I left Kansas City the morning of November 8, driving down Antioch to Shawnee Mission Parkway, stopping briefly by the old mission buildings that used to house Shawnee Indian girls and boys (the mission predates the Indian boarding school system of the late 1800s and early 1900s that was designed to strip American Indians of their culture and Christianize them). I would have toured the buildings, but they aren’t open on Sundays and Mondays.
Then I drove to Loose Park, just south of the Plaza on Wornall, and stopped by the Rose Garden, where roses kept blooming, and would, I suppose, until a hard frost stopped them. The wind, as usual, made close-ups a challenge, but I found some details that I liked.
And even signs of the changing seasons.
Loose Park’s other main attraction is its pond with swans, but I didn’t visit that today. I drove down to the Plaza, got another rosemary caramel latte at LatteLand, and meandered over to Highway 71, which took me to I-70.
By the time I reached Kansas exit 299 (featuring Tim’s Party cabin), I had seen 33 hawks, including some red-tails. The others I couldn’t identify at 70 miles per hour. I drove on to exit 275, otherwise known as Abilene, my destination for that day.
There’s so much more. I’ve lived away from Kansas City and my family for so long (3 decades, except for 1 year in the late 1980s) that I always have this nagging thought upon departure: If I could just go back and do one more thing, everything will be all right.
It’s not true, of course.
It was great to get reacquainted with the city where I grew up, see how much it has changed and grown. The changes out south are mostly sprawl, which I dislike, but the changes up north intrigue me.
Next time I come back, I’ll know where to continue my exploration. But now, here are a few of the places I missed: Extra Virgin and Nara restaurants (Crossroads), Trezo Vino (Leawood), Le Fou Frog (River Market), Plaza III (that old standby), Volker Park (near the Plaza and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), the Liberty Memorial (Crown Center), the Arabia Museum (River Market), and the jazz and Negro League museums (east of Troost on 18th). Not to mention the many historical museums that dot the city.
And to my shame, I must confess I ate BBQ only at Jack Stack’s. No Arthur Bryant’s this time for me.