The Faces and Places Tour Suburban took off on a hot day this past Monday with the ultimate destination of Kansas City, Kansas and a T-Bones baseball game.

To beat the heat, our first stop was at Rees Fruit Farm at 24 and K4 highways for one of their locally famous apple slushes. Lingering in the store we smelled fresh peaches and saw bins of corn just waiting to go home with someone for a delicious summer supper. Rees offers seasonal fresh produce all year, as well as a huge assortment of Kansas-based products from relishes to salsas to honey.

A little further down the road was Lecompton. Pulling into town at the historic Democratic Headquarters, we made an unexpected friend in Iona Spencer. She met us as we parked, and told us about all the things to see in Lecompton. We learned a special Lincoln exhibit was on display and Iona pointed out the recently dedicated Veteran’s monument next to Constitution Hall. The town is full of history and if you know the story of bleeding Kansas, than you realize how important this area was to the civil war. Visitor’s hours at the sites are limited, so check their website for details.

We moved on down back roads, enjoying rows of cornfields to Kansas City, Kansas. Along the way, my son especially liked seeing cows wading in farm ponds to beat the heat.

Next stop, we visited Cabela’s. My family members are not big “outdoors” types, but I discovered Cabela’s is much more than just an outdoor sporting goods store. Sure, they have an awesome assortment of supplies for those who love the outdoor life, but they offered many other items as well. I enjoyed shopping for well-made hot-weather clothes, while my husband and son lingered by the aquarium, watching the giant fish. The store is full of museum-quality large animals and my son enjoyed looking at the various scenarios the animals were posed in, predicting who would prevail if the animals engaged in actual skirmishes. A couple of times he lamented because one of the small animals was about to get killed, but it opened an opportunity for his Dad and me to talk about the circle of life to this city-kid who hadn’t had much exposure to the wild.

Our perfect afternoon was topped off with seats in the shade at the T-Bones baseball game on a special kids-eat-free night. We were impressed by the family-friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices, and team spirit as the T-Bones defeated the Amarillo Sox. Many people in the stadium were enjoying a special promotion with free food and reduced admission as followers of the T-Bones on Facebook. My son even got a huge hug from “Sizzler” the team mascot.

At the end of the evening, we drove a super-sleepy seven-year-old home and reflected on what a great day it was in Kansas. We’ll be doing it again soon.


Chelle Decker works for jones huyett Partners in Topeka. As an Account Manager she works with the Kansas Travel and Tourism Divison to promote travel in the state of Kansas. She is a native of Olathe, Kansas, lived in Emporia for three years, and now calls Topeka her home. In her free time, Chelle, her husband, and seven-year-old son enjoy taking weekend trips across the state.