Meet me in Kansas City

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A few weeks ago we took a family trek to Kansas City, via train.  If you’re a St. Louis reader: Yes, it was an easy 5 hour train ride from Kirkwood Station (departing at 9:45 am) to Kansas City’s Union Station. It’s not the fanciest of transport methods, but my kids loved the novelty of it – that they could walk around, eat lunch in the dining car and had unlimited Wifi. Would I take the train every time I go to Kansas City? No. But maybe do it once.

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While we did a lot of things that are not Caradise worthy (spending 3.5 hours at the hotel pool Friday night comes to mind … as does the 5 hours spent inside the Lego Playland on Saturday afternoon) BUT, there were some things that I’d recommend if you head to Kansas City anytime soon.

We stayed in the Crossroads, an up and coming arts district just south of downtown. It has some unique shopping (more vintage and artsy rather than the mainstream shops you’ll find on Country Club Plaza). One such store is Cable and Company, roughly the size of a walk-in closet, but stocks great denim and vintage tees:

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More vintage shops in the Crossroads Arts District

And small, independent coffee shops, like this one:

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We did make it to Country Club Plaza, Kansas City’s shopping mecca, but my kids aren’t exactly A-team shoppers, so I had to play my cards wisely. We headed straight to Standard Style, the Kansas City women clothing store that carries great brands (think L’ Agence, Ganni, Helmut Lang) and also stocks Baldwin Denim. I was especially curious to try on some Baldwin Denim, the jean company that Matt Baldwin, the owner of Standard Style, started in 2009 with his wife Emily. They created the line in response to their Standard Style customers desire for a great, American made jean. It lived up to my expectations, and I found this carmel-y pair that is incredibly soft and stretchy.  In addition to denim, Baldwin also makes knits, cotton dresses and button downs, just to name a few. If you aren’t headed to Kansas City anytime soon, check out their website.

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Inside Standard Style, on Country Club Plaza 

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Me in my Baldwin denim

After shopping, my next favorite to-do in a new city is to hit up the art museums. The Nelson-Atkins Museum is definitely worth a stop in, but I can’t speak to it in detail because, well, I was alone with my three kids and if you think they are bad at shopping , they are even worse in museums.  So we mostly played outside:

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We spent a little more time at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, which if you ask me is an odd space and probably not worth a trip for the art, but I do recommend going for lunch at their cafe, Sebastienne.  It’s one of the coolest museum restaurants I’ve seen, as the walls are flanked with the site-specific comission of 110 interlocking canvases by Fredrick James Brown. The artist used the space as a personal tribute to artists and art throughout the ages.  It’s an amazing space, complete with a pamphlet diagramming each and every piece, so that you can trace the origins of art as you wait for your salad to be served.

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And, in case you are wondering, we drove home.

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