Kansas City TravBuddy Meetup with 4 New Friends

Kansas City Travel Blog

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Kristi's home near Kansas Speedway

 

Kansas City TravBuddy Meetup with Joan, Jarod, Kristi and Skyler

 

Also check out Joan's recounting of our gelato gang's afternoon together:

www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/21756/meeting-up-with-the-travelman727-Kansas-City-2

 

I had a wonderful time touring Kansas City with Joan (Scubagirl76); her husband, Jarod (bluskyflyr); their youngest daughter, Skyler and Joan's sister and new TravBuddy, Kristi (kristi_rene85).  J

 

We met up at Kristi's home in Kansas City, Kansas. She and her husband were fortunate to buy their house just before the area's growth exploded led by the additions of the Kansas Speedway, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Cabela's.

 

The first place we went to visit was the Kansas Speedway.

Liberty Memorial tower (1926)
The
 1.5 mile tri-oval offers several races, most notably, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas 400 and the Indy Car Series Kansas 300. During the NASCAR Sprint Cup event, the track becomes the fourth largest city in Kansas 

 

Next, we headed into Kansas City, Missouri and drove by Union Station and the Crown Center complex before arriving at the Liberty Memorial.

 

The Liberty Memorial groundbreaking occurred in 1921, only three years after the end of the war. The main Allied military leaders spoke to a crowd of close to 200,000 people. It was the only time in history that these leaders were together at one place: Lieutenant General Baron Jacques of Belgium; General Armando Diaz of Italy; Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France; General John J. Pershing of the United States; and Admiral David Beatty of Great Britain.

 

The completed Liberty Memorial was dedicated in 1926 by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. The inscription at the base of the Liberty Memorial tower reads, “In honor of those who served in the world war in defense of liberty and our country.”

 

Today, the Liberty Memorial is the National World War I Memorial of the United States and houses the National World War I Museum, recently renovated and expanded in 2006.

Union Station & Kansas City skyline

 

After seeing the Liberty Memorial and stopping to take photos from the wall overlooking Union Station and the Kansas City skyline, we headed south to the Westport area.

 

Before there was a Kansas City, there was a Westport. Four trails passed through the area: California, Lewis & Clark, Oregon and Santa Fe. It became well-known as an ideal place for outfitting the early pioneers before they made the journey west. Eventually, the two towns of Kansas and Westport grew into Kansas City.

Jarod, Skyler, me & Joan at Kelly's

 

Now, Westport is one of Kansas City's premier destinations for dining, shopping and nightlife.

 

The area's most famous bar, Kelly’s Westport Inn, occupies the oldest building in Kansas City. Built in 1850, it has housed a remarkable array of businesses. Most notably, in the 19th century, the place was a grocery store operated by Albert Boone, a grandson of Daniel Boone.

In February 1947, Randal Kelly, a native of County Clare, Ireland, was hired as a bartender for Westport Inn. Randal’s hearty personality quickly won him popularity and helped increase the business. He bought into the bar and it was renamed in 1977.  In honor of its colorful past, the building was designated a national historic landmark in 1959.

 

We then traveled a few more blocks south and toured the Plaza.

The Plaza's Lady of Pomona Fountain
Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza was designed in 1922 as the nation's first suburban shopping district. J.C. Nichols created the area to resemble Seville, Spain. He built beautiful courtyards, stucco buildings with red tile roofs and ornate towers. He also hand-picked and placed works of art and fountains to adorn the Plaza’s streets.

 

In 1925, a single strand of 16 lights over a doorway started the tradition of the Plaza lights. This simple celebration has grown into a world-famous event that features over 80 miles of lights and draws hundreds of thousands to the area.

 

While driving around the Plaza, I asked the gang if they would like to stop for cappuccino. When no one responded, I mentioned that there was also a great gelato shop nearby. Jarod, an amiable U.S. Air Force pilot trainer, jumped on the comment and made it known that gelato sounded good to him.

 

Later, I found out Jarod had previously lived in Italy, and, like me, was a huge fan of the delectable dessert.

"Plaza Posse" on our way to gelato
    

 

Jarod parked his SUV and we got the best of both worlds: gelato and french vanilla cappuccino for all of the adults.

 

However, the biggest winner was Skyler. Jarod and Joan’s youngest daughter ate from both of her parent’s gelato cups. Her smiles tell the story :-D

 

When I asked our server the difference between gelato and ice cream, she told us:

 

  • Typical ice cream uses cream, where their gelato uses milk. Thus, gelato contains less fat than ice cream.

  • There is more "overrun" in North American style ice creams than in gelato.
    Skyler has her parents trained well
    "Overrun" is the amount of air beaten into the ice cream during the freezing process. As a result, gelato tends to have a more intense, concentrated flavor.

After waddling back to the vehicle, we decided to conclude the afternoon with a tour of Mission Hills. On the way, we stopped and saw the Seth Ward home. After crossing the state line into Kansas, we went to Mission Hills Golf Course and Ewing Kauffman’s former home.

 

Eric and David, if you’re looking for a TravBuddy mansion, I think we’ve found it!  J

 

The exclusive community of 3500 boasts quite a list of past and present residents:

  • Henry Bloch - Co-founder of H & R Block.
  • George Brett - KC Royals Hall of Fame baseball player.
  • Donald J. Hall, Sr. - Chairman of Hallmark Cards.
  • Ewing Kauffman - Former owner of KC Royals.
    Joan & Kristi are ready to move in
  • Russell Stover - Founder of Russell Stover Candies.
  • Tom Watson - Hall of Fame golfer.  

The time finally came for the day to end. There were some tangible results from our afternoon Meetup:

  • I'm ready to buy an auto navigational device after checking out Jarod's SUV’s system.
  • Kristi learned a couple of things about her hometown of Kansas City.
  • Joan and Jarod are looking forward to returning home to WARM Del Rio, Texas.
  • Skyler is on the prowl to find more gelato.

All of us commented on how great this website is and how much fun it is to meet TravBuddies in the flesh.  J

bernard69 says:
belated congrats Mark:)
Posted on: Jul 29, 2011
yadilitta says:
Congrats on being featured, Mark!!! Recognize several of the places, hehe
Posted on: Jul 26, 2011
montecarlostar says:
Congrats on your feature, Mark! :D
Posted on: Jul 26, 2011
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Kristis home near Kansas Speedway
Kristi's home near Kansas Speedway
Liberty Memorial tower (1926)
Liberty Memorial tower (1926)
Union Station & Kansas City skyline
Union Station & Kansas City skyline
Jarod, Skyler, me & Joan at Kellys
Jarod, Skyler, me & Joan at Kelly's
The Plazas Lady of Pomona Fountain
The Plaza's Lady of Pomona Fountain
Plaza Posse on our way to gelato
"Plaza Posse" on our way to gelato
Skyler has her parents trained well
Skyler has her parents trained well
Joan & Kristi are ready to move in
Joan & Kristi are ready to move in
Jarod & Joan overlook Union Station
Jarod & Joan overlook Union Station
Liberty Memorial - tribute to WWI
Liberty Memorial - tribute to WWI
Insciption at Liberty Memorial base
Insciption at Liberty Memorial base
Sculpture on Liberty Memorial tower
Sculpture on Liberty Memorial tower
Liberty Memorial south pond
Liberty Memorial south pond
Hanging with Kristi in Westport
Hanging with Kristi in Westport
Kellys - Oldest building in KC
Kelly's - Oldest building in KC
Kellys allows tabletop tailgating
Kelly's allows tabletop tailgating
Joan & Albert Boone hung out here
Joan & Albert Boone hung out here
Joan and I dueling with cameras
Joan and I dueling with cameras
Plazas architecture from Seville
Plaza's architecture from Seville
Giralda Tower & Light Fountain
Giralda Tower & Light Fountain
In 1920s-dumping ground & hog farm
In 1920's-dumping ground & hog farm
First US suburban shopping district
First US suburban shopping district
Features ornate towers and stucco
Features ornate towers and stucco
Gelato & Cappuccino-thats progress
Gelato & Cappuccino-that's progress
So many choices & all so delicious
So many choices & all so delicious
Server loads up first gelato cup
Server loads up first gelato cup
Skyler eyes gelato clerk intently
Skyler eyes gelato clerk intently
All pick french vanilla cappuccino
All pick french vanilla cappuccino
Clerk dishes up another gelato cup
Clerk dishes up another gelato cup
Jarod readies spoon to grab dessert
Jarod readies spoon to grab dessert
Joan starts out feeding Skyler
Joan starts out feeding Skyler
She eats from both parents cups
She eats from both parents' cups
Keep it coming, Dad
"Keep it coming, Dad"
15 blocks of unique shops & dining
15 blocks of unique shops & dining
Myself, Skyler, Jerod & Joan relax
Myself, Skyler, Jerod & Joan relax
Kristi & Intercontinental KC Hotel
Kristi & Intercontinental KC Hotel
Joan, like me, loves shooting pics
Joan, like me, loves shooting pics
Hey, hey, were the Monkees
"Hey, hey, we're the Monkees"
Seth Ward Home - Westport trader
Seth Ward Home - Westport trader
Mission Hills Country Club
Mission Hills Country Club
Where Tom Watson learned golf game
Where Tom Watson learned golf game
Not too many rounds played in snow
Not too many rounds played in snow
Took photo of us by extending arm
Took photo of us by extending arm
Home of deceased Ewing Kauffman
Home of deceased Ewing Kauffman
Beloved KC Royals owners backyard
Beloved KC Royals owner's backyard
Eric-how about a TravBuddy mansion?
Eric-how about a TravBuddy mansion?
Kristi is also quite a photographer
Kristi is also quite a photographer
Happy trails...until we meet again
Happy trails...until we meet again
Happy trails to you...keep smiling
Happy trails to you...keep smiling
Happy trails to U til we meet again
Happy trails to U til we meet again