After right around seven hours of driving—the most I’ve ever done in a single day—I departed Denver, Colorado and arrived in Wichita, Kansas on July 3. I didn’t do much else on that day—I got in a full-body workout in the hotel gym to try and counteract a day of sedentariness, then ate some lamb shawarma for dinner and relaxed for the rest of the day.
As I’ve mentioned before, I quit my lease but I didn’t quit my job, and I don’t like doing touristy things on the weekends because I want to avoid crowds, so I spent July 4 catching up on some work. Independence Day was great, because I’m on the highest floor of my hotel, about 140 or so feet up in the air, so I have a nice, clear view of a large portion of Wichita and was able to watch several fireworks shows at once. I got my Independence Day dinner from a local deli and ate a three-quarter pound corned beef and pastrami sandwich with Swiss cheese over toasted rye, along with a side of steamed vegetables.
July 5, or Independence Day Observed, was also a day of work and relaxation for me. After another full-body workout in the hotel gym and eating a chicken, shredded beef, and ground beef enchilada platter from a local Mexican restaurant, I took care of some legal and corporate operations work for Tempo, then squeezed in a few video games for the first time in a little while.
That brings us to today, my first day being an active tourist in Wichita. Seeing as I got rained out in Denver when I visited the botanic gardens there, I decided to give it another shot and visit Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. The one here was noticeably smaller than the one in Denver, but it was still a nice, pleasing experience (apart from the fact that it was blisteringly hot and humid).
There was a little train station model set up near the entrance. I’m not quite too sure why it was there or what the story was behind it, but I snapped a photo.
Near the train station was the “sensory garden,” a garden specifically designed for those with sight impairments. I checked it out and I wasn’t quite sure how it was any different than the rest of the gardens, but it was definitely a nice touch.
I continued on towards the center of the Gardens, and there was an abundance of water—not something I see too often back at home in Las Vegas.
There was a bright, rainbow arch near the entrance to the Children’s Museum. Unfortunately, that area was blocked off for construction, but I snuck around the barricade to get a photo anyway.
Past the Children’s Museum was a wellness trail with signs posted along the way to encourage wellness. Some areas were designated for stretching, while others made you more aware of your senses. After I went through the entire trail, I discovered that I accidentally did it backwards. Heh.
The main centerpiece of the Gardens appeared to be a large fountain with an array of circular paths surrounding it.
One of my favorite areas was the butterfly exhibit. There was a separate building that housed what appeared like hundreds of butterflies. I didn’t have a princess moment with butterflies landing on my finger or anything, but I did get to snap some photos of them. (Unfortunately, I forgot my actual camera for this trip, so all of these are pictures from my phone’s camera.)
One of my other favorite areas was the Chinese garden. The funniest part was the area to feed the koi fish—it was a great example of operant conditioning, because the fish swarmed the edge of the platform when I stood there to look down, even if I didn’t have food, because to the fish, “human being on the edge” clearly means “feeding time.”
More Wichita tourist activities to come tomorrow.