Seeing some more of the USA!

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope Thanksgiving (for the Americans amongst us) was a day of family, friends and food for all concerned: we were lucky enough to get invited over to a friend’s house for the afternoon/evening and thoroughly enjoyed both the excellent company and some amazing food (thank you Anne and Paul!). I feel that I’ve been remiss in not posting regularly over the past two weeks, but I’ve been feeling a  little flat and uninspired from a writing point of view. We were also travelling this week and the time just seemed to vanish, so hopefully I’ll be able to find my groove again next week.

While I was trying to do some study (and mostly failing), James did another construction miracle on Saturday and built us our own fire pit in the backyard (Disclaimer: we didn’t ask anyone for permission to do this, so hopefully it’s ok with the American military housing people!).


Our fire pit!!

The next day, we packed up our gear and headed off to Kansas City, stopping in Wichita on the way for lunch at the Public at the Brickyard, a little hole in the wall with some pretty fun interior design and good food. Believe me when I say that, after living in Lawton for close to six months, we appreciate good food. So, so much… Which is part of what made this trip so much fun!

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We made it up to Kansas City that night, and our week of hedonism began with all-you-can-eat Brazilian BBQ at Fogo de Chãu: we ate so much, we came close to being sick, and I had to take away the remnants of my caramel cheesecake because there was honestly no room left. But that didn’t stop us. Kansas City afforded us some amazing opportunities for food, and we took full advantage of it, especially when we headed to 801 Chophouse on Monday night… The food was unbelievably good. It was some of the best steak I’ve had in years, and probably the best mashed potato I’ve ever eaten. I believe there is a firm possibility that I may go to my grave dreaming about that mashed potato.


James ate a 30oz steak. Holy moly.


Delicious cocktail and a free grapefruit unicorn horn!

I had the chance to go along with James’ class to the National World War I Museum on Tuesday afternoon, which was absolutely amazing. We both love looking museums and are interested in history (though James is far more accomplished in that arena than I!) so wandering around the exhibits and learning a little more about the USA during WWI was fun. It really made me miss Australia and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra which is one of my favourite places to immerse myself in history (if you’ve never been, put it on your list. It’s phenomenal). One of the aspects of the museum that really struck me was how WWI (and in a similar way, WWII) was truly just a product of circumstances aligning in a way that allowed the war to occur; it also made me think how rarely humanity displays the capacity to learn from their mistakes.


Now, for the BIG, EXCITING news: we went out and met up with Nicole from ThoughtStained for dinner and dessert on Tuesday night! Nicole and I connected not long after I started blogging (if you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll have noticed her name cropping up!), and once I knew she was in Kansas, I knew we had to try and catch up. Luckily, the town she lives isn’t far from where we were, so James and I drove out that way for burgers and shakes with Nicole and her sister, Tanna: it was awesome. We ate far, far too much and had so much fun talking about pretty much everything under the sun. AND, none of us got murdered by people we met over the internet, so that’s a great day for humanity.

It was only the two of us and no strict timeline on Wednesday, so we decided to wend our way back to Lawton via Lawrence for breakfast, marinating in our envy of the beautiful little cafes dotted throughout the main street and the numerous craft shops. There was this one place, the Yarn Barn, which had multiple looms and some of the most stunningly coloured wools I’d ever seen. Now, I have no idea how to use a loom and I’ve forgotten how to knit, but it was tempting to buy something anyway! And the toy shop we saw! We had a lot of fun wandering through there. Plus, there were a plethora of bookstores, where we very responsibly refrained from purchasing anything (go us!), and one of them had a cat, so… it was pretty much heaven.

We headed into Topeka afterwards to visit the Kansas State Capitol, and hike the 296 steps to the top of the dome: scary stuff, especially when traversing the staircase that leads to the centre of the building and the dome itself (don’t look down). But it was definitely worthwhile, though our heart rates were elevated for a little while afterwards!


Inside, before the scary climb really began!


Outside at the very top


Then we swung past the Brown vs Board of Education centre for some history and a sobering reminder of how far humankind still has to go in terms of our equal treatment of people we perceive as ‘different’ from ourselves (whoever that may be). The drive home felt loooooong, but we’re back in our own beds and happy to have a bit of a break before we (hopefully very soon!) head out again to explore some more of the USA.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and I look forward to (once I find a way to conquer my current Ancient History assignment) putting up some more stuff next week!

— Ana.


  1. So glad you had fun!

  2. All sounds like a lot of fun 🙂 Thanks for all the positive comments about my own current writing state of mind – hope you get plenty of creative sparks this week 🙂

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