Day 2: The Sunflower State

Day 2: The Sunflower State

After a good night sleep and yummy, free breakfast, courtesy of the Fairfield Inn and Suites, we loaded everything back into the car and pressed on!

Our ending destination today, Topeka, Kansas!

It was another long day, about 7.5 hours and 552 miles, but we had confidence we would survive because we had survived yesterday, no problem! We chose Topeka because… I was born in Manhattan, Kansas (which I’ll mention later), and I spent the first seven years of my life living in Topeka. The plan for the day was to visit my birth town and my old elementary stompin’ grounds, so I could share that with my hubby and children.

It took almost three hours to reach the Kansas border after leaving Denver. Immediately after crossing into Kansas, there was a visitor center and rest stop, perfect timing! We got out, used the restroom, and stretched out legs. There were displays about Kansas, and one specifically for the Wizard of Oz. We were given complementary popcorn, a Kansas tour guide magazine and map, and coloring packets with crayons for the kids. We let the kids run around outside in the open grass area and Little Miss even found a bunny to chase.


We stopped for a quick lunch at Arby’s in Colby, then drove 3.5 more hours to Manhattan. No not Manhattan, New York, but Manhattan, Kansas, which is nicknamed The Little Apple, though. It is home to Kansas State University and birthplace of, well, ME!

Kansas State University Bill Snyder Family football stadium

My parents were living in Manhattan while my dad finished his Master’s Degree at Kansas State University. I was born in December 1989, on the coldest day of the century none-the-less! Maybe that’s why I like cold weather??? Anyway, I was born in Manhattan and moved to Topeka, Kansas four days later, so my remembrance of Kansas is of Topeka, but it was fun visiting the apartment my parents rented, the hospital I was born in, and the campus my dad graduated from. It was a cute little college town, and my parents had fun reminiscing.

My mama and I in front of the hospital I was born in.

From Manhattan, we drove just under an hour across rolling plains to Topeka, where we were able to see my old elementary school, Indian Hills Elementary, and my childhood home. I lived in Topeka for 7 years until we moved to Meridian, Idaho. I was surprised how many things I remembered as we drove around town. It felt like coming home, even if I hadn’t called Topeka home for the last 20 years.

We checked in at the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites, and had a hay-day trying to park our massive moving truck (it ended up spending the night in the Walmart parking lot), then ate dinner at Denny’s down the street. We had covered a lot of ground during Day 2, and we all zonked out that night!

Day 3 was a lot less driving, but just as much a doozy!! Just you wait!

Happy Exploring,

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