Sunday, December 06, 2009

2009 U Go! Awards: I Won Best Nature Photo!!!

All my life I have won things. When banks wanted to encourage customers to us ATM banking, Pittsburgh National Bank randomly awarded cash prizes for withdrawals. I won $20. My essay on citizenship submitted to the American Legion took top prize. The veterans awarded me a trail bike and my high school English teacher received a $25 U.S. Savings Bond. As a frequent flier, the photo I submitted of my grand-daughter Brianna sitting in my suitcase won an American Airlines “road warrior” recognition. Now, this week, I have learned that one of the many photos that I posted on is winner of the 2009 U Go! Awards. This photo won the Best of Nature Photo in the Frames of Flora Awards. How cool is that?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

National World War I Museum

Aruthur Bryant's Barbeque: World Famous Even for a Late Breakfast!

Getting up early has its drawbacks. If you eat breakfast at 6 AM, very possibly you’re hungry again by 10:30 or 11 AM. So no wonder, when I revealed our Saturday plans to Ed – a trip to the National World War I Museum and a meal at the famous Kansas City Arthur Bryant’s – he wanted to go for BBQ first.

“We just ate,” I whined, amazed that he even thought the place would be open in the morning.

“Use your cell phone to call the BBQ place. If they are open, we’ll eat before visiting the museum,” he persisted.

I called. “Yes, we’re open. Come on over,” I heard over the kitchen noise.

Both of my favorite travel books give Arthur Bryant’s high marks. Road Trip USA calls it a “classic, no-frills rib shack” … “where heavenly BBQ sauces come in plain plastic bottles.” And, 1,000 Place to See Before You Die calls it “the best barbecue joint in town, or maybe anywhere.” This book elaborates and recommends “the signature half-pound of slow cooked brisket slapped on plain old white bread, with a gritty herbs- and spices-flavored barbecue sauce and the best skin-on french fries in America.” – This is what we ordered.

Ed carried the overloaded tray of food to a window seat following behind me. I cut a path through the crowd that gathered in the narrow passageway to the counter. Saturday tailgaters had lined up for to-go boxes behind us. Two busloads of tourists made a line out the door winding out on the sidewalk. They all knew Arthur Bryant’s was open early and the food was great.

Ed and I didn’t have much to say during our meal. It wasn’t because we had an attitude. We were munching, sampling the BBQ sauces, and licking our fingers!

Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue

1727 Brooklyn Avenue

Kansas City, MO


October 3, 2009

Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, MO

Halloween Parade of Extraordinary Proportions

The Halloween Parade came nearly to the doorstep of the coach. The staging area was in a parking lot just down the hillside near Campus RV Park. With all the commotion, I grabbed my camera and went out the door.

No vehicles cruised the streets of Independence, Missouri. Every throughway been blocked and was patrolled by security for the parade. The sidewalks – well, the sidewalks were jammed with people. Some brought chairs, others just plopped on the curb. The crowd lined the streets of town square and all the surrounding arteries. Downtown was alive and elbow-to-elbow with people.

I found a spot behind a street barrier on O’Sage at the base of a hill. I had a cascading view from the top of the hill to the level boulevard.

When the parade began, a line of headlights crested the hill. The Independence Police Force came forward in an impressive formation. The parade began with the thunder of their Harleys. Bands, show dogs, dance schools, witches, Scout troops, antique cars, John Deer tractors, more Harleys, Red Hatters, and even a Coast Guard boat followed. Ghostly creatures, darling princesses, and a politician or two passed by with waves and hand tosses of candy to the spectators.

The parade went on for over an hour. That’s how the folks in Independence, Missouri celebrate Halloween!

October 31, 2009