Over Thanksgiving weekend, Matthew and I did a bit of traveling. First we headed out to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with his mom and family. Then, on Friday morning, we made the drive up to Kansas City. Many of our friends here don’t realize that Matthew actually graduated from high school at Blue Valley North in Kansas. This was his 10 year reunion so since Matthew hasn’t been back and I’ve never been, we decided to make the trip up together to explore.
To be honest, I really knew very little about Kansas or Kansas City before the trip. Matthew always has fond things to say of the city, yet I just imagined it as all farmland and plains. And tornadoes, of course. Before heading north, I didn’t even know that half of the city was in Kansas and the other half in Missouri. Silly me! There’s even a road, Stateline Road, where one side of the street is Kansas and the other Missouri. How fun…and confusing at the same time. I must say, despite my initial thoughts, Kansas City seems like a lovely town. We were only there for a short time so we didn’t get to explore near as much as we’d like. Guess we’ll have to go back!
One of my favorite experiences from the trip was a visit to the Nelson-Atkins museum. Matthew and I both love a good art museum, especially one with a good contemporary art section. I was blown away by just the size of this place! We spent a few hours there, exploring each section, without even quite finishing it before heading out for some lunch. One of my favorite parts of the museum was the 4 Seasons (check via pic) exhibit out front. I loved the mixed media used to create the sculptures and found the project fascinating. If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend a visit. (You might even want to get there before the Thomas Hart Benton exhibit wraps up.)
After the museum we headed over to the famous Joe’s Kansas City (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s). We waited in line for well over an hour, a line that wrapped around the entire inside of the restaurant and even extended outside in the freezing, drizzly weather. Nonetheless, we waited. My theory is, if so many people are willing to stand and wait, the food must be good! Besides, we could smell the goodness as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. I can say with 100% certainty that it did not disappoint and was well worth the wait. Honestly, this was probably the best bbq that I’ve ever had. Ever. I enjoyed the famous Z Man and Matthew had the special, which was the burnt ends. Those, by the way, are only offered a few days a week and take a full 24 hours to prepare.
While waiting in line at Joe’s we met some new friends from Texas! Because the line was so lengthy, we had plenty of time to chat and make introductions. We ended up joining them at their table because seating was limited and it was a lot of fun making some new friends! I never meet a stranger, you know. Matthew and I also felt a bit like his Pappaw and Grandmother that we traveled to Alaska with. They’re always coming back from their travels with stories of meeting someone new and usually they stay in touch with them from then on out. Before long, I imagine that we’ll have acquaintances scattered about the country!
Another highlight from our trip was a visit to the Country Club Plaza. Basically, the Plaza is a large, outdoor mall that spans for blocks and blocks. It reminded me of an old downtown area, yet the stores are mostly new and modern. It was cold and rainy (again) so Matthew and I darted back and forth from store to store, trying to stay warm and dry. We were quite exhausted from our time at the museum earlier, so I really appreciated the husband being willing to stay on his feet a bit longer to shop with me. Since it’s the holiday time, the Plaza was all lit up with Christmas lights and the ambiance was just lovely. Had we not been quite so tired, I think we could have spent hours there. Maybe next time.
Other than Joe’s, which was easily our favorite restaurant, we also really liked McCoy’s downtown. The atmosphere there was relaxing and easy going and Matthew and I slipped right in for some late night bites. They’re pretty famous for their mac n cheese so we tried that, and my favorite was the skillet dip. (I’m pretty much a fan of anything you dip a tortilla chip into.) The drinks there were tasty, and I’d love to go back for another peach tea cocktail. If you’re roaming around downtown, I’d suggest popping in for a bit.
Another favorite experience of the trip was our many rides with Uber. Seriously, Uber. I love you. I’d used the service a few times back in Mobile and this was our first time to really take advantage of it. Even though we had a car with us, it was soooo much more convenient to request a car and have it pick us up and drop us off right at the door. No hassle of parking. No walking across gigantic parking lots in the freezing cold and no reading maps. Instead, we’d request a car from the app on my phone. Someone would show up within mere minutes and take us to the next destination. You can track the location of the car from the app which was sort of fun. All drivers are background checked, and it’s much quicker/cleaner/less expensive than a cab. My favorite part is that you get a text with your drivers rating and you get the opportunity to rate them after the ride too. I’ll admit…I’m a new Uber fan. All the way.
Even though this was a quick (and very rainy) trip, Matthew and I still enjoyed ourselves. At first I thought we might freeze to death because there was ice still left everywhere from a bit of freezing rain the day before. Somehow we stayed relatively dry and warm though. I think we’re definitely going to plan a trip back soon, because there’s still so much of Kansas City to be seen. Do you have any fun suggestions on what to do on the next trip? We’d love to hear your suggestions!