The Thomason extended family decided to plan a 2019 family reunion.
As with most families with members living in multiple states, it can be somewhat difficult to gather often. Yet there is the desire to connect in person.
Share this Post with Others Planning Reunions.
6 factors in choosing a reunion location
Short travel distance for matriarch, aka Granny
Easy travel for airline commuters
Comfortable, well-appointed, and affordable lodging
Great dining and shopping choices
Availability of a professional photographer for family photos
Entertainment & Recreation
Winterset, Iowa–Chosen ReunionLocation
Winterset, Iowa was chosen as the ideal location. It is great for families of all sizes. There is plenty to see and do in Madison County and businesses and attractions are well accustomed to working with and welcoming visitors and guests from all over the world.
In addition, their Chamber and Welcome Center has a fantastic website.
Our group booked all of the rooms at Heavenly Habitat Bed & Breakfast.http://www.heavenlyhabitat.net/. It was perfect in every way. We gathered often to share meals, play board games, watch NBA finals games and enjoy one another’s company.
Steve and Nancy Fauser are exceptional inn keepers. Each breakfast was better than the next. Come with a hearty appetite. Microwaves and refrigerators are available on site.
Winterset has plenty of great dining options for all budgets and appetites. Check out the Chamber website to plan your meals and make advance reservations. http://www.madisoncounty.com/dining/.
Hiring a professional photographer to capture family photographs was important to this group. We hired http://teddiyaeger.com/. She was professional, prompt and experienced. She provided expert advice on location and attire and was a pure joy to work with.
Linda Leier Thomason writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Read more about her background and qualifications by clicking on the “Meet Linda” tab above.
Would you like Linda to write a feature story on your community? Nominate it here.
We had two May 2018 days off. Where to go? How about south of Omaha. But where?
We’d heard about the KansasFlint Hills, but literally knew nothing about this east-central region, so off we went.
No Interstate travel allowed. Wow! Endless visual stimulation. Every shade of green. The air filled with dust behind farm equipment tilling spring soil. Trees bursting with blooms. Puffy clouds in blue skies. Friendly, warm-hearted people. Wind. Lots of wind. Rolling hills. Tall grass prairie. Deafening silence. Disc golf courses everywhere. Highly talented artists of every type. Live folk music on a Friday night. New American food in a Strong City-a town of 455 people (2016).
Can’t Miss Stops on Kansas Flint Hills Visit
Traveling south from Omaha, stop at the historical Johnson County Courthouse in Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Walk around the square. Read the historical markers and take in the Romanesque style courthouse architecture. Simply stunning.
2480 Kansas Highway 177 Strong City, KS 66869
The Preserve is a public/private partnership dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
Call ahead 620.273.8494 (hit 0) to reserve a seat on the free bus tour, guided by a park ranger.
No admission fee. Check website for pet policy.
The Information center has a video to view. Best to watch before going out on the trails or into the historical buildings (house, barn and school).
Educational kiosks, well-appointed and clean, modern restrooms and a small gift shop are also in the Information Center. There are additional modern restrooms near the barn.
• Wear closed toe shoes.
• Fill your water bottle at the Information Center prior to boarding the bus.
• The road the bus travels on is bumpy. Keep this in mind if you have back or spine issues.
• Binoculars will enhance the experience.
• Understand this is not a zoo. Animals (cattle + buffalo) and wildlife roam freely, often near, or on, the hiking trails. Use extreme caution and pay attention to not only what is in front of you but also what is behind you.
• You may picnic on the grounds near the house and/or Information Center.
Like nearly everything in the Flint Hills, this Bed and Breakfast greatly exceeded all expectations.
In addition to guest rooms in the later-Victorian, Empire-style stone main house, 3 freestanding lodging options are available. We stayed in the Bunk House. The decor is modern and fitting for a ranch location.
The kitchen is furnished with all but an oven (a crock pot is available as are a multi-burner cooktop and microwave).
Tips to Enhance Your Stay
• Bathrobes are furnished
• Foldable outdoor chairs are available
• Bring ear plugs or background noise apps if a light sleeper; a train frequently passes by on the other side of a somewhat busy highway
• A challenging disc golf course is on the property; bring your discs
• Walk the course, even if you don’t play it. Bug spray and sunscreen may be necessary
• Breakfast is hearty. Confirm your dining time for the next day after each breakfast is completed.
• Get the Wi-Fi code/password at check-in
• Make time for a short history tour of the home/property
• Filtered water is provided
• Breakfast is served on an enclosed veranda
Other lodging options are found on the Chase County Chamber of Commerce link here.
Open Tuesday through Sunday 11AM-5 PM and when the flag is out.
A cooperative of Flint Hills artists and artisans selling items made in the Kansas Flint Hills.
Impressive works: wool and Alpaca textiles, photography, stained glass, woodwork, ceramics, ironwork, and more.
Support art. Purchase a remembrance of your visit from one of these talented artists and artisans.
Emma Chase Friday Night Music www.facebook.com/EmmaChaseMusic
620.273.6003 or 620.273.8301
Emma Chase is not a current musician. Rather she is a fictionalized character. However, at one time, there was an Emma Chase Café, which is now closed.
Musicians and audiences gather around 7:30 PM near Cottonwood Falls’ Main Street to jam. Sessions end at 10:00 PM.
Weather permitting all congregate outside on the street by the Courthouse-331 Broadway-or if not, and every 4th Friday, at Prairie PastTimes-220 1/2 Broadway.
Admission is free. Donations are greatly valued.
Bring a lawn chair.
Audience members are welcome to join in
Guests can view the artwork in the gallery behind the musicians.
Restrooms are in the gallery
1st Friday: Acoustic Gospel Music
2nd Friday: Acoustic Bluegrass Music
3rd Friday: Acoustic Country, Folk and Bluegrass Music
4th: Friday: Electric & Acoustic Old Time Rock-n-Roll and Vintage Country Music
In September of 1999, Sue Smith and friend Charley Klamm were discussing the possibility of a music session at the cafe. Charley said, “For two bits, I’d hang a paper at the barbershop to see if anybody was interested.” Sue reached into her pocket, handed Charley the quarter, gave him a sheet of paper and said, “Go ahead.” So, on the first Friday night in October, 1999, twelve musicians with instruments in hand showed up at the Emma and a couple dozen listeners followed close behind. Most believe this is the longest continuous jam session, and perhaps the first, in Kansas. Taken from www.kansassampler.org
Cottonwood Falls Parks
Cottonwood River Bridge and Waterfall-located on the north side of Cottonwood Falls next to Bates Grove Park, which has tent camping available.
Walking Trail between Strong City and Cottonwood Falls. It’s paved.
Swope Park-1715 210 Road-located on the southeast corner of Highway 177/210 Road This impressive multi-purpose park includes a dignified Veteran’s Memorial, 4-H barns and an arena, a campground with RV pads, disc golf course, a playground and swimming pool, picnic areas with two covered shelter houses, and baseball and softball fields.
When walking downtown, be sure to stop and read the placard about the Bill North Courtyard “Beagle Run.”
Chase State Fishing Lake https://cwfks.org/chase-state-fishing-lake/ west of Cottonwood Falls off Lake Road
Take a drive out here. Observe wildlife. Appreciate the wonder and stillness of nature.
KSU Botanical Center http://www.k-state.edu/gardens/ Tallgrass Brewery Tap House http://tallgrasstaphouse.com/ Chase County Chamber of Commerce Excellent source for additional information and links on lodging, recreation, shopping, dining, etc. Symphony in the Hills http://www.symphonyintheflinthills.org/
Disc golf https://cwfks.org/chase-disc-golf/
Additional photographs & information on my Twitter and Instagram. Click links above or/
Kristi LeGrande enjoyed her Getaway to America’s Most Famous Small Town: Red Cloud, NE. Thank you to all business participants. Check back often for other giveaways.
Red Cloud, Nebraska on November 17, 2017
WHERE? Red Cloud, Nebraska offers a glimpse into a storied American past while maintaining a progressive vision for the future. The town’s most famous citizen, author Willa Cather, introduced the world to Red Cloud and left indelible impressions in the minds of her readers.
Red Cloud is set amidst brick-lined streets, charming homes, historic buildings and the immense beauty of the prairie.
Your off-the-beaten path adventure will let you explore a rural lifestyle while immersing yourself in performance arts, culture, history and local cuisine.
This contest is done in cooperation with the Red Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce who welcome you to their historic community known as “America’s Most Famous Small Town.”
Prize Package Includes
Overnight Lodging at the Kaley House B&B, Master Suite for the evening of November 17, 2017. Winner must reserve upon notification of winning prize. $156.80 value http://redcloudbb.com/
You must provide an email address on the home page of this website: lindaleierthomason.com. Enter your email in the red white and blue box in the right-hand column of the home page-this page. [It will tell you if we already have it after you type in your email address.]
Go to Facebook Click Here for Facebook Page or use this link https://www.facebook.com/lleierthomason/. Like the page and comment about who’d you take on this trip with you & why. A share is also appreciated.
All steps must be completed for your entry to be accepted. No exceptions.
Rules to Enter
Please read all carefully before entering.
Must be twenty-one (21) or older to win.
Contest open to legal residents of the United States of America.
Winner Notification: Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, October 23, 2017. Winner will be notified via email. Response must be received in 24 hours. If none, another winner will be randomly chosen.
Prize is non-transferable. No cash redemption or substitution will be allowed.
Prize package is for November 17, 2017 and only this date. Do not enter if you cannot attend the performance (7:30 PM-10:00 PM) and spend the evening at the Kaley House B&B. No more than two guests are allowed to stay in the Master Suite at the Kaley House. Winner may reserve other rooms at his/her expense.
Prize does not include transportation to and from Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Winner agrees to take photographs of his/her visit and to share a minimum of 3 images by November 20, 2017 with lindaleierthomason.com to use at their discretion. An email will be provided to you.
Winner assumes all responsibility and releases lindaleierthomason.com and all prize donors and sponsors from all liability.
If winner accepts prize and does not use, winner agrees to pay lindaleierthomason.com $300.00 on or before November 24, 2017. Payment must be in form of cashier’s check.
By accepting prize, winner understands and agrees to all contest rules.
Immediate family members (spouse/partner, children, grandchildren and parents) of prize sponsors, Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce and/or lindaleierthomason.com are not eligible to enter.
Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.