Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kansas City, Missouri and Meeting Some Futuretimers…

Kansas KS 010

Our last couple days at the Rock Ridge COE park we decided we should make the hour long drive over to see Kansas City, Missouri (or is it Kansas City, Kansas?). Well it is actually both! Kansas City, Kansas is the third-largest city in the state of Kansas while Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the state of Missouri. We mostly visited Kansas City Missouri.

Kansas KS 003image

First on our agenda was a visit the City Market one of the largest farmer’s market in the USA. Indeed it was one of the largest we have seen in our travels for sure. At the market we saw flowers, handmade jams and jellies, hot sauces, local honey, fresh seafood, local eggs, local dairy, restaurants, home accessories, apparel and lots of produce. We purchased several bags of fresh veggies and were amazed how inexpensive it was!

imageKansas KS 004

While visiting the City Market we also arranged meet up with some future full-timers Mark and Karen. Mark (or Mark from Missouri as I first knew him) also pens a blog about their trials and tribulations in contemplating becoming fulltimers. Other future-timers out there should read Mark’s blog because he raises lots of good concerns and questions. After chatting with them a bit they wanted to join us for our city tour and Mark graciously offered to drive.

Kansas 170Kansas 166

From the market we headed over to Boulevard Brewing Company. We had hoped to take one of the first-come first served tours but they were full for the day. Instead we went into the tasting room and purchased flights of some pretty good craft beers. It was fun and gave us the chance to get to know Mark and Karen better as we enjoyed the beautiful day out on the patio of the tasting room.

Next on our list was to visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial. This is a fascinating museum set up in a big circle under a tall tower monument visible from nearly anywhere in the city. As an added bonus we are Bank of America members so were able to take advantage of a deal BOA has with museums all over the USA which offers free entry into participating museums on the first weekend of each month. By taking advantage of that we all four entered for free!

Kansas 172Kansas KS 006Kansas 173

We walked around to see everything and watched the short films along the way. One film was a screen over a large exhibit portraying trench warfare (this was a cool exhibit). In the trench were soldiers marching and there was a bi-plane overhead. We wandered through a huge collection of weaponry and on the wall near the ceiling was a timeline of events that helped better explain how the war came to be as well as its progression and eventual end. There were also many interactive exhibits to explore as well as booths to enter to hear reflections of soldiers and other survivors of the war.

Kansas KS 007image

The museum was interesting but the tower above is definitely worth seeing.. As we walked up the stairs above the museum toward the tower we saw at least four wedding parties there for wedding pictures.  Why? Because the panoramic city views all around the tower are spectacular and we felt it was the best city view we have seen anywhere!!!

Kansas KS 008Kansas KS 011

Last up was to eat some famous Kansas City BBQ! What started in 1990 as a Bar-B-Que team called the Slaughterhouse Five slowly evolved into what is known today as Joes’ Kansas City Bar-B-Que. After the Joes’ Slaughterhouse Five won many prestigious national BBQ cook-offs (check out their winners list in the link to the left)  they partnered with a fellow in 1995 and opened the restaurant known then as Oklahoma Joe's. Later they moved the business into the gas station it is in today. I chose this spot since it made nearly everyone's top list of BBQ places in Kansas City and it even was named one of the 13 Places to Eat Before You Die by Anthony Bourdain. In fact, this is as close to Texas BBQ as we have found outside of Texas – it was awesome and was a real Road Treat!!!

Kansas 171Kansas 174

Well we had a blast with Mark and Karen and wish them well on their future plans.  We look forward hopefully to meeting them again on down the Road of Retirement someday…

Our last day  we simply enjoyed our park and went over to Lawrence Kansas one more time to play some disc golf at Centennial Park.  We enjoyed a nice round of disc golf and made our way over to 23rd Street Brewery one last time to partake in their $1 craft beer happy hour, a perfect way to end our stay in Kansas.

NOTE: We left Prairie Band Casino & Resort RV Park where we only stayed one night and moved north to Omaha Nebraska where we may stay a while and let this heat wave pass through…


  1. Wonderfully worded blog post John. Karen said to say hello to Sharon! I started reading your blog, according to my notes, in October of 2015. What attracted me to the blog was the writer is an over-thinker just like me. Definitely worth reading from start to finish. It’s as if I’m reading about my own journey to retirement. – Maybe I got that right or not. Judging from the feel that we hit it off as a couple, there must be a lot of common thinking going on.

    We learned a lot while visiting with you guys. I had a list in my pocket of questions I wanted to make sure and ask. No need, you guys were great at passing along well thought out experiences. I’ll get around to my own blog post and share a few with our readers. You added a few words to my vocabulary such as fly over states.

    I put the bait out there, recommending Columbia Missouri as a stop based off your attraction to state capitals and university buildings. Hope to set the hook and get you guys back to Missouri. I’ve had the privilege of travel from New York City to Honolulu and parts of the country from deep in Texas to far north. I’ve got no idea why people fly past Missouri in their travels. I always wanted to come home when traveling. I was most impressed with the man who came up to us and offered to have his wife take our picture – that’s typical.

    We will see you on the road. Or if you have come off the road by then, we would enjoy stopping by and sharing our exciting explorations.

    You folks are wonderful people. Thank you for the time you took to spend with us.

    Karen and I extend our invitation to your readers to come by Kansas City and expect us to be your tour guides.

    PS, my daughter said she had been trying to get on the list for a tour of the Boulevard Brewery and its always been full.

    1. Over-thinker? You bet, the biggest challenge with being an over-thinker is to make sure you don't spend all your time over-thinking and none of it DOING! It is easy to get into the "paralysis through analysis" mindset but eventually you just have to jump in with both feet and let the rest simply occur...

    2. Hey Mark, We are also full timers from SW Missouri. Would you mind sharing the URL for your blog? You can send it to me in an email if you would prefer. I enjoy following other bloggers. We learn so much that way.
      ktmissouri@gmail dot com

    3. ktmissouri, sent you a link via email. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Had 80 views on the blog in the last 48 hours because of John's post. Wow - really appreciated that because it provided some needed advise.

  2. Sounds like a very fun day, always nice to meet fellow futuretimers and share experiences, it sure is an amazing lifestyle.

  3. Huh, why don't we just let you plan our October. First you convinced to go to Betty's (October 26th) and now I see we should include Kansas City, no matter which state it is in. I love farmers' markets and Doug is a huge World War 1 fan. Thanks.

  4. Mark and his wife are lucky people to have spent the day with you and Sharon, just as Greg and I were a few months ago. We can't wait to do it again! We'll be in Kansas City in two days -- so close, darn it!

  5. Yup Joe's BBQ was also one of our stop and more.