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A small vacation in Wichita

fresh fish n chips

The farthest I’ve ever traveled from home (in northcentral Pennsylvania) was Wichita, Kansas.

The year was 1988, I think. A friend of mine was going to college at Wichita State University, and his parents needed another driver to go with them to take him out there, so they recruited me for the price of meals and an overnight hotel stay.

The main thing I remember about the trip wasn’t the trip itself (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois – bo-ring and Kansas – the only thing that made it stand out was watching a tornado about 100 miles away, which seemed a lot closer on the plain) but once we got there, my friend and his parents got food poisoning — from Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips. The three of them ordered fish and chips, I ordered shrimp. They all got sick, were in the bathrooms in their rooms at the hotel where we ended up staying for a few days, while I had to find things to do. I remember finding this blond girl from Amarillo, Texas, to whom I talked and flirted by the pool.

Aside: the hotel where we stayed was the same hotel that was in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. Only later when watching the movie, I recognized it as the same place. In the movie, it was called Edelen’s Braidwood Inn. It actually was a Day’s Inn.

I think I’ve only been in an Arthur Treacher’s once after that experience, and the farthest west I’ve been since then is Findlay, Ohio, when a friend graduated from Winebrenner Theological Seminary. However, that’s a story for another time.

For now, I’ll leave you with the only Wichita song I know:

What’s the farthest you’ve traveled from where you live?

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12 responses to “A small vacation in Wichita

  1. Just wanted to remind His Nibs that he’s been further away from home than Wichita…..isn’t Jackson MS further? And the Bahamas? Oh, but you said further WEST. Nevah mind.

    Furthest West I’ve ever been is San Francisco, though technically I only went to Burlingame, CA, I had to meet with some schmuck at IBM for work. I flew in, went to bed, got up, met the guy, endured his company for lunch, and got back on the plane. It was a bad dream furnished like an airport lounge.

  2. Oh WOW… bummer of a trip for them! I would have been afraid it was the stomach flu and freaked out. But I DO have to say, those fish and chips look mighty good!!!

  3. The furthest I have been from home is Kenya.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Um, you know you just can’t leave it there. You have to tell us more…if not here, on your blog then…or if you have, leave us a link to the post or posts. šŸ™‚

  4. The furthest I’ve been from home is Amsterdam. I got food poisoning in London and thought it was a shame because I fully expected to die there. Dying in Paris, I would not have minded nearly as much as dying in London. We actually had to get a doctor for me at the hotel. He shot me up with tons of stuff. (those Brits like their needles), and advised me not to fly for at least 3 days because of my severe dehydration. I slept for two hours and then said “Alex, let’s go home!” and fooled myself that I was fine. I was comatose on the airplane but did arrive home after all and didn’t die.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Glad you didn’t die, of course. šŸ™‚

      So what was Amsterdam like? As crazy as “they” make it out to be?

      • Actually, I loved it. The Dutch people are beautiful and friendly. They have a wonderful “live and let live” thing going on over there. Even the famous ‘Red Light District” had charm. It’s just commerce really. We went into the “coffee shops” that serve marijuana and hash and found them actually quite nice, although neither of us smoke the stuff. Wonderful architecture. It’s a friendly happy city.

  5. Food poisoning away from home is absolutely horrible. My brother would have that happen to him when he would go on road trips for work. I think it usually involved fish or undercooked meat. Good thing your shrimp was ok.

    The farthest I’ve been is Taiwan. I loved the food!

  6. Wichita Lineman is one of my all-time favorite songs. Don’t ask me why. I don’t have an answer for that. Thanks for posting it, though.

    I love to travel. Farthest from home would be Antarctica. A couple of years ago, we went hiking for a couple of days in the Tierra del Fuego, and then got on a Russian research vessel that was retrofitted for passengers/adventure travel and we headed due south from Ushuaia, Argentina. We crossed the Antarctic Circle a couple of days later. The first day we were super excited to see penguins. A week later, it was, like, “Oh, look. More penguins. Pfft.”

    • unfinishedrambler

      Dude, that blog post (which you totally should make into one, if you haven’t already; if I’ve missed, leave the link for us losers who missed it) sounds better than mine. You suck. šŸ˜‰

      Not really. I love your work and am super jealous of you having seen all the Oscar movie nominees. I’ve seen about five, I think, but our small town theater actually is getting The King’s Speech and Black Swan, so I’m hoping to see them, especially the first one.