A gift we received at Christmas turned into a great vacation. Thanks to our son Steven and his wife, Brenda, we had a super trip to northeastern Kansas. They had given us tickets to the Overland Park New Theatre Restaurant, dinner and show.

Getting to Overland Park and finding their home was a frightening thought, traffic and all. We put it off until plans were made to pick us up and take us there. On May 24, Steven was home for his high school class reunion. On Monday, Memorial Day, we headed and east did a fascinating whirlwind tour of the Kansas City area, then they delivered us back to Ellis on Friday. What a ride.

Their new home in Overland Park is wonderful in a quiet cul de sac with a large backyard. All their hard work and Brenda's landscaping ideas have made the yard outstandingly beautiful.

I was lost the entire time, I never knew what direction we were going. I only knew up, down, left, right, forward or backward. Steven took time to mark the Kansas City map, showing our route in a different color for each day. We couldn't tell when we left Overland Park, entered Kansas City or if we were in Kansas or Missouri. It's all one big city with traffic and more traffic.

We've decided there is no way we can tell about everything, so we picked the most exciting: the New Theatre Restaurant, dinner and show "Rumors" staring John Davidson. Most impressive was the Kansas City Urology Care building. Steven showed us where he works as radiation therapist. Also, we saw the College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe and heard about its history and growth.

Most beautiful: Arboretum Botanical Gardens -- flowers galore, water, trees, bridges and sculpture exhibit. Most educational: National World War I museum. Hard to believe what the Americans went through when they entered the war in 1917.

Most astonishing: Kansas City's Union Station built in 1914 -- the size of the building with original marble floor. Most tiring: steps at Royals Stadium. Steven caught a hot dog in his glove, tossed to the crowd by the mascot. Most disappointing: Royals lost the game in the ninth, after being ahead by five runs.

Most satisfying: Lemonade on the 40th floor of the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in the Skies revolving rooftop restaurant.

Most different: A shot of wheat grass juice at Robeks. Most delicious: cheesecake at CheeseCake Factory. Most fantastic: Cabelas, a store with fabulous animals displayed as if real and a walk-through aquarium. Most amazing: One KC Place, the tallest building in Kansas City, all glass from top to bottom.

Most relaxing: Nebraska Furniture Store, with chairs that massage your whole body. Most fun: horse carriage ride around the Country Club Plaza. Leland Allenbrand told the story (as the Amish horse Andy pulled the carriage) of J.C. Nichols, who built the Plaza, the first shop in 1930. Most interesting: Food, we ate at Mimis, Culvers, First Watch, Sweet Tomatoes, Daves BBQ and Cracker Barrell. The helpings were huge. We learned to order one item off the menu and share. No wonder Americans are overweight. Most comfortable: buckled in seat belts while Steven, our trusted driver, drove.

We took a lot of snapshots to help us remember. In fact, we brought The Hays Daily News along -- watch sometime in the future. You might see us in the "take the HDN on vacation" contest.

According to the dictionary, a vacation is a holiday, a period of rest from your regular activity. We had to rest up after this vacation, but it was worth it.

Great gift, great memories and great pictures of a great vacation.

Jim and Opal Flinn, Ellis, are members of the Generations Advisory Group.