Friday, September 11, 2009

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

After I first bought 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, I immediately started day dreaming about all of the different weekend getaways and day trips I could take. And then, I started thinking about who I could talk into taking those trips with me. My friends, Gerry and Julie, instantly popped into my head. Anytime I'm ready for a little adventure or wanting to test out a new restaurant, they always rise to the occasion.

I grew up with Julie. We met in middle school in our church youth group and became fast friends. She was my first friend to get a car. I have many memories of her attempting to teach me how to drive her stick shift car in the church parking lot. Or, picking me up every morning for school in her car you could hear from blocks away, but still thinking that was way more cool then arriving by bus, or worse, getting a ride from my parents! Between all the mission trips and church camps we've gone to together, I think I've traveled more with her than with any other friend. Gerry is her husband of 7 years. In 2005, the three of us traveled together to Africa for three weeks with a group from our church. I had hung out with Gerry before that trip, but it was after that experience when I started to truly consider Gerry as a friend too.

One night I took my book over to their house and asked them to take a look and pick a destination we could visit for the day. Gerry picked the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. I must confess, I did not even know this museum existed until Gerry pointed it out in the book.

Our day trip started in Emporia, KS. I met them there after my day of cheering on the Cats. As we were driving, we noticed a truck in front of us that appeared to be driving sideways. Take a look for yourself....

Notice the front tires are almost centered in the driving lane while the back tires are on the white line. Crazy!

We stopped on the Plaza to eat lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. We ordered three pizzas and did a little sharing.

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza.

Under all of that lettuce, there is a pizza with carmelized pears and sweet onions, cheese, chopped hazlenuts, and goronzola ranch dressing.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Bacon, because bacon makes everything taste better!

Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni

And for dessert, Chocolate Banana Royale cake with vanilla ice cream, please.

After lunch, it was time to head to the musuem. The Nelson Atkins Museum is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. The museum contains more than 33,500 works of art. It has one of the finest Chinese art collections in the world. I found this interesting because I had never visited a musuem with Chinese art on display. I was very impressed with the diversity of all the different collections. The museum contains paintings, furniture, sculpure, photography, masks, and print. We viewed art by Andy Warhol, Geogia O'Keeffe, Claude Monet, and Ansel Adams just to name a few. Who knew so many famous works of art were located at a museum in KC?.....Not me!
One of my favorite areas of the museum was the outside sculpture park.

I tried to fit inside the bronze jacket, but I was too big! Gerry had to pose instead.

The museum is famous for the shuttlecock sculptures displayed across the lawn in front of the museum.

I love this picture of Julie and Gerry.

I'm so glad I took the time to visit this museum and would go back to visit in a heartbeat. If anyone is interested in visiting, you may be happy to hear it is free (they do take donations) and $5 to park. It was definitley worth the trip. Thanks for a great day Julie and Gerry!

Quote of the trip: "You've got to love the shuttlecock!"--Julie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Manhattan, KS

This past weekend I got to visit one of my favorite places, Manhattan, KS. And I went to cheer on my favorite team, the Wildcats!

My love affair with the Wildcats started from birth, much to the dismay of my Jayhawk loving family. I was born in Manhattan, and although I only lived there for a short time, it was just long enough for the blood in my veins to run purple. When it came time to pick a college there was no question that K-State was where I wanted to be. I loved every minute of my 4 years there and love going back to visit.

Here I am with my old college roomie, Michelle, and a friend from childhood, Lynette. This happened to be Lynette's first K-State game experience, so we had to properly document the occasion with a picture.

Not only were we celebrating the season opener, but also the return of Coach Bill Synder. KSU called this game the "Family Reunion." The stadium was full of alumni, students, fans, and over 340 former KSU football players. An attendance record was set for being the largest KSU season opening football game.

Inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium, aka "The Bill."

After a long day of tailgating and cheering, a Wildcat Win was the perfect way to end the day.
Go Cats!

Quote of the trip: "I miss Manhattan!"--Lindsay

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

South Carolina

A couple weeks ago I took a much needed vacation to Columbia, South Carolina where I visited two of my great friends, Ben and Becca. We all became good friends when we worked together
at B. Dalton Bookseller. When our store closed, they decided to explore the South and moved to Columbia.

My first night there, we decided to do a little shopping and some eating. Two of my favorite things. We ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory where I consumed some Fried Macaroni and Cheese (Yes, I did say fried), my favorite Tex Mex Eggrolls, and a Lemoncello Cream Torte. What better way to start a vacation?

On Day two we headed to Charleston to visit Boone Hall Plantation from the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, known from now on as "the book." It is one of America's oldest working plantations and crops have been produced on the grounds for over 320 years! Several movies have been filmed at the plantation including The Notebook, North and South, and Queen.

This is Becca and I getting ready to take a tour of the grounds.

Here is a picture of the slave's living quarters. They were incredibly small, and some of them even included a loft to fit additional people. It was hard not to get emotional as we toured the inside of the living quarters and imagined the lifestyle of the slaves.

Here is a picture of the driveway that leads up to the main home on the plantation. The trees were planted in 1743 and it took two centuries for them to grow and meet in the middle to form the canopy that can be seen today.

The plantation home:

We took several pictures around what we thought was a 600 year old tree....

Only to find out after the tour that this is actually the 600 year old tree. Oops!

After spending all day at the plantation, we were hot, tired, and hungry. So, we headed to Folly Beach. Ben and Becca took me to an awesome Mexican restrauant, Taco Boy. We had good food, strong drinks, and an incredible dessert known as Tres Leche. (aka, 3 milk sponge cake soaked in Brandy. Yum!) After dinner, we took a leisurely stroll along the beach. And after that meal, I was thankful that our stroll didn't involve swimwear!

Here are some pictures from the beach.

While in S. Carolina, I stayed at Ben and Becca's apartment along with their Great Dane, Ginger. I fell in love with her instantly. We became best buds.

Here is me posing with Ginger to demonstrate her small horse like qualities. I tried to get her to take me for a short ride, but apparently she is not into giving free pony rides.

On our last day, I made Ben take me to Five Guys. We don't have any around here, and I'd never been before. I mainly wanted to visit because I saw Barack Obama eat at one in DC on TV. If it's good enough for the President, it has to be pretty good stuff, right? I was not disappointed.

Here is a picture of Ginger and I on our last morning together. I think she was sad to see me go!

Quote of the trip: "It doesn't smell like a** everywhere," said Becca as we crossed over a bridge. "We may live in the armpit of the country, but not the a**hole." --Becca