Here are the highlights of our trip to Kansas City--
Our flight left Montrose at 9-something in the morning last Thursday and we arrived in KC without a glitch around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Caitlin was very good on the flights (we had two-one from Montrose to Denver & from Denver to Kansas City). She only kicked my mom's seat a few times and had only one toddler meltdown. This was her first flight since she was an infant in a Baby Bjorn. Word of advice if you're traveling with an active toddler, bring the carseat! We found it worth it to lug it thru the airport.
So, we arrive in KC and check into our hotel and then headed over to my brother & his fiance's place about 1/2 mile away for some pizza. We basically vegged on Thursday though we did hit Costco and a grocery store to prepare for Mike's graduation reception.
Friday's highlight was Mike's graduation from UMKC. The actual graduation wasn't until 7 pm so we had some time to spare. We ate a wonderful lunch of some of KC's best BBQ at Gates. Eating there is a rite of passage for all tourists. We got two huge platters with all kinds of BBQ meat, my personal favorite being the ribs. The serve it with a loaf of white bread, interesting.
Mike's graduation was very nice and with her Crayola Color Wonder coloring book, Caitlin behaved quite well. I tried to take some pictures but the delay on the digital camera kept me from catching my brother has he walked across the stage. I'm hoping that someone else was able to get a better picture. I had tears in my eyes a few times thru the ceremony...after all, it's my "little" brother graduating from COLLEGE! I can remember him in overalls with chubby cheeks. Boy, I'm going to be a basket case with Caitlin graduates! Following the graduation, we held a reception for Mike. He was disappointed with the turn-out and we had a lot of leftover food, but I know that he had fun with those that did show.
Saturday found us at Crown Center and Union Station. Crown Center is home to Hallmark and a lot of neat stores. There's a Visitor's Center for Hallmark where you can supposedly take a tour, make greeting cards and lots of other things. I really liked the Crayola store and the harp player in the lobby. We walked, via enclosed walkway (called the Link) to Union Station. This station has been remolded to house an Amtrak station, shops, cafes, a planetarium, Science City, an IMAX theatre and a whole lot more. When we were there, they had a cool model train exhibit set up in the main lobby, a huge Christmas tree with a train around it that kids could ride in (see pictures) at the end of another wing, and acrobats doing all kinds of neat stuff. It was really a magical experience. We took in Science City and the IMAX and loved both. Caitlin had a blast in the Tot Lot climbing around and "hanging" out.
Sunday found us at a couple of malls finishing up some holiday shopping. I was desperate to make Caitlin a holiday bear this year, so we had to make a stop at Build-A-Bear. The line wasn't too long and the end result was one cute bear...just hope Caitlin loves him. In the evening, we were at KCI waiting to catch our flight to Denver. In true airline fashion, our plane was late coming into KCI and we were 25 minutes late getting into Denver. Even if the flight had been on-time, we only had about 45 minutes to traverse about 35 gates at DIA...an almost impossible task. Well, by the time we actually landed, we really didn't stand a chance but still, we ran like mad to the commuter flight gate. Alas, we missed the flight and it was the last one into Montrose that night. With all other flights in the area booked or cancelled (weather), it looked like we were doomed to be stuck in Denver that night. After waiting over 3 hours in line with United Customer Service, we were given hotel vouchers (to a wonderful Red Lion Hotel) and a refund on our missed flight. The 6 of us then boarded a freezing cold shuttle to the hotel arriving around 1 am. We slept, got up, piled into a rental car and drove home since United couldn't get all of us home until after Christmas! We arrived a day late but safely. And that, my friends, is our KC experience...pictures to follow...