Riding the Rails

My weekend mini-vacation to Kansas City was filled with great memories and fun. I left on the Amtrak Friday morning and had been advised to sit on the right side of the train car, which wound up being great advice. My window seat allowed me to have terrific views of the Missouri River and beautiful views of rich fields and farmland. As I rode along I was struck with the realization that so many of the towns through which we passed were so similar. Often the train station would pass parallel to the downtown area giving me a picturesque look along small town America Main Street. So many of these towns are fighting to stay alive since the departure of many railroad jobs and the arrival of Wal-Mart on the outskirts of town. It made me sad and yet feel connected that I somehow belonged there.

MO river bridge @ Jeff
The Missouri River bridge at Jefferson City.

 resting on the train
Me resting on the train.

Once arriving at Union Station, Laura met me and we spent a lovely afternoon chatting and getting to know one another better. When Ryan arrived home, they decided to take me out for real Kansas City BBQ for dinner. Our destination: Arthur Bryant’s. Tasty ribs and fries filled my tummy making me happy.
Arthur Bryant BBQ
We spent the rest of the evening visiting the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, followed by a stroll around the Plaza where I picked up an oh so tasty slice of tiramisu cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. After returning home we watched Almost Famous, which I had never seen before, went to bed late, awoke Saturday morning to eat a late brunch, and enjoyed a party Saturday afternoon/evening at Ryan & Laura’s celebrating July birthdays and anniversaries with family and friends from their church.

Me trying my hand (literally) at the Wii bowling game.

Sunday brought church, a lunch of leftover hot dogs and cake (every kids dream), Ryan patiently teaching me the basics of how to play chess, a brief nap, and then Ryan & Laura took me to catch my train home.Blys & me
Laura, Ryan, & me outside their house before leaving for the train station.

Union Station clock
A quick look at the big clock in Union Station before my train left.

The funny conductor and me as I got ready to board the train.

With as stringent as plane regulations are these days, I marveled at the freedom that you have when traveling via rail. Ryan and Laura were able to walk me all the way to the train to say goodbye, there weren’t any metal detectors I had to go through or shoes to take off, no x-ray machines to examine my bags, and I was able to bring my bottle of water and scissors in my knitting bag without them being confiscated. Amazing during this day and age.

I also took some black and white photos with my 35mm camera, which I will scan and share as soon as I finish the roll. In addition to these photos, Ryan posted several on his blog – check them out for more weekend fun. Many thanks to Ryan & Laura for such a terrific weekend!


5 thoughts on “Riding the Rails

  1. It was such a joy to have you stay at our house.  We would love to come visit sometime.  Perhaps after the baby is born.  It’s nice to show someone around town, it makes you appreciate it that much more.  The up close picture is my favorite picture of the weekend.  Can’t wait for the scans.

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