Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reconnecting With My BFFs and Kansas City

Revisited my best and longest friends last weekend. They live in a small town outside of Kansas City, Missouri. I last saw them in November for their 50th Anniversary. We had such a wonderful visit then, I returned for more fun and promise to repeat often.
Besides chatting hours sharing life stories they asked what I wanted to see around KC. I said The Train Station and The Plaza. I didn't need to be more specific. Kansas City is known for its humongous 1914 Union Station and its Country Club Plaza shopping district.

I wanted to see the train station because as a child I took many wondrous trips on trains from there. To Chicago, California, and Washington, D.C. I remember the vital crowds, fond farewells, and glad reunions. Its loud-speaker announcements still ring in my ears. 

Since airline travel took off, the station was used less frequently. It might have been destroyed but in 1996, a project was funded to renovate it, completed in 1999. I wanted to see the results.
    

We had lunch at the new Harvey's at Union Station. It's prominently located in the Grand Hall. This Harvey's is a local family-owned breakfast and lunch restaurant providing current trend meals and beverages. (Thank you Havey's for your tasty food and the use of your photo.)                                                                                               

After lunch, we wandered around the station's halls and gift shops. Then visited the model trains' exhibit. An 8,000 sq ft free display of N and G scale model trains.







This visit, beginning at Crown Center where we first parked and ambled through shops, and ending in the Union Station is one that children could enjoy. Children love trains, but both venues have multiple child-friendly activities. I was well surprised. 

From there we drove through Kansas City, MO. So much has changed since I moved away 30 years ago, I'd have to write a book, not a blog, about it. 

Anthropologie Paintbrush Display
We ended the day shopping on The Plaza. I only have one picture, because I was busy looking at things to not buy. At Anthropologie this artsy, clever display caught my eye. It took hours to string them all up. The clerk said they even had to dip new brushes in the various paint colors. Sensational.


Visits at their home continued, of course. They included their sweetheart dog, Padre. Padre is about 2 years old. They rescued him as a baby from the humane society at South Padre, Texas. He is adorable. All about people, especially guests. He's my buddy when I'm there.

Chatting And Padre




The next day we drove across into Kansas to shop at the vast Legends Outlet Mall. A brilliantly sunny day to walk, shop, eat, drink, shop, snack and enjoy the day. Another kid-friendly place and it's near other attractions.


My last day there we went to Cockrell Mercantile Company. The cutest cottages and small old farm buildings repurposed to sell kitchen, dining, and cooking items. I think their five buildings are crammed with every cooking and baking related item made.                                                                                                                                               


Just now I'm more into down-sizing than buying, but a girl can admire, play and dream.

After the Cockrell shopping adventure, we drove to John Knox Village, the graded care facility where my parents retired and lived for over 13 years. It hasn't changed since the 80s, but the area around it has changed oodles. We passed through and found their duplex then on to dinner at Jack Stack BBQ. Another great KC BBQ tradition. Now franchised.

The finale was a "blizzard" at Andrew's Ice Cream and Desserts. There isn't one near me; that alone made it special. My mint chocolate was the creamiest end to the day.

Sounds like all we did was eat, shop, talk and play with the dog. Yes, that's true. What better way is there to stay connected with great friends?