Sunday, May 3, 2015

Day 21- Kansas City

Shane left early today to start his training and I set my alarm for 7:00am and 7:30am hoping to be on the road by 8:00 since Kansas City would be about an 8 hour drive or so (what I failed to remember was I'd hit another time change.) Luckily, when my alarm went off at 7:00 I decided to get moving. I packed up, and headed out saying goodbye to my Army life. I wanted to get to Kansas City around 4:30-5:00 since Allie wanted to show me around her school; this put me getting there around 4:45-5:00 with the time change, not terrible. I left base to  mom FaceTiming me with Hunter, I wanted to say hi but I didn't know where I was or where I was going. It interrupted my navigation so I said hello quick, and then hung up to hopefully get on the highway soon. Instead, for 64 miles I drove down a two lane road with an occasional passing zone. Luckily the road was still 65mph but since it was just a country road, occasionally you would have to drop down to 35mph through a little town. This got a little nerve racking with me trying to beat the clock, but I managed and before I knew it I was on the freeway. There was not much of anything to see through the remainder of Colorado into Kansas, there were however some pretty cool looking trees. The land was pretty flat, and then turned very green once hitting Kansas, but again not much to see. I drove on through some farmlands, some blue skies with puffy white clouds, and a lot of songs on the IPod. When I grew hungry, I remembered I had some leftovers from the other day at lunch so I snacked on that. I was making great time on my long journey today and stopped a few times for gas, before getting right back on track. The flat countryside farmland started fading and the urban area of Kasas City, Missouri showed its face. There was a group of motorcyclists who were riding at about 75mph with their legs hanging down, didn't seem very safe to me. Allie had told me how her school was in the ghetto, which made sense since she taught first grade at an intercity charter school. I would be arriving just before 4:30 which meant I'd be early. I parked on the side of the building, and walked inside as parents and children where everywhere waiting to go home. Had I just walked inside any school in Connecticut there would be question as to who I was and what I was doing there. Followed by a visitor pass process, but here I was able to just walk right in. I sent a text to Allie earlier but heard no response so I sat in a chair in the lobby with children and parents all around me. About 10 minutes later, Allie gave me a call and I saw her turn the hallway. I hung up, and gave her a big hug. I followed Allie into a common room where there were a bunch of kids waiting on their parents and said hello to Bella, one of Allie's most talked about children. She was adorable, she showed me her Syracuse lanyard which had around 100 words attached to it. Allie's classroom is referred to as Syracuse since that is where she went to school, other teachers were referred to by their college. Bella knew how to read over 100 words in English which was rather impressive since the majority of the students have English as a second language to Spanish. After, Allie and I headed down the stairs to her classroom. A few teachers were sitting around a circle having a meeting. Allie participated while I sat in her chair blogging. We stayed until a little before 5:30, and then headed to her apartment. The plan was stay somewhat low key since I had been traveling so much that day, though low key always turns into more than its meant to be. We decided to grab dinner at Cafe Gratitude which was a solar-powered vegan restaurant. Allie nor I were vegetarian, or vegan; but she was in the middle of a cleanse, and I always like a nicely presented meal. Before heading to dinner however, I needed to shower. Allie shared her apartment with a roommate, which I would only see once throughout the duration of the weekend I stayed. Their apartment was considered in the basement, and was naturally cool in temperature. It was a cute two bedroom, two bath. I showered, got ready, and off we went to dinner taking an Uber (new age taxi) so we didn't have to drive. This weekend marked the First Friday's celebration which meant there would be artists, musicians, food, and beer lining the streets; I came on a good weekend. Our Uber driver was at best, a horrible driver. One to make you carsick for sure, we had him let us out a block early in traffic and decided to just walk the rest of the way. At Cafe Gratitude, we decided to get two things and share as well as an appetizer. We started off with garlic potatoes served with a cheese sauce (note no dairy), followed by a grilled polenta and spaghetti squash dish, as well as butternut squash, black bean corn tortilla tacos. Everything was awesome! We shared a bottle of Pinot Noir as well to start us off. After dinner, we walked around some of the streets and entered Hammerpress where they offered free beer as you shopped. I picked up a couple things, and Allie and I shared a beer when she realized the beer she grabbed was not gluten free. We started to feel a nice buzz from the wine and beer and found ourselves inside an art gallery where a live band was performing. We walked around checking out the paintings, and then decided to grab a drink from the bar. We both got whiskey mixers and decided to enjoy the band. Surprisingly enough they were really good; a mix between soul, ska, and island music (trust me I know how odd that combination seems.) it was as though each song was a different band, but all good. There were some elaborate characters within the crowd that were partaking in some drug I am sure. Nonetheless, an amazing time for sure and Allie bought their record for only $20.00. We stayed for awhile, finished our drinks, and headed back out on the streets of Kansas City. After walking around a bit and realizing one, things were starting to close up, and two we had a strong buzz on; we decided to Uber home. Thankfully, this driver was a lot better than the last. He told us how he was originally from Kansas City, moved away, and is now back. Also, all about his couple month old daughter. Back at Allie's, we chugged water with chia seeds, talked awhile in her kitchen, and the decided to turn in for the night. In the morning we were going to yoga!

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