Kansas City has been a lot of fun!
Definitely another place I'd consider living in.
We were parked within 3 miles of the arena, under a huge overpass.
Right next to four huge haunted houses!
It was their opening weekend. Lots of people went and were scared :D
I did not go. Maybe next time :P
The area around the haunted houses had a lot of old factory buildings, almost all of which have been converted into either apartments or businesses. There were LOTS of antique shops here. Most were open on only the 1st Friday of each month. Missed 'em by a week, ARGH!
On Wednesday, my friend and former NCSA band director Mark Norman came to see the show along with eight of his students!
They came to the bandstand during preshow, and I showed them the music and answered a few questions. It was fun but kind of strange...made me feel old! Just a few years ago, that would have been me...
After the show we went for drinks at Gordon Biersch in the Power & Light district. None of the students stuck around, but it was great catching up with Mark and meeting Kate, an oboe professor who also attended the show. Mark seems to enjoy his new job at Washburn University, but misses NCSA. I don't blame him! That school has a unique environment that you just can't find anywhere else :)
This week, I got myself a present. Two presents. A hotel room for a night, and a rental car!
I've been thinking about taking a mini-break from the circus ever since Houston, just to take a break from the train scene for a bit. And since I can...why not?
Tell you what...sleeping in a real bed was FANTASTIC. That alone made the hotel totally worth it! I rolled around on that King bed as much as I could lol.
The car was less worth it, but I did enjoy driving again. I mostly wanted it to get to a doctor's appointment that was quite far from the venue (in retrospect a cab would have been the better option), but since I'd rented it for a full day...what the heck! I used it for sightseeing too.
Kansas City is the City of Fountains. I saw many of the more prominent ones, and a few 'hidden' ones too.
These are some of the fountains I saw. The pictures aren't mine.
I couldn't park and take pics most of the time :/
Architecture here is just gorgeous. In addition to the beautiful city, there are some really impressive houses.
I stumbled upon the Ward Parkway neighborhoods and was completely flabergasted.
There were lots of things to stumble upon here in general.
I found an adorable shopping district that seemed to be exclusively for crafts:
Next I visited the Money Museum. It's free, and it's housed in the Kansas City District 10 federal reserve bank. They had an impressive display of coins dating back to the late 1700s, including things you just don't see today like half-dimes, half-cents, 3-cent pieces, and money printed independently by banks.
These gold dollar coins were little bigger than the nail on my pinky finger.
The educational displays focused mainly on the modern importance of international exchange, and the role District 10 plays in the financial-economic market.
At the exit they gave out free souvenir bags of shredded money...$162-worth. Cute :)
The World War I Memorial was directly across from the Money Museum, and it's a very imposing building with a great view. You don't have to buy a ticket to stroll the grounds and take pictures!
You can purchase tickets to climb this tower.
Many professional photographers were here taking pictures too. I tried not to get in the way.
After that I found the Kemper Contemporary Art Museum. Here's some of the stuff they had on display:
There was a cafe of sorts near the lobby, and it was full of professional-looking people. I think this museum is used to host power lunches or something. Anyway I felt kind of out of place as no one else was there to just look at the art...so I didn't stay long.
I drove through the Country Club Plaza, a large shopping district that was packed to the gills (it being Friday). I stopped at a grocery store and headed back to the train to cook food for the weekend.
On Sunday, one final adventure! I walked to 5th & Walnut Streets, where the City Market was in full swing. There was all the usual farmer's market stuff (i.e. produce), and also some antique and bric-a-brac vendors with tables full of pretty things :) I got some veggies including purple(!) bell peppers, a loaf of local bread, and a homemade espresso gelato. A great ending to a great time in Kansas City!