I shared recently on social media that our romantic Valentine Weekend Getaway was cut short (less than 24 frigid hours!) due to Snovid '21.
Once we - nay, the entire State of Texas - recovered from a week of below freezing temps, rampant power outages, frozen pipes/busted plumbing, and a host of heinous problems the south is ill-equipped and seldom prepared to handle when the temps dip below 32 degrees, the hubs and I decided to try a do-over the first weekend in March, this time pointing the car north toward Kansas City, Missouri.
You may be asking, Why Kansas City, Missouri? And you'd be right to ask since my husband and I have never looked at one another and uttered the words, Let's go to Kansas City, Missouri. Nothing against Kansas City or Missouri. It just wasn't on the radar until I came across a photo of the Kansas City Public Library. I shared about it here and here. It was the place that motivated me to start a Bucket List. And it even inspired me to create the Library Collection - my personal love letter to public libraries.
So, off to Kansas City, Missouri we went, talking en-route about what there might be to do in KC other than their awesome downtown library. My husband crowd-sourced on his social media and by the time we arrived, we had a handful of recommendations for eats, treats, and must-sees.
My husband (aka @carnivore_and_coffee on IG & FB, and The Carnivore and Coffee Podcast) planned all the eats. And his people hooked us up. When you are in the KC area, these are three unique places you must experience. (You might notice a theme. We're from Texas. Comparisons must me made.)
1. Gates BBQ
Gates BBQ was my personal favorite. Loved their ribs. Loved their brisket. They were generous with the pickles. They had the best sauce. After a day of driving, we got it to go and took it to our airbnb, sat back to watch the newest episode of The Walking Dead, and gnawed on dem bones. (The irony was not lost.)
2. Woodyard BBQ
After the awesome KC Library, we had an early lunch at Woodyard BBQ which scored huge points with me for their incredible outdoor dining space. If we were local, that would be where we'd meet friends for a relaxing evening out. Loved the ambiance. Go for the experience, but go at twilight so you can enjoy the lights in the outdoor dining area. They've made this a place you want to be. Plus, my hair smelled like lunch the rest of the day, so there's that to love, as well. (The sweetest smell was the "meat rose" my man made for me, pictured above.)
Q39 was the trendiest recommendation and definitely catered to a hipper clientele than our first two BBQ joints. We got it to go and enjoyed it back at our airbnb while we simultaneously glutted on Ambulance conversions on YouTube. (Our favorite was the Janbulance.) Q39's portions are generous so we enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the following night. (A meal so nice we ate it twice.)
Being a reader, bibliophile, and someone with a basic grasp of grammar, I generally eschew any business that cannot manage to spell its own name correctly. BUT...since we were celebrating my husband's birthday, we needed a place to get some yummy treats he could eat. Someone recommended this Keto-friendly bakery and, swallowing my disdain for intentional misspellings, we visited Kat's Kakery and left with four mouth-watering options to enjoy over the course of the weekend - two cheesecakes flavors "buy-the-slice" and two peanut butter-flavored treats.
Each one was the best thing we had ever tasted! If you are in the KC area, you have to check out Kat's Kakery - Keto or not.
1. Kansas City Library - Downtown
Obviously the KC Public Library is the entire reason we went to KC, Missouri, but I want to add that it did not disappoint. If you love classic lit, this is your place to be, to experience, to enjoy. All that awesome architecture? That is on THE PARKING GARAGE! Not the library proper. Can you imagine how incredible INSIDE must be if this is how they do the OUTSIDE?!
BONUS: The concrete book stack that did double duty as a stairway. So much to see and fangirl/fanboy there.
For the love of all things literary, visit the KC Library.
2. Fountains and Statues
Did you know that KC, Missouri, is also known as the City of Fountains? There are over 200 of them scattered around the city, some dating back to the 1800's having served as watering troughs for horses and livestock. Just a cursory drive around Kansas City will afford you the opportunity for fountains (and statues) aplenty, but if you want to dive deeper, go here.
3. The Sunset
KC is a pretty hilly place, so finding a good spot to watch the sun set wasn't a difficulty. Happening upon two cool places to watch the sun set - and deciding between them - was! That's why we ended up first walking around the über popular WW1 Memorial (which was kind of busy, including people that were setting up folding chairs to watch the sun set a couple of hours before the actual event!) and then second heading to a different location. That second one included a busy skate park, a Native American statue, two separate photo shoots, and still ended up being a less crowded spot to watch the big event...which apparently is a popular thing to do whist in the KC area.
4. Steel's Used Books
This is the used bookstore we shared with you last Sunday on Facebook Live at 5, the one with the blacked out windows, single door, small temporary sign that just said "Bookstore" directly above the door. The one Simon was shocked I would go in because it did not give off safe vibes. The one where the guy opened the door and waved to us to come inside when we were debating whether or not it was legit (or safe).
It was kind of awesome, kind of a nightmare if you're OCD. It was a hot mess and the most beautiful of places simultaneously. (When we were leaving, we did hear the owner comment to another customer that they had just moved, so that explained a lot.) The owner was friendly and he knows his stuff, including where every single book he sells is located in that hot mess. Pretty cool.
Bookish Adventures & Bucket Lists
That was our last-minute Bookish Adventure to Kansas City, Missouri, in a nutshell. But is it the end? I certainly hope not!
Please share your own bookish adventures - both those you've experienced and those you cannot wait to experience - in the comments!
I'm looking to add to my Bucket List. So far, I'm one for one.