Kelly has been my friend since we lived in Madrid together. She and her husband Jakob and their two year old son Luka now have a house in Wichita have been renovating, and we wanted to pop in.
When we got there, Luka was doing his part by watering all the flowers and then stomping for a while in the mud. He got a bath and Kelly put him to bed. We had some cold beers out on the back patio while we got caught up.
They do such a great job balancing jobs and kids and cats and guests! And Saturday was an epic day for all. In the morning, they managed to get up super early and make pancakes for everyone. Then Kelly and I hung out with Luka while the guys played disc golf.
In the afternoon, while Luka was napping, Jakob and Edd watched the final Champions League soccer match (Real Madrid won) while Kelly and I picked up barbecue food and more beer to help stave off the Kansas heat.
That evening, a bunch of people came over for great barbecue grub and drunk coversation. Jakob, a life-long vegetarian, cooked all the burgers! And we had plenty of roast asparagus, squash and peppers.
But the night wasn’t over! That weekend happened to be the start of the Wichita Riverfest, an annual public music festival. A bunch of us went to see the Flaming Lips while Kelly’s mom watched Luka.
The band put on a quite extravagant show, though the frontman was underwhelmed by the crowd’s enthusiasm. To be fair, the crowd was small because of the day’s rain. We all danced and cheered the best we could.
The next day, we had more Riverfest fun. Each day of the festival, the local paper publishes one cryptic riddle which gives a clue to the wherabouts of a hidden medallion. Over a breakfast of tortilla and pulpo de tomate, Kelly chewed over the clues.
We deduced that it was somewhere around Veteran’s Memorial Park, and so the five of us headed there. Sure enough, other people were searching already. We looked under bushes and on statues.
We also searched near the “Keeper of the Plains”, a huge iron sculpture of a Native American chief that overlooks the river. You must admit, a scavenger hunt is an excellent way to see a city.
But it was getting late, and without a medallion, we went home and Jakob threw together some delish homemade pizza. That was his job in Madrid where he and Kelly met!
On Monday, Kelly’s mom took Luka. Jakob worked in the morning and in the afternoon we all went to see the botanical gardens where Kelly works. It’s a non-profit called Botanica and has a Chinese garden, forest habitat and butterfly house. Kelly does educational programs for children, but she found a little free time to show us around.
For our final dinner together, Edd and I made arepas. After Luka was tucked in bed we played a dice game called “Liar”. Then we sat in their higge-loving living room and reminisced about Spain.
In the morning, before work and amidst getting Luka ready for Grandma and Grandpa’s, Kelly gave us some frozen bacon and edamame (little luxuries for us) and Kelly’s mom packed us some lovely banana muffins and a few audiobooks. How well are we treated here?
I was sad to leave. Kelly and I have talked about living in Spain again in the future? Just a few medallions and hopefully we’ll be able to afford it!😉