Weekend Trips: Kansas City

Kansas City is such a wonderful place! I really had no idea before arriving, but there’s actually a lot of sights to see and we plan on coming back!

Arthur Bryants

We landed Friday night/Saturday morning at 2am on a very delayed Southwest flight from LGA in New York, called the complimentary shuttle from our Four Points next to the airport, and were picked up very promptly. The hotel was very convenient and comfortable—no complaints here.

We slept in until about 11am then scrambled to figure out how to get around. We were on the Missouri side of the city near the airport and needed to get to Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue on the Kansas side. Both proved difficult because Uber was banned at the airport and also in Kansas due to recent legislation. Surprise! It was too late for a reasonable rental car so we called a local town car for $50. With some sticker-shock, we were on our way. (Side note: they do have a $1.50 bus if you are headed to downtown.)

Joe’s is a well-frequented barbecue restaurant by both locals and tourists. Situated in a gas station (or more so the tiny gas station was part of the huge restaurant at this point), there is plenty of seating once you conquer the 1 hour line (and longer if it wraps around the building). We had half a pound of brisket, a rack of ribs, potato salad, and fries between the two of us.

The ribs were satisfying, but not as good as we expected. Hoping for some tender meat with smokey flavors, instead they were pretty dry and needed sauce which, though delicious, I thought was akin to McDonald’s barbecue sauce.

Same story for the brisket. It was somewhat dry which is perfect to douse in their sweet barbecue sauce. The real standout, strangely, were the barbecue seasoned fries—think barbecue chips on steroids!

After barbecue, we headed to our next hotel with our luggage and full bellies in a $30 1010cab. It’s very expensive compared to what our Ubers cost us for the rest of the trip! The 1010 cabs are based on mileage; the first 5 miles are included in the base fare of $10, and every additional mile was $2. It’s pretty easy to hail these cabs if you can’t find an Uber or you are in an area that Uber doesn’t support; all you have to do is text your address to (913) 534-8294 or book through Curb or zTrip (apps on your phone).

The hotel we chose, the Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City – Sports Complex, was walking distance to the ballpark for our Saturday evening Yankees game. For some perspective, the walk was as long as I’d walk from a typical parking lot spot to a Yankees game in New York. If you decide to stop in town for a Chiefs game, which I think we may try to do one day, it’s a bit further.

I purchased our tickets a month and a half ago at the end of March, and there were still a ton of tickets on sale up until the hour of the game going for under $30 each. We were first row in the upper deck on the first base line and our tickets were around $45 each (originally $11+$3.50 fee) and by New York standards this felt like a steal. Their stadium capacity is 37k versus Yankee Stadium at 50k, and our seats were comparable to the Mezzanine seats in New York that go for $100+. There were also some tempting tickets behind the away team’s dugout for ~$140 which would have gone for $250 in New York!

The Yankees won then we headed to Ameristar Casino. I had no idea that Kansas City had such a beautiful casino! If you are into gambling, I would say it’s worth the stop. Interestingly enough, the casino is actually built on a barge to comply with Missouri laws that legalized river casinos.

Arthur Bryants

On Sunday, we headed to Arthur Bryant’s for some more barbecue. It was unbelievably good and definitely our favorite over Joe’s! The wait was around 45 minutes and we ordered our own one pound plates (YUM!). Everything was delicious and spot on. The ribs were so tender and flavorful and the sliced beef and sliced pork were both juicy. The sauces are also really delicious—try mixing the sweet and spicy with the original barbecue sauce.

Afterwards, we caught an Uber to the Harry S Truman Presidential Library. If you are into US History, you must stop in! It took us about an hour to wiz through, but you can definitely spend a few hours there exploring.

Next time we go back we want to check out the other barbecue joints and will definitely be renting a car.

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Allerpet with Alffie

If you are a cat lover, but are severely allergic like I am, I highly recommend Allerpet! I am allergic to both cat dander and saliva so whenever I go home upstate to my family (and three cats), I bathe my favorite one, Alffie, in this solution so we can play with no issues! If you are dilligent about applying the solution to your cat and do some cleaning, you can severely reduce the amount of cat allergens floating in your house.

I’ve been using Allerpet on Alffie since 2007 and she doesn’t mind it as much as in the beginning for sure. She’ll run away to lick herself, but then come back to play in a few minutes. Without it, I get a rash, itchy eyes, and sneeze!

I always purchase through Amazon Smile so that a percent (though tiny) of your purchase will go to your charity of choice—of course mine is Apex for Youth!

From the site: “Allerpet For Cats cleanses the hair of sebaceous gland secretions (Fel d1),  saliva and dander, the prime causes of allergic reactions to cats.   Allerpet is non-oily and will not leave a residue on the coat to attract other allergens.  It contains no fragrance.  Allerpet is completely safe to use regardless of how frequently a cat licks its coat, even if it does so immediately after having used Allerpet.”

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Weekend Trips: Las Vegas in March

I love Las Vegas!

We had a really great quick weekend trip in March thanks to a fare sale on JetBlue and using 7k points on Southwest to fly both of us back home with my Southwest Companion Pass.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Bellagio Chinese New Year

This was my fourth trip as an adult and fifth trip in my lifetime, but my first using American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts.  If you have an American Express Platinum and don’t have any casino comps from being a frequent player, this is hands down the best way to book your standards rooms at the Bellagio and Wynn or suites at Aria (do quick research on this).  I’ve found after researching pricing for different weekends that this option is not only cheaper but also gives you $100 credit per stay for either the spa (Wynn) or food and drink (Bellagio).  For sanity checks before paying any premiums for the Amex FHR thinking you will turn out ahead, see if it is cheaper when you book directly through the hotel’s sight and whether or not they have any property credit promotions.

The Bed at the Bellagio

 We took full advantage of the offers. Our first night we stayed at the Bellagio and gambled a bit in the casino at some of Vegas’ best Texas hold ‘em tables with some pretty animated characters.  We had a really luxe breakfast and killed our $100 credit (without wasting food mind you!). Don’t forget that you can take things to go and count it against your credit–we took some bottled water.

David Guetta at XS

David Guetta at XS

Our second day we checked into the Wynn, hung out at Encore Beach Club (my favorite pool party and favorite day party) with some pitchers of margaritas, spent our $100 at the spa, took a nap, then partied at XS with David Guetta.  This was my first time trying to get into a party with a man so we pre-purchased entry tickets to prevent any problems.  For general lists and parties without the big DJs I recommend you find a promoter who will get you in before a certain time.

At the Wynn

At the Wynn

If you are looking for bottles or table service reach out to my friend Paolo and he will hook it up!