Amy and Mike just didn’t stop with the hospitality, or the way they carried it out with such ease! We all got up a little late in the morning, and a tasty breakfast spread was out in no time. Coffee, cantaloupe, biscuits with gravy, sausage and bacon were all out for us to enjoy (and we did!)Tim joined us for breakfast, and soon whisked us off for an adventure. We were headed for the Konza Prairie, but there were many things to do along the way.
Before we could leave town, we had some errands to run, so on the way, we looked at possible property sites for his new business (Barista’s) and with coffee on the brain, we stopped in at PT’s for latte’s to go!Our first stop was Paxico – just north of I-70. This old German-settled town was once abandoned, and is now restored. The former general store, bank, doctor’s office and other buildings house shops now – mostly antique dealers, but a few other items of tourist shopping appeal. On our way out, we passed Wyledwood Cellars – makers of elderberry wine – but we didn’t stop. Our next stop was in Alma at the creamery for some “famous” cheese. Apparently Emeril is a big fan of it. I liked what I tasted, and we bought ourselves some cheddar curds and smoked mozzarella for the road. We also bought elk bologna – MMMMmmmm.
Finally we made it to Little Apple Brewing Company in Manhattan, KS (“little apple” because it is sister city to the Big Apple…) The folks there greeted Tim right away, and we took seats at the bar. Seven beers were on tap, and they served 10-oz glasses, so I had a few of those while the boys drank pints.
We all agreed that the best beer there was the Bison Brown Ale. As for the quality of brews at Little Apple, nothing was particularly bad, but nothing drew me to desire a return visit, except the pretty mugs they have for club members. Most memorable was the good music they played in the restroom, so that probably doesn’t say a lot for the place. In addition to the Bison Brown Ale, the other beers we tried were:
- Prairie Pale Ale
- Riley’s Red Ale
- Al’s Little Belgian Blonde
- XX Black Angus Stout (on nitro)
We didn’t try the Raspberry Wheat or the Wildcat Wheat.
Next to Little Apple Brewing was a grocery store, so we stopped in for some water and trail snacks before heading out to the Konza Prairie. It was a scenic 4.7 mile walk through green hills and a creek valley. I was amazed at the number of butterflies, grasshoppers and cicada. We built up a nice bird list (see the end of this post), and quite a hunger.
After the drive back to Topeka with a photo stop at the Brown v. Board of Education school, Tuptim Thai sounded perfect for dinner. The vegetarian menu was separate, so I was glad to find that they had Mansaman Curry with vegetables and tofu, which was rich with potato and peanut, and spiced by Thai peppers. D had Fiery Passion – a combination of peppers, garlic, scallion and pork. Tim went traditional with the Pad Thai. It was so tasty, and a nice find for Topeka – we were glad they squeezed us in 15 minutes before closing. We were all delightfully filled and ready for bed.
And now for the birds (not in taxonomical order)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red Eyed Vireo
Wild Turkey (one family group; one displaying male with 6 females)
Other birds of note for the day:
A huge colony of Cliff Swallows in Manhattan at the Rt. 177 bridge over the Kansas River
Eastern Wood Pewee