I left Kansas City the morning of November 8, driving down Antioch to Shawnee Mission Parkway, stopping briefly by the old mission buildingsShawnee Mission 2 KC Nov 2009 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). Shawnee Mission 4 KC Nov 2009I 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, Loose Park Rose Garden sign KC Nov 2009where roses kept blooming, and would, I suppose, until a hard frost stopped them. Loose Park Rose Garden curved path KC Nov 2009The wind, as usual, made close-ups a challenge, but I found some details that I liked.Loose Park pink rose 2 vertical detail KC Nov 2009

And even signs of the changing seasons.Loose Park pink rose with leaves KC Nov 2009

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.

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  1. Barbara November 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hey Beth, this is a really nice essay. I’m sorry I have been so out of the loop lately. I am writing a lot and sending stuff out. I have more time now to write since I’m not organizing salons, but I miss seeing people. I am working on a memoir/self-help book. It kind of overlaps. It is of course about my dealing with a chronic illness. I am finding elegance and grace within the struggle and pain and it makes for good writing, unfortunately! I also just finished an online class with Bay area poet/writer Molly Fisk. Hope you are well. I hope we run into each other soon at some event!

  2. Beth Partin November 23, 2009 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Hey, Barbara, good luck with the book. Maybe we’ll see each other at the Cannon Mine or a Lighthouse event.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..First Friday in the Crossroads District of Kansas City =-.