Wifi-Hopping in Lawrence

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I am trapped in Lawrence, KS. I am trapped with no keys, no car, very little phone battery (thanks, Instagram), and three large bags of stuff. Did I mention that I planned this?

Today, Vince has a work golf tournament in Manhattan, KS, which is about 2 hours away from Kansas City. Lawrence (the good college town - rock chalk!) is on the way to Manhattan so I asked that he drop me off there on his way out the Little Apple. He’ll meet back up with me in Lawrence for dinner with two of our friends.

So, today I am wifi-hopping across Lawrence! Rock Chalk.

We arrived at about 7 AM. Not a lot is open in a college town that early on a Saturday but thankfully there’s a cereal bar called Java Break that’s open 24 hours. Bless them. Vince grabbed some coffee for the road and I sat down with my breakfast panini and a new wifi password.

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testing the wifi in lawrence: java stop

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(Note: Java Break’s wifi passwords are limited to one gig of data. Use it wisely! I ran out of my first gig in about 30 minutes.)

After I’d worn out my welcome at Java Break (just kidding, the staff there is incredibly kind and perky for the times of day they work), I headed towards Mass Street for a new place to hop on some wifi. On the way, I was detoured by the Lawrence Famers’ Market. Very cute and worth the visit - especially for the kettle corn. I actually liked my visit to this market a lot better than the Rivermarket farmer’s market in KC since this one was a lot more relaxed and less commercialized with overpriced products that don’t necessarily belong in a farmers’ market.

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testing the wifi in lawrence: farmers market

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After leaving the market empty-handed (I didn’t have any cash on me... ) I walked down Mass Street to Aimee’s Cafe & Coffeehouse. So friendly! I found a comfortable chair, free wifi, and a delicious iced tea to tide me over for the next two hours.

By this time, I was ready for some lunch. I was craving Mexican but wanted to eat somewhere local. La Parrilla to the rescue! They claim to have the original rice bowl, which is what I ordered with chicken. I made it a to-go order so I could have a picnic in the park. One of the things I packed with me for my Lawrence excursion was a blanket for the park. (That was part of the stuff in a bag that I was carrying around.) I intended to read one of my library books (which I did) as a break between work on this blog. I’m so glad I brought it, even though I looked a little ridiculous carrying around a laptop bag and a large shopping back with a blanket in it all day. Honestly, though, if you're going to do that Lawrence is totally the place to do it.

So my next stop was a picnic at Buford M. Watson, Jr. Park complete with a La Parrilla rice bowl, a good book, and my laptop to get some writing done. No wifi here; but sometimes that’s a good thing.

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testing the wifi in lawrence: park time

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After about 2.5 hours sitting in the breezy shade at the park, I headed across the street to the Lawrence Public Library. I really love visiting libraries in other cities for some reason. This year alone I’ve visited libraries in Iceland and Seattle.

Libraries can say a lot about the cities they’re in. For instance, the central library in Kansas City is as old as Coca-Cola and the Statue of Liberty (it was built in 1886). The library restored it and turned it into its central branch back in 2004. It boasts original architecture and impressive interior design. The Seattle public library’s central location also opened in 2004, but its building was built that same year. The exterior is a structure of glass and steel that reinvents itself at every angle. The interior is modern, spacious, and neon. Seattle is a city that is steeped in history, but very much a technological mecca in the United States. Its central library seems to reflect its bright future in the tech world. Kansas City’s main branch pays homage to Kansas City’s prominent past.

Lawrence’s library was renovated from 2010-2014, improving upon its original 1904 construction. It has been beautifully improved with more light, extra study rooms (this is a college town after all), a skate park, and a parking lot. Now if they could just get their website into the 21st century…

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testing the wifi in lawrence: the bourgeoise pig

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My final stop was The Bourgeois Pig for a cocktail before Vince picked me up. I opted for a cocktail over coffee since it was about 5 PM at this time. There's only so much caffeine you can have in a day of wifi-hopping! Plus, they have free wifi.

This little bar has a lot of character and neat details. The bar itself looks to be carved out of a giant piece of wood (though I doubt it is) adn I love its wooden barstools that are full of nicks and scratches from what must be decades of use. I had a Kentucky mule in a real copper cup (I had to turn over my ID and credit card as collateral so it must be real). It was so so delicious! The very friendly bartender helped me pick it out. And did I mention the prices? My delicious cocktail was just $7! Thank you, college town!!

Overall, my day hopping around Lawrence was truly relaxing and just what I needed this weekend. Lawrence is such a great town for this kind of thing. It's got a great downtown area for walking, shopping, and eating, and it's so affordable! KU fan or not, it's definitely worth a visit.

Rock Chalk.