Posted by: Dee Andrews | April 17, 2009

There’s No Place Like Home

Ahhh, Kansas! Yes, I can use these familiar lines because I am a Kansas native. And though it’s been twenty years since I lived there, at heart, I am a Kansas farm girl. So it’s been with surprise and delight that I have discovered bits of Kansas here in Spain.

cafeteria-kansas-in-valencia-spain menu-del-dia-at-cafeteria-kansas-in-valencia-spain

No paella, octopus or squid on the menu at Annabelle’s in my hometown of Eudora, Kansas, but here in Valencia, Spain, the Cafeteria Kansas offers them on their menu of the day!


These wheat fields on the plains of Spain near Valladolid made me smile and remember the miles and miles of similar fields in western Kansas. I tried to explain to our good friends Rafael and Sonia how we “wave the wheat” in Kansas when the Jayhawks score a goal. I don’t think my limited Spanish did the tradition justice but maybe they’ll click on this link to watch it on YouTube!


Even Dorothy was here, at my daughters’ school play, uttering her famous line, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!” It crossed my mind that my husband and I were probably the only two people in the audience who were actually from Kansas. How surreal, I thought, as we chatted in Spanish at intermission, here I am in Spain, at a British International School’s play of the Wizard of Oz, which was a Comic Relief benefit for children in Africa. Dorothy apparently has worldwide appeal.


And then there is Suzanne. Imagine the chances of meeting someone in your first day of Spanish class in your new Spanish town who is also an American and has just moved to Spain for a sabbatical year with her family. She is from Los Angeles, where you used to live. You are from Boulder, where she is planning to move. You naturally have a lot to talk about. Then you discover she went to Kansas University at the same time you did. So you have Lawrence, Kansas in common too and the same bars and restaurants and stories of college. And she even knows the local butcher in Eudora because she’d drive there to pick up animal parts for her biology class. The world doesn’t get much smaller.

Kansas will always have a special place in my heart, and it will be the last stop of our year-long journey before we head home to Colorado in July. We’ll see if Aunt Janet’s Fourth of July fireworks remind me of Spain!


  1. Hey! Loved the piece, and never imagined at this point in my life to meet someone w/ whom I’d have so much history with (even if it wasn’t actually together). I NEVER have anyone to tell my Kansas stories to that gets them really – because they don’t know the references/places that make them come alive. Such a treat for me! Hope you guys are enjoying Salamanca, and that its grown on you – and that you’re getting some of the golden light!!! I’ll be back in a few days for the beginning of our Turkey adventure!!!! Take Care. Love S

  2. This was a great posting DeeAnn….can’t wait to see you in 5 weeks!

  3. Dee, hopefully you got my gmail. We are headed to Spain. Visiting Madrid, Sevilla, Granda, Valencia and Barcelona. We plan to hit the major sties. Anything special we should be sure to see or should miss.

    What an experience for all of you!

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