I’d say that Kansas was one in a line of cool places, but it wasn’t. It was hot!!! At one point, according to the car’s thermometer, it was up over 100 degrees. Just walking down the street for lunch seemed like a trip up Mt. Everest. The heat really sucks the energy right out of you.

Kansas was very awesome, though. One neat thing we did was visit the Kansas City Zoo. My favorite animal there, for some reason, was a sort of funny little bird that was rather like a cotton ball with a beak. Normally Calum’s the bird lover, but this adorable little creature seemed to have such personality, such character, that I couldn’t help but love it.

The monkeys are always fun to watch, and this zoo was no exception. One monkey sat on the ground at the edge of the cage, stuck his arm through the bars, and caught the little bugs that were running in the grass there. Another climbed all the way up to our eye level, and stuck her hand out, asking for food. When she saw that we weren’t going to give her anything, she immediately lost her big-eyed look and scampered back down, bored.

Almost as fun to watch as the animals are the little kids who come to the zoo. I was greatly amused by two in particular. A small girl and boy, probably only three or four years old, stood together next to the tiger’s cage. “That’s a big tiger,” said the girl.

The boy shook his head. “I could fight it!” Despite the fact that he was even shorter than the railing surrounding the cage, he had such confidence in his abilities. I think his friend believed him, too.

The coolest things about the zoo – both meanings of the word – were the mist sprayers they positioned all over the place. Basically, you walked up to one, stuck your face in the jet of cool mist, got soaking wet, and felt a lot better. It was pure genius, I assure you.

The church we went to in Kansas was the first – and probably only – cathedral of our trip. You would think that, being such a large church, the people would be cold and unwelcoming and that we would be lost in the crowd, but no! They were very nice. One woman welcomed us, then asked if we’d met before. She said sometimes she welcomed people that had been going to the church for twenty years! Another woman, in the hall after the service, even agreed with our cookie philosophy. Overall, the people seemed extremely proud of their church, and were willing to say so. It was cool.

I was thrilled because the Offertory Hymn was a song that I think is spelt Laudamus te. It’s a classical piece, and is very hummable. The reason it excited me, it because an older group played it when I was in symphony. All of the songs from that concert are very dear to me, because we were a gigantic symphony of the three little ones – basically easy, medium, and hard, but they didn’t call them that – paired with a nearby chorus of kids all the way up through high school. For a little eight year old that had never done anything like it before, it was magical.

Back to the church…I did try its cookies, and they were very good. There were little, crispy ones and bigger, chewy ones, and they were perfect. Calum and I began talking about a rating of cookies to size of congregation ratio…but decided against it. It was giving me a headache.

Another thing we did in Kansas was visit a Wizard of Oz museum. That was very fun, and brought back piles of memories from being in the play in fourth grade. (Fourth grade! Was it really that long ago???) It was actually the collection of a man who devoted a lot of time and effort into gathering all the items there.

We watched part of the movie, where the munchkins are welcoming Dorothy to Oz (I was a munchkin!), ad I still knew all the words to the songs. I guess it was just another feather in the cap of Mr. Jason Fontaine, our chorus teacher.

I was very excited with the thimble I got at the gift shop. It’s pewter, with the scarecrow sitting on top of it. His has a green jewel at the base of his neck. The scarecrow was always my favorite character, partially because he looks extremely huggable, and partially because he was played by my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wendling, when we did the play. It tied with the one from Yellowstone as my favorite thimble in my collection!

We also did a lot of schoolwork in Kansas. I’m still not done, and we’ve only got a week until we get home! I know I’ll be too busy getting ready then to work…eek! Must…take…notes…

-Iona-

NOTE: Iona’s posts appear courtesy of Broccoli