Kansas Roadtrip

Flint_HillsWhile I love traveling to faraway places, my very favorite thing to do is stick close to home. Last week, I took a roadtrip through Kansas – starting in the Flint Hills then working my way through Wichita and a number of small towns. Thankfully, I brought my camera along and the sunny, almost 60 degree days (in January!) made for perfect picture taking… Smiths_Market_Hutchinson_KansasThis is downtown Hutchinson, Kansas, about an hour northwest of Wichita. I love old main streets and beautifully restored buildings like Smith’s Market and many others in downtown Hutchinson. If you’re in the area don’t miss them!
Blacksmith_Coffee_Roasters Lindsborg_KansasNext, I had the wonderful fortune of getting to visit Lindsborg, Kansas for the first time. Lindsborg is a Swedish village and a definite place to check out! It’s charming!
IMG_4561Alma, Kansas was my last stop. It’s an old favorite as it’s on a loop my mom, sister and I enjoy taking through the Flint Hills. I’d never seen this old stone schoolhouse before, though, and am so glad I happened to drive by it. (I was actually somewhat lost and searching for a gas station, but hey it worked out!)

Descoware

Descoware2When I first moved into a “single girl apartment,” I started my dish collection with Le Creuset’s beautiful pots and pans in Cherry, a deep red. They’re gorgeous and I could just imagine all my favorite foods – Italian, Cajun – looking great against the color. The only problem is, Le Creuset is very expensive…especially if you’re cultivating a collection yourself without the help of a wedding registry and/or fabulous job as a high powered attorney (I have neither to assist me with the process.)

Anyways, as much as I love my Le Creuset dishes (especially the Dutch oven! I’m convinced food really does taste better in it.) my Mom ended up finding these amazing Descoware pots and pans at various antique stores. And…don’t tell Le Creuset…but I like them better!

Descoware4A pretty, vintage line of porcelain-covered cast iron cookware (say that ten times fast), Descoware was produced in the 1940s through the mid 1970s. The pieces I have were made in Belgium, although later pieces were also made in Japan.

Descoware5The orange/red color I have is called “Flame,” although you fellow antique/thrift store lovers will also find Descoware in other colors…green, gold, brown, blue, yellow.

(The original colors were Flame and Sunny Yellow, so if you find pieces in those colors, they are older than their counterparts in other colors.)

Desoware3DescowareI still have more pieces to collect – especially larger pots and pans to cook in when I entertain – but I think this is the start of a great collection!

The Old Red Barn

redbarnruralkansasHow cool is this old red barn? It’s located on a gravel road in rural Kansas, not far from where I take horseback riding lessons. It’s, um, on someone’s property…not far from their house…which means I’m the creepy person who stopped and took a picture of their barn, most likely while they were inside their (nearby) house (sorry!)

On another note, I love my horseback riding lessons! Although I took lessons for seven years growing up, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the saddle on a regular basis. I’m very rusty. I’m a beginner again! It’s so challenging I can’t think about anything else when I’m in the arena…I have to be in the moment if I want to have a slim chance of riding properly (heels up! sit back! hands down! wrong lead! try again!) As someone who’s always mentally multitasking, it’s nice for me to spend an hour forced to concentrate on the task at hand.

And, speaking of horses, I updated Midwestern Belle with some information about horse rescue, which is a topic that means a lot to me. As I always say…Save a horse, ride a rescue!