Three Months in Topeka: A Family Q&A

Last updated: October 16th, 2023 | Originally published: September 30, 2023
RV in Topeka

Hey, Y’all! We hope everyone is well. If you didn’t know, our family recently returned from three months in Topeka, Kansas for our summer work assignment. This is our family Q&A about the experience. We figured it was worth chatting about because so many folks questioned our decision to spend the summer in boring, old Kansas (including those who live in Kansas).

And this time we decided to get the kids’ input this time, too, as they say some poignant things from their unique kid perspective. Maybe they’ll look back on their thoughts some day and remember their experiences from the summer of 2023.

And one last thing: Here’s a link to our Complete Guide to Topeka, Kansas. We hope you enjoy!

RV in Topeka

1. What Did You Love Most About Topeka?

Monica “The amount of affordable options for family activities. For example, my pottery class was $225, which was half the cost of a much shorter class in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our church community was really awesome, too.”

Ryan “My co-workers. Our RV Park. Eating BBQ 18 times. Going to Kansas City a dozen times. We made good connections at church. The kids were involved with cool stuff all summer long.”

Halea “Horse Camp. Zoo Camp. Archery lessons. The people of Topeka were nice and friendly and I’m still friends with some of them.”

Apollo “We had an awesome campground. A great library. I learned karate with a really awesome teacher. Clean and family friendly community. And we could drive to Kansas City an hour away.”

2. What Surprised You About Topeka?

Monica “It was much more beautiful than what I thought it would be. Lake Shawnee was so pretty. It rained a boatload while we were there so it stayed green all summer.”

Ryan “You can practically watch the corn grow — It went from shin-high to overhead in a couple of weeks. And East Kansas is very green. I thought it would be flat and yellow, like in West Kansas. Also, the BBQ lived up to the hype!”

Halea “The kindness of the people. The heat!”

Apollo “How close everything was together. We didn’t have to drive very far so everything was accessible.”

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3. What Disappointed You About Topeka?

Monica “Hardly anyone ever leaves the Kansas/Missouri area. They just stay there. The people were very kind, but there wasn’t much curiosity.”

Ryan “Interstate-70 is a toll road?! I spent about a hundred bucks in tolls zipping around East Kansas.”

Halea “The heat! Kansas was more rural than I’m used to.”

Apollo “We ate too much BBQ.”

4. What are Your Favorite Memories in Topeka?

Monica “The River Market and Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City. Making pizzas with the Steele family and getting to know them. Conversations at the dog park and church. Long boarding around the RV Park each night at sunset. And my pottery class!”

Ryan “Long boarding with Monica every night. Soccer with Apollo. Frisbee in the pool with Halea. The Steamboat Arabia Museum. The Dome Tour at the Kansas State Capitol. Monica and I getting away for the night at a fancy hotel in KC while taking in a Royals game and Powell Gardens. Gaining 15 pounds eating BBQ.”

Halea “The Asian Grocery Store in Kansas City. The Nauvoo trip. Going to the Steele’s house to make homemade pizzas. “

Apollo “Church activities on Wednesday nights. 4th of July Fireworks at Lake Shawnee. Karate at Master Overbey’s martial arts. Church trip to Nauvoo.”

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5. What is One Thing You Missed Out on in Topeka?

Monica “The beach.”

Ryan “A challenge at work.”

Halea “I would have liked to spend more time in nature.”

Apollo “Costco was an hour away.”

6. Do You Want Another Three Months in Topeka?

Monica “Not in the Summer. Definitely not in the Winter. Maybe in the Spring.”

Ryan “I would make a short visit to say hello to friends and eat BBQ, but I don’t need another three months in Topeka anytime soon.”

Halea “It was really fun, so I would go back.”

Apollo “I think so. It was a nice, chill place to stay for awhile. I would go back to Master Overbey’s.

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7. What Do You Hope to Get Out of the Next Assignment?

Monica “To know if I want to live in Florida or not. To make some lasting friendships.”

Ryan “Teach the kids stuff. Make a difference at work and church. Take some photographs of Monica in her bikini.”

Halea “Meet good friends. Do all the stuff that seems cool and have a great time.”

Apollo “Have fun. Work on social skills. Do Krav Maga.”

An Honest Conclusion: Three Months in Topeka

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It sounds like we all enjoyed our three months in Topeka. Who knew Topeka was so great??

The town itself was just ok — a bit run down — but you could get anywhere in 15 minutes and the people were friendly. There is a beautiful lake on each side of the city, and a wonderful big city an hour away. In a different life we could be happy living there full-time, but I doubt that happens in this one.

Up next… West Palm Beach, Florida. We arrive in town on Sunday, October 1st and stay through the end of the year. We have high hopes!

Thank you for stopping by our website! We are the Hoffmann family, a full-time RV family that has split residence in Seattle, Washington and San Antonio, Texas. We have special needs children that we homeschool, and work travel assignments for the Veteran Affairs Hospital. If you would like to learn more about us, check out our Start Here and Biography pages.

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