Sure, I moved here for a job 12 years ago and had no intention of staying. But here we are, living a life we love. When my in-laws recently visited from Spain, I was determined to make them see why we’re choosing to call the River City our home.
Where else can you eat breakfast on a airport runway, tour the tropics and listen to a concert at the new Pop Up Park without traveling more than 20 minutes?
They visited in late September, and it was a beautiful time to highlight our adopted hometown. We toured some of the well-known area attractions, like Stearman Bar and Grill, Botanica and the Sedgwick County Zoo. When we left each of these spots, I knew they were impressed! What’s not to like about watching airplanes land, strolling through gardens and hanging out with wild animals?
It was a great start but I wanted to show them more and convince them further that Wichita could hold its own. Next, we took advantage of Fidelity Bank’s lunchtime concert series to celebrate Carnegie Library’s 100 year anniversary. It was lovely to sit outside on gorgeous fall afternoons and listen to live music.
From there, we hit up a high school football game, stopped by Autumn and Art at Bradley Fair and the Wichita Moms Blog fall playdate at Whole Foods. We dined at Bella Luna and Taste and See, stopped for donuts at the Donut Whole, played at area parks and fed the ducks at the Great Plains Nature Center.
If we had more time I would have taken them to the Wagonmasters Chili Cookoff, the new art garden at the Wichita Art Museum, the new toddler exhibit at Exploration Place and apple picking at Entz Orchard.
By the time the trip was over, I knew they got it. They marveled at the family friendly atmosphere, the plethora of activities and the ease in which we got around town. They
saw the joy on my toddler’s face as he danced during the concerts or fed the giraffes at the zoo.
But they weren’t the only ones who left with a new appreciation for this town. While I worked to convince them that Wichita was worthwhile, I was reminded why I stayed and why I choose to raise my family here.