Sorry for the delay, we’ve been playing catch-up all day! A few months ago, Neil bought tickets for a soccer game, not realizing that the tickets were for two games, not just one. We decided to make a weekend of it and buy an extra ticket for Neil’s coworker and brother to split and stay with him in Kansas City. So we packed up Clive and Matilda and hit the road, excited for a weekend off and the chance to meet a new family member!
Because we live in a somewhat isolated community, any trip to an actual city feels like a fast grab for all the things we don’t have. It’s also a chance to try things we’ve seen on TV or heard about from friends.
After dropping the pups off with Neil’s brother, we headed out for a late lunch with Neil’s coworker Jeremy before the game. If you’re in Kansas City, barbecue is an obvious must. I’ve always been a huge fan of Arthur Bryant’s, and I still am, but I think Oklahoma Joe’s is my favorite.
We opted to visit the original location, which is housed in a gas station. We arrived to find the line stretching out the front door and into the gas station bay. The smell wafting from the door was amazing. We grabbed paper menus and pondered our choices. The wait ended up being 45 minutes! When we finally made it to the front, we ordered three specials, burnt end sandwiches with a side of spicy slaw and fries.
Anthony Bourdain named Oklahoma Joe’s one of the 13 places to eat before you die. He said:
People may disagree on who has the best BBQ. Here, the brisket (particularly the burnt ends), pulled pork, and ribs are all of a quality that meet the high standards even of Kansas City natives. It’s the best BBQ in Kansas City, which makes it the best BBQ in the world.
Three little sentences say it all. The crispy burnt crust, the soft strands of pork, the perfect little bits of hot fat still mingled in. There are few times I find myself eating to the point of seriously wondering if they’ll have to roll me out of there, but I did, and it was glorious!
We headed to the stadium. The match-ups for the night were El Salvador vs. Honduras and Mexico vs. Canada. The parking lot was a huge party. Everyone was singing, dancing and cooking. Everything smelled amazing. I almost wished to be hungry again.
The crowds in the stadium were insane! Everyone was dressed to support their teams and then some. They brought instruments, drums, flags and banners and they were loud. There is nothing like a soccer game to see what real devotion is like.
Our seats were right behind the goal, which meant we got to dodge our fair share of flying soccer balls. We also got close to some celebrities — well we think they were celebrities. We assume some were former Mexican soccer players, but what about the lady who walks by in this video at about 0:33. She walked by several times and the crowd was going wild. We think she might have been Mayte Carranco? We watched two matches, Honduras vs El Salvador and Mexico vs. Canada. The winners (in bold) would play the final match on Monday.
Sunday was a relaxing day. We played computer games, napped (me) and laid out in the yard and watched the pups play. Clive definitely had his paws full. Alex and Audrey just adopted a gorgeous little Shiba Inu puppy they’ve named “Five-O” (they work in law enforcement). He is absolutely adorable and SO smart! But his puppy energy wore Clive and Matilda out!
Apparently enough to make Matilda beg for beer…
We also ran a few errands that afternoon. Trader Joe’s is an absolute must for us when we visit St. Louis or Kansas City, but we also made another special cheat stop…
Jeni’s! I’ve been reading about this on blogs for the past few months and have been dying to try it for myself. It’s hard to find in Missouri, with a few retail partner locations in Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield. Pretty much everywhere BUT Columbia. In Kansas City, it’s available at Cosentino’s Market. They had limited flavors, so I chose “Backyard Mint” and “Whiskey and Pecans.”
It was a little frostbitten on top, but not too bad. It was however completely solid. I had to leave it out for about 30 minutes before I could actually grab a spoonful. Both flavors are amazing! The mint tastes like it’s right out of the backyard, not artificial like so many brands. But at $10 a pint, it’s definitely a “special occasion-only” treat.
Monday during the day was pure relaxation. Because the game was set for later in the evening, we spent the day reading and YouTubing, something I feel like we rarely get to do any more. We also found more amazing eats. Spin Neopolitan Pizza has more topping choices than I’ve seen anywhere. And they had Gluten-Free crust that I couldn’t differentiate from regular crust. I suspect ample heat, but I’d really like their secret!
We paired our pie with a giant Elaine-style side salad.
As evening rolled in, it was time for the final match, Mexico vs. Honduras. I admit, I was definitely cheering for Honduras (I like a good underdog) and even though they lost, I felt they just played a lot smarter than Mexico. In the end though, Mexico was faster and seemed to have more infinite energy to burn. I took a little video of the final minutes. It was bananas, or should I say alcohol, because that’s what I was drenched in by the end. All part of the fun right?
Did you indulge in anything special this weekend?