A Writer's Journey

August 8, 2016

Kansas City—Day 1 (July 13th)

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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I’m back from my convention! And it was great. Really inspiring and spirit bolstering. Sometimes it’s easy to get tunnel vision, so it’s nice to see the big picture of what we do at the YMCA.

Wednesday morning was an early one for me. I was out of my house by 5:30 AM in order to get the airport a couple hours ahead of my 8 AM flight to Kansas City. Which was a good thing because everything you hear about Newark-Liberty International Airport and waiting times at security is true. I got there about ten to six and had to wait a half hour on line just to get to security. Then there was another ten minutes or so to go through security. However, I did not have to take off my shoes or take out my laptop—even though I wasn’t on the precheck line.

Once I was through there, I went and grabbed breakfast. I got a toasted bagel with cream cheese, chocolate milk and picked up some gum for the plane. After eating and checking my Twitter feed, I then went to find my gate. It was a bit weird as I pretty much went to the very end of Terminal C and then had to go down stairs to get to it. I knew I was in the right place because there was a whole bunch of Y people there.

Our flight was uneventful, though we did have to try to land ahead of a storm. As we got off the plane, the heavens opened up so our bags were damp when they came off the conveyor belt. There was a Y gathering at baggage claim as we were all starting to come in. I ran into a friend of mine from another NJ Y and she said she had to first fly to Chicago and change plans to get to Kansas City. I’m glad we had a direct flight!

We took taxis to our hotel. Along the way, it was surprising to see signs for places like Des Moines and Omaha. Living on an island, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine just driving and crossing into another state without realizing it.

Driving into Kansas City, I glimpsed the Missouri River. I am nerd enough to admit I like seeing the major rivers. It’s kinda cool, you know? And, hey, I probably “drowned” in that river a few times playing the Oregon Trail. Maybe one day I’ll see all the rivers I “drowned” in as a childhood.

The thing about cities I’ve learned is that they all start to look alike. And Kansas City reminded me of New York, especially downtown where there are still a number of older buildings. Yet it was a lot quieter and emptier than New York. Time would prove it wasn’t just the rain either.

Our hotel was right across from the Kansas City Convention Center, so we didn’t have much of a walk. It was the Crowne Plaza and really nice, with a spacious lobby and nice check in area. While I’m not a coffee or tea drinker, others in my party were very excited to see Starbucks attached to the hotel.

Since our rooms weren’t ready, the hotel took our bags and held them for us. A front desk staff member told us a few places where we could grab lunch and we headed back out into the rain. There was a nice place just around the corner and we enjoyed the food immensely, deciding to bring the full party back there the next day for lunch as well.

When we got back, our rooms were ready. We checked in and waited for our bags. As we checked in, the front desk would call up for staff to inspect the rooms we were being put into. Before I went up, I was called back to the desk. The room I had been given had a broken air conditioner, so they were giving me a new room. I thanked them and headed upstairs to check it out.

I got a suite. There was a sitting room with a sink and a fridge as well as a desk. An armchair and a couch faced the TV. In the next room was a single, king-sized bed as well as a night stand, a bureau and a TV. There was also a closet with an ironing board, which I had to use that night on my skort since it got wrinkled in my suitcase.

Since it had been an early morning, I climbed into bed and took a nap. When I woke up, the sun had come out and I was invited to go exploring with a couple coworkers. We walked the area around the convention center and hotel, checking things out. Including the local Y, which wasn’t too far from the hotel.


The view from my hotel window. That’s actually the H&R Block building, not the local Y.


We returned to the hotel and hung out in the lobby as our senior management finally showed up after having their flight delayed. Once they were all checked in, we headed up to our rooms to relax before dinner.

Dinner was at the Majestic, a steakhouse near our hotel. There was also a jazz club downstairs, complete with a live band. I heard them when I went down to the bathroom and they sounded very good. My peppercorn steak was delicious and the staff was very courteous, even when the place was closed and we still hadn’t taken our conversations elsewhere.

We finally returned to our hotels to get some rest. The long day caught up with me. I had a handicapped shower and I really considered using the seat in it. But I got through my shower standing, changed into my pajamas and just climbed into bed.

The next day, the fun would really begin.


Summer Writing Challenge

Week 10 (Aug. 1-Aug. 7)

Words: 11,610

Under/over: 25,790


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