11.29.2011

From My Hometown To Yours - Melissa of Inspiration and Rough Drafts


Its Tuesday, and only four more days until the weekend but only two more days until December, what, already??!! 
Did you enter the two giveaways I have going on currently? Go here for the first one and then here for the second. 
The hometown series is back today for another episode and today Melissa is showing me and you around Overland Park, Kansas. So grab your St. Louis Rams and Cardinals(World Series champs!) gear and let Melissa tell you all about her hometown!




Hi, everyone!  I’m Melissa of Inspiration and Rough Drafts.  Although I’m a newer reader of Henning Love, I keep coming back for all the inspiration—Meg’s posts always put a smile on my face.  When I saw the invite for guest posts, I jumped at the chance to share my hometown with you all.  Though I have lived in Chicago for the past few years, I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas—a suburb of Kansas City.

Today, I’m so excited to take Meg (and all of you) on a tour of KC, especially since I was just there for Thanksgiving.  If Meg came to visit Kansas City, she would get to see two states in one trip—Kansas and Missouri—since we’d spend time on both sides of the state line...

To start the day, we’d stop by Rainy Day Books, one of the top independent booksellers in the country.  Not only do they sell books and other items here, but they also host over 300 author events throughout the year.  With so many bookstores closing, it’s inspiring to see this place thriving.


Next, we would take a quick tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  With a range of art from ancient times to modern day, there is a little bit for everyone’s taste (I mean, take a look at those quirky shuttlecocks on the front lawn!).  What’s also great—free admission every day.


 
After all that exploring, we’d probably need to get a bite to eat.  The Country Club Plaza is my go-to spot for dining and shopping whenever I have guests visiting because it’s unique to Kansas City.  This 15-block open-air shopping district has been around since the 1920s and features spectacular Spanish architecture and European art.  During Meg’s visit, we’d take a stroll and window-shop, as well as check out some of the Plaza’s many fountains, statues and murals.  (Fun fact: only Rome has more fountains than KC!)  During the holiday season, the entire Plaza is illuminated with colorful lights.



Another fun holiday activity is ice-skating at Crown Center Ice Terrace.  Crown Center has plenty of shops, restaurants, office buildings, and hotels—plus it surrounds the world headquarters of Hallmark Cards.   The rink is KC’s only outdoor public ice-skating rink, so we could lace up some skates, glide across the ice, and experience the holiday spirit.


Once we’re tired or chilly from ice skating, we’ll warm up with a visit to Boulevard Brewery.   Founded in 1989, it’s the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.  After a free 45-minute tour, we’d get a chance to samples some of their brews—I’m a fan of their Pale Ale.

 
No visit to Kansas City would be complete without barbecue! We have plenty of BBQ joints to choose from, but I’d suggest Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. The original location is in Martin City, KS, but all of their restaurants serve their signature dishes—like Cheesy Corn Bake (a Jack Stack family recipe of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, corn and diced ham) and Burnt Ends (cubes of beef brisket, ham, pork, or sausage, which are cooked longer so they are tender on the inside and lightly seared on the outside). Also good to know: if you can’t make it to one of their KC restaurants, they ship their food all over the country!

 
If the teams are in town, we could catch a Royals baseball or Chiefs football game, but for this tour, how about something a little different?  To wind down after dinner, we could head to 18th & Vine, the historic jazz district.  We’d catch a live performance and savor the smooth sounds of jazz music at the American Jazz Museum, which preserves the history of Kansas City jazz and supports present-day musicians.

 
After a long, fun day, we would end the night at the Power & Light District, a newer hot-spot in the heart of downtown. This area is home to restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment galore—and a great open-air venue for live music. P&L showcases weekly summer concerts and special events throughout the year, almost all of which are free. There, we could enjoy the downtown vibe and toast to the final stop on our Kansas City tour!



Thanks Melissa for showing us more about Kansas City and Overland Park! That bbq looks amazing and any sports game we can catch while I'm visiting you is totally ok by me!

18 comments:

The Bases said...

One of my best friends has recently moved to KC (MO side!) and I need to go visit her! This post makes me want to get a date on the books NOW!

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

The lit up plaza looks beautiful and helloooooo that barbeque plate is making my tummy grumble! I've never been to KC but looks like there is alot to do.

Alexa said...

Looks like a fun spot...love the shots of it all lit up at night!

Hilliary@ Happily Ever Healthy said...

The lights in the plaza are beautiful! Perfect for the Holiday Season! Everything sounds wonderful, I would love to go explore the book shop!

amy b.s. said...

one of my best friends just moved to kansas city and i can't wait to go visit!

Megan said...

Totally love this series!! It's like a mini vacation!!!

Denise Pacurar said...

That bbq plate looks absolutely delicious! I love these posts you do!! And I also can't believe it is almost December!!

xoxo Denise

http://allthingsnew-denise.blogspot.com/

Simply Life said...

what a fun tour- thanks!

sherri lynn said...

I've never been to Kansas or Missouri! The bookstore sounds super fun as does the BBQ! Great hometown!

Kerri said...

I like these hometown tour posts! I need to do one... I just keep forgetting to take pics! I have a tiny town, but it has its charms. :) Enjoy December! Came up quick, didn't it? :)

Melissa said...

Thanks for all the sweet comments! I had so much fun writing this post. And thanks, Meg, for having me :)

REBrown said...

The art museum looks so neat and those ribs look divine!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

looks like a great city and the meal looks delicious!

Sunny & Star said...

I have never been to Kansas City, but now I really want to go someday. It looks so pretty.

BeckyJo606 said...

One of my best friends lives in Overland Park! We also have family there. :) It's such a great town/suburb. The BBQ is amazing, for sure! Thanks for giving us a tour! :)

Marilyn said...

Looks like an awesome city to live in.. Very lovely.. I am your newest follower.. Very lovely blog you have here.. I'm Marilyn via http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com , I look forward to reading and indulging in more of your awesome digs around here.. Hope you can stop in sometime. : )) Wishing you an awesome day..

Cathy said...

Boulevard and KC BBQ is amazing! Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

Emma Frances said...

This is such a fun post! I love reading about places I have never been {but definitely need to go!}. :] What a perfect blog series!!