U.S. Travels Archives

A City Of Color-Kansas City, Missouri

I stopped in Kansas City today, the Missouri side, on my way to the airport to see my sister ot west.

A street with stone buildings including an interesting tower.

The Plaza in Kansas City

I’m staying with someone I found through Airbnb.com which is interesting.  Basically my sister signed up to join Airbnb, who than did a background check.  Once the background check proves she wouldn’t steal or harm people, she could sign up to stay in people’s houses instead of hotels.  It’s generally cheaper to stay in a spare bedroom than at hotels, especailly in big cities.  The awesome thing is that the website is international! I can stay in London or Italy, or almost anywhere in the US or other countries often at half the price of most hotels and the hosts are often willing to give ideas for attractions and food!  Many also allow pets, although most are merely a single bed so families probably can’t travel this way.

Okay, enough with the sales pitch, let’s talk about KC!  I live in Lawrence, Kansas about an hour away and took local busses all the way to a stop about six blocks from my host’s house.  It took a few hours and she would have picked me up at a station but I’d rather learn the buses in a new city than make a stanger go out of the way for me so I got to see a lot of the city.  When I finally got to her house it was early evening and she had somewhere to be soon after i got there so she dropped me off in a shopping are in KC near her house called The Plaza and I checked out what was around.

A squat slightly domed tower on a building in Kansas City that almost looks like the adobe coloring of the South Western Uniterd States.

A tower on a building in The Plaza.


A tile mosaic of a knight on horseback lancing some sheep while labourers egg him on.

This odd mosaic is on a wall outside a building

After walking around the first night I had supper at Calfornia Pizza Kitchen and walked the half mile or so back to my host’s place to stretch my legs before bed.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Chicago-Day 0ne

  My first day in Chicago started out really late since I spent all the morning in my room reading my Kindle.  I left my room after 1pm.  It took a while to get to the airport from the hotel by shuttle and another hour or so to get to the area in the city where I would get the bus to where I’d planned for that day.  I had planned to go to Navy Pier that day, but I got to Union Station around 4 pm and spent nearly another half hour searching the streets nearby to find the bus stop for the bus to Navy Pier.  I finally found this:

(chicago2 001)

I thought that meant that the buses would stop somewhere between 6 and 7 at night.  Since it was already going on five at night, it seemed pointless to me to go there in time to get on the bus to come back, I decided to wait and visit Navy Pier another day.  Hm, so where to go?  I went back to the subway station to find something that would be open at night and found The Merchandise Mart.  I remembered that as in the fashion district and assumed it was a mall.  I got on the subway and headed out before looking through my fliers.  That’s were I read what painted The Merchandise Mart was more of an office space only open during office hours, more showroom than store.  By that time office hours were over so I needed another plan.  I decided to get off the subway where I would have to switch trains and find supper.  It turned out that I got off at the stop for the huge city library.


After a long walk just wandering to find food, I settled for a deli of a local brand I didn’t know and stopped into Potbelly for an awesome wrap and delicious smoothie.


After that I still had some time to wander and found these two Indians firing at each other.


By then I was rather bored and annoyed at myself for not planning well enough to make my plans work so I decided to head back to my room.  I stopped at a corner store for breakfast the next morning before getting on the subway.  When I got back to my room I sat down and planned out the rest of my trip.  I was not going to go through another day trying to decide my plans as I went.  I had learned my lesson and looked forward to the next day.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Traveling Days 3-5

Wednesday was a long day. I got up at 6 am in order to get dressed, grab a quick breakfast, and head to my college for orientation day.  I’m glad I spent the day before getting my bearings (meaning getting lost but finding the place in the end) since it took me nearly an hour to get to the college.  Thankfully I had planned for it and got there with a half hour to check in and grab a bite to eat.  Through the rest of the day I learned a lot about my school and answered some of my questions.  It seems I was the only one there with my major (not surprising since it’s a specialized history degree) so no one from my specific department was there to answer questions about my courses.  Still, I’m happy with my classes and rather excited to start them all.  (Okay, not the math class but the sooner I get that requirement done, the sooner I can get better classes.)  I got done around 3 pm and decided to go searching for my dorm before heading back to my room.  As I wandered the campus with a general idea of where I was going, I called my parents and filled them in on my updates.  It was hot out and I finally got sick of wandering so when I saw my dorm in the distance, I turned around and headed for my room.  I stopped at the local co-op for supper, picking up a local shake and a dish of cold Thai noodles.  Weary from the long day with unfamiliar people and two hours in the sun, I kinda zoned out and wandered the internet and channel surfed for the rest of the day.
Thursday was a day of forced idleness.  I got up in time to get breakfast from the hotel and tried to pack everything up.  My usual travel outfit was jeans, since it was recommended for my college trip and dealt with the air conditioning in airports, but that day I had planned walking outside so I didn’t want to wear the heavy jeans.  I hadn’t realized how much space a long pair of jeans took up compared to the lighter summer outfit I chose to wear.  I finally had to just throw everything together and I had my bags closed a half hour before check out at 11.  However, my bus didn’t get to town until 6 pm.  I explained the situation to the lady behind the front desk and she kept my bags while I went to get lunch at Dominoes up the street.  After lunch I came back to the hotel and sat in their small lobby with my Kindle (a definite plus for technology.  I can now easily carry a library with me without extra heavy baggage to tote around.  The electronic book holder doesn’t replace the feel of reading an actual book but for a bookworm like me, it is a must-have for traveling.)  I finally left the lobby at 3 pm to have time to get to the gas station that served as the Greyhound station in town.  Since I’d figured out the map earlier, it was easy enough to get to, just an annoying half hour walk with my suitcase and heavy backpack.  I got there much earlier than they usually let people hangout but it was a slow day so the attendant let me take a seat and I read more.  About 5 pm I had a supper of cheesy bread I had saved from my trip to Dominoes at lunch and waited for the bus.  It was forty minutes late and there were no empty pairs of seats so I shared a pair of seats for the hour long trip to Kansas City.  I finally got there and another long taxi ride to the hotel meant I got there about 8:45 at night.  I freshened up and redid all my packing so I could just leave in the morning.
It didn’t quite work that way.  I didn’t look at the paper the hotel attendant had given me so I wound up getting a forty dollar taxi ride instead of the twenty dollar shuttle ride I needed to book three hours in advance.  I got there as my plane started to board.  I checked in and got through security (both had longer lines than I had anticipated for such a small airport) in time to get on the plane as the line ended.  I was not the last person on the plane, thankfully.  A few people got on after me and the “last person” moniker was an Asian woman about twenty minutes later.  The plane was in the air ten minutes later than expected, but that was due to traffic in Chicago, not anything in Kansas City.  We finally got to Chicago and after a really long walk (I had forgotten how big the place was) I got to baggage claim to wait, and wait.  Turns out my bag had gotten off the plane but somehow wasn’t on the belt.  The attendant assumed it was still on the cart somewhere and would show up so I filled out the paperwork for them to take it to the hotel and went to get my bus.  I grabbed a sandwich and a drink on the way and got to the hotel early afternoon.  The plan for that night was to get settled in the hotel, get supper at the restaurant attached to the hotel, and spend the night de-stressing and catching up on various things I’d let slide while traveling.  Um, yeah, I picked up my Kindle and no work got done.  I did get down to the Harry Carry restaurant attached to the hotel.

A bust of Harry Carry in front of photos of him with famous people.

Harry Carry and his guests

I got down there when there was a half hour wait for the dinning room so I opted for the bar which had self seating.    I ordered a cheeseburger, mainly for the simplicity of the choice (the other options all seemed a little off the normal I would have expected) A burger and fries in a bar with a stick in the burger.  The stick has a face on it.and because it’s really hard to go wrong with a handmade cheeseburger.  When it comes to comfort food, some things are really hard to cook wrong, especially when it says “classic” or “original”.  Burgers are definitely a classic American item I can rarely get enough of now that I’m back in the States.  (I just wish they were healthier.  🙂  )  While looking on the drinks menu I saw something I couldn’t miss: a watermelon martini.  Hm, watermelon and fruity alcohol?  Sounds like a party and it tasted like one too!  What a treasure for a fun Friday night! To not leave you in suspense, I stopped by the hotel lobby on my way back up to my room and my suitcase was waiting for me.  Now on to Chicago!

I'm waering an Chinese inspired shirt, black with red accents, and holding a red martini in front of a window.

Oh, the joys of a Friday!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Travel Day 2

Ugh, what a day!  Monday ended a little after midnight when I was talking to my sister in our Milwaukee hotel and realized I would get three hours of sleep before getting on the shuttle for the airport.  We sadly but quickly wrapped up the interesting conversation and I finished packing to be ready to get up, get dressed and go a few hours later.

The day started out as planned and I got to the airport two hours before my flight with a very light breakfast (that’s what happens when you leave before continental breakfast is served).  Unfortunately I put my credit card in the self-check-in kiosk wrong and didn’t have my confirmation number with me since I haven’t had easy access to a printer in a few months so I had to pay 9.95 for a month of airport wifi at most airports across the country.  (I didn’t see the point of paying $5 for an hour when $10 was a month long.)  That took nearly an hour and I had some fruit from my kitchen to finish so I sat down to eat them.  The plums were good but the line at the security check point was long.  I finally got through it all when my ticket said they would start boarding.  I got to my gate to Atlanta about ten minutes later and they just started boarding the first people so I ran to the restroom next to my gate and got in line before the line completely disappeared.  I wound up between a college girl immersed in her headphones and an older lady going for a lady’s trip with her friends across the aisle.  I didn’t complain since I slept most the trip, waking up a few times to change positions, but mainly sleeping.

I woke up as we set down in Atlanta and hurried through the airport.  The place was huge, I was still tired and cranky as well as hungry, and I had a little over an hour until boarding time.  As I neared my gate I realized there were no food places near my gate so I grabbed a chicken sandwich and fries with a water from Checkers as I hurried past.The logo on a Checkers take out bag advertising burgers-fries-colas  Checkers is a popular burger joint in the South and one of my favorite fast food places from when I was living in Florida for a year.  Yum!  I had the fries and half the water done by the time I sat down at the gate to eat the burger.  I love those fries (dreamy sigh).  Anyways, I had about ten minutes before boarding started and I listened to a college soccer player discuss her trip with a kid, maybe ten, who was going down to Florida for a while.  Kind of amusing as the boy’s mom or sister sat on the floor nearby comfy among their bags, half listening to the conversation while reading her book.  The plane finally boarded and I was in a window seat with only one person between me and the aisle, a business woman.  That’s all I remember since I slept much better on that flight and was jolted awake when we landed in Kansas City.

From there I left the plane to find myself in a terminal with only one other gate.  Talk about small airport!  Anyways, I got in a Supershuttle van to Lawrence and talked to the driver some during the forty minute drive.  He was an immigrant from Somalia and Kenya that’s been in the US for three years now.  He’s still learning English so it wasn’t the most intellectual conversation but I enjoyed hearing about some of his large family and why he chose to leave Africa when some of his family didn’t.  We got to the hotel about 1pm and I was disappointed to learn it wasn’t on or really near the campus as I had hoped since the hotel used the college name in its title.  Oh well, I relaxed some in the hotel but I was hungry and needed to find the place for my orientation tomorrow.  Good thing I went looking.  After a few mistakes reading the vague map, I found the meeting place two hours later and it took another hour to walk straight from the meeting place on the far side of campus back to the hotel.

I’m rather disappointed in the town.  I’m used to living in a big city or a full town in a small area.  This is the definition of a college town in that the only big thing is the college.  The town is mostly houses for college students, people who work at or run the school, a few locals and two sets of a few blocks on a street that pass as a “downtown” area.  (Luckily there is a local coop so there is a grocery store in town.)   How am I ever going to stay sane and active if school work doesn’t take 24/7 like people seem to tell me?  Oh wait, thank God for the internet and campus wide wifi!  Who needs shopping or games when nature is a great gym (if I ever have the motivation to run the many hills around here) and the internet can show me anything I want to see (and a lot I don’t want to see)?

Oh well, I’m here now.  Tomorrow I have the full day of orientation, then I want to explore the campus some and locate my dorm as well as the greyhound station for Thursday.  Time for bed so G’night world, I hope tomorrow is awesome for everyone.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Trip Begins!

Red-haired me in a green dress and green dragonfly necklace with trees in a window behind me.I left my house today to begin my summer trip to various cities in the United States before school starts in August.  Yes, I am finally going to college after six years traveling since high school.  (I’m trying not to think about being surrounded by the stereotypical ditsy female freshmen and hormonal male freshmen.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can find some friends more my style but I know I need to broaden my horizons.  Yeah, not thinking about that yet.)

Anyway, I stayed up late packing (I know how hard it is for me to wake up so it is easier to get most done the night before) but still had to wake up at 8 am to finish my eggs at breakfast, do my last packing, a small amount of cleaning, go to the post office to check mail (I finally got a letter sent to Japan in May when I left), and went to Subway for a second breakfast so I could check my email.  I had an important meeting in the afternoon and I wanted to see if there were any changes.  There weren’t so I didn’t stay there long.  My brother and his girlfriend picked me up in northeast Wisconsin and we made it to my appointment near Milwaukee a little after 3 pm with a few stops.  After a late start to the meeting, we finished satisfactorily and we all went to meet up with my parents nearby.   My mom and dad, my older sister, my brother and his girlfriend, and I all went to a Mongolian barbeque place for supper and ice cream for dessert before everyone went to their homes.  My sister and I went into Milwaukee to our hotel where we are staying the night.  I will be waking up very early to get to the airport two hours before my flight and my sister will be staying in the room until she has to leave for her thing in Milwaukee in the morning.

All in all it was an amusing, if long, day and I will enjoy my bed, but it was good to see family again and begin my newest adventure.  What are you doing this week?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Social Network Widget by Acurax Small Business Website Designers
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed