Monday, December 9, 2013
Being German, Sigrid and Edel really enjoy visiting a Kristkindl Markt every year around Christmas. In the Kansas City area, their favorite is the Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ in the Brookside part of town. It was cold........15 degrees in the evening.
We got there before they were actually open so many of the photos have very few people in them. After 6:00pm, it was packed and photos would have been difficult in the narrow hallways and small rooms. We were also almost first in line for the food. The brats were excellent. The sauerkraut was potent and I wished I had gotten the red cabbage. I have never been a kraut fan. The warm potato salad was delicious. After 6:00pm, the line for food was outside the door for the rest of the night so we didn't go for seconds. I would have loved another bratwurst.
The hallways of the church were covered with decorations and made to look like an old German village.
Even though none of the band members were German, they sure sounded German and played well. After dinner, we stayed longer just to hear the music. Edel and Sigrid requested the song Edelweiss from the musical, The Sound of Music. The band did it nicely.
This fellow played the flute, clarinet, and the saxophone.
Note the Swiss Long Horn on the floor. There were two long horn players there that night and they were awesome.
Before the masses arrived to eat and listen.
Lots of ginger bread houses. I'll bet the kids of the church had something to do with them.
There were a number of vendors there with all kinds of items both ordinary and international.
Lots of tasty cookies. I like the butter cookies the best. Sigrid bought a box of cookies of all kinds. We ate a few with dinner and took the rest home. The next day, I was looking for the cookies but they had all disappeared....pretty let down.
Here, you buy a chance at getting a really nice wine. For $10, you get to pick whichever bottle you want. Once the cover is removed, you might find that you have a $50 wine if you are lucky.
It was a fun Friday night. The walk back to the car was even worse that earlier due to the wind picking up and the temperature dropping. It sure felt like winter.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Sigrid and I were traveling to Branson, MO for a long weekend stay in early October. We were between Warrensburg and Clinton, MO on Highway 13 when we saw an orange glow coming from a yard alongside the highway. It was hundreds of pumpkins basking in the early morning light. The glow was amazing. We drove by and about a mile down the road, we knew that we had to turn around and go back to the stand.
The couple who owned the stand actually have a small nursery as well as a large vegetable garden. The variety, size, and color of the vegetable was amazing.
This was before Halloween so the witch was fashionable at the time.
The display was very cleaver....a huge squash dressed like a cowboy.
According to Woody, the owner, a Confederate soldier was hanged in this tree during the Civil War.
Keeping watch over the pumpkins.
We talked for an hour with Woody and his wife about their operations and the history of the house.
Back on the road to Branson.
This tour was another event hosted by our Power Partners Retirement Club. We had about 30 people participate on a beautiful Fall day. The home is located on the east side of State Line Road in Kansas City, MO.
Alexander Majors was an early Kansas City entrepreneur. He owned a freight business that supplied newly growing towns in the west. His company operated between Kansas City and Santa Fe and other areas in the Midwest. Majors and two other partners started the Pony Express which operated out of St Joseph, MO. That was a short lived business that was made obsolete by the telegraph system that went into service to provide communications across the country.
The home was built in 1856 and was a mansion in comparison to the other home of that era. Majors was one of the first millionaires in Kansas City. His money was tied up in wagons and livestock and when the business began to wane with increased ability to ship by rail, he ended up nearly penniless.
Most of the members of our group are in this photo.
The gift shop.
The tour guides were dressed in period clothing and were very knowledgeable.
Every room has a fireplace. They weren't just for decoration. They provided the only heat that the house had. Homes had no insulation in the walls and the doors and windows were really drafty in those days so most people huddled somewhere near the fireplace to stay warm.
A wooden hub off an old wagon that was found on the grounds of the home. Majors had thousands of oxen as a part of his operation and many were penned and cared for on the farm surrounding the house.
Great antique pieces.
According to the tour guide, trunks like this were made with round tops so it was hard to stack other trunks on top of them.
Sigrid and I love touring old homes like this and letting our minds take us back to the time that the house was lived in. We imagine what it might be like to bath only when occasionally and deal with the dirt blown into the house through all the cracks. No ovens or dishwashers or refrigerators or washing machines or any of the other modern conveniences that we take for granted. It's fun.