After 684 days of dating, 100+ blog posts, and 5 different homes together, we're going to get married! And we hope you can be there to help us celebrate.

We're looking forward to being married on the prairie near Topeka, Kansas, and we're planning a weekend of events for our family and out of town guests so that we'll get to spend as much time as possible with you. Regardless of where you're from, we hope you'll join us for as many (or few!) of our weekend activities as you like.

This page is a work in progress, but we'll keep it updated as our plans evolve. We can't wait to be married, and we can't wait to see you!

Love,
Samantha and Jake

Friday, August 27, 6:00pm

Welcome Dinner
Circle S Ranch
Especially for family and out-of-town guests, we'll have a casual outdoor meal, play Aerobie and bocce ball, and enjoy the sun. Or if it rains, perhaps dinner, Pictionary, and Duck Duck Goose... Then we'll make s'mores and maybe enjoy the hot tub or go stargazing.

Saturday, August 28, 11:30am

Lunch - Come one, Come all!
Circle S Ranch
Please join us for a laid-back, picnic-style lunch at the Ranch with Jake and Sam. Then rest up for an evening of goodness.

Evening
Wedding Ceremony and Reception
Circle S Ranch
After we get married, we hope you'll join us in celebrating until the wee hours.

Sunday, August 29, 10:00am

Brunchtime
Farewell Brunch
Location: Samantha's Parents' Home in Topeka
Because we'd like to see you one last time before we all go home, we hope everyone who's available will join us for Sunday Brunch. Details TBD.

Many of you will be traveling to Kansas from far away. Thank you! It means the world to us to get to spend our special day with you. So we'd like to make your travel plans as easy as possible.

Hotel
Rooms for our guests are being held at special, discounted rates until July 27th at two different hotels which are located about a block away from each other. Both are within walking distance to the dozens of shops and restaurants in beautiful downtown Lawrence, Kansas.

The Eldridge Hotel
The Eldridge is a landmark in Lawrence and one of the nicest hotels around. Its history includes destruction by pro-slavery forces in 1856 and again in 1863. Now that the Civil War is over, it's a much better option. The Eldridge underwent a major renovation five years ago, and now it's a great choice for beauty, comfort, and a local feel. (Sam loves it! Can you tell? ;) Mention the Crow/Quist wedding to receive a discoutned rate of $139/night.

SpringHill Suites
This Marriott-owned hotel's rooms lack the historic character of the Eldridge, but they're newly renovated, very comfortable, and even more affordable. All the rooms are on one side of the hotel so that every room faces the river. (This would be Jake's choice!) Mention the Crow/Quist wedding and our group code, "CROX," or reserve online with the group code "CROCROA," for a discounted rate of $112/night.

There are a lot of hotels in Lawrence, but we highly recommend one of these two options. First, we'll be providing transportation back and forth from these hotels to our evening events. Second, we think you'll enjoy their happy, lively downtown setting. And third, we're expecting a lot of out-of-town guests, so you'll be in good company!

Nearest Airport
Kansas City International (MCI)
60 minutes to the hotels and 90 minutes to the Circle S Ranch

Transportation
Since we've decided to provide transportation to the Friday and Saturday evening events, you can choose between renting a car and taking a shuttle from the airport to the hotels. Having a rental car will be handy if you wish to join us for lunch on Saturday or explore the area, but if you choose to take an airport shuttle, the most widely known brand in the area is the KCI Roadrunner. We're sure there are also taxi options, but we don't have any brilliant advice about which one to choose, sorry!

Be sociable, green and economical: plan a carpool :) Fill out this form to make your travel information public to the world. Then check what others have entered on the Carpool Buddy Spreadsheet.

Around Lawrence

  • Pool: play in the aquatic park, swim laps, or snuggle up with a book on the shore just a couple blocks from the hotels. More info
  • Massachussets Avenue: hit the shops in downtown Lawrence, watch the river flow by, visit the gazebo in the part at 12th & Mass, and stop for ice cream at Penny Annie's Sweet Shoppe.
  • Kansas University: see where basketball was invented and learn about the land where the Jayhawks roam. More info
Topeka
Sam's hometown, Topeka is also the capitol of Kansas and full of little appreciated treasures. A few highlights:
  • Topeka High School. The first million-dollar high school west of the Mississippi, Topeka High was (nearly miraculously) funded and built during the Great Depression. Side note: Sam went to Topeka High. So did her parents. In fact, she's the 4th "Sam Crow" in her family to graduate from THS.
  • Original Tiffany windows. Louis Comfort Tiffany, the famous glass artist who has pieces displayed in world-class museums such as The Met in NYC, took the secret formula behind his glasswork with him to his grave. Topeka's First Presbyterian Church's main room is full of his work. Turn off the lights and enjoy a few minutes of peace with the wonder that is Tiffany's art.
  • Kansas State Capitol. Take a tour and see the fairly terrifying portrait of John Brown, on his violent rampage to end slavery, among the Capitol's artwork. Ordinarily higher on our list, the Capitol is currently under construction, so consider calling before you go.
  • Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education Museum. Small but interesting, stop by the Brown v. Board Museum for a short visit to learn about the nationally-famous historic case which determined that separate is inherently unequal in our education system.

Kansas City
  • Nelson Adkins Museum: if you're up for a 45 minute drive to Kansas City, the Nelson is a wonderful place to stop. An architectural landmark, The Nelson houses spectacular collections of both traditional and modern art. The cafe, an indoor courtyard with pillars and skylights, is among Sam's favorite places.
  • Country Club Plaza: With its classical Spanish architecture, The Plaza was the very first outdoor shopping center of its kind in the US. Today it's an upscale outdoor shopping area, nice enough to make anyone feel all fancy.
Explore Northeast Kansas
  • Kansas Flint Hills: roughly an hour's drive away from the Circle S, the Kansas Flint Hills represent Kansas at its greatest: rolling prairie, green all over for miles and miles, and the very essence of nature. Bring a snack and a blanket and take the scenic driving tour to see for yourself.
  • Atchison: The richest city per capita in the country just 100 years ago, today the little town of Atchison is proud of its history: it boasts historical homes, a small university, and a charming downtown.
Where to Eat
Hungry? If you've got a little extra time to explore, there's good food all over the place. But for a truly great experience, here's what we recommend:
  • In Lawrence:
    • Yello Sub. Possibly the best sub sandwiches on earth. Several locations in Lawrence.More info
    • Wheatfield's. Great for a quick soup or sandwich, Wheatfield's is conveniently located in downtown Lawrence. They make all of their own breads and baked goods.
    • Pachamama's. If you're in the mood for a fancy dinner, Pachamama's is worth a visit.
  • In Topeka:
    • Annie's Place. They serve lots of traditional homestyle meals, but the real gem of this establishment is their bakery. Every bread, dessert, and baked good is fantastic. Sam recommends the apple pie with ice cream and Jake suggests The Volcano.
    • Bobo's. A landmark of Topeka for 50+ years, Bobo's is known for its drive-in atmosphere, friendly hometown feel, and trademark apple pie (get it with satin freeze for an extra treat!).
    • Kansan Grill. Located in downtown Topeka, the Kansan Grill serves great steaks. And... don't miss the Helen Crow Cheese Plate, named for Sam's Mom!
    • Plantation Steak House. Out in the country on a random rural road, this hole in the wall establishment serves the best steaks in the country if you ask us. Not luxurious, but unforgettably delicious. More info

The Circle S is beautiful and picturesque, but it's not easy to find in normal circumstances: Google Maps places it in the wrong location by about 20 miles, Bing Maps (yes, we checked Bing Maps) does better but still has a few wrong street names on their directions, cell phone reception (and its associated Internet access) way out there in the country is spotty, and our GPS likes to guide us to drive on as many dirt roads as possible to get there. And this summer in particular, just to keep you on your toes, the highway exit you'd normally take to the Circle S from I-70 is closed for construction.

So! If you drive yourself out to the Ranch, please check your directions carefully before you go. We've made a special map to help you find your way, so please check it out beforehand.


View in Google Maps

Please don't feel compelled to buy us anything. Really. Many of you are traveling from far away to be with us on our wedding day, and that's already an enormous (enormous!) gift to us. Really. We're incredibly grateful to you already. But if you still want to get us something, we're in the process of thinking up some suggestions.

Charity Registry
We've registered some charities that are significant to us here. We'd love nothing more than to know that not only the two of us, but also some strangers somewhere, are living better lives because of our marriage.

Gift Registry
If you really want to get us a practical gift, we've registered traditional household items at Dillard's and a variety of practical and fun items at Amazon. (Our Amazon registry is through the I Do Foundation because... 4% of Amazon's revenue from our gifts goes to the charity of our choice. Is that cool, or what?!).

Our wedding weekend is August 27 - August 29, 2010. We understand that not everyone can make it to every event, but we'd love for our out-of-town guests to join us for as many (or few!) as you can.

To RSVP, please reply by mail or email us: webebloggers@gmail.com