Tuesday, January 9, 2007

First stint in Kansas


I arrived by plane and car January 8, 2007. With flight delays in Edmonton, it turned out to be a long day. Finally arriving at the Kansas City airport (KCI), I waited for the Dollar rental shuttle. And waited. And waited. Finally it arrived. I almost felt "stuck" in nowhereland, like in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". I murmured to myself, "What the hell am I doing here?" Then thought of that Blue Rodeo song "And I wonder what I am I doin' here" which stuck in my head through the drive to the car rental lot.

I got in the Sebring rental and popped in my familiar Yes music compliation. The hour or so drive in a comfortable Sebring from the Kansas City airport to Topeka was dark and a bit scary because I had no idea where I was going other than road signs which led me to Topeka. I was amazed at the "Night Driver" style Kansas Turnpike and how fast some of the turns were, but it was fun, knowing that I would frequent this winding and hilly snake. I looked forward to driving it in the daylight.

I arrive in Topeka at my apartment to which it took me a few minutes to follow the instructions I was given to take the key out of the keybox. I got in and called my co-worker to let her know I got into town, although late. My furnished apartment is humble, yet has everything I need, and suitable for entertaining if need be. I knew I'd be doing a lot of cooking for myself, which I was excited about.

First Day

My co-worker picked me up in the morning from her hotel, as she only had a couple weeks left, until I fully took over. Seeing Topeka for the first time in daylight was like getting a snapshot in time, that many of the houses on this road are numerous and old, yet characteristic of middle America.

The people at work are very friendly and pleasant and I knew I would be comfortable here. It reminded me a lot of my last onsite contract at an energy company, but perhaps not as high-paced.

My co-worker and I had dinner at Chili's, which in my opinion, has the best ribs in the world.

Meet-Up with the Director

The first I was there, I found out that the director of our division was in KC on the Thursday night, so we arranged to drive back to meet him up for dinner and drinks. On our way to see him, we got a bit lost in KC, and took a wrong turn, ending up in what could be called "the hood". I say that because I see a guy on his porch drinking booze out of a bag. We quickly turned around and then a few blocks back where we came from, there were a few police cars at a store with their sirens on. Somethin' happ'nd in da hood.

We managed to weave back in the direction of downtown KC, and found the hotel. Downtown KC reminded me of Calgary--barren, with quality box-like architecture and like Edmonton with a nostalgic warehouse district.

The three of us headed to a local sports bar for some delicious 16oz Kansas City striploin (KC strip) which was on sale for $9. This was my first taste of the infamous steak and I can say, it was one of the best steaks I've ever had.

After that, we looked at a tourist map and I suggested a pub a few blocks away where we found a jazz/blues piano/harmonica duo playing some real cool sounds. This was my first taste of the culture here and with great steaks and soulful music, I was in love.

1 comment:

daisies said...

i was hoping you would blog about your adventures ~ this is wonderful, so descriptive :)

it sounds like you are having a wonderful time ... yah!! I'll enjoy reading!