Topeka is the capital of Kansas. This is quite surprising considering we stayed right in the heart of the capital, and it was not too busy. Our balcony had a semi-unobstructed view facing the capitol building, and the city seemed to have a small-town culture to it. We stayed here for two nights.
Because most of the major commercial shops, malls, and companies are only an hour away in Kansas City, MO from Topeka, Kansas, most residents in this city were more secluded. It was nice to get away from a lot of people and the crowds. We checked into our hotel, the Senate Suites on Tuesday, October 21st. Michael was a bit hesitant at first to park in the lot which had “Senate Suites Parking” signs around it, but eventually we parked and walked across the street toward the “Registration” sign, which led us to the front door. A gentleman greeted and checked us into our hotel, located on the third floor. There was an elevator conveniently located near the entrance, and we were given a traditional key (none of those plastic cards for this place) for the two nights.
The room was really nice! As mentioned before, we had a nice balcony. In addition, we had a kitchenette with a mini dining room area, a living room with a sofa, a large flat-screen TV, a bedroom with a large king-size bed another TV, and a bathroom which had two entrances (one connecting to the bedroom and the other the hallway leading to the living room). After looking at a map of the hotel, we noticed our suite was on the smaller side. Wow, we thought. We got a great deal for this place. That was the main reason we decided to stay here for two nights, and we were living in a nice little apartment-like hotel, score!
Michael and I decided to stay in that evening and order some Chinese food from China Express. I really need to explain this process because I was really embarrassed. I ended up picking up the food because Michael was tired. I’m sure you can see where this is going. This place was literally down the alley and/or around the block from where we were staying. I drove down the block, but apparently missed the turn and almost ran through a red light, but I finally arrived! I went inside to pick up our order, but I forgot my wallet in the car, so I had to go back. Before I left, Michael wanted a soda, so I noticed a soda fountain machine, so I asked for two cups. Then I gave the gentleman my form of payment. After swiping and signing the credit card, I noticed he had bottled sodas behind the counter! This was AFTER I filled up the sodas and dumped out the ice the man had given to me. I felt so bad, but he knew exactly what I wanted to do. He was generous enough to let me return the two fountain sodas and exchange them for the two bottled sodas without charging me. At that point, I realized we did not have any utensils so I asked for some chopsticks. Napkins were not easily available so I just did not bother with that. Peace in the hotel room at last with our Chinese food….what a feat! Michael really made me work for that meal.
The next day we slept in and went shopping at the West Ridge Mall. There is an AT&T there, and Michael has been so excited to get a new iPhone. So we decided to head there. Driving through Topeka, we were quickly brought back to feeling as if we were in either Seekonk, MA, North Attleborough, MA, or even Warwick, RI. This capital city really had that suburban feel to it. Leaving the mall empty-handed, without one dime spent we came across a Kohl’s which was a few blocks away. This is our go-to place. We always find something we like there!
Our mission was to get some bathing suits. What we actually got were: two pairs of jeans, a wallet, and a belt for Michael and a pair of high heels and some wedding paraphernalia for me. We totally side-tracked!
We desperately needed to work out, and we explored Lake Shawnee Park after quickly changing at the hotel. This park is so beautiful! It has a 7-mile loop trail around the lake. After jogging one mile, we felt really nice. Along the way we completed our cache, sprinted a few times, and then jogged back to the truck. This totaled roughly 3.1 miles. We definitely would not have been able to do the whole loop before dark. We had a nice workout!
We woke up the next morning at 8am to have breakfast, pack and get ready for our 5-hour drive to the next state: Oklahoma!