Earlier this week, my family headed to Kansas City to take a mini-vacation, celebrate my mom's birthday, and see the US Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) take on Panama in the Gold Cup. I thought I'd post some photos and thoughts from my trip, because I'd really like to start sharing more "personal" stuff on here. I'm not just all manicures and fashion-y events!
Because my family just can't take a trip without some silly thing or another happening, when we got into KC, our hosts were not home! We ended up at a funky little sports-cocktail bar called Walsh's Corner Cocktails to have a beer while we waited for my parents' friends to get back to their house. Irish heritage can be found proudly displayed throughout KC, and Walsh's was no different. I sipped my Guinness while being reminded we were in Chiefs territory.
On Monday we slept in, and then headed right to food. My mom wanted to visit Beer Kitchen for their corned beef hash, and I have to say that their menu and food was quite impressive! I had a Ginger Tango cocktail and really enjoyed my tamales. Their beer selection is expansive, and they make their own ketchups in-house. Yum!
Shopping in Country Club Plaza was a must, and I found a number of items I've been wanting to add to my wardrobe on sale! When I was in KC for the Go Blog Social, I tried to shop a bit on Easter Sunday, but a number of stores were closed. I hit them up this time, especially American Apparel - we don't have an AA location in STL! We stopped for mid-day desserts at Brio, and then headed home to freshen up before heading to the Gold Cup match at Sporting Park. I noticed that KC has quite a bit of street art, similar to what you'll catch around town in STL. I particularly liked that painting with the busted-eye bully breed doggie!
Although our team tied against Panama, the night was incredibly fun and full of silliness, cheering, and heat. Good heavens, it was hot! But my sister and I cooled off with a couple beers, made fun of how male soccer players flop around on the ground in feigned agony after a collision, my father busted out his cowbell when the US team scored, and my mother cursed more than usual. It was a great evening, and as is almost customary in our family, we got temporarily lost trying to find our car again in the packed parking lots. If we ever manage to take a vacation where we don't end up laughing in absolute hysterics over something like losing the car, we didn't do the damn vacation right. We headed back to our friends' house, and wound down with a few drinks again before bed. I tried to sleep as best as I could because I had a sneaky plan for the morning.
Tuesday was my mom's birthday! I snuck out of the house before anyone else woke up, and headed to nearby McLain's Bakery to pick up some treats to surprise her with. If only they had spelled it McClane, I would have dropped some cash in their tip jar when checking out and shouted "Yippee-ki-yay, mothertrucker!" Alas, it was not a Die Hard-themed establishment... The inside of the bakery looks directly into the baking area, so as you hang around inside, you can watch all the magic happen. I spied cute little succulents on each table, and the staff was super accommodating, putting up with my sleep-deprived nutty behavior cordially. I know that McLain's would be a frequented spot of mine if I lived in the area.
After we all had a bit of coffee and crushed the muffins and croissants I had picked up, we headed to the area of Weston to do a bit more shopping and bopping around.
My family can never say no to a cute cafe, especially one that sells loose leaf tea. I had recently mentioned to a friend that I hadn't had bubble tea in a long time, so when I spied Tea Drops on Pennsylvania, I knew I had to pop in. I ordered a Lavender Milk bubble tea, my father had an iced tea of some cranberry blend, and my mother purchased some tea to brew at home. One of the reasons I love "vacationing" in the Midwest is that everyone is so. darn. friendly. The barista at Tea Drops was no exception. We walked around a bit more, visiting Re-Runs and Vulcan's Forge (duh, you know I had to hit that up since I'm a Trekkie!). Because no trip to KC is complete without BBQ, we made sure to stuff our faces before hitting the road again. We chose Q39 based on some pretty rave reviews by my parents' friends.
Although I was slightly disappointed in their cornbread (no one beats mom's), that brisket was SO GOOD! Also, the smoked chicken actually lived up to its name. I don't think I can recall another time that my meat actually had a smokey, infused flavor like this chicken did. I just about inhaled the potato salad and the slaw. Just like at Tea Drops, our server Shelby was a total sweetheart, and has mastered that equilibrium of providing just enough service with a sweet and sassy attitude but not being overbearing at all. Props, girl!
As soon as we finished eating, we hopped in the car and headed home. Somehow my father managed to get us back to STL in like three hours. I don't even know. He's magical. I was happy to be back home with my puppy and in my own apartment again. I do adore family trips, but the silence of your own space feels amazing afterwards. I spent all of Tuesday night curled up with wine, Netflix, and my furbaby to recuperate.
Have you been on any vacations/roadtrips/getaways yet this year? The next trip for me is in September to head to NYFW, which I am super excited for! I can't wait for my second year there!