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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
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!!!
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…