As Kyle and I have traveled in the past month, we’ve driven through a good portion of Missouri. As we driven we’ve taken notice of the many signs for cities that make me feel like I’m going somewhere… not in Missouri. Nevada, Washington, California, Mexico, Paris, Cuba, Denver, Huston, Kansas City… I think people in Missouri want to be living elsewhere. And frankly, because of the heat and humidity, I don’t blame them. At least there is a place called Missouri City that shows some pride in their state. Oh! And there is a city called Bland. Bland. Really? But all jokes aside, Kyle and I enjoyed our time in Kansas City.
We began our experience with a stop at a gas station restaurant called Oklahoma Joes. It sounds a little shady, but it was delicious! The food itself was mouth-watering but Kyle and I decided that the pork and brisket still don’t top Pappy’s Smokehouse that we ate at in St. Louis. (Remember Pappy’s from this post?) However, their ribs were the best we’ve ever had. It was fall off the bone good. They also had the most amazing BBQ sauce we have ever had and I couldn’t get enough! We may have bought a couple of bottles…
After getting lost and having to call for directions (thanks Mom!), we made it to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Along with holding works by Pollock, Calder, Caravaggio, Rodin and many other big names, they are currently housing Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. I have a huge love for Impressionist art, so this was the highlight of our trip. I enjoyed just being able to sit and observe the masterpiece. Kyle and I also made our own Monet-esque creations on computers that were in the exhibit for that purpose. The museum also had works by Roxy Paine, which I have fallen in love with. Especially his work Ferment, because it combines minimalism, nature, and modernism. Love. Kyle had to put up with my meandering through the entire museum, poor guy. No wonder he couldn’t resist posing as he did in the pictures below.
Despite the warnings from weather men across the nation, to stay indoors, and avoid the record-breaking heat and humidity, Kyle and I braved the searing weather to go to the amusement park, Worlds of Fun. As we were walking into the park, we came across an amazing discovery, Panda Express. This is one of our favorite fast food places, along with Zupas and Cafe Rio, that we have been desperately missing as we have been in the Midwest. Needless to say, we knew that we had to get steaming bowls of rice, chow mein, and sweet fire chicken for lunch as soon as we saw the sign. Other than that, Kyle enjoyed bribing and convincing me to go on seemingly endless roller coasters. And even though I objected at first because of my dislike, by the end of the day, I enjoyed my time on the speedy cart tracks.
Around 4pm, our farmers tans had developed nicely, our deodorant was ready to quit on us, and we were in desperate need of air conditioning. So, we jumped in our car and went to our next destination at the Kansas City Royal’s baseball stadium. It happened to be ladies night at the stadium, so I was given a KC hat to wear during the game and treated to a chocolate fountain as soon as I walked into the stadium. The game was great, and Royals won!
The rest of our night was a blend of spontaneity and interesting. We tried another BBQ place, which was found in the Ameristar Casino, but unfortunately were not impressed. However, the night was saved by delicious ice cream from a nearby dessert café and a captivating jazz band in a bar located inside an old train car. Unfortunately, finding our way back to the hotel took ages as the exit we were supposed to take was closed and we had to call for directions, once again.
Our Sunday consisted of enjoying the Church sites around Kansas city. We first went to the Liberty Jail visitors center where we enjoyed a tour. Before going in, I insisted that we get a picture in front of this sign. This is for you, familia. About 7 or 8 years ago, I was here with my family and my siblings and I had a picture taken sitting on the same wall. I had to relive my past before I learned more about the Church’s past.
After going to a local ward for Sacrament meeting, we drove down to Independence to another visitors center. There we enjoyed listening about the early saints and everything that they went through. The sister missionary that took us through was so sweet. She had just gotten out there a few weeks ago and was just adorable.
We also took a little walk over to the dedicated temple grounds and the Community of Christ temple to see what was inside. They have artifacts from Joseph and Emma Smith which were interesting to look at. There also happened to be a group of LDS members who were taking a tour so we followed along. Though not much was said, we could all feel the difference between our church and theirs. There was one boy who said that a very important statue looked like hands holding a cut open avocado. I will admit that Kyle and I had to hold back laughter because, it did look like an avocado. Overall, it was interesting to be able to learn about the break off from a different point of view. After a quick picnic lunch, where Kyle told me stories that he had read from his Church History class, and talking to fellow members that were visiting the center, we drove the 4 hours back to our apartment.
For those who haven’t been to Independence before, the LDS visitors center is in front, and the building behind is the Community of Christ meeting center. Then across the street is the Community of Christ temple and a visitors center for the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ. I find it very interesting that within a block of a city, there are three churches that want the same land, which has been dedicated to be the location of a temple. Apparently, our church has bought portions of the grounds through the years and are just waiting to purchase the rest. Interesting…