Monday, January 20, 2014

My Missouri: Bits and Pieces

A well overdue tour of some sites from the Show Me State:

Ginger Sue's, Liberty, MO
I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a favorite breakfast place. There seems to be nothing more hometown that gathering together with the locals for pancakes. This summer I discovered Ginger Sue's off the historic town square in Liberty, MO and with my first bite of peanut butter and banana pancakes, it became my breakfast place. This bruncheonette is only opened for daily breakfast and lunch services (6:30am-2:30pm), and if you go on a Saturday morning, prepare for a little bit of a wait, there is usually a line out the door and down the street. But it is worth the wait. Once you get into the historic brick building you are embraced by the chatter of small town life and the aroma of breakfast done right. And one last tip: order the breakfast potatoes, and if you are a carnivore, order the bacon. Both are dusted and coated in this rosemary herby glaze that seals the deal, the favorite breakfast deal.

Downtown Liberty

Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas City, MO
One of my favorite places in all of Kansas City is the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. It is a world class museum (and free!) with amazing pieces from renowned artists as well as historical artifacts from bygone empires and civilizations. It is also a very manageable museum; it's big, but not too big.  You can spend quality time enjoying each gallery without being overwhelmed, all in an afternoon. My biggest tip for this museum is to do it chronologically; start in the Ancient Egyptian room and move through each era until the modern, which are some of my favorite galleries. By going chronologically, you get a great appreciation of how art change through all the ages. And don't forget to tour the outdoor sculpture garden, the huge shuttlecocks are some of KC's must recognizable landmarks. And since you are only a few minutes from The Plaza district, after visiting the museum, be sure to stop by Natasha's Mulberry & Mott pastry shop  for some French macarons (the spicy chocolate is my favorite) and if it is the weekend, some delightfully perfect chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat). 

Marceline, MO
For Thanksgiving, my family stayed in a log cabin outside of Marceline, MO, this cabin to exact:

It was a nice escape, very Henry David Thoreau-ish. A little cabin in the woods by a little lake, no television, spotty internet, but a pile of books and plenty of quiet and sorely needed conversations and nature walks. We also explored the little town of Marceline, known in the tour books as the boyhood of Walt Disney. I was very pleased to note that the town is not a tourist trap. There is an almost glaring lack of Disney commercialism in Marceline. I didn't see any Mickey Mouse souvenirs or princess t-shirts. I know that this probably has a lot to do with the Disney Company's death grip on all trademarks and copyrights on anything Disney, but I like to think that is also has to do what the keeping  the charm of the town and the respect of Disney as a man and not just a tourist attraction.  The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is only opened April through October, but the old Disney farm is opened all year around.

Top right: The Dreaming Tree on the Disney Farm where little Walt would daydream and draw, bottom left and right: Disney modeled Main Street at Disneyland after Marceline's Main Street, hence why Marceline's Main Street is also now called Main Street USA.

Near by Marceline is the Locust Creek Covered Bridge state historical site. The bridge was built in 1868 and once housed the nation's first transcontinental road, Route 8. It is one of the those old rickety bridge that you half expect Ichabad Crane and the headless horseman to coming riding out of, well you would think that if you have theatrics (and Disney) on the brain. 

Inside the bridge
My schedule has gotten a little more full since I started (finally) working full time again in December, but I hope to still have time for little road trips and getaways to help me appreciate my (for now) home state. 

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