It is a long way to Kansas City so ‘Dash Dad’ (Paul) and I set off in plenty of time. A 38 hour long Friday the 13th, a cancelled flight at Dallas and an impromptu overnight stay with tacos and margaritas was all part of the adventure. We still arrived with plenty of time for jet-lag recovery and exploration.
Join Paul and I for a look around this part of Missouri, before we head to BlogPaws 2018.
So Much News About Kansas City
This is going to take at least a couple of blog posts to cover. The city, the BlogPaws conference, the cute cat blogs, the cute dog blogs, the things we saw and the excitement of being in a new part of the USA. Kansas City IS the ‘City of Fountains’ and we loved it, and the warm welcome we got.
The first thing to clear up was ‘is Kansas City in Kansas or Missouri?’. As when we decided to come we didn’t really know! Turns out that it is Missouri. I am glad we booked the right plain trip. The KCMO weather radar for our visit ranged from freezing to amazing sunshine so we did our best to pack for both and we needed to.
It’s hard to tell the population of Kansas, and Kansas City from its size. For us New Zealand based folks the city looked big but not overwhelming and, as we found, the people in the mid-West put friendliness at the top of their ‘cattitude’ list each day.
Unique Things To Do in Kansas City
Discovering the city we managed to score some major adventures. There is so much here that allowed us to enjoy this thriving and growing part of America. Buildings are being refurbished, reinvented and reused. Older architecture is also still being treasured and has not been flattened in the name of ‘progress’. Tall towers stand shoulder to shoulder with unique and treasured architectural gems like those below.
The Union City Trolley Tour
We bundled up after leaving the Union Station with our trolley tickets and were told that the weather had been very erratic in recent weeks. Warm weather was followed by a cold snap that generated a frost advisory for the city. People with plants enjoying the recent sun might be in for an unpleasant surprise otherwise.
The trolley gives a great overview of the city, and taking a tour is something we always recommend. Guides point out many of the important monuments, unique areas and they give you insights into the city’s history. You can then go back to explore areas in more depth on your own.
Our Trolley guide was optimistic that Spring was coming. She pointed out that many of the fountains had workmen busy filling them with water ready for Fountain Day. Was it going to be tomorrow? Did they thing the worst of the cold was over?
As it turned out, yes!
The following day, as we found out over breakfast, was Fountain Day. The cameras were out in force and the excitement that Spring was finally coming made everyone excited. I found the coverage on YouTube from KMBC and the report they did early on the morning itself that we watched.
We Discover Distinctive Kansas City Landmarks
Our tour took us past many buildings we would visit later, and past memorials and murals celebrating the wide ethnic diversity of Kansas City. We spotted the shuttlecocks at the Nelson Atkins (featured in a later post) and the tribute to one of Kansas City’s finest Jazz musicians Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker created by Robert Graham.
One of the most visually striking architectural features that can be seen from many part of the city is the Church of the Immaculate Conception built in the 1880’s.
Our guide told is that the dome used to be shiny copper. Stockmen driving cattle to this major hub in the mid-West saw it and knew they did not have far to go. Copper eventually tarnishes with verdigris and the covering of the dome was replaced with 24 ct gold. We think the population of Kansas City must see this as a major landmark in their city. We could see it from so many places we visited.
It turned out that our Sheraton Hotel room had a fine view of some of the places we visited.
The tour also took us past the Kauffman Centre (covered in a later post) and the distinctive Bartle Hall Sky Stations. Designed by R.M. Fischer in 1994, each of these pillars is made of aluminium and steel. They are approximately 24×15-ft (7.5 x 4.5 mtrs.) in diameter, and 20×25 ft (6-7.9 mtrs.) in height.
The Kansas City Barbecue – A City Institution
We just had to discover the fabled barbecue tradition for ourselves. Our friend Sharlene, mom to @TweetingTruman said it was a real treat and we must give it try.
We managed to visit two fabled institutions of the Kansas City barbecue tradition. Arthur Bryant’s and Jack Stacks.
Arthur Bryant’s BBQ we visited after a concert at the Kauffman Centre. Having an early supper meant we missed a lot of the queues and crowds so we are happy we went.
The food is traditional, unbelievable and worth tasting! One of the servers wrapped an absolutely huge ‘sandwich’ as we watched. It must have been 8 inches/(20 cms) high. We suspect the bread was a token gesture. A sandwich will last you at least three meals.
The Kansas City Skyline
This is the view from our room on the 26th Floor of the Sheraton. I hope to show you more surprises from up here in our BlogPaws report post later this week. We found plenty of things to do in Kansas City and hope we gave you a peek into the things we discovered and really liked!
Join us next week for a full report on the Conference itself.
Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew