Missouri (1-0) at Kansas State (1-0)
September 10th, 2022, 11:00 AM CT
Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
Weather – Heavy rain and thunderstorms, 62 degrees
Kansas State 40 – Missouri 12
I am going to have to rethink going to games where Missouri is the away team. In 2019, I watched Missouri play in Kentucky in a downpour. Once again, the rain caused havoc on this trip. It started off with a storm before hand which delayed the opening of the gates. Luckily, the basketball arena sits right next to the football stadium and they had it opened up for people to take shelter at until the gates finally opened up.
After a brief period of being dry, the rains came again and they didn’t stop the rest of the game. There was another storm delay in the second quarter where we had to evacuate to the covered concourse areas.
As for the game, this one was not particularly close. Missouri started off the scoring with a field goal, but it was all Kansas State after that. Kansas State would score three straight touchdowns in the first half to take a 20-3 lead into half time.
The second half basically followed the same script. Missouri scored the first field goal to cut the lead to 14 and you thought they might have a slight change to fight back into the game. But Kansas State would score another 20 straight points to easily put the Tigers away. Missouri scored their one touchdown on the last play of the game.
Final score: Kansas State 40 – Missouri 12.
My first stops at the stadium were the team stores to find a hoodie as it was much chillier than I had anticipated. They had entrances to the stores from the outside of the stadium so people could go in before the gates opened to shop which I thought was a smart idea. Once it got close to gate opening time, they would then lock the store from the outside and open up the inside doors instead.
There were not very many activities outside the stadium. I think the combination of the 11 am kickoff time and the bad storms probably kept a lot of people away early. Also, other than the basketball arena on the South side of the stadium, the rest of the stadium was surrounded by parking lots which I always think takes away a lot of prestige from game day. About 30 minutes before the gates open, the football team did arrive and do a walk to the stadium through the crowd with the band playing in the background.
The stadium featured a full bowl alignment. There were decent sized video boards in all four corners of the stadium as well as runner boards in the North and South end zones. The stands were pretty full for this game and there were a decent number of Missouri fans that made the drive over from Columbia for this one as well.
In a bit of a surprise, there were really only the normal concession stands with no corporate standups along the concourse areas. Each concession stand sold its own type of food though, some hot dogs, some pizza, some BBQ, to give it some good variety. Prices did seem a little high here compared to other stadiums, but some of that could just be due to current high inflation.
Hot dog – $5.00
Souvenir Soda – $8.00
Domestic Canned Beer – $8.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Soccer – Yale (3-0-1) vs. Kansas State (2-3-1)
The game was $1 dollar attendance night, so there was a pretty good crowd in place. The soccer stadium at Kansas State is fairly new so it was a nice venue. One of the light poles seemed to have some lights not working properly, however, so one corner of the field was darker than the rest after the sun set. It wasn’t enough to stop the game, but it was very noticeable.
Kansas State was pretty dominant throughout this matchup. They controlled the ball and was definitely a lot crisper in their passing. The shots they had on goal were all strong looks. The only thing that kept this game from becoming a blow out were same great saves by Yale goalkeeper Maya Bellomo. The most surprising thing was the goal scored by Andra Mohler of Kansas State at the 37:13 mark was probably the easiest shot to save all night and it was just missed.
Yale was definitely more aggressive in the second half and they got a couple good shots at goal, but nothing was able to get past Kansas State goalie Alaina Werremeyer, who was able to shut out Yale for the victory.
Final: Kansas State 1 – Yale 0
Manhattan is very much a college town with the university in the central part of the city. It is a very large campus and in the middle of it all is the K-State student union which holds its own bowling alley. The campus is also home to the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of art and the K-State insect zoo, neither of which I was able to visit on my on-campus visit.
My favorite part of the Kansas State campus is definitely the older buildings on the South side of campus. The architecture on the buildings was beautiful. The best building was probably Anderson Hall, which is used as the administration building. It was built in 1879 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Something about older architecture always gives me the true university feel that newer campuses just don’t provide.
Flint Hills Discovery Center
The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a three-story museum in Manhattan that focuses on the Flint Hills area of Kansas that the city is a part of.
The first floor of the museum was fully about the history of the area. The different types of land, minerals, and people that lived in the area. The second floor was solely a kid’s play section where they could play. The third floor opened up to the outdoors where they had a lot of live plants that are popular in the area.
There was not a lot to this museum which led to it being a minor disappointment. I think the biggest plus would be for families to bring their children for the play section on the second floor.
Kansas State Capitol – Topeka
I always enjoy being able to see the various state capitol buildings whenever I can. Topeka is about an hour away from Manhattan which made it an easy drive. The building has a natural dome that you come to expect from most state capitols.
There were no major events going on at the capitol when I visited, though there were some elementary school kids doing some tours. On the bottom level of the capitol there is an area that shows the history of the creation of the state and the capitol. It included a replica of the original state constitution.
The architecture of the building was beautiful in all of the state rooms. There were amazing murals painted throughout all the ceilings as well. The biggest mural was on the wall next to the state Supreme Court room depicting the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision that is one of the famous decisions that the area is known for and which led to the visit to the actual school that this decision impacted as the next part of my trip.
Brown Vs. Board of Education National Historic Site – Topeka
The Brown Vs. Board of Education National Historic Site is located at the former Monroe Elementary school in Topeka, one of four elementary schools that were segregated from this decision.
Inside you toured one of the kindergarten classes to see how it was set up before it was segregated. You were able to see how the teacher taught the classes and read about some of the struggles they had due to lack of supplies.
In another part of the school, they had an area to give a history of the court case, how things were before the decision, and heard about a lot of the backlash that the decision caused afterwards. Finally, they had another area that showed where things stood today.
Overall, it was interesting to be able to step into the school and to be a part of history. The exhibits were not overly engaging though. I think they could do a better job in that area and get more people interested in visiting moving forward.
Evel Knievel Museum – Topeka
Evel Knievel was born in Butte, Montana, which made it a little strange to have a museum about his life to be based in Topeka. One of the main reasons for that is because the key person that influenced Evel into become a stunt jumper was from Topeka. So, if it wasn’t from him, Evel Knievel never would have become an icon.
One of the neat facts I enjoyed learning was where the nickname of Evel came from. Apparently, he spent a night in jail one night and the jailer nickname him “Evil Knievel”. He liked the name, but didn’t want to be thought of as actually evil, so changed the spelling to Evel instead.
The museum itself was very well set up. It was set up across two floors. On the first floor, you followed along with all of the famous jumps across Evel’s career in chronological order. They had videos as each spot showing the actual jumps. Also, at each spot they showed some of his bikes and other artifacts from that specific jump. It was interesting to see some of the successful jumps, but even more fascinating to watch some of the crashes.
The second floor focused more on the general merchandise that came out of his career. There was also an exhibit on the X2 rocket bike that attempted to jump across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum – Abilene
Although Dwight Eisenhower was born in Dennison, Texas, Abilene, Kansas, is known as his home. The museum is located on a large section of land that includes a library, visitors center, place of mediation, and his boyhood home. The boyhood home was undergoing major restoration while I visited so it was not open to the public.
The museum was full of a lot of artifacts starting from Eisenhower’s time as a boy in Abilene, through his time as a 5-star General in the Army, to finally becoming President of the United States. I found it interesting how many major things from our era was started during the Eisenhower administration. The major one most people think about is the Interstate Highway System, but he was also the President that initially funded NASA as well.
The place of mediation is also the resting place of President Eisenhower, his wife, Mamie, and their first-born son, Doud, who passed at the age of three.
Rolling Hills Zoo – Salina
Manhattan has its own zoo named the Sunset Zoo. But I read more positive reviews about the Rolling Hills Zoo about an hour away in Salina, so decided to check that one out instead.
The zoo admission included admission to the zoo itself along with admission to their wildlife museum. The museum showed a large number of animals in their natural habitats and was very well put together. You would walk through various areas of the globe by walking around the museum and they should a lot of history of many animals.
The zoo itself was a nice one, although somewhat on the small side. That makes since for a smaller town like Salina though. To me the funniest thing I saw was an ostrich that decided to just dig at the dirt constantly right near the fence line I was watching from. It took about 10 seconds to stop and look at me and then went right back to digging and didn’t stop even long after I walked away.
Overall, I’m not sure the zoo by itself would be worth the trip all the way from Manhattan, but if you include the wildlife museum as part of the journey that made this trip enjoyable.
Oz Museum – Wamego
Of course, when you think of the state of Kansas you think of the Wizard of Oz. And that comes to even bigger fruition when visiting the city of Wamego and the Oz Museum. The museum is located right in the middle of their downtown area.
This museum focused on all aspects of the movie, from how the movie was made, to the entire set of books created about the series, to all the other famous things that came out of the Oz universe such as the musical Wicked. They had a few documentaries running throughout the museum so you could hear about the history from the actors of the movie and even had the movie itself running on a loop in a theater in the back.
One of the most interesting facts I learned about was about a robot name Tik-Tok that was first introduced into the series in 1907. It is thought to be one of the first robots written about in modern literature. I actually remember Tik-Tok from a Wizard of Oz book I had when I was a kid but had totally forgot about him, which made seeing him again and learning about him that much cooler.
AJ’s NY Pizzeria
I started off my trip to Manhattan with a couple fun New York style pizza slices. The restaurant leaned heavily into its NY vibe with décor including using little NY street signs as table markers and having a menu that looked like a subway map. They had a gigantic menu of pizza types, which you could order whole or just by the slice.
The two slices I tried were the meatball parmesan and the taco pizza. The meatball parm tasted great. To me, any quality pizza has to have a great sauce and the sauce on that slice we great. The only complaint I had was the number of meatballs on the slice was pretty small based on the price of the slice.
The taco pizza was also pretty tasty. It came with sour cream and salsa on the side so you could wait and put it on the pizza just before you ate it which I thought was a smart idea.
Overall, if I lived nearby, it would be a place to visit multiple times just to try the wide variety of pizza slices that they had on their menu. Definitely a strong recommendation on this one.
Vista Drive-In is the definition of an old school burger joint. It is a family run joint that serves classics like burgers and hot dogs, but also items like a pork fritter sandwich and corn dogs.
I had the Vista burger, which was a ¼ burger topped with ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onion, along with fries and a banana shake. The burger seemed a little smaller than I expected and nothing really stuck out about it. The banana shake had real banana in it, which always makes it a good choice in my book.
What I noticed most about my time here was it seemed to be a place where people gathered just to spend time together. Next to me, there was a group of about four Kansas State professors that were just chatting about their classes. Two or three times, other people walked in that they knew and they would just chat away like they were at home.
Although the food wasn’t great, sometimes places like this are famous just because of the memories people make together while they are there sharing community. The Vista definitely seemed like a fun place just to spend some time.
You wouldn’t think of Jamaican food when you think of Manhattan, but that is the specialty of this small, out of the way restaurant. I went to this location after the K-State football game while it was still raining outside and it was fairly crowded at the time. The vibe had an almost lounge feel to it with a large bar area in the main room.
I decided to try to jerk chicken with a side of red beans and rice. The chicken was wood smoked perfectly and so tender that the meat just came right off the bone. The jerk sauce had a nice kick to it and added to the flavor a lot. The only thing I was disappointed in was the red beans and rice as it didn’t seem to have much flavor to it.
Lonnie Q’s BBQ – Topeka
Lonnie Q’s is located in an unassuming building next to an RV park in East Topeka. Other than a small BBQ sign on the building you wouldn’t even know what was inside. With that said, this was a very popular place. They had a lot of regulars inside, which is always a good sign for a small, family-owned restaurant.
The two main entrees that Lonnie Q’s served were BBQ sandwiches and Q-Cups. Q-Cups are basically a cup that puts meat and a side together in a single cup to serve. I went with the brisket sandwich, with sides of slaw and cheesy taters. The cheesy taters were shredded potatoes covered with cheese, almost like an au gratin style.
The brisket was decent, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was impressed with the size of the servings they gave for both the meat and the sides though. It ended up being too much to eat in one setting. The cheesy taters were decent but I really like their version of slaw.
Hay’s House – Council Grove
Hay’s House in the small town of Council Grove is known for being the longest consecutively open restaurant west of the Mississippi. It was originally opened in 1857 by Seth Hays, the great-grandson of Daniel Boone. It is a three-story building, and while I was there the downstairs area was occupied by a Kansas motorcycle gang.
The menu was what you would expect from a place like this. They offered a few steaks, burgers, pasta, and other entrees. I went with the chicken fried steak, which is one of their best sellers. It was served with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.
The first thing I noticed was the size of the steak. It was a generous portion with a good helping of gravy on top. The flavor of the steak was very good as well, though a couple pieces did have quite a bit of gristle. Not enough to take away from the overall quality though. The potatoes and green beans were also pretty good.
Overall, it was a bit of a drive to get to this location. In general, it wouldn’t be worth it just to eat at this restaurant, but it was cool to be a part of the history of this place.
The Cozy Inn – Salina
The Cozy Inn is a very small burger restaurant in downtown Salina. It is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year in 2022. It’s claim to fame is the burger slider, which is actually the only thing it serves on its menu. The burgers are made fresh each morning and cooked with onions and topped with pickle, mustard, and ketchup.
When you enter the building there is just a very small up-front counter that holds 6 bar seats. They also have a walk-up window with some dining outside as well. One of the owners of the restaurant welcomed me and gave me an overview of their menu and the history of the restaurant. He was an extremely nice guy that made the experience that much better.
The burgers were great. The fact that the burgers were made fresh really came through. The toppings on the burger were generous as well. There is a good reason that this location was named the best burger in Kansas by USA today in 2010.