Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friends, Snobs, Jazz, BBQ, and a Free Steak: My Trip to Kansas City.

I just returned from a business trip to Kansas City. The highlight of the trip was a long visit with on old friend on Wednesday night (my first night there). I'll talk about that a bit later on, but first a couple of other brief stories about the trip.
  • The Bass Pro Shop in Olathe is an extremely cool place. There's a fairly decent restaurant in there and the entire place is just fun to look at. I wasn't able to spend much time in there, but it was fun!

  • I was shocked to find that some businesses are a bit snobby when it comes to their customers using cash! My company put me up in a fairly "ritzy" hotel. Any incidentals I incurred, I paid for out of my own pocket (internet access, room service, etc). These people honestly seemed put out that I used cash rather than plastic.....I didn't bother to waste my breath explaining that I haven't used plastic in five years and don't expect to ever use it frustrates me that green money is somehow inconvenient these days.

  • I ate one meal that I probably shouldn't have due to cost. While my company was reimbursing me for my meals, I still felt a bit guilty about the price of this one. The restaurant was extremely nice and the food was priced very high. I ordered steak and took so long for it to get there that they ended up giving me the meal for free! Normally, I would have said, "well, if I knew it was going to be free I would have ordered the steak and lobster tail"! Since I couldn't say that, I simply told the waitress that her tip just got a lot bigger than it was going to be! The food was fabulous.

  • As I said earlier, the hotel I was in was quite nice. There were 16 stories in the place and the higher you went, the nicer and larger the rooms and suites were (I was on the 3rd floor!). Thursday evening I got into an elevator with a guy and asked him what floor I needed to push for him. When he said he was on the 15th floor, I replied with a hearty, "Well, congratulations!"......he didn't get my joke.

  • I did get to enjoy a little jazz and BBQ while I was there. Kansas City is really a unique place with a neat culture. I enjoyed it!
Now, regarding my visit with an old friend... Tim and I worked together at the Wilds of the Rockies for two summers ('93 - '94). We "hung out" a bit, but I don't know that we were ever super close as friends. He was one of only a few guys who was there from the previous summer, so we had a good familiarity with one another and often went the same places on weekends. After that last summer, I'm not sure that I ever saw or spoke to Tim again until recently when our paths crossed on SharperIron and Facebook. When I found out that I was going to be in the KC area for a few days, I got in touch with Tim and asked if we could get together for a bit. So on Wednesday night (my first night in town), Tim and his wife had me over to their house for dinner.

The food was great, but the highlight of the evening was the conversation. For nearly 4 hours we talked about the goodness and grace of our Lord. While we did some "catching up", the bulk of our conversation was spent talking about lessons learned in our respective lives as we've strived to please God and get to know Him better. Honestly, it was one of the sweetest times of fellowship I've had in the last several years. I'd never met or spoken to Tim's wife until I walked into their home, but instantly I felt a kinship with her as if I'd known her forever. From the moment I walked into their house, I felt like I was family.....that sort of warmth and comfort only comes with Christian kinship I think. At any rate, the food was wonderful, the fellowship was superb and the ice cream hit the right spot!

As enjoyable as the trip was, it was certainly nice to get back home to my family. I got in a tad later than I expected, but everyone managed to stay awake and greet me (with the exception of our youngest child.....he was out cold!). As excited as my wife and kids were to see me, their enthusiasm paled in comparison to that of our dog, but his level of enthusiasm is just as high if I walk outside for 10 minutes and come back in!

I don't really enjoy taking trips without my family, but finding an old friend to fellowship with certainly makes it much more enjoyable!


Jim Peet said...

Funny story about the anti-cash bias.


Ellis Murphree said...


It was the craziest thing I've encountered. On my second night there I went down to the front desk to settle some of my "incidentals" and the guy was a little upset. He said that the restaurant charge and the room service that were charged to my room never should have been...the folks should have charged me on the spot. He then said something to the affect of, "unless you would like to use a credit card - it would be more convenient for both parties." I said, "nope - cash is groovy, brother." He said "fine" and gave me the bill. Each time I dealt with them from that point forward, he seemed inconvenienced. Quite strange really....this is why those Visa commercials aggravate me so much!