Quinn’s Extraordinary Travel Ramblings:

Kansas City, Missouri: The Mall:

After the SPBGMA showcase was over (Sunday) we drove to town and ate lunch and did some laundry. The rest of the day was spent trying to figure out what we were going to do over the next few days….besides the ever present school work assignments. By the time we decided what we were going to do it was dark so we stayed the night at the fair grounds. Our plan for the next few days was to (Monday) go to a mall and (Tuesday) go and visit the Hunt family. The Hunt family is a family group of musicians from Oklahoma which we had met at the International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

On Monday we arose somewhat early and started driving to Kansas City. On the drive we worked on school assignments and Laura and I each took turns driving. As we neared the city my dad demonstrated the utmost in devotion to my mom by driving the bus through hairy scary Kansas City rush hour traffic to find the mall. The roads were of course all under construction and full of detours on temporary roads which appeared to be half as wide as normal freeway roads. Indeed, at one point, he even stooped to the lowest point of manly humility and stopped to ask for directions. We arrived at the mall at about 12:30 p.m. And my dad was in a most jolly humor.

Mom, Laura and I were the only ones going into the mall. Abby and my Dad, much to my mom’s relief, had opted to go to a city park in hopes of de-stressing. As we prepared to disembark the very messy bus, my dad started hollering about being left with all the cleanup chores. In case you’re wondering what a very messy bus might look like I’ll fill you in with a few details: Imagine if you will….. a 40 by 8 foot cylinder cubicle packed to the gills with left over food debris lying about; unwashed dishes in every imaginable resting spot; school books and papers littering the beds, counter tops, tables, couch and floors; clean and dirty clothing strewn from stem to stern; assorted boots and shoes and socks to trip over; mom’s garden spilling out into the walkway, my ever growing hat collection overflowing the confines of it’s wicker basket which is perched on top of the refrigerator and covering the counters, tables and floors; computers, ipods, cell phones and other technical paraphernalia and random cords lying about; dad’s maps and papers sprawled across the couch; tubs of clothes half open and barricading passage through the main hall of the bus; cupboard doors and drawers hanging open; unmade beds with the pillows and quilts spread helter skelter; damp towels hung from the curtain rods and cupboard door knobs; costumes in a pile on the floor in the back room; the typical bathroom explosion; not to mention the every day grime on the walls, windows and floors;……you get the picture….. Mom had the great idea of racing across the parking lot to escape from the duty of cleaning up the bus. It was a brilliant idea and worked beautifully. My dad usually is the one who disappears just as bus clean up begins and once again makes an appearance just as soon as us bus dwellers have restored every thing to it’s proper order in the bus.

The mall was very interesting and we spent all afternoon and part of the evening in it. While there we went into practically every shop, but not really. The main reason that I went into the mall was due to the fact that my mom lured me into it with the promise of Taco Bell. When we were about halfway done walking through the mall I saw the food court and found out the devastating fact that Taco Bell was closed. When we were walking through the rest of the mall that day and looking at the various shops we noticed one thing that each of the shops had in common. That thing was the music or maybe lack there of. Oh my goodness it was the weirdest stuff we had ever heard in a store. BLECH!

While we were shopping Laura and I tried the trampoline bungee jumper things which were situated in the center of the mall. They were very exciting. The person operating the jumping wonder hooked us up into a harness and set us upon some inflated water trampolines that weren’t actually in water. He then hooked bungee cords onto us and tightened them and finally he told us to jump. Laura and I jumped a little too high and performed a few too many flips because we both were a little sick afterward. Luckily for us we did the bungee jumper things before we ate. When we finally decided on a place to eat the choice was Chinese food, which I considered to be a let down after the promise of Taco Bell.

None of us are really big spenders when it comes to shopping at malls. So Laura and my mom just window shopped. I on the other hand ended up finding an amazing costume store. And we all love costumes. With Halloween just around the bend I decided to look for costumes that we might go trick-or-treating in at the Spring Creek Bluegrass Festival in Belville, Texas. (I didn’t know if bluegrassers observe trick-or-treat traditions at bluegrass festivals but we were going to find out.) Laura, Abby and I decided we would accept loose change in place of treats should the need arise. Laura thought that maybe she and I could go dressed as Bonnie and Clyde and that would make the loose change pitch a little more fitting if it came up. In the end I purchased a pirate outfit, mom picked out a pirate dress for Abby too and then she pestered Laura into choosing a parrot hat with a big shocking pink feather Boa. I, no doubt, will confiscate the parrot hat for my hat collection and Abby will want the feather boa for her pink collection. If we are ever in Texas over Halloween again I would like to go back to the costume store and buy the gorilla suit. It was amazing!

At Macy’s department store Laura and my mom drug me through a million clothing sections. Mom chose Laura as a mannequin and tried every hat in the store on her. Laura was not exactly cooperative. Then mom found the dishware section so she spent about an hour gooing and gawing over all the fine china. She’s a dish fanatic and never needs an excuse to update her collection at home. I got bored with all that in short order but did discover a couple of easy chairs with message units attached to them. So I sat down and tried the message out for the next hour. It was pretty nice.

When Abby and Dad did return from the park all they did was eat and do the trampoline bungee jumper thing at the mall. We left after dark, drove out of the city and found a place to camp for the night.