Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our second visit to KC in 2012

After the Escapade we stuck around for a couple of days before heading west to Albuquerque and the Balloon Fiesta.  After talking to Sharon and Don DelRosario who were also traveling to the Fiesta, we decided to travel together and stop on our way in Kansas City. We spend a week or two each year in and around K.C. when working with SkillsUSA. We wanted to show Sharon and Don some of our favorite places. We arrived at our favorite county park, Blue Springs Lake, and got parked.  We wanted to have some real good KC barbeque. We chose jack Stack’s downtown right behind Union Station.  Once we were seated Don realized this was exactly the restaurant he wanted to show Sharon. The dry rub on our chicken, ribs, and brisket was perfect. This is a classic KC BBQ stop in a warehouse downtown.
The next day we drove to Independence and the Truman Presidential Library.  We have visited this Presidential Library 3 or 4 times and always see something new.  This visit the parking lots were barricaded off and there was lots of police presence.  We thought some important person was visiting, but no, it was the opening of the American Home Builders’ Association’s conference. Normally we park out front and walk up these steps, but this visit we parked around back because of their opening ceremonies stage was being prepared.
Tom was trying out his new camera and was very happy with the results. One thing new I noticed was the beautiful painting in the lobby of the library painted by Thomas Hart Benton. How could I have missed this?  After seeing the Benton painted mural in the legislator’s sitting room in Jefferson City, Missouri’s Capitol, I will never pass a Benton without noticing again.
Just look at the details he includes in his beautiful paintings/murals.
Truman didn’t have a big war chest for his campaign so he took his message directly to the people from the back of a train. It was called the Whistlestop Campaign.  No one thought he would win. Even the Chicago Tribune ran the headlines, Dewey Defeats Truman. Old Harry made lots of hay with that paper’s report.

Tom couldn’t resist comparing himself to Truman. Maybe if we walked every day like Harry Truman did we would be as slim (left). The information on the duties of a president always impresses me; I sometime forget all the jobs of the President: Chief Executive, Commander-In-Chief, Maker of Foreign Policy, Legislative Planner, Head of His Political Party, and Chief of State (middle). The picture on the right brought back memories of my childhood, the TV, that chrome table, and Mom in her apron.

After leaving the Museum we went to downtown Independence and had lunch at the Courthouse Exchange. I’m sure we shared the room with some of the lawyers from the courthouse across the street.
Later that afternoon we went to the Salty Iguana, a Mexican restaurant near the campground that our daughter, Jennifer, and granddaughters, Jamie and Julie always eat at.
Our last day in K.C. was spent again in Independence. We visited the Bingham-Wagner Mansion. Our guides were very entertaining and knowledgeable.  This is a beautifully restored home that has over 90% of the original furnishings, unusual in museums.
There was an amazing display of quilts throughout the home on loan from the local quilting society.

We ate at a little café on the Courthouse Square, Dave’s Bakery and Deli. Was very good. Don and Sharon were our chauffeurs these 3 days. Don drove to downtown Kansas City and we pointed out some of the landmarks, fountains and the area where we hold the SkillsUSA competition, Bartle Hall, Alyce Square, Municipal Auditorium.
We went down to the point where Lewis and Clark camped at the confluence of the Missouri and Kaw Rivers.
Later we had Chinese dinner.  I won’t even talk about the crazy bad service we had at that Chinese restaurant. This was one of the very few times that I have never left a tip. I’m talking terrible service!
We left Kansas City and drove to Wichita, Kansas.  We drove south around K.C. into Kansas from the 470 to the 435 to the 35. It was an easy trip except for one little missed transition from the 435 to the 35.  My Zoom, running the Navigation app, very quickly rerouted us with a route that looked like 2 D’s back to back - off the freeway onto the surface street - onto another on ramp – merged onto the right freeway – all this with the DelRosario’s following us. Nice job Sharon!  Smile with tongue out 
After having our fingerprints and pictures taken and I guess our loyalty status checked, we were able to stay at the McConnell AFB and Don and Sharon's guests at FamCamp. This was a quick overnight with a little afternoon shopping and dinner at Chipotle.
After departing FamCamp and parking in a large parking area adjacent to I-Hop the next morning we met friends, Larry and Melita Kinser for breakfast. It was so great seeing them again. We have kept in touch with email, Facebook and blogs after they left Fresno, but nothing takes the place of catching up over a meal cooked by someone else. Larry pastored our church for several years and Melita was the best pianist we have ever heard at our church.  Another treat was seeing their daughter, Lacy and her brand new 12 day old baby, Judah. I forgot how tiny newborn babies are.
We were then on our way to Liberal, KS.  I have to admit we were disappointed in Dorothy and Toto's house; kinda run down and too expensive for what you get to see. The Information Center across the street was nice and we found a place to eat dinner. There is not much in Liberal Kansas!
The next morning we left Liberal and Don and Sharon went to see her cousin in Texas and we went to see our friends, Richard and Frances Dahl, in Logan, NM. We did so much with the Dahls that will have to be in the next blog.

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