Friday, November 1, 2013

Kansas Travels

I'm going to start this blog almost the same way I started my October blog: I can't believe how fast this year is flying by ... it's already November?! Seriously.

I hope everyone is enjoying their fall; it is certainly brisk and rainy here in Lawrence, but beautiful as the leaves finally change color on the campus of the University of Kansas as winter quickly nears. Since I've had a little down time lately, I thought I'd fill you in on my recent travels throughout this lovely state!

After a very busy September, both at work and making appearances, a quiet October was a welcome change! My husband and I were able to clear our calendars and take a few short weekend trips to different small towns and explore the beauty and eccentricity of north central Kansas. It was a lot of fun and we met quite a few interesting Kansans along our journey!

The second weekend of October we took a trip out to Wamego and Manhattan, just north of the beautiful Flint Hills. We stopped by downtown Wamego, which was cute and quaint but busy, and then headed onto Manhattan, the other large college town (home to Kansas State University) down the highway from my home of Lawrence! Just outside Manhattan sits the Konza Prairie, a native tallgrass prairie, which was absolutely beautiful. The people in each town were friendly and welcoming, the rolling hills of the prairie were breathtaking. It was the perfect way to unwind from a really crazy September.

Then we decided to head a little further into the Flint Hills and check out Council Grove and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve the next weekend. Council Grove was a tiny little town, but was so full of history. After walking through a park near downtown and looking at a few of the historical sites, we drove south to the National Preserve and were able to walk around for about an hour before the sun went down. It was really quite amazing, rolling hills for as far as the eye can see! Make sure you scroll down to see a few of the photos we took during our travels.

After coming home from these trips and having a few weeks to reflect, I am reminded of how unique the state of Kansas is. I think it's important as a titleholder to get to experience as much of the state you represent as possible so you can personify your state in a way, particularily the special and often resilient spirit of the residents. Even though I've only lived in Kansas for 10 years, I've really grown to love this state and am so fortunate I am to be able to represent such a naturally beautiful place that has such an interesting history and such lovely residents. I couldn't resist adding a picture of my crown and sash below -- go Kansas!

Well, November's shaping up to be a busy month! Next weekend I'm heading to St. Charles to watch the 2014 Miss Missouri USA Pageant! While I'm there I'll be able to reunite with my sister queen Kristy Kelley, Mrs. Missouri United States, for the first time since rooming with her in July at nationals. Then, when I'm back in Kansas I'm meeting with a few 2014 pageant contestants. Can't even wait!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy what's left of your fall!

All the best,


Exploring the Flint Hills outside Council Grove
The Konza Prairie just south of Manhattan.

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