We left so early because we were going the 39th Annual Huff & Puff at Lake Shawnee. If you are not familiar with the event, it’s a hot air balloon festival of sorts. About 29 hot air balloons show up for the 3-day event. The photos in the slide show, below, start off with the early morning activities of getting the balloons uncrated, filled with hot air and then ascending to travel over Lake Shawnee. The slide show ends with images from the evening events at the event.
After all the balloons departed we made our way to North Topeka where we had Breakfast at Bradley’s in the NOTO Arts District. This restaurant’s home cooking was so good we went back there for lunch . . . their homemade pies are to die for.
We then went to the Great Overland Station and the All Veterans’ Memorial which is about 3 blocks away from Bradley’s. A local preservation group completed restoration of North Topeka’s neglected Union Pacific passenger depot, returning it to its 1927 splendor. The station’s grand waiting room features 34-foot-high ornamented ceilings, large windows and impressive 12-foot-wide, 120-bulb chandeliers. A former pantry houses the Fink Gallery with exhibits about Topeka’s history and railroad heritage as well as pop culture. Outside the station, flags of the 50 states flank a flame-shaped sculpture, the centerpiece of the All Veterans Memorial.
Next we visited the Kansas Museum of History and then to the State Capitol Building. It had closed it’s doors to visitors at 1 PM (on Saturdays) so we just walked around the outside of the building and took several photos.
We went to Gage Park where we looked at several Veterans’ Monuments/Tributes and drove around the park looking at it’s many attractions.
Finally, we headed back to Lake Shawnee for the evening events of the Huff & Puff; Another balloon launch and then after sunset, balloon glows.
We got home about 17 hours after we left that morning . . . tired but had a great time on a day that was neither wet or too hot. :-]
As a footnote, music in the slideshow is "Sunshine" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/