The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. 1 July 2017.

So here we go through part one of day 2 (or the first full day) in the whirlwind trip through Kansas (even if we were really in Missouri). While Ryan was in charge of the big ticket item dates, I put my time and research into smaller places that I would want to visit on one of my normal travel expeditions. And this, of course, leads us to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

If you know my background – an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries (which is a fancy way of saying I studied things like museums, publishing, social heritage, media, and international business movement and technology across entertainment fields – basically a wide range of topics) – you know that I love museums. I have a brief insight into how individual galleries are curated and then how things move through the whole of the museums from this degree and, alongside my collected knowledge from my college art history class, this makes exploring so much more fun, especially when I have an audience who doesn’t mind hearing all about it.

With this background and my love of photography, this pick was absolutely fantastic.

First off, the museum itself is lovely – built with classical architecture and rooms upon rooms of art and a sculpture garden that is sparse enough to feel like a park while still calling itself part of an exhibit.

This is the part of the museum that we actually came out to see. I absolutely loved all the Shuttlecocks sculptures and understand how these became the statement piece and symbol of the whole museum. The sculptures are scattered throughout the garden in patches and across levels which is great for both pictures and picnics while surrounded by all kinds of art. Outside, the sculptures fall into the modern art classifications, but has a range that makes it interesting enough to keep running around – I loved the maze (but walk slow because I have seen many slam into the clear walls), the metallic tree, and (I must mention again) all of the different Shuttlecocks. Even if you aren’t looking for a museum day, this is a lovely areas just to come and have some lunch if you are in the area.

We didn’t spend much time inside, except for lunch, but we did run through the impressionist gallery, and, if this is any indication of the rest of the museum, every gallery would be worth stepping into if only for the unorthodox set up. Again, we were in the impressionist gallery, but throughout there were other types of art – furniture pieces and small scale sculptures which used an interesting juxtaposition. For me, if a gallery had a Degas ballerina sculpture (which this did), I am more than happy.

But onto lunch: as with all museums, food here isn’t cheap, however, unlike other places, the portions were rather generous. The staff was friendly and efficient and the room was lovely – hanging lights and natural daylight, with black iron tables surrounding a fountain. We had sandwiches and soup (I had half portions of both) and a blondie for dessert, plus infused water and every bit of it was fantastic. It is all freshly made in front of you so if you don’t want a specific spread or veg on your sandwich, they can make it without, without any extra work. Again, the portions were really generous and I was happily full on the half portions! Also, if you can agree on the type of sandwich, you can split the whole for cheaper than buying two halves.

I’ll end it here without going over and over my strange, nerdy discussions over curation and storytelling through the placement choices, but I will say, if you visit Kansas City, go see this museum. It’s beautiful, full of so much to see, has a full itinerary of events going on all the time, and, as someone who loves the arts, visit and make a small donation for the upkeep because your trip (minus parking, food, and special exhibits) doesn’t cost you anything!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

And here is the game plan…

And another one for Kansas. Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. 1 July 2017.

Yep, this is the next installment from the ongoing Kansas Saga which will, of course, be ongoing.

Now that plans are starting to fall into place, we have managed to nail down where we will be and some bigger stuff we are going to do. It’s been an interesting process, planning across the country, but for a mostly fly-over state, I am starting to get really excited (and not just about the company).

Last week I talked about how when you are out in the middle of nowhere (which, let’s be honest) happens a lot in the average persons mundane travel. I talked a little about traveling further out and finding the more exciting areas when you are looking for more adventure and, since we’ve started in on the game plan, that is what I am looking into now.

The plan is that I’ll write all about this trip while and after I’ve been on it, so I won’t go into too many features now.

We’ll be starting out in Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas for an evening, a night, and a day; before driving over to Wichita, Kansas for another evening show, night, and a day; Then it’s back to the Fort Riley area until I head back to Kansas City on the 5th for some last bits of exploring and flying home.

Exciting, right?

Well, that when all the personal stuff comes in. That’s right – planning!

Wichita, Kansas

So more or less, this is a city of historic and niche museums and then nature walks. Everywhere I looked, I found loads of museums catering to every type of interest I could possibly imagine. From toys and trains, to historic houses and recreations, to art and nature.

As a photographer, I am most looking forward to Wichita Gardens – the cities beautiful botanical gardens. The images I have seen are inspiring and spending the day exploring before heading out on the town – dinner and a show, another great feature of these larger areas.

Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas

I am probably spending nearly the same amount of time here as I am in Fort Riley – where I originally thought I was going to spend the whole trip. Between the time here as a couple and on my own, this city which spans two states has so much to offer I honestly don’t know where to begin.

There are tons of sites like this one which give amazing ideas on what to see and I love the commentary and categories. As a book nerd, a photographer, an explorer, and an art lover, there is so much to see and enjoy here.

I mean, come on: google their Union Station and Public Library and you will see what I mean!

10 days until I take off and so much more to do, so until next time:

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

And here is the game plan…

A wrap on Paris

Revamping the checklist.

Paris in Grey. Paris, France. January 2016.

Today while flipping through channels, I stumbled upon the 1995 film, Sabrina. While the sum total of Paris seen in this film comes to about 25 minutes of the two hour film, it is one movie which has cemented itself as my quintessential image of the city. I couldn’t help but sit and watch Julia Ormond wander the familiar Paris streets and think back to all the sites I’ve been able to see and all those that I still hope to explore.

Which brings me to my trip out to Paris last February. After that trip, I made a list of all the things that I wanted to see and do next time I landed in this lovely city.

Just as predicted, this list was a phenomenal way to pick out what I wanted to cover when mom, dad, and I visited the city during my graduation week.

My dad hadn’t been to Paris in about 30 years so while we hit all the key ‘must see’ places – Sacre Coeur, Eiffle Tower (which I got to the top of this time), Notre Dame (which I also got to climb up and all over) and the Arc de Triomphe – I also got to cross a few of my own off the list.

The Musee Jacquemart-Andre is one of the museums feature in Audrey Hepburn’s How to Steal a Million. While I really wanted to run through the outer courtyard featured in the film, my parents and I were so happy with this stop. The museum is a converted mansion home which houses the old owners collection of art. Walking around this lavish house was amazing and I loved the final section where all the portraits were painted by the lady of the house. Again, a great experience: quick and inexpensive.

The Paris catacombs was just as amazing the second time around. After walking through again, I have one piece of advice: go quickly (meaning now, not rush through the site) and behave yourself. Despite the rigorous patrolling, this walk through showed that not all the bones – especially those in the design features – are holding up. So, if you can go in, do it before they either stop general walk throughs or it’s beyond recognition.

When it comes to the Moulin Rouge, I guess the third time is the charm. A few things you’ll need to know if you are going to the show is the dress code which includes no jeans or street shoes. They seem to be a bit lax in the non-peak seasons, but not following these guidelines could keep you out of the show despite having paid for tickets. You’ll also want to arrive early – more than you’d think. We arrived just before the suggested entry time and were pretty far back in the theatre. Seating is first come, first seated, so early is better.

So what’s left to see?

I want to finally manage a river walk along the Seine. I love river walks and, bringing back the Sabrina reference, this walk will give a new kind of perspective of this city.

And if you’ve watched the past two seasons of Vikings, you’ll know that we’ve covered the siege of Paris as well as the beginning of Rolo’s time living in the city. Seeing how vital the river and its surrounding area where in these events, I’m (still!) desperate to see the city with this in mind.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel back alone (or with companions willing to stick to my schedule) to do this bit of my wish list unencumbered as well as hit other French cities – I loved Lyon and Normandy so I’m thrilled to see what else this country has to offer!

But until I make it back, I’ll just have to keep planning and traveling along.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

A wrap on Paris