A Writer's Journey

August 15, 2016

Kansas City—Day 2

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

So, time to continue my Kansas City story!

The next morning, we all met in the hotel lobby to head over to the exhibit hall. It was only a couple blocks’ walk and there were Y workers all over pointing the way to registration.

Y-USA really decorated the hall well. Our core values and other words were wrapped around columns, looking almost painted on. Other signs and pictures hung around the venue, creating a very official mood. It felt like a convention, only we were all in Y polos instead of costumes.


Registration was quick and painless. We were given lanyards with our names and a beach bag. The exhibit hall was upstairs, so we took the elevator to the next floor and pulled out the raffle ticket we had been given at registration. We needed to visit a certain amount of booths and get stamps from them to be entered for several prizes. So we raced around, trying to get all our stamps before lunch. My coworkers were successful but I needed to return after lunch to get a few more.


Mid-afternoon, I returned to my hotel room but housekeeping then showed up. I cleared the room and took advantage of the moment. For about about a month, I had wanted to try macarons, a delicious looking French pastry. The reason? Several people I follow on Twitter had gone to Paris for a Once Upon a Time convention and had posted pictures of their macarons. As did star Lana Parrilla. They looked so good, I found myself craving them and since it was Bastille Day, I figured it would be appropriate. I used Google maps to locate a bakery close to the hotel and began my journey to it.

I walked up a few blocks to catch Kansas City’s streetcar, which was free. It looked like a monorail and the inside was more like a bus. I rode it to City Market and followed Google maps to the Bloom Baking Company. There, I purchased a half dozen macarons and started my journey back to the hotel via streetcar. But first, I tried a pistachio macaron and loved it.

That evening, we all met up in the lobby again to head over for the opening session. It was held in the auditorium across the street and we poured into the room. A giant screen was set up with the Y logo and every so often, they would show pictures and statuses posted to either Twitter or Instagram. There was also a staff member with a camera crew interviewing people as we waited for the session to begin.


We were welcomed by the mayor of Kansas City as well as the CEO of the Kansas City YMCA. Then Kevin Washington, CEO of the YMCA of the USA, took the stage to begin the programs. There was a beautiful mission moment as well as an emotional poem. Next came a video about how one YMCA in North Carolina wanted to make more people feel safe around water in order to prevent drowning. This is now the Safety Around Water program and is in the process of going nationwide.

All of this was followed by our keynote speakers, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. She spoke about a young girl who set out to graduate from high school despite being homeless and the people who helped her achieve her dream. And she also spoke about how crucial the first few years are to a child’s development, something the Y believes in. He also spoke of how people need help from other people to achieve their dreams but I can’t recall much else.

They were both well-spoken, intelligent and clearly had passion for their topics. Yet both were very low-energy and it didn’t match the level we had already been keyed up to beforehand.

Once the general session was over, we all streamed back out onto the Kansas City street. My group met back up at the hotel and one of their drivers took us to Garozzo, a local Italian restaurant. It was crowded, so we knew it had to be good. And we ran into a few other Y people there, including one man who came up to us and asked: “Is there a Y convention or something in town?” We laughed and he looked down before saying: “Crap, I forgot I still had my name tag on!”

We enjoyed the food, though it was very heavy on garlic. I filled up on bread and appetizers so I couldn’t finish my chicken. And even though I had a refrigerator, I had no microwave so I couldn’t take it back to the hotel with me. Once again, we closed the place down. We then waited outside for the hotel van to come back for us.

Thank to all the garlic, my stomach was upset. So I went straight to bed as soon as I got up to my room. Which was a good thing as the next day we had an early call…

More on that in my next entry, though.

Summer Writing Challenge (Week 11)

Words: 12,424

Under/over: 28,826


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: