I’ve taken two trips by air in the past few weeks. Because they were so close together, I didn’t have time to post about the first one before going on the second. So, I’ll be posting in reverse order.
I went to Kansas City, MO for my friend Katie’s wedding. This was a short trip – my flight out of Kansas City was scheduled to take off 49 hours after my flight from San Francisco. I say schedule, because the latter was late – which made my trip out pretty annoying. We left about an hour late, which was bad because I had a connection to make in Denver, and only about 45 minutes to make it. The reason for the delay was mechanical – evidently a bird strike earlier required them to need to do extra maintenance. Anyway, once I got to Denver I had to go to the Frontier customer service desk to get a new flight. The guy who was working there must be the most patient man alive, because there were a lot of irate people in the line. Me included, but I kept my ire to myself. It wasn’t his fault. I got standy on a flight out 2 hours later, and confirmed on the flight 4 hours later. Either way, I was going to get in to Missouri a while after my friends, who I was supposed to meet up with and drive back to our hotel, and then on to the BBQ the night before at Katie’s Mom’s house. The BBQ was the reason that I woke up at 4:30Am, so I could drive down to Park ‘N Fly and make my 6:15 flight. SFO to MCI is not a very well serviced route – the only direct flight I could find was in the middle of the afternoon on Midwest, which would have gotten me in at 8:30 or so – too late for the BBQ!
Well, I made it on the earlier of the two flights, but it was delayed so we didn’t actually end up taking off until about 15 minutes before the second flight was scheduled to. I have no idea if that flight was delayed or not, but based on my track record with Frontier, I have to assume so. So far they are 100% (2 for 2) for me. Anyway, I got in to MCI around 5:30, and after walking around pretty much the whole circular terminal, I walked outside to find out every door had a rental shuttle stop. Soon enough I was on the bus and over to Hertz, and and from there, it was a quick drive to Katie’s Mom’s house, and a beer! Luckily for my friends, Katie herself was able to pick them up from the hotel and take them to the BBQ, so it worked out well for everyone.
The BBQ was fun, but man it was hot outside! At around 10:00 or so, we drove back to the hotel (The Q hotel and Spa in the Westport district). I checked in, and got one last drink in the hotel bar with Scott and Andrea before crashing hard at about midnight, and sleeping soundly until 8:30AM.
Saturday, I just bummed about in the morning, getting an english muffin at the hotel breakfast, and then around 11:30 or so, I got in touch with Scott. I had decided to go to Okalahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas Ciy, Kansas, as an excuse to check that state off of my list of states. It’s also supposed to be about the best BBQ place around the area, as well as one of Anthony Bourdain’s 13 places to eat before you die (a fact which I didn’t learn until Sunday morning). The Hotel was only about half a mile from the state line, as is the Gas Station restaurant where scott and I ate lunch. We got there at a good time, because the line to order was only slightly long when we got there, but it was snaking outside into the parking lot by time we left [insert picture here]. It was pretty good but also mighty filling. We stopped off by the state line on the way back so I could take some goofy pictures XXX, before heading back to the hotel.
Around 2:30 we met down in the lobby, dressed in our fancy wedding attire, and also ran into Phil and Michelle, who were also staying at the hotel. We all drove over to Screenland, the movie theater where the wedding was taking place. I was sort of surprised that Phil was still at the hotel, as he was the officiant for the wedding! It was a good thing I rented the car (I mean, I’m sure people would have figured an alternate out – the hotel had a car service, plus there are cabs somewhere in Kansas City, I’d reckon), and even though 5 people in a Yaris is not super comfortable, none of the drives were particularly long. It was also nice that I brought my GPS on the trip – sure, it confused me a couple of times, and I had to alter routes a bit, but it did a pretty good job of getting us where we needed to be, and in particular we got to the theater in plenty of time.
The wedding itself was pretty neat – movie trailers, then a simple ceremony, featuring an infamous story about Lynard Skynnard as the “sermon”. Soon enough the bride and groom were kissing, and we retired to a decent sized room elsewhere in the building for the reception. The food was all vegan, and decent to delicious. For dessert there were cupcakes that Katie herself baked, which is pretty hardcore!
Because I was transportation for Phil, and he was needed for some official pictures, we ended up staying to almost the bitter end (I have to admit I was pretty bored for a while at the end, because I only had a few drinks – I was driving after all). We made plans to go to this ludicrous bar right across from the hotel – America’s Pub, but well, we never actually made it there. After going to the hotel, we headed over to McCoy’s pub for dinner, and a couple more drinks, and met up with a couple more friends who were staying at a nearby hotel. Dinner was pretty good (they have excellent Macaroni and Cheese), and after that and some weird conversation (sorry), we headed back to our hotels and ended the night 11PM or so.
Today, I was up at 6:30, and slowly got packed and checked out of the hotel. I was driving Phil and Michelle to the airport, as their flight was (so we thought) 9:30, and mine was 9:45. It was about a 30 minute drive to the airport, where we learned that their flight was 9:10 – they still should have had enough time to make it to the terminal from the rental car return, and the airport wasn’t very busy – and since it has security checkpoints for every 5 gates or so, I am pretty confident they made it on time.
Anyway, I got a snack at starbuck’s before entering the secure area and boarding my flight on Midwest Airlines. The plane is a Boeing 717 – a model I’ve not been on before. I seem to have lucked out with a seat near the front of the plane, which is only 2 x 2 instead of 2 x 3, and as such has a wider seats. So far this airline seems to be pretty nice. Not very useful to me for most of the flights I take, but something nice to know.