An I-70 Series

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October 9th 2015
Published: October 10th 2015
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The I-70 series: I think that's the hope for baseball fans around here this year; they wanted it last year, but alas.

I spent most of my day driving, but the place I spent the most time out of the car was Independence, MO. I made stops in Belleville, IL, and then in St. Louis, Columbia, Independence, and Kansas City. I'm currently at my hotel in Lenexa, KS - the Super 8, because I know how to live the high life.

There was only one thing I wanted to see in Belleville, IL - the football stadium for the Lindenwood University-Belleville team. I had done some research for this trip, and it was basically on my way, so I had to see it. After all, it was dubbed "the most original (hideous) stadium" in all of college football. How can you pass that up? The campus was small, so I was surprised to find out that the stadium was on the campus. The gate was open, so I walked all around. No surprise that it was artificial turf. I didn't think it was all that hideous, but I guess if you're gonna have to play on that, it might get difficult from time to time.

In St. Louis, I stopped by Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, who are now playing in the postseason. I drove around and found an illegal spot to get out and take some pictures for a few minutes. I was surprised that it was only 10AM and they had already blocked off all the parking lots around the stadium. Oh, and they all cost $40 to enter. No thanks. I had seen the stadium before, but never had any pictures of it. Now I do.

I hadn't planned on stopping in CoMo, or Columbia, MO, for the uninitiated. But it's such a great college town and it was getting to be lunch time. I had been told several times that I needed to eat at Shakespeare's Pizza while there, but in my two previous visits, I had never had enough time to do that. Now, I did. So I stopped by and had a slice, which was pretty dang good. Good atmosphere, and even some outdoor seating, though I was the only one to use it. I told them my order was to-go, and they handed me a really nice plastic cup for my drink. I guess an unexpected stop deserves an unexpected souvenir. There was a gateway to the main part of campus right next to the pizza place, so I got a decent photo of that before heading out of town.

My next stop was the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence. I like most things presidential, and Truman was a decent fellow. The museum was really well done - Truman himself helped with the planning and even had his office in part of the building while he was still active. It gave a very good idea of who he was and the issues he faced in his presidency. There were videos and plenty of memorabilia. And the obligatory gift shop. I got a post card, but since they didn't sell stamps, I won't be sending it any time soon. Maybe I'll stop for stamps on Monday. And I was asked if I was a student when I walked in, so that got me $2 off the price of admission. Don't mind if I do. Truman and his wife Bess are buried in the central courtyard of the museum, so you can't visit them unless you pay the admission fee. It was really well done, and I recommend a visit if you get a chance.

While in Independence, I simply HAD to visit the world headquarters of the Community of Christ, one of the Latter-Day Saints denominations. Most people think the Mormons are the Latter-Day Saints, but they're just one branch. Apparently, the two groups split up here in Missouri, with the Mormons heading out west while the Community of Christ decided to stay here. Their headquarters is massive, but the Temple is the eye catcher. That thing was a sight to behold. I was talking to my dad on the phone when I first caught a glimpse of it from a couple blocks away; I was at a loss to describe it. I'll let the photo do that. I was in awe. I don't want to sound all cliched, but it was a religious experience to behold. Nearby is the U.N. Peace fountain, so I walked to that for a photo, too. Three skateboarders - probably in their early 20s and 2 of whom were vaping - also followed me in there, but one of them just took out his phone and took a photo of the dedication plaque at the fountain. I was trying to get some photos of the statue above the fountain, and one of them called out to me and asked somewhat apologetically if they were getting in the pictures. I mean, if you have to ask... But sometimes it's good to have people in there, for scale.

My last stop of the day was Kansas City. I drove to Kauffman Stadium, home of the Royals, and they were already playing a game there. But the stadium was breathtaking. Maybe because it was almost half-way opened to the interstate where I had approached from, and maybe because it was filled with blue-clad fans. It was pretty cool to behold. And if tickets weren't going for $100 each, I would've certainly been in attendance. But really, who pays that for baseball tickets? I won't even pay that for football tickets. After that, I went downtown to see a couple of Art Deco items. I do love Art Deco, an art and architectural style from the 1920s and 1930s. I saw the pylons atop Bartle Hall, and nearby was the Power and Light Building, constructed in 1930-31. That building was calling to me from the first moment I set my eyes on the Kansas City Skyline. Parking was a hassle, and again I parked in a "No Public Parking" area, just for a few minutes so I could get the pictures.

As far as the remainder of my Friday night: I'm going to write a short post for one of my classes due next Monday, and then I'm probably going to go see 99 Houses at a local movie theater. It's been out for a few weeks, but only in select theaters. And I have to wait until after 8:45, since you can only use MoviePass once every 24 hours. You would think that meant once a day, but no; since I watched Pan at 8:45 last night, I have to wait until that time at least to use it again. Yep, my life is pretty wild.

A few observations from today:

There were a LOT of adult stores between Columbia and Kansas City. I mean, more than I'd seen this entire trip so far. Dang, western Missouri.

I've been very fortunate with traffic. At least three times now, I've seen traffic on the other side of the interstate backed up for miles and going nowhere fast. Mainly road work and closed lanes. I'll have to make sure not to go back the same way I've already come.

Gas has been pretty steadily around $2.30/gallon, and it was over $2.50 around St. Louis. When I found it for $2.19 in CoMo, I pounced.

Totally unrelated to any of this - my phone started acting up when I got to Shakespeare's Pizza. It told me I didn't have a SIM card, or that it had been ejected, when nothing could be further from the truth. I have an otter box around that thing, and I guess I should be fortunate that it's not an iphone, or I would've been screwed. At least with the Samsung I could remove the back and manually eject the SIM card and then put it back in. After that, no more problems. I'm glad that was all it needed. Otherwise, I really would've been screwed.

Tomorrow is gameday! Yay for football!

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