After spending five days in Wichita, I’ve moved on to my next destination. I mentioned in a previous blog post that I had a nice view from my hotel room where I could see a lot of fireworks shows at once, but didn’t post a photograph; here is the view I had from the 11th floor of the Wichita Marriott:
On my way driving from Wichita to Kansas City, I made a stop at the Bazaar Cattle Pens, a tourist attraction located right off the I-35 Kansas Turnpike tollway in Matfield Green. I didn’t really have much of an idea as to what exactly it was or why it was there, but I saw a bunch of cows very far off in the distance, so I snapped a photo.
After just shy of a three-hour drive, I arrived in Leawood of Johnson County in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I heard that this is one of the nicer areas of Kansas City, and Leawood contains some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. My hotel of choice was the Element Overland Park, a newly-constructed hotel under the Marriott brand.
I had a south-facing room, but I still got blinded by the sunlight due to a funny building nearby; the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, allegedly nicknamed the “spaceship,” had some interesting architecture that would reflect the sunset directly into my hotel room.
I only allocated two days to the Kansas City portion of my trip, so I had to choose wisely as to which tourist activity I wanted to do on the one full day I had here. One of my friends used to live in Kansas City and recommended the Liberty Memorial Tower for some nice views of Kansas City.
The Liberty Memorial Tower was a part of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, so I figured I would also explore the museum while I was there. That was a bit uncharacteristic of me because I’m not really a fan of history (I literally quit my Master’s degree program because they required me to take too many history classes as part of my required curriculum), but museums usually teach information in a fun and interactive way, so I decided to give it a shot.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as exciting as I had hoped. The exhibits were extremely text-heavy, and it basically felt like I was just reading a massive oversized textbook with some three-dimensional illustrations. I took some pictures, but there were a ton of children there, and I don’t want to post photographs containing minors. However, I do have one photograph I can post that I think captured my experience fairly well:
Yes, that is indeed a sign asking you not to interact with the interactive table.
The few short films that the museum had were interesting, and I did learn quite a bit about World War I (which isn’t a surprise, because I’m an idiot when it comes to history and it’s very easy to teach someone something if they have next to zero prior knowledge about the aforementioned thing).
And of course, for every meal so far, I’ve had barbecue, which is the food that Kansas City is apparently known for. I still think Oklahoma City had the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted, but all my Kansas City barbecue meals come in at a comfortable second place. (I also think I just got really lucky with the BBQ restaurant I picked in Oklahoma City, because they had magical melt-in-your-mouth meat that I didn’t know was possible.)
My original plan was to go to Des Moines next, but for some reason, the cheapest hotels, even at promotional rates, were about double what I expected if I didn’t want to stay about 50 miles out from the city (my best guess is that they have some special event going on right now).
So, instead, I decided to reroute my path to Springfield, the capital of Illinois, because I figured that, having lived in the state for around two decades growing up, it would seem reasonable to visit the Capitol at least once.