|Joe Toasting the Bachelor|
Why Kansas City? Ask Ken.
Joe and Mark came to pick me up from my house. The car smelled of last night's late night Taco Bell run. The party had actually started on Thursday for the other four in our group with a trip to a "gentleman's club". I can't speak to this night, but sounded as if they had a good time and gave the new Doritos Locos Cool Ranch taco a negative review.
In the car, rolling along I begin to wonder if the 6'7" guy (me) will be in the back seat all seven hours down to Kansas City. Surely once we get to Ken's to pick him and Jake up to make our final five, someone will suggest I get to ride shotgun, right? Get to Ken's, Ken hops in front, I realize I'm in the backseat all the way to Kansas City. I don't speak up, assuming it's nice for the bachelor to get the comfy seat and really the back seat wasn't too bad. Mark was stuck in the third row, he admits he is short, but for any adult, the third row isn't comfy for seven hours.
Wholly crap West Des Moines, IA is clean and crisp! We all were a bit shocked as we made our way to a Chick-fil-A. I felt under dressed. Chick-fil-A is supposedly going to be coming to Minnesota, more than just in our airport, and after that lunch, I'm actually very happy to hear this news. They may not be open on Sundays or down with the gays, but god damn they know how to make a good chicken sandwich with a smile and polite service. Plus, they have complimentary mouth wash in the bathroom...so...that's there. We had a game to get to in Kansas City, otherwise we may have started looking for real estate in the West Des Moines development.
Sun, sun and more sun the entire drive. What could be better as we planned on sitting in Kaufman Stadium munching dollar dogs and drinking Boulevard watching the Royals play America's game prefaced by some tailgating in the shadow of Arrowhead? Nothing...nothing could be better than that. Or so I'd assume. We didn't get to do that though. Instead we huddled under the tailgate of the Explorer trying to stay dry, all wishing we had more than short sleeves, inadequate zip up hoodies and shorts on.
No worries, we'll push on. We drove this far, if they're playing the game, we're going to sit there and enjoy it. Our optimism about the evening unwavering, we walked up to the beautiful Kaufman Stadium, even in the rain this place is a great venue to watch a game. Or so I'd assume. See, after we bought our dollar dogs and squeezed the right amount of mustard onto the cased by-products we saw the concourse TV...displaying -
Now what? Drink...that's what.
The venue was the beautiful Kansas City, MO Power and Light District. They have it all in this "district". Classy bars, trashy bars, clubs, places for cowboys, places for everyday Joe's and the greatest part for us on this rainy Friday night...a covered outdoor area. All of the bars exit into a plaza area covered by this huge open air roof that also is lined with heat lamps. This area is filled with small bar vendors and has a stage on one end for DJ's or bands. It's pretty bad ass to be honest and definitely perfect for what our goals for the night were.
After leaving a Mexican joint, Tengo Sed Cantina, due to a waiter being too obsessed with a bachelorette party to even look at us, leaving there for a quick dinner of wings and burgers that hit all the spots the dollar dogs missed earlier that evening, it was time to booze. Post-dinner, we had couple awkward black light drenched drinks at The Shark club. We spent the remainder of the evening at the PBR Big Sky cowboy styled bar.
If you’re looking to get down to P-Diddy, this isn’t the place for you. Oh sure, they mix in some more club dance songs in between Luke Bryan, but the majority of the time this is a country bar. Drinks were easy to attain, even though the crowd was large and after a few ladies hopped on the mechanical bull in apparel not meant for mechanical bull riding (aka skirts), we posted up at a spot near the bar to take in the scene.
Highlight of the evening was the one single guy on the trip attempting to start a relationship with a bachelorette. Because nothing says, "I'm looking for dudes!" like wearing a bachelorette sash during your bachelorette party. Oh wait, life isn't a porno?!?!? Nevertheless, it seemed like a great idea for the drunk member of our team, that will remain nameless (though you can probably figure it out).
He rode the dang bull in an attempt to show his chivalry (somehow the rest of us missed this...damn it), then when she took a ride and subsequent tumble off the bull he was there to help her up. Later that night as we started walking back the (very drunk) bachelorette had led our pal into thinking luck was a lady this night. So much so that her texts were...shall we say...suggestive to what the two of them should do together. This excited our booze filled pal to the point that he asked to bud ahead in the late night Whopper Bar line with the excuse that "He might *hook up* with a bachelorette tonight".
For future reference STOB'ers, this line doesn't work, they weren't impressed. We on the other hand were impressed that after a text back to the gal, he yelled "I'm so much better than your husband!!!" That only got shoved back in his face the next day about 100,000,000,000,000 times.
In the midst of this walk back, all suggesting horribly inappropriate things for our pal to text the soon to be bride, we noticed we were missing a member of our group. Joe had been there when we left the bars. Heck, he'd been there when we left the Whopper Bar. He just wasn't there now. His brother Jake was the most worried, "JOOOOE! You guys we lost Joe!" The rest of us on the other hand, knowing Joe has this tendency of disappearing when wasted, were less concerned. "Eff him, he is nearly 30, he'll figure it out." After calling claiming he was in the lobby of a few incorrect hotels with a faulty room key, he did figure it out I guess as I woke around 4:30 am to his happy drunk snoring.
After figuring out that Joe had made it back...safely enough to be snoring...I noticed my head felt as if Joe maybe had returned with an ice pick and politely placed it in my temple. Luckily he hadn't, ibuprofen, another hour or two of sleep, a run around KC in the rain after a battle with a faulty hotel treadmill and I was good to go.
Joe, Mark, Kenny and I walked downtown from the hotel (which in hindsight had breakfast) looking for breakfast. After failing to find a breakfast spot for a half hour, we decided to wait until 10:30 for the Whopper bar to open. After the bachelorette excuse to skip in line didn't work the night prior, we headed back to the room to fail at ordering pizza. So, it made sense to try to wait it out for Whopper deliciousness this morning. Only the employees failed to realize how hungry we were, and decided they wouldn't open at 10:30...or 10:35... Screw em, we moved on, after another forty five minutes of walking and bickering we finally found a sports bar Duke's, and had a very good burger.
|Ken thrilled to find of pic of his guy Tubby at the CBE!|
Joe, Ken and I then headed to the very cool College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center. Tons of interactive activities (3pt shooting contest, buzzer beater, free throw, dunking, etc.) as well as the hall of fame and other things to see. If you like college basketball, or basketball at all, you will like the visit for $14 for adults. Highly recommended. The highlight: Ken injuring himself dunking on an 8 foot hoop. The low light: me hitting 1 three in the three point contest.
We woke Jake up to make our 3 pm Boulevard Brewery tour. Everyone who drinks beer has had their wheat beer. It's a staple of many bar's taps, very approachable and drinkable. The tour was pretty much what I've come to expect from all brewery tours. You get to look at tanks and bottling machines, hear some history, and pretty much just look forward to using the tokens for beer tasting afterward.
What wasn't expected was after a video showing an African American taking a drink of beer, someone asked our "obviously not that guy in the video" African American tour guide, "Was that you in the video?"
Another KC recommendation: Stroud's. Go there, it's not BBQ as KC is known for, it's "pan fried" chicken and it's amazing. You will not leave disappointed, you will leave stuffed full of chicken, potatoes and cinnamon rolls which is a pretty good combination.
Partying on Saturday started slow, mainly because none of us had any room to put the booze in our belly's, but also because we were all up late the night before and we're not getting any younger. Once in the Power and Light District and one drink in, Joe realized he had nature calling and opted to use the hotel and hit the hay for the night (minus the detour this time). Not much later we lost another who was a little annoyed on how the night prior ended with a certain bachelorette.
That left Ken, Mark and I. What does two married guys and a soon to be married guy do on a Saturday night in the Power and Light District? If you answered "create a three dude dance circle...duh!", you win. I don't like dancing, but those two nut cases seem to, so away we went dancing and belting out the tunes at the top of our lungs. We didn't help white dude's reputation for not being able to dance, so...sorry about that fellas.
The fights started, we watched, and then understood nothing good was going to happen now that 3 am, and therefore bar close, was only minutes away. We made our way home, past one of the dudes involved in one of the fights, now cuffed by the cops with them looking as if they were robbing him of the contents of his wallet.
Breakfast of champions after two days of binge drinking? Gates BBQ on the way out of town. Another very good stop and another recommendation.
Outside of an argument between Jake and Mark over who you'd stereotype to be driving a Crown Victoria with the license plate "COCOPUFF", it was an uneventful trip home. (She was an older white grandma with puffy bleached white hair)
Ken and I started this blog in March of 2011, and really what you've seen here over the years is just the conversations that Ken and I have been having since middle school, but in text (and podcast) form. Our relationship has grown over the years to the point that I can call him truly one of my best friends. I'm very happy for him and his future wife as they take the next step in their relationship. I was honored to be a part of his bachelor party weekend and will be honored to be in his wedding.
Enough mushy stuff. There you have it, Ken is only days away now from being a married man and I think we sent him off to married life in a very good way. Now book your trip to KC and save room in your stomach for Stroud's...you'll thank me later.