Saturday, September 20, 2008

Two days in Kansas City

Sept. 19 –

Thought about carrying on east today, but at the encouragement of the local “Hitchhikers Club” (fifth-wheel trail owners) we stayed another day to explore further.

Spent the morning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Where we watched literally MILLIONS of dollars in bills go through a processing system which includes shredding up to $30 million in old, wrinkled, torn, stained or otherwise unfit bills EVERY SINGLE DAY! IMAGINE THAT! WHEW! The robotic cash retrieval system reminded me of my friend Kevin who was studying robotics (and attempting to create a chess-playing robot) while I stayed with him in England so many years ago. This robotic forklift system wa right up his alley.

Like so many of the other places we’ve been drawn in to see by brochures and visitors guides, we were a tad bit disappointed by one misrepresentation – we’d expected to be able to pick up (like, you know, in our HANDS) a gold bar as implied by their advertisement: “Pick up a gold bar.” But the $189,658 bar of gold is in fact locked in a case to which is attached a lever that you can pull to “lift” the bar. Still, I’ve never seen so much gold in one place!

Moved on to Hallmark Visitors Center and found ourselves at their mall where we had a disappointing lunch, then meandered through the mall before heading to the visitors center and much-touted kids hands-on area only to find out that they are closed for the ENTIRE month of September! ARGH!

Drove through the Lights district (this’d be neat at night if all this neon still works), the River Market district, downtown and along the riverfront before returning to camp to relax for the evening before packing up and heading east tomorrow.

As with so many other places along this trek, the girls found friends in the campground park. Alexa, 8, and Hunter, 5, seemed a perfect match - they played tag, taught each other new games, danced the tango and generally wore each other out. Too bad we (or they) live so far away.

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