In many ways, it’s hard for me to believe I’ve lived in Kansas for two months now—and how long it has been since I posted on this blog! On the flip side, it feels like I’ve always belonged in this state. So for fun (and with a nod to Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King, who does this every week) here are my Ten Things I Think I Think about life in Kansas so far:
1. It’s the humidity, stupid: We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.” Well, whoever first said it knew what they were talking about. The humidity is killer in the Midwest. For example, I was helping mow the lawn on a hot summer day—something I did often in New Hampshire. My clothes were soaked through, I was aggravated at everything, and I had to finish the job the next day! Things improved the next time—I guess it is possible to adapt to humidity. Still, I can’t believe how much time I spend inside in the air conditioning, including the week when it hit more than 100 degrees every day!
3. Fiesta!: The Fiesta Mexicana in Topeka reminds me a lot of the St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts, though one is Mexican and the other is Italian. Houses near the festivities decorate for the occasion, music is played everywhere, and people fill the streets. One aspect I enjoyed more in Topeka was the food—traditional Mexican favorites made by volunteers from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The tacos, enchiladas, burritos and tostadas were terrific!
5. Speaking of Downtown Lawrence: I had a great meal at the Free State Brewing Company—a Brewery Burger made with locally raised beef and topped with blue cheese, washed down with a glass of their Copperhead Pale Ale. (freestatebrewing.com)
6. Lighting up KC: Drove through the updated Power and Light District of Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. Wow, what a beautiful place! Lots of restaurants, shops and clubs. I’m looking forward to exploring it more. Also, the Sprint Center looks amazing from the outside!
7. Speaking of KC: I enjoyed the Orecchiette Carbonara Gorgonzola at Osteria Il Centro on Main Street—“little ears” pasta with pancetta and a gorgonzola cream sauce. Mmmmm….(osteria-ilcentro.com)
8. Curler for Life: I’m hooked—I love the sport of curling, which is a bit surprising since I spent most of my first lesson falling on my butt! For those of you who don’t know the sport, it’s the one you see in the Winter Olympics where a large stone is slid down the ice, followed by a couple of people with “brooms” furiously sweeping along in front of it. On TV it looks simple. It’s not! But it’s getting easier every time I play, and now I’m totally hooked. The summer season is coming to a close this week, and I’m already looking forward to the next one starting up in October. (www.kccurling.com)
9. School has started—already!: School starts early in Kansas. This week, to be exact. For you New Englanders, Kansas schools do not have a winter break, spring break is in March, and we get out of school before Memorial Day.
10. Waiting on Fall: I can feel summer’s end approaching, and I’m looking forward to seeing what a Kansas autumn has to offer. I know it will be very different from New England, but I’ve learned to enjoy this state’s unique qualities instead of judging it against New Hampshire.