We live in Newton, KS....many of you reading this know that, but some of you may not. The town was officially incorporated in 1872. So, it's not that old (especially by east coast standards), but it's also not that new. According to the 2000 census, this town had 17,190 people. It's not very big, but it's not too small, in my opinion. It's a town where I know quite a few people, but I don't know everybody. And, everybody doesn't know me.
I've only lived here a little over 5 years -- I moved here when Marc and I were married. Some would say this town doesn't have too much to offer, but I actually don't mind it. It's the place we call home. It's the place we've established our "Friesen Family." It's where Luke was born.
This summer, Luke and I have been walking A LOT! We have several different routes, but our "downtown route" has become my favorite. It's a four-mile route from our house, and many of you locals have seen us -- as told by your honks at us (which I do appreciate, by the way).
So, I thought I'd share a bit from our walks. These photos were actually taken last Saturday, August 29. It was a Saturday morning.
BEWARE! There are a lot of photos to share.
First, here are Luke and me -- getting ready to head onto our street. Marc happened to be home on a "Pepsi break" during his long run. So, we were able to get him to take a photo of us. Yes, Marc got Luke to blow "raspberries" for this photo. Is Luke a boy or what?
Luke likes two things on our walks -- a sippy cup and his "bwankie" (blanket). So, we always take both. I usually walk 4-5 miles at a time, and so, those two items typically keep Luke happy for the duration of the walk.
After we turn the corner onto the "main" road, we see this. It's the local Girl Scout house. Sometimes, we see Girl Scouts, having their meetings -- with outdoor activities. Sometimes, we see family events -- people rent out this house for events. This particular morning, nothing was going on to watch.
One thing about this town that I believe could be improved (however, I don't necessarily want our taxes to go up for this) is that this town is definitely not "fitness friendly." Many of the sidewalks are in poor shape. Thankfully, our jogging stroller has really good shocks to avoid Luke getting bumped around too much. And, at this part of our walk (and I'm EXTRA careful here), the sidewalk is right next to the road. This is a busy road, and so, I'm prepared to go on the grass at any time if need be.
Soon, however, after we pass that mess of a sidewalk, we see a house that I would LOVE to see the inside of...it's a house with a label of "Circa 1908." So, it's an old house by my standards. I just think it looks neat. I enjoy seeing it each day on our walks.
This past summer, Luke and I have seen many cyclists. This town is a popular crossing point for cyclists who are biking across the USA. We've given quite a few recommendations on eating places for those cyclists. A place where we frequently see parked bicycles is here....
This restaurant, called the Bread Basket, is a restaurant and bakery. They serve very yummy food, and they're known in town for their Friday and Saturday night all you can eat "German Buffet." I think it must be on the "Cycle across the USA" list of places to eat. There seems to always be cyclists there. However -- not this day.
Newton, KS, is a big railroad town (in fact, the school's mascot is based on the railroad). To cross town, one must cross tracks, and frequently, there are trains crossing. By living in this town, one will learn some patience as one waits for frequent trains. This day, just as I was approaching the tracks, a train was approaching. Fortunately, it wasn't a long one this time.
After crossing the tracks, we hit downtown. Newton's downtown is nice -- definitely the small town feel.
We have a health food store (I guess that's what you would call it) called Prairie Harvest. It's a cute little store, and they often have local produce and other things.
Then, we always look at the Et Cetera Shop. It's a thrift store where the money raised goes to help hungry people around the world. Great cause, isn't it?
For being a not-for-profit, volunteer store, they sometimes have some pretty good window displays that I enjoy looking at. This particular Saturday, they already had a nice fall display up. Oh -- how I'm so glad fall is approaching....
There are several antique stores in this town, but my favorite is Layman's. They, during opening hours, usually have some items out on the sidewalk. So, it's fun to look almost everyday we're out.
Newton isn't a real big "Catholic" town, but one of the Catholic churches, St. Mary's, is pretty to look at.
Soon, we reach the "North Sonic" (we have two "Sonics" in town). However, just before reaching "Sonic," you have to go by a mechanic shop. One must be VERY CAREFUL here. "Sonic" traffic (actually, the people driving here) don't necessarily expect pedestrians. So, we stop and look closely here.
Our next place to see quite a few people is of course, McDonald's. There's usually a pretty good line of cars at McDonald's. This Saturday morning was no exception.
Shortly after that, we reach Blockbuster Video. Just beyond that is our turnaround point -- two miles. Then, we turn around and head back two miles home.
Here was a great photo of Luke at that point -- Happy Luke!
A little while after starting back, Luke usually wants his blanket, of course.
Every once in awhile, he'll fall asleep (he used to all of the time when he was younger). Most of the time, however, he stays awake and watches everything.
But, I do enjoy looking down at Luke in the stroller. Here's what I see once he gets his blanket.
This particular day, after we got back across town and almost to our street, we did finally see some cyclists. However, these weren't cross-country cyclists. I think they were all out for a Saturday morning ride. They were all very friendly and waved at us.
After a couple of miles back from Blockbuster, we turn up our street. Our street is wonderful. It's a quiet little cul-de-sac off of the main road. Eight families live on our street, and we all know each other. Everybody's friendly, and we trust them all. It's great!
We live almost to the end of the cul-de-sac. When we get to our driveway, I open our garage door. It was a great walk!
We go inside, and Marc's just returned from his long 35-mile run. Yep -- I said 35 miles. So, he's "resting" on the floor with the TV on. Luke crawls right over to him to see him -- very cute!
And, BTW, Marc's always super nice and puts an old town down after his runs. That way, all of his sweat doesn't get all over our carpet :)
So, for those of you who see us walking often and those of you who don't even live here -- there's a glimpse into our MANY walks we've taken lately.
Fall is coming. I do plan to keep walking. We may have to adjust our times a bit for daylight. However, Marc's also working on getting reflectors for the stroller. I also already do own a reflective vest to wear. Also, I'm working up Luke's wardrobe to handle cooler weather. And, fortunately, compared to other places, Kansas doesn't have too many extremely cold days during the winter.
You'd think with all of this walking, I'd be extremely skinny. Hmmmmm....maybe if I'd stop eating too much.
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