As we approached the gate she continued to hide the boarding passes from me so I still had no idea where we were going. Was it Tampa? Albuquerque? Kansas City?
Finally, I found out that it was Kansas City, which is a place that I always wanted to visit after seeing it featured on an episode of Drinking Made Easy.
The flight was only about 1 hour and forty minutes from Denver. As I soon discovered, there is plenty to do in Kansas City.
They have a beautiful Union Station that was built in 1914, but took 11 years and $250 million to refurbish after years of neglect. While Kansas City is still a railroad hub, Union Station was home to 12 railroad companies in its heyday. Now it is home to several retail shops, a science center, movie theater, passing freight trains, and Amtrak.
Although I love anything train related, Kansas City is known for something else that is just as spectacular: Barbecue. We went to several places such as Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue, and Slap's BBQ. Our favorite was Slap's BBQ. We found that the brisket, ribs, and burnt ends were very delicious, but we really enjoyed the pulled pork. They also have an amazing “Slap Sauce” that is worth the trip alone.
On New Year’s Day we decided to make a road trip to White Castle, located about 2 hours away in the town of Columbia. I had never eaten there and my wife had not eaten there in 30 years. White Castle was delicious and awesome. We enjoyed the regular sliders that they are famous for and also liked trying items that have come out since my wife’s last visit, such as the chicken sliders and the jalapeno cheese sliders.
Along the way she had some more surprises in store for me. We visited the Katy depot in Sedalia and we attempted to visit the Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site. Unfortunately both were closed, although we were able to see the exterior of the depot. This was a complaint of ours that many destinations were closed on New Year’s Day despite their websites stating that they would be open.
However, we were able to make a short visit to the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which contains a natural rock bridge, hiking trails, picnic areas, dense forest, and a cave that you can hike to. It was getting dark so we saw the rock bridge but skipped the hike to the cave, which was fine because it gives us a reason to come back. (see the accompanying videos)
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue
Fritz's Railroad Restaurant
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park