A wedding took us back to Kansas City for a very quick trip over the weekend. I think most of my regular readers were at the wedding, so most importantly it was great to see you all!
The wedding was wonderful and the reception everything we hoped it would be. It was a terrific night with nearly all of my closest KC friends dancing together for three or four hours. This wedding was originally supposed to take place nearly a year-and-a-half ago, but was wiped out by the first weekend of national lockdown. That was a bummer in many ways, but ended up being a good thing for me. Had the wedding taken place as scheduled, we would have been on spring break in Colorado and missed it. I’m very glad I was able to attend.
Being such a tight trip – we arrived in KC before 4:00 Friday afternoon and left right at 7:30 Sunday morning – did not leave a ton of time to squeeze stuff in.
After we checked into our hotel, S and I made a lap of the Plaza. It’s always a shock how things have changed down there. I’ve been bummed for years that probably 90% of the shops and restaurants on the Plaza can also be found at the mall that is a mile and a half from our house. Sure, our mall doesn’t have the same feel as the Plaza. But the Plaza doesn’t feel nearly as unique when I can buy a lot of the same shit five minutes from my front door.
Thank goodness for places like the Charlie Hustle store, Rally House (which is a chain but always seems like a KC store to me), and the Made in KC Marketplace, where I bought a cool t-shirt.
It was crazy to see that building that used to house The Capital Grill, among other things, completely demolished.
I thought it was cool that since the last time we stayed at the Plaza Hampton Inn they’ve torn down another one of the old apartment buildings on the north side of 47th street. Thus I was able to look out our room window and see my old apartment at Plaza Terrace. I was living there exactly 20 years ago!
Friday night we met a few of you for dinner at Third Street Social, which was excellent. Before we got to KC I thought we might walk there from our hotel. I had made the walk from 46th and Jefferson to the Peanut many times over the years. I knew that might be a stretch for us – again, it’s been 20 years – but would be doable. We could always catch a ride back afterward. Then we felt the KC heat and humidity and decided we didn’t want to be soaked with sweat for dinner and drove ourselves.
We even got a bonus loud Kansas City thunderstorm that woke us up after midnight. It also allowed me to see Gary Lezak get excited about approaching heavy weather on the 10:00 news.
Saturday we got up and took another walk around the Plaza. My plan was to order some Joe’s Barbecue to take to a lunch we had planned for 11:30. John N told me that you could order curbside online, so I tried to do that around 9:00 AM. By then the earliest pickup time was already 11:30. I thought about just running over and getting in line around 10:45, but after our walk I wasn’t in the mood to stand in a line.
Past experience taught me that you can’t rely on Gates to have burnt ends when they first open. So we called an audible and grabbed some Planet Sub, which I had actually been thinking about earlier in the week. Whole Planet Sub, no Dijon. My go-to order for 32 years is still a winner.
That was consumed with friends at Loose Park, near the Rose Garden. We found a shady spot and had some good conversation before it was time to get ready for the wedding.
Too little time to eat all the foods I wanted to eat, or see much outside the Plaza. Most importantly, too little time to really catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in two years (four years for a few of you). We could never find any direct flights from Indy to KC. I forgot a new terminal is being built at KCI. Stacey B suggested perhaps when it opens they’ll add those direct flights back in. Those flights were always full, and I would love to have that quick flight option rather than driving eight hours or having to fly to Baltimore or some other bullshit to get to KC.
A few quick travel notes:
- We used Apple Maps via CarPlay to guide us. It seemed pretty good. We even switched to Google Maps at one point and it kept overriding our intended destination and replacing it with a generic address in downtown KC. Apple Maps did keep offering alternate routes that were strange. Not the “Take this route to save 13 minutes” type stuff. They were always long detours from our intended path. One said it would take us 3:38 longer than just staying on I–70 the entire way. Who the fuck wants to do that unless I–70 is shut down?!?!
- Sadly, speaking of that, Friday on our way over there was a terrible accident on the opposite side of I–70 in central Illinois. There was a Life Flight helicopter sitting in the eastbound lanes and dozens of emergency vehicles. Traffic was backed up over three miles behind the crash. We later learned a westbound truck had crossed over, hit two cars, instantly killing the driver and passenger in one of them. Just awful…
- After that I feel bad about making this comment, but it was kind of good to see that I–70 in Missouri is still the shit show it has always been. That stretch from the western St. Louis suburbs until about half an hour outside Columbia is one of the craziest stretches I’ve ever driven. It has always been “Go 80+ in the left lane, or 60 in the right line.” There are no other options. Occasionally someone from out-of-state will get stuck in the left lane going too slow and it’s a mad dash to find an opening to pass them on the right. I think I actually waved my fist in mock disgust at a driver from Michigan who was puttering along at the speed limit in the left lane. “You have to go 85 if you want to drive in the left lane in Missouri, motherfucker!”
- We took S’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. As usual she is waaaay below her lease mileage limit so that made more sense. I don’t always love driving it – I find its transmission to be a little rough – and would have preferred driving my Audi. But you can’t argue with the free miles we have stocked away in the Jeep.
- I was kind of surprised there wasn’t more insurrectionist propaganda along the way. Sure, we saw a few flags and signs. But far fewer than I expected. If only that meant the supporters of insurrection had actually disappeared.
Again, great to see all of you who were at the wedding. I’m committed to getting back next year, so long as travel returns to normal and I can get to KC without spending two hours in Charlotte waiting on a connecting flight.
We did not go into any Quick Trips, though. ↩