I met Edwin in 2006 and we’ve been really great friends ever since. We both have a passion for travel and have been to Puerto Rico, Miami, San Francisco and many places in between together. I asked him to write about his trip to Kansas City to give me time to get ready for my upcoming trip, which I’ll tell you all about on Thursday! Enjoy!
Where: Kansas City, Missouri
When: Early April 2015
Harley Davidson Factory
Bartle Hall Convention Center Expansion & Pylons
The Kauffman Center
Cross Roads District
Country Club Plaza
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
I was out in Kansas City, Missouri for a few days in early April. This was a work trip, so I didn’t have a lot of free time to go around experiencing Kansas City in depth. With the limited amount of time, I managed to visit some of the attractions Kansas City has to offer.
Harley Davidson Factory Tour
I had the opportunity to take a factory tour at the Harley Davidson plant in Missouri. The tour is free and is about an hour long. In the free tour, you start off with a short video in their little theater. Afterwards, there is a safety briefing and tour guidelines. You are given safety glasses, a visitor’s pin, and a headset. These are to be used during the tour while in the Harley Davidson production shop. No photographs are allowed to be taken while in the shop, so I was only able to take pictures of the lobby area. This tour shows from A-Z how a Harley Davidson is made. You get to see actual employees working in their stations and contributing their work to producing a Harley. Everyone is actually cross trained so they do not have the same job every day as they switch stations and it reduces repetitive on the job injuries over the long run. I recommend this to anyone who loves motorcycles, automotive or anything mechanically related!
I decided to do a little sightseeing after dinner one evening and took some photographs during the sunset! (also played around with some HDR shots as you will see, some slightly over-processed but I love the shots!)
Bartle Hall Expansion & Pylons/Sky stations
Immediately caught my eye when I was walking around the convention center. Also known as the Kansas City Convention Center Expansion, the 300 foot towers hold the expansion that was built over the interstate from the old convention center. Apparently it is the largest column free convention environment in the world!
The Kauffman Center
An extraordinary building that caught my attention while I was driving some of my colleagues back to their hotel and decided to go back. The Kauffman Center is a performing arts center near the Crossroads Arts District. Stunning design and architecture makes this building a phenomenal view from either the glass facade or the concentric arches. The arches are beautiful to photograph especially during the sunset as they seem to change color!
Also known as the Crossroads Arts District; it is the center for art galleries and visual arts. There are numerous unique restaurants, architects, designers, live music venues and much more. It is nice to walk the district and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of everything. Pictured is an old firehouse in the district that was turned into a design studio.
I decided to checkout Union Station but unfortunately it was after hours, so a lot of their museums/attractions were already closed. The Science City in Union Station seemed like a nice place to visit. A lot of the places/museums in Kansas City close at 5pm. I didn’t take any pictures of Union Station.
Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum
I came to the memorial as a coincidence as it is right across from Union Station. It is a memorial to those who served in World War I. It’s a very nice place to visit, especially at NIGHT! The tower emits a flame effect at night which is apparently steam with bright red and orange lights. I was there at night and there was a nice spring breeze that was just perfect. I noticed a good amount of people at the memorial at night. You can oversee the Kansas City skyline at night and enjoy the view!
Country Club Plaza
I ended up at the Country Club Plaza for dinner with some of my colleagues. It is an upscale shopping district with a very unique feel. It was architecturally designed after Seville, Spain. I really liked the feel of the plaza as you wouldn’t really expect such design in Kansas City. I would expect this kind of architecture in California. A nice place to dine, walk, and window shop! (Literally window shop!)
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
I was driving back to my hotel when I decided to take a different road. I came across the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The big white illuminated boxy building caught my attention while driving and so I decided to park and see a little more. The art museum has a traditional building but their newest addition is called the Bloch addition. It is built with translucent glass panels and when lit at night, it gives a remarkable view against the traditional building. There is a reflection pool that accompanies the Bloch building. At night, the light from the parking garage illuminates the pool on the surface giving it a unique polka dot appearance! There are giant shuttlecocks around the building as well.
I met up with a few coworkers for lunch at the Flying Saucer. It is located downtown in the Power and Light district. I ended up getting one of their Saucer Pies, which I would definitely recommend to anyone eating at the Flying Saucer. It’s pretty much your own personal pizza. For about $10-$12 you get a Saucer Pie and it’s a lot of food! You will see Saucers all over the place with peoples name on it. This place is known for their beers and they even have a UFO club. You are challenged to drink 200 different types of beers, and when you hit 200, you get a little party and your name hung on a saucer! If you’re a beer drinker, this place is a must!
Jack Stack Barbecue
After work one day, we ended up with a group of 10 or so at Jack Stacks for dinner. It’s supposedly one of the best places to get BBQ in Kansas City. It’s more of a fine dining BBQ place. Expect to pay anywhere from $15-$35 for a plate. Great atmosphere to be in, very dimly lit but a perfect place for a group dinner! Their burnt ends are very popular. I ended up getting their Barbecue sliced meats plate with coleslaw. I enjoyed my meal and was content with what I ate. Portions are not big compared to other BBQ places I’ve been to. Someone suggested I try their desserts, so I went ahead and ordered a Triple Chocolate Brownie. I think if I were to go back to Jack Stack’s, it would be because of the amazing brownie dessert! It was a hot brownie filled with hot fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream on top. Simply Amazing! Overall I would recommend this place if you’re in KC to try some Kansas City style BBQ.
I decided to try Church’s Chicken as I’ve never had it. A few years ago when I went with Lauren to Puerto Rico, we learned about Church’s Chicken because we saw them all over Puerto Rico. They aren’t common in the mid-Atlantic area. This fried chicken eatery would be on the same level as Popeye’s and KFC. I ordered their Original fried chicken with Honey Butter Biscuits, Baked Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, and Fried Okra all for $9. That is a lot of food for nine dollars. Thoughts? It was just okay. I feel it lacked an original flavor. I wasn’t expecting much out of a fast food place anyways. I would stick to Popeye’s or KFC as they both have certain flavors with their chicken. Their Honey Butter Biscuits were good; I was given the suggestion to add honey to them. It was my first time having biscuits topped with honey. They were good, but I would naturally prefer the more salty taste of Popeye’s biscuits. I also want to mention the fried Okra; I’m not from the south, so I would say it’s definitely an acquired taste. I would say to pass on Church’s. You won’t miss out on much!
Overall, Kansas City is a really nice place to visit. It is known as the city of fountains because there are so many fountains there. I work in Washington DC, so Kansas City seemed far less busy and less stressful compared to DC. I really enjoyed the modernization of the city but it seemed like everything closes at 5pm. There are a lot of buildings that give the city a modern feel, especially the Convention Center, Sprint Center, and Kauffman Center. Perhaps the next time I’m there, I’ll cross over to Kansas City, Kansas!
I’d like to thank Lauren for convincing me to write a guest post on her blog. She’s tried to get me to create a blog, even trying to get me to write about my Jeep Build. Although blogging isn’t my thing, I can at least appreciate the effort and time that goes into writing these posts now!