A Spring Trip to Missouri

St Louis. Home of the Cardinals, and my first stop on my trip to Missouri. For anyone who knows me, I love my baseball, and one of my bucket-list items is to visit every Major League ballpark in the United States. One of the perks in doing this is I end up going to places that I ordinarily wouldn’t have given much consideration in visiting. Some people do this over the course of a season, but I’ve decided to take my time and explore the different cities as well. Having already hit up most of the coastal ballparks, Missouri was my first trip out into the Mid-West.

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Imo’s Pizza. Meh.

My first stop in St. Louis after checking into the hotel was Imo’s Pizza, a regional chain that I first read about on SeriousEats. As the article states, it’s essentially a glorified nacho, and not the usual New-York style pizza I’m accustomed to. Is it worth a try? Sure, I guess if you’re curious to try something new, but I’ll stick to my NY pizza.

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Bright sunny day at Busch Stadium!
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Skyline shot.

Absolutely gorgeous day at the ballpark! Usually I’m impartial to day games – they’ve been hit or miss for me – but this one was just perfect.

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Chicken and Waffle Sandwich with Tots. #thisiswhyimfat

I’ll usually make an effort to try whatever food is unique to a certain stadium. Anything I need to know is covered pretty well by the guides on Ballpark Chasers.

Obligatory St. Louis Arch picture.

The next day was spent visiting Forest Park in St. Louis, a huge park only a few blocks from where I was staying. I ended up spending half the day and pretty much walked around the entire park. I have to say, this was definitely one of the highlights of St. Louis.

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Fountain at the Round Lake
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One of many trails inside the park.
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Glass Mausoleum in Forest Park!
Expansive lawn in front of the St. Louis Museum of Art

For anyone who’s thinking of visiting St. Louis, Forest Park is definitely one of the must-visit places in the city. There’s a lot to do there besides just the pretty scenery (quite a few museums in the park, and an amphitheater as well!).

Kansas City

After two days in St. Louis, I headed west to Kansas City via Amtrak. Home of the Royals and the supposedly one of the better barbecue places in the nation, I was excited to see what KC had to offer.

Oh looky! A patch of grass!
Kansas City skyline.

It was overcast when I got into KC. I took the above picture from the World War I Museum looking down onto Kansas City. The train station’s sitting right in front, and all that equipment set up in front of it was supposed to be for a taping of American Ninja Warrior the previous day, but from what I heard, that event got rained out.

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Kauffman Stadium, home of the Royals!

From downtown Kansas City, I arrived at the stadium via public transportation (bus). Kauffman Stadium was a pleasant surprise. The lights, crown and water fountains in center field . The stadium is pretty large also – probably one of the larger stadiums that I’ve visited so far. They have their own Hall of Fame area, and an entire kids section behind the outfield walls.

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Kauffman Stadium in the twilight is beautiful. The fountains and the outfield truly make this place majestic.
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Call animal control! Wild mascot on the loose!

I have no idea what the mascot’s name is. The Lion King? Either way, that little fan might be getting his/her first souvenir. This was actually one of the more heated April games that I’ve been to. The Kansas City crowd was really into it, even though they were losing in the early going. Maybe I’m just too used to the fair-weather fans in NYC, but this was definitely a fun Saturday night game.

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Running of the… Hot Dogs? KC’s version of the Presidents Race but infinitely less cool.

The next day was spent just roaming around Kansas City. Spotted this little fella while strolling through the downtown area.

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Long day for Rocket.

I stumbled upon a back alley full of pop culture graffiti art. Wish I could’ve spent a little more time here, but I was on a timetable.

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This was the final meal/destination for my Missouri trip. No trip to Kansas City is complete without trying out the barbecue, and Arthur Bryant’s BBQ was supposedly one of the better spots from what I researched.

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Ribs were good, pulled pork was a bit too saucy for my liking. Solid BBQ, although I’ve had better in Texas. Admittedly, there were two other places that were rated higher than this (Joe’s Kansas City BBQ and LC BBQ) but I just didn’t have enough time to check them out. I guess that’s something I’ll have to do the next time I’m in town! This was a short but packed trip. I’m pretty glad the weather held up. With Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium done, there’s only eleven more stadiums more for me to go! Read more