Living in St. Louis and roadtripping quite frequently, I’ve passed through Kansas City, Missouri many times. But until recently, I had never visited KC for more than gas or a quick bite to eat. This last week, I received an invitation from Midwest Influencer Network to attend Go Blog Social, my first blogging conference. And the best part? Visit KC would be providing a free hotel room for my stay.
Obviously, I was pretty excited about the idea of traveling to a blogging conference, especially since it gave me the opportunity to work with Visit KC. There was a part of me that was really nervous about the whole thing, though. Being a blogger means I spend a lot of time hiding behind my computer screen, and my anxiety about traveling alone to a new place where I didn’t know anyone almost held me back from a great opportunity.
Thankfully, 2015 is the year I dare myself to try new things.
Life really does start outside your comfort zone. And I want to push myself to truly live – overcoming fear and anxiety one new experience at a time.
So what did I discover in Kansas City?
I spent most of my time in the Power & Light District, which is a newly developed part of Kansas City. It’s very artsy, filled with fun things to do, and absolutely beautiful day and night. The conference was within walking distance of my hotel, so I got to walk through the hustle and bustle a few times. The weather was beautiful so there were a lot of people out and about. And good news! People smiled and said, “hello” when they passed. I love being back in the midwest!
I stayed at the Ambassador Hotel and was blown away by its beauty. It is in a historic building, and the decorating is amazing. The staff was so helpful. I was excited that they had a car service since I carpooled with another STL blogger. I highly recommend everything about this hotel. And the BEDS! The bed was so comfortable, and the bedding was absolutely luxurious. I love high quality white cotton sheets, and these did NOT disappoint. I’m kind of a bed snob, so a good bed is the most important part of a hotel room in my opinion.
When I got to my room after the first day of speakers and networking, I found a cute gift bag from Visit KC. It included some KC barbecue sauce, a delicious cookie, a mug, a candle, post cards and information, and a $10 gift card for Kaldi’s Coffee (and yes, I spent that baby the next morning). What a pleasant surprise!
I ended up taking a shower to freshen up for the evening Shop ‘n Sip event (mostly so I had an excuse to slip on this wonderful robe). Full disclosure: I showered three times over the course of 24 hours because the shower was so luxurious and the robe made me feel like a celebrity.
After I freshened up and attended the Conference event, I used the Ambassador’s car service to hitch a ride to Jack Stack Barbecue. It’s definitely a Kansas City classic and everyone told me I had to eat there while I was in town. I couldn’t find anyone to go with, so I went by myself which is totally out of character for me. I hate eating by myself at a restaurant, but like I said… 2015 is the year I dare myself to do new things – even ones that make me anxious. The waitress (not knowing of my eating-alone anxiety) sat me at the middle table in the dining room. But, as with all anxiety-inducing things, it was really not as big of a deal as it was in my head. The waitress was really nice and the service was fast.
But most importantly, THE FOOD. You know how I feel about good food, and Jack Stack Barbecue knows good food. I ordered the Burnt Ends (pork and beef) with the cheesy corn casserole and potato salad. I couldn’t eat all of it because there was so much food, but man, I wanted to. The meat melted in my mouth it was so tender. And who doesn’t love cheese+corn? The potato salad wasn’t that great, but I’m really picky about potato salad so I should have known better. The meat and corn casserole was more than enough food though, and it was so delicious!
After dinner, I went back to the Ambassador Hotel where I met up with another blogger from St. Louis for drinks at Reserve, the bar/restaurant inside the hotel. I got a great non-alcoholic drink with strawberries and limes. It was sweet and sour at the same time, so obviously it was delicious.
Kansas City is more than just bbq… but man… the bbq. <— Click to Tweet
And if you didn’t believe me about the decorations, just look at this. The lighting was terrible for my phone camera, but the ambiance in this place was amazing.
The next morning, I visited Kaldi’s Coffee (at Latte Land) before heading to the second day of the conference. I had a delicious hot chocolate that reminded me of hot cocoa in London. And the barista was so sweet. She found out we were bloggers, and wanted to show us some latte art. I don’t drink coffee, but if I did… I would be all over this baby. And you should have seen the desserts. I brought home two slices of ooey gooey butter cake for #mAnnan. Delicious.
As I was walking out of Kaldi’s Coffee, I saw this adorable chalkboard. And I thought I’d snap a picture since it captured my sentiments exactly.
Thank you so much, Visit KC, for the opportunity to visit Kansas City and the Go Blog Social Conference. Next time I’m passing through KC, I will be sure to stop for a day or two and explore more of the places you have to offer. Or who knows, maybe I’ll take #mAnnan for a weekend this summer.
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