Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back to the Flint Hills

Lately, our family has been so busy we've been really starved for some quality time.  This last year, much of Chris' free time has been spent working on his grad school homework.  Only 1 more year left!!  When he's not doing that, he's busy with church obligations, and projects around the house.  I've been busy too so it seems like we've spent a lot of time tag team parenting on the weekends, or sending the kids out back or downstairs to play so we can get everything done.  Not our dream parenting style.  So we're trying to squeeze in more family time together! 

Monday we took the kids back up to Tallgrass Prairie.  We LOVE hiking up there.  We call it hiking in the sense that you are off paved roads.  Some of the trails are simply mowed paths through the prairie, some are dirt roads. Technically it's more walking than hiking in my book.  Except for the one time we somehow got off the trail and ended up dredging through marshy grass taller than us and climbing over a fence.  Not our finest navigational moment! 

But, it's just beautiful if you love the Flint Hills.  The rolling pastures are just really a sight to see.  My grandparents used to have a ranch in the Flint Hills and going there always make me think of all those fun childhood memories.  This time we decided to take the bus tour.  We'd never done that before and got to see more of the park and got right up close to their herd of bison.  A little too close according to Sam who really wanted back on the bus!  We learned a ton about the area and it was a great tour.  The kids like the painted bus. 

It was a windy day - 40 mile an hours winds near Wichita.  Much stronger up in the Flint Hills.  At one point we stood at the top of one of the hills and just standing was difficult for the kids.  The wind was literally blowing them over. Sam was stumbling.  Something every kids should experience if you ask me!  You couldn't talk because nobody could hear you.  Gotta love Kansas!  But it did make the short hike we took later a little more tiring. 

After we were done we went up to Council Grove to eat at the Hays House.  It began in 1857 and claims to be the oldest continually operating restaurant west of the Mississippi.  The food was excellent and the town is really a neat little Kansas town.  We didn't see much, but will go back some time to see more.

We were gone from home 7 hours and spent the entire time together!  The kids didn't argue once until we were about 5 minutes from home.  It was much needed time together.  Now we've just got to squeeze more time like that out this summer.   

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