Welcoming The Holidays KC Style – A Weekend In My Life

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Happy Wednesday Loves!

Do you ever have a weekend where you thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and not because of the exciting things you were doing but because of who you were with?  I swore up and down in college that I would never date someone from another state.  My reason was that summer breaks at NWMSU were almost 4 months long.  I felt like I would be missing out on all the little things that summer brings like going to the lake with them or grabbing Yogurtini, summer concerts, and traveling. I also knew I would be spending my favorite times of the year, Christmas and New Year’s apart.  It’s funny how the universe does it thing, and here I am 2 1/2 years later in love with a guy from the West Coast.  I’m basically eating my words.  And yes, it is as hard as I thought it would be (we have made the absolute best of it) because we both truly love being with our families.  However, being apart on those special occasions isn’t fun to say the least.  Maybe that’s why our weekends together mean the world to me.  It doesn’t get better than family time and Bryce time.  When those two worlds collide, it is pure happiness in my life.  My favorite person landed on Black Friday in Kansas City.  Here’s a small glimpse into our weekend.  Grab your girlfriend, your family, or your significant other and enjoy Kansas City “holiday style”!

Friday

I slept in on Black Friday.  Isn’t that a twist?  My mom and I ran in to my favorite Thrift Store which was a Black Friday first for me.  I needed some inexpensive items for a craft project that I’m dying to make.  It will be on the blog in December if all goes well.  Our first stop for snagging the shopping deals was the Country Club Plaza.  It is a Kansas City MUST during the holidays.  The Plaza lights are turned on Thanksgiving night.  For many years I attended with my family and drank hot cocoa while singing Christmas carols.  Every building is dressed in lights and truly looks like you have arrived in a magical city like in the classic children’s book, The Polar Express.  Stop in the Hallmark store on The Country Club Plaza, and you can purchase a lightbulb ornament that shined on the Plaza from Christmases past.  It is a perfect keepsake to remind you of your time in Kansas City.

Eager for the Anthropologie deals, we purchased a couple of Christmas presents and a few holiday decor pieces. The entire store was 30% off including sale items!  It was dreamy.  We also made a quick stop at my favorite boutique, Tyler Kingston, in Northtown.  They were giving out complimentary whiskey chai lattes and free T-shirts if you spent $50 which is extremely easy to do there if you have a love for Midcentury and Bohemian vibes. The entire store was decorated for Christmas and had the sweetest ornaments.  I picked up a fairly large lighted camping trailer ornament that I’m obsessed with. Tyler Kingston is known for their handcrafted wooden furniture, but they also carry fun nic-nacs, vintage home decor, and very unique Kansas City items.  I love going there because I always find something that I have never seen before.  Whether it be wooden bowls, pillows, or even jewelry, I never leave empty handed and you won’t either.

Saturday

I started my Saturday by taking my Grandma to get a pedicure. I don’t spend as much time with her as I would like to after moving to Manhattan.  So when I get the chance it is pure bliss for me and feels like nothing has changed.  She is the type of person where you don’t have to even say anything and she just gets it.  Growing up, I spent every single morning at her house because my Mom was a teacher.  She introduced me to many of my passions which include sewing, writing, and peanut butter on waffles.  For the best pedicures in Kansas City north of the river, head to Majestic Nails.  The staff is incredibly kind, and they are priced affordably. Win win!

In the afternoon, my family, Bryce, and I headed to Union Station. If you have never been to Union Station during the holidays, YOU HAVE TO GO!  Walking into the old train station gives you a nostalgic feeling like something out of a Hallmark movie (which is a coincidence since Hallmark’s headquarters are located down the street).  Inside Union Station you will find the model train exhibits which are set up every year by volunteers and free to walk through. It will blow your mind at the meticulously designed landscapes with speeding model trains running through them. Room after room and miles of track will leave you in great awe of their talent.  Stepping into the train rooms reminds me of my Bobpa and his love for Lionel trains. He was a collector as well.

Bryce and I also took our Christmas card photos at Union Station. I’ll be loading a post about sending out cards in the next few weeks.  For now I’m keeping our pictures a secret.  I am SO excited with how they turned out.  Many families in matching sweaters or flannels were taking their photos there as well.  The beautiful tree made such a lovely background, and the string lights with garlands hung throughout the great hall were magnificent.  Union Station is such a grand building and a Kansas City treasure.

Crown Center is connected to Union Station by a skywalk. The skywalk has one of the best views of Downtown Kansas City because it hangs over Main Street.  Something about it just makes all of those city vibes come alive, and it’s dreamy for photography because of all the light coming through the glass walls.

As we entered Crown Center, a family was taking holiday photos at the iconic waterfall full of poinsettias.  However our first stop was the Hallmark Store.  This is truly the best store in Kansas City because they have everything from local Kansas City craftsmen to their own Signature collection ornaments.  After leaving the Hallmark store, Bryce and I indulged our unhealthy obsession by browsing the clothing racks at Halls department store.  Halls carries everything from luxurious ballgowns to Gucci shoes and Prada purses. They have a lot of high end items but they also carry brands like Milly, Free People, and Paige Denim.  It’s always fun to look around there and get ideas or get inspired.  Halls brings class and style to Kansas City!  My favorite Halls memory hangs on my Christmas tree at home.  Each person in our family has a silver bell engraved with the year they were born and their name.  It is a true keepsake.

Lastly we all walked over to the fountains and the Mayor’s Christmas tree located by the ice skating rink outside of Crown Center.  I felt so small next to the Christmas tree.  It came from Oregon this year and was brought into Kansas City on a semi truck.  I love the stories about the trees and where they came from. Take a moment and enjoy the large fountain dancing to “Carol of the Bells” (just like the Bellagio’s fountain in Las Vegas but Kansas City style).  Don’t be surprised if you clap at the end of the performance.  It was lovely.

Here is the schedule:

Weekday shows at noon and on the hour from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Weekend shows on the hour from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is also a 10 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday.

On our way back to my parent’s home, I wanted to check out an Irish Distillery located in Northtown, next to Chicken and Pickle.  Oh, it is a hidden Kansas City gem and deserves it’s own blog post.  It is called Restless Spirits and they have a tasting room.  We enjoyed live Irish music that made every ounce of me happy.  If you plan to step inside, bring a Toy for Tots and receive a free cocktail.  Also sign up for a cocktail class.  They are incredible.  If you love Irish whiskey then this is a treasure.

Sunday

The weatherman was not joking when he said that the Midwest was going to experience a blizzard… Bryce and I sped back to Manhattan from Kansas City at 7:30 am trying to beat the snowstorm.  What normally is a two hour drive took us almost three hours!  I think my knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tight.  Thankfully we both made it back A-okay and before I-70 was closed.

We spent the rest of our weekend decorating our little Christmas tree, baking Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix (freaking delicious if you were wondering), and watching a plethora of Christmas movies. I made a big pot of soup in the crockpot, and with the snow coming down in buckets, it was such a great day nestled in our apartment.

I had the best weekend spent with my favorite people and wouldn’t have traded it for the world!  Take a moment to enjoy Kansas City during the holidays.  I believe my hometown will make you nostalgic of your favorite holiday childhood memories.

Happy Holidays Friends!

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