An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Road Trip, Day Three: The Best Laid Plans

There is nothing like a rude awakening.

This morning at precisely 6:53 an alarm went off, and my first thought was that my watch had resurrected! As I was fumbling to find it I realized that, no, it was the alarm on the clock radio. Fumbling to turn that off, I actually turned it on and music blared.

Not an alarm clock, then, but a fire alarm.

We threw on clothes, grabbed wallets, and evacuated. As we were walking down the hallway Jonathan reminded everyone not to take the elevator; Timothy, who thought he said take the elevator, started arguing with him that YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE AN ELEVATOR WHEN THERE IS A FIRE. A little shoving ensued.

Sheesh. All this BEFORE coffee. At least they knew their fire safety rules.

So, we found ourselves standing in the parking lot with other dazed, sleep deprived guests as a fire truck pulled up and three firemen hopped out. A little later they announced the all-clear, and as we were filing back in through the lobby the desk clerk yelled to someone in the back, “You better make sure we have coffee!”

Huh. No kidding. We had breakfast and showered (as opposed to the other way around since we were already in the lobby) and a little later we set out. For some inexplicable reason all the boys (big and small) wore varying shades of green. What color was I wearing? If you said black ... Ha! Wrong! I was actually wearing denim. So there.
My Green Team: Kermit 1, 2, and 3.

Alas, the alarm fiasco set the tone for the rest of the day because nothing went exactly according to planned. When we arrived at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center – a little before it opened – there was already a line. And not a short one, either. We stood there a few minutes, but then noticed that surprise, surprise the merchandise store was opened with no waiting. So we got out of line, entered the store, and when Joe reached for his wallet to purchase Timothy a Technic Lego set ... POOF! ... just like that he declared he wasn’t interested anymore in doing the rest of the Discovery Center. We all breathed a sigh of relief.

No one likes to stand in a line that doesn't move.
Cost of one Technic Lego: $40
Cost of not having to stand in line: Priceless
So off to Plan B, which meant postponing the Jesse James house until tomorrow and instead doing the College Basketball Experience (CBE) at the Sprint Center. This includes The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and an interactive facility where you can practice 3-point shots, free throws, dunks, lay-ups, and rebounds; you can also compare your shoe size, height, wingspan and jumping ability with college players to see how you measure up. We knew the boys would love it.

Except … when we walked to the entrance there was a sign stating that due to a private event the facility was closed until after lunch. Sigh.

So Plan C included a tour of the Hallmark Visitor’s Center and lunch at Pierpont’s Steakhouse located in Union Station.
Having a conversation with Maxine at
the Hallmark Visitor's Center.

Later, reinforced by a delicious 8 oz. Kansas City Strip, we commenced to Plan D (which was really a postponed Plan B).

And we were right, the boys (big and small) loved the College Basketball Experience, jumping, dribbling, and three-pointing to their heart’s content. (I’m sure you’re wondering what I did. Well, I took some shots, too … mainly of the photographic kind.)
Step Up to the Line:
How many free throws can you make before the buzzer sounds?
The Green Team playing a little one-on-one.
For the rest of the afternoon we basically walked around downtown. Kansas City is known as “The City of Fountains” because it’s supposed to have the most fountains of any city in the world except Rome, but I’m a little skeptical. Actually, I'm a lot skeptical. We walked around all day and only counted a handful.

A fountain at the Country Club Plaza

Tonight Joe is taking us on a driving tour through some of KC’s exclusive neighborhoods, but before I sign off I should probably explain why we are missing a family member. Well, Boy #3 has a summer internship, so while we are exploring and having fun, the poor thing stayed home to work. But don't feel sorry for him because he has a good thing going: every day after work he drives straight to my parents' house where Nonna feeds him, coddles him, and sends him home with leftovers. Believe me, he has it made.

And so I come to the end of the day in which nothing went according to plans, but in which everything turned out great anyway.

Our contribution to the "graffiti wall" at Union Station

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