The Insta-Home Challenge: Wichita

by Mike on September 13, 2012 · 12 comments

If you were to splurge on a penthouse suite somewhere on tour, would you pick Wichita, Kansas?

Ang has been “toiling away” (her words) at finding us affordable yet appropriate and comfortable housing as we travel from city to city. Wichita was evidently very difficult because of the lack of vacation rental listings in general. The rare ones that she did find either didn’t accept cats, or were overpriced for what it offered. One home owner tried to suddenly cajole her into renting after he failed to return her emails or calls. It turned out that he was trying to rent to another family without a pet first, and when he didn’t receive their deposit check (which got lost in the mail), he panicked and called Ang! And then he kept changing his prices and description of the house, so she got sketched out and declined altogether.

Thus, she steered clear of private owners, and reached out directly to apartment complexes near the theater. 250 Douglas Place is right across the street from the Century II and the second tallest building in Wichita. She contacted the leasing office to try her luck and it worked! Dudes. We got lucky.

Kim and Karl, the awesome property managers at 250 Douglas, informed us that they had one furnished unit: the Penthouse Suite. It was a one-bedroom, one-bath with amenities like a swimming pool, jacuzzi, putting green, batting cage, basketball court, party facilities, and gym. The cost of a little over $2k seemed high for Wichita, but we figured that our only other options, which were the hotels that company management scores for us, would cost almost as much money for not as much space or amenities.

After our uneventful 7 hour drive from St. Louis on Labor Day, we pulled up to the building, got the keys from property manager Karl, and took the elevator to the 24th floor penthouse level.

We were greeted with this lounge, complete with chairs, cocktail-style tables, bar chairs, and a flat-screen TV.

There was an observation deck of sorts with breathtaking views of Wichita. It was reminescent of an Admirals Lounge at the airport.

When we walked into our Penthouse, my jaw dropped. Those who have seen my jaw know how dramatic that can look.

Our “observation area” in the living room has floor-to-ceiling windows and has a sleek, modern, industrial-loft feel. Everything was spotless!

The living room area is open and airy, punctuated with a splash of red with the cushy sofa and chair. There’s a triptych of Wichita landmarks hanging behind the sofa, which is where we learned that the first ever Pizza Hut was here in this city! The mirrored coffee table isn’t so child-friendly, and with the concrete floors, we’ll have to be on the severe lookout.

Our panoramic views are amazing.

The kitchen came fully-equipped with all-stainless steel appliances, including what looked like a brand-spanking new coffee maker and toaster. Everything was in pristine condition. There were no coffee mugs however, just drinking glasses, but Karl was quick to procure them for us.

The closets are roomy, although we’ve pared down enough where we actually don’t need so much space!

So we’ve put the master bedroom’s walk-in closet to very good use. Max’s GoCrib fits perfectly, and he sleeps like a log in there.

Speaking of the master bedroom, getta load of this!

The room has wall-to-wall carpeting, and there is a sunken area that makes the perfect playspace for Max.

Max has definitely made this domain his.

Again, we’ve got views of Wichita and beyond.  The spaceship-looking structure that we see here is “Dada’s Lion King work” — the Century II Theater. When I cross the street to get to work, I’ve been turning around and dancing on the sidewalk for Max, Ang and Hero (who Ang is babysitting this city) because I know they’re spying on me from this window.

I do get some looks on the street. People have clapped and cars have honked. Check out my dance from last night:

If you can’t view me acting a fool above, click here.

We have a flat-screen TV in the bedroom that we’ve hooked the Roku up to, so we can stream videos through Netflix and Hulu Plus (thanks Lisa!). Our internet was a bit spotty for the first week until Ang said something to Kim and Karl, and voila! Smooth sailing.

All in all, it’s comfy despite the industrial feel. There’re no laundry facilities in the apartment, but there are two sparkling sets of state-of-the-art washers & dryers about 30 feet from our door, in the lounge. Free of charge.

We’ve really felt right at home here. Ang, Max and Turkey have their quiet moments…

And they also have mucho play time.

And let’s just face facts. Only one of us rules the joint.

We can see right into the stadium where the local minor league baseball team, the Wichita Wingnuts, plays. I’m not kidding about the name. Ang and Max got to witness spectacular fireworks above the stadium one evening last week in full glory after the last game of the season.

I’m currently working on creating my own musical, and this windowed area is the perfect place for music.

And did I mention our views? Here’s the Century II UFO, at night.

So the verdict is in: We have moved on up to a deluxe penthouse in the Wichita sky! And we love it!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

steve m. September 13, 2012 at 11:50 am

enjoy the penthouse! it looks marvelous!

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Mike September 14, 2012 at 12:03 am

Thanks Dude! We are definitely enjoying ourselves!

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ANGELIQUE September 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

OMGOMGOMG!!!! I AM MOVING IN!!! WHERE IS WICHITA AGAIN!!

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Mike September 14, 2012 at 12:04 am

Angelique, we’re in Kansas! Visit us!

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Paige September 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Who knew Wichita was so luxurious :) Enjoy!

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Mike September 14, 2012 at 12:04 am

We know it now Paige! Thanks!

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Renee Spaulding September 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I enjoy following your adventures so much! Not only is it great to see what is happening with you three but there is the bonus of news and pictures of my wonderful granddaughter!! (and Nick and Amy of course) Thank you for doing this and keep up the great photography and story lines!!

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Mike September 14, 2012 at 12:05 am

Thanks Renee! Nick, Amy and Hero are so awesome and we will be featuring them plenty! We hope to one day meet you!

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Robert W Harris September 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

clicked your heels and there you were

very cool

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Mike September 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

Hi Robert! We do miss our Sac abode! We will be heading to SF from Nov-Jan so come out for the show if you can! It would be great to see you again!

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Deidre September 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

OMG!!! Im comin over!!!

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Ron September 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Mike, that’s it, the name of your new musical, “The 24th Floor!”

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