NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Lawrence, Three Years Later

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Picking up from Monday morning, in Kansas City, after spending Sunday driving there from St. Louis: Smoothies at City Market Coffee; a good few hours at River Market Antiques; lunch at Waldo Pizza; Brass Armadillo; the drive to Lawrence; and checking in at our lovely Airbnb at 13th and Haskell, not far at all from our home of three years in Barker. There was so much we wanted to do in Lawrence that that night I actually made a list in my sketchbook of all the things we wanted to do, organized into columns for places to visit/walk, places to buy things, and places to eat, and then numbered in priority order and circled for our final choices 😂

Tuesday: A walk to the Secret Beach (not the same at all without Cody, and with the river so high); breakfast at Milton’s; Wonder Fair (such huge heart eyes for their new space); the Lawrence Antique Mall; gushing over my dream library, LPL; seeing my old work space and friend and coworker in Baldwin; Antiques on the Prairie (my all-time fave); visiting my everyday lunchtime hangout, the cemetery and its cows across the fence; the Douglas Fishing Lake, where we spent many a summer evening on our boat; and driving to our farm stay (you saw those pictures).

Wednesday: The KU Natural History Museum! And then – tattoos! We tried to get Free State on our way to Lucas, but they had just stopped making Wheat State Golden?! (Our wedding beer!) So we got cheddar ale soup to go. Then Lucas – those pictures here.

Thursday: On the way from Lucas to Weston, we stopped in Lawrence one last time to see what the Baker Wetlands look like now. Very different! I miss them so much. The new Discovery Center there looks really neat. And of course, the sky/clouds/sunsets are amazing as ever.

It was such a huge relief to feel like Lawrence is exactly the way we left it over three years ago (four years ago at the end of this month!). Being there, I seriously felt like I had just lived there yesterday. In my experience, not many places have felt that way. I’d really like to make it a priority visit Lawrence every three years or so. It really is such a special place to us, somewhere I’d definitely like my hypothetical child to know well. Until next time, LFK!

Lucas, KS

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These photos were taken two months ago now! This year so far has been so busy. From Presidents’ Day to after the Fourth of July weekend, the longest it will have been without a trip or a visit is three weeks. I have at least five rounds of photo processing + posting to get through just to catch up to the latest big event, my parents’ 11-day visit. They left on Monday. Dan gets in this Saturday, Michael the following Saturday, and then Dan and my sister arrive for our dunes camping trip a week after Michael heads home. These Lucas photos probably warrant two posts but I’m gonna jam them all into one!

Lucas is incredible. Such a lovely, special place, where even when the light is harsh it’s somehow so magical. Nathaniel and I drove out from Lawrence, my parents from Longmont, and Nat’s parents from the Springs, just so we could all spend one night together in this perfect old house that Nat and I have now stayed in three times. The Wednesday night when we all arrived, we took a little walk around the town, to the World’s Largest Collection of World’s Smallest Versions of World’s Largest Things (or where it used to be, anyway? It’s apparently moved, but their new location on the main drag didn’t look open), to the Miller’s Park sculptures, and back to the house for dinner and gifts (it was my mom’s birthday and Nat’s mom’s and dad’s birthdays!) and a show-and-tell of all the antiques we had bought on the trip.

Thursday morning, we drove out to Wilson Lake and hung out on the water’s edge for a while, then went to Garden of Eden, then walked around some more. We had lunch back at the house and drove out to Kansas Originals, and then Nat and I got on our way to Weston, MO for our last night. Our parents stayed in the house together that night. I heard there was some wild Uno-playing. Next up: the Lawrence pictures I skipped over.

Silver Dollar Farms

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I don’t want to exaggerate, but the night we spent at Silver Dollar Farms was perhaps one of the most magical times of my life. After spending the night in Kansas City, we drove to Lawrence and spent one night in a very charming Airbnb there, which I’ll get to later. We needed to spend one more night in the Lawrence area before driving west to Lucas to meet my parents and Nat’s parents on Wednesday, and after we picked Silver Dollar Farms I was so excited to see it.

SDF is a super sweet place, family owned and operated. It’s recently restored, but it was first established in 1860. We arrived when it was getting dark and we still got a lovely, comprehensive tour (Midwest folks are the best!). The farm offers horse boarding, trail rides, goat yoga, and more. Where we slept was a little cabin on the property with a clawfoot bathtub, two separate lofts, and a private yard (I missed Cody the whole trip but on this particular portion I missed him SO MUCH). We met a three-legged cat and so many goats and a very large horse and the most wonderful and playful puppies and we got fresh eggs for our breakfast. There’s a swimming pond that we… have to go back for one summer?! I seriously wish I could go back and visit this place during every season for years and years to come. Maybe I will!

Also, those purple flower field photos were taken on the way from Baldwin City to Berryton, where the farm is located. Kansas is so! beautiful!