"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, September 25, 2017

What do you get when you combine Beer, Friends Jesse James & Fountains?

Blue Springs, Missouri
Blue Springs County Park

A really good time!!

It was an easy 3 1/2 hour drive north from our friends place in Fordland, Missouri to Kansas City.  It's really hilly up here and the roads are like mini roller coasters.
We're here to visit with some RV friends, Mark and Karen of Our Future in an RV.  We've followed each others blogs, but have not met yet.
This is a very pretty county park on a lake although the campground is not directly on the water.  We had a nice large site with Electric & Water for $26.  There were several pear trees but none were ripe enough to pick. Great cell service and right outside the city.  A perfect spot for us.
Just around the corner from the campground is the water and boat launch.
We had a welcoming committee.
Mark and Karen came to our campsite to pick us up.  We showed them around our RV and we had a drink and chatted for quite a bit before we headed out for some beer tasting and dinner.  Mark and Karen were fantastic hosts and showed us all around town.  Mark had fantastic history about the towns and we learned quite a bit of interesting facts.  We drove past the Kansas City Royals baseball stadium on the way to the Boulevard Brewery.

The idea of the Boulevard Brewing Company came about in the summer of 1984 when a thirsty John McDonald was on vacation in Europe.  He wandered into a bar specializing in Belgian beers. After trying all the different flavors of Belgian beer, he was hooked.
While they do have an amazing variety of Belgian beer, they do have others.  They also have some nice small plates of food.  Mark ordered us a nice cheese and fruit plate.

It was delicious.  When we finished up our beer and snack it was time for the tour.
Steve, Mark and Karen.
What a cute photo booth!

The entire floor was made showing the tree rings.  Very unique and pretty.
Nice view of the city below.

The bottling and labeling room.

Ahh, how cute!
Now it was time for some serious Kansas City BBQ. This was on the Kansas side of the border though.  BBQ in a gas station?  Read how Joe's Bar-B-Que came about.  It was a delicious meal and Mark ordered some Burnt Ends for us to try.  Yummy!
Then they took us for a nice drive over to the Country Club Plaza which has 15 blocks of shopping.  Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains.  There are 48 publicly owned fountains here along with hundreds of other water features and sculptures.

This building was inspired by the original Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain.
The fountains were gorgeous and we walked down a nice park strip to walk off some of our dinner.

Beautiful stores and restaurants line the streets.
Lots of green lawns, landscape and memorials. Below is the Veteran's Memorial.  Very touching.

After finding a geocache hidden nearby, we were off to search for an ice cream parlor.  After our desserts, we headed back home.  Mark and Karen gave us some great ideas of things to do in the area.
Steve was really looking forward to visiting the farm in Kearney that Jesse James (farm tour) and his brother Frank were born in.  He was the son of a Baptist minister, born in 1847. When he was 16, he followed his older brother, Frank, into the Civil War. While Frank was a member of Quantrill’s guerillas, Jesse rode with Bloody Bill Anderson. When the war ended, Jesse returned home and joined other former Confederate guerillas to become notorious outlaws.
Jesse James at 16 years old.
It was a great tour and we enjoyed the museum.  It was $8 admission for adults.

Jesse's original grave on the farm.

We always found it interesting that Jesse James father died in Placerville, CA where we lived. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Hangtown Gold Camp (later known as Placerville).

The James's were a tall bunch!
This is what was left of Jesse's original headstone.  People kept chiseling off keepsake pieces so it was removed and is now in the museum at the farm.  In the picture below you can see the original.
Jesse James body was moved to a nearby cemetery.  We drove over there to find his grave.
We then drove to another very small cemetery in the middle of a residential neighborhood and found where Frank is buried.
After a very busy day we went out to Burnt Ends for one last BBQ meal.  This one was my favorite.  We shared the combo plate as there was so much food!
Our last evening we were invited to Mark and Karen's house for a Shish-ke-bob BBQ.  It was delicious and we talked for hours.  After dinner they took us on a walk through the woods on their property.  Mark is very knowledgeable in beekeeping and has some of his own hives.  They collect and bottle their own honey which they generously shared a bottle with us.  He offered to suit me up and introduce me to his bees to perhaps get me over my fear.  I very politely declined.  Thanks for the offer though, Mark!  And thank you for the honey too!  It was great to finally meet you both!  See you on the road soon enough!
Next: Fun with more friends in Iowa