We recently were invited by Travel Kansas and Visit KCK to participate in our first Instameet. Yeah, we had never heard of it before, either. A little Google searching, and we discovered that it is an event designed to showcase the sights and attractions of a specific region or area. Hmm, sounded very interesting. Now the fact that the area to be highlighted was KCK made it a no-brainer. Of course we would participate.
Meeting Old School
The registration was to be held at Memorial Hall, so it gave us both a chance to revisit the location where we graduated. I’m guessing that a segment of our readers also received their diplomas at this grand old building. Let’s see a show of hands. After signing in, we had a little free time, so we wandered into the main hall to watch the local roller derby teams doing some warm-ups. We have attended one of their events, but really need to make time to return and write an article about them. Soon we were all called back to the foyer, where we were introduced to the sponsors of the days event. They explained how those that were invited are considered “social influencers” in the tourism trade. That means that we post a lot of stuff that gets read. Because of this, we were all invited to share our experiences with our readers. That sounded great to us, since we love showing off our home town.
Your Chariots Await
Our experience was set to begin with a bus tour of some of the popular attractions in the eastern end of KCK. We all piled on to two different buses, and prepared for our day’s adventure. This was a good time to meet some of the others who were in attendance. A few we had seen on some of the social sites we use, but others were new to us. It was a great opportunity to expand our social networks.
Let’s Get This Party Started
Once we were all loaded, the two buses took off in different directions. We would both see the same sites, but not at the same time. It made sense, as they wanted us to be able to get some good pictures in a limited time frame. Looks like the people running this show knew what they were doing. Well it didn’t take long for us to reach our first destination. In fact, I believe most of us were still fiddling with our electronic devices in preparation for the upcoming sharing.
Lewis Meet Clark
Our first stop was at Kaw Point Park. (You can read our earlier article on the park here>) Now this is a favorite of ours, but we have not had the chance to stop by in a while. A lot of those in attendance had never experienced this place, so they were hungry to capture tons of photos. Crystal and I were more focused on learning the correct usage of Instagram, as we were fairly new to it. I know, we are late comers to the party. I did manage to snap a few pics, before they shepherded us back onto the bus.
Let’s Go Downtown
Our next destination was the downtown corridor of Minnesota Avenue. Here we were given a little extra time, and sent off with maps of the various murals that are painted on some of the buildings. I remember doing a series of articles on our old blog about “Where are we?”. For those who followed our escapades back then, perhaps you remember. Anyway, this was a chance to see the murals with fresh eyes. While they are all amazing works of art, I have a favorite. The old Kansas City Kansan building has this iconic painting that reminds me a little of a Thomas Hart Benton style work. It is so KCK for me.
What Time Is It?
A quick glance at the time showed that we could add another landmark to our list. We headed down to 7th and Minnesota, where the new bus stop has been built. Here we found the old Winkler clock that has been a part of the KCK landscape for generations. A cloudless blue sky made the perfect backdrop for a shot of this iconic time piece. Time was running out on this stop, so we made our way back to the bus for some cold water, and escape from the boiling July heat.
Honoring Those Who Served
The last stop on the bus tour was at the Rosedale Memorial Arch. (You can read our earlier article on this landmark here>) The bus wasn’t able to navigate the drive up to the arch, so it had to drop us off at the top of a nearby hill. It seemed okay, since the walk was downhill. Of course, then there is the walk back to the bus, but that will come later. The Rosedale arch is such a classic KCK spot. We have visited it numerous times over the years, as far back as when we were dating. This has to one of the best hidden landmarks in our city. We hope that all of the attention from the social influencers will create a buzz about this place.
We Can See For Miles
For us, one of the best things about the Rosedale Arch site is the views. From the base of the memorial you will find an impressive shot of the horizon, with most of the downtown laying out before you. While it is impressive on a hot Summer day, you should really plan a visit in the Fall when the foliage is at peak color. It is amazing! The Winter also adds an interesting twist, since the trees lay bare, and a lot of the buildings along the Boulevard are visible. Our time here finally drew to a close, and we all began the purposely postponed walk back toward the hill. As we rounded the corner of the entrance to the arch, we found that the bus driver had brought our chariot down to us. What a guy! I think for many this was added to the list of highlights of the day.
An Insiders View
We returned to Memorial Hall for lunch and a discussion session. This was our opportunity to learn from others in the social media field. While many would probably list one of the attractions at the top of their day, I found this Q&A to be very informative. Here’s a big shout out to all of those panelists who shared their viewpoints with us! After lunch, we all made our way out West to see what is going on in that portion of the city. Our first stop was a behind the scenes tour of Sporting KC’s home. We have had the opportunity to attend a few home games, so we have seen much of the stadium. I have even been given a limited behind the scenes tour in the past, but this one was so much more detailed. We started by viewing some of the club level suites, including the owners. These offer amazing views of the field, and lots of perks to accompany them. We were told that if we ever get an invite to the owner’s suite, that it is not to be passed up. Of course we wouldn’t pass on that. It sits right above the Cauldron!
Into The Belly
The tour also featured a few new spots that I had never seen. We came off the field, and entered the same way the players do. Then we passed into the are where they hold their press conferences. Crystal even did a little mock interview on Instastory. She seems okay with these short clips, since they only hang around for 24 hours. Next they allowed us to head into the player’ s locker room. This was extremely popular with the majority of the people in the group. I don’t ever remember so many cameras and phones taking pictures in one small area. After a short visit, it was time to move on. Our final destination was a wrap-up party at Dave & Busters in the Legends Shopping Center. We only stayed for a few minutes to say thanks to all of the day’s sponsors.
As we departed, we both agreed that this was an awesome experience, which was made even better by being held in KCK. Now we can’t wait for our next Instameet invitation. You can keep up with all of our adventures by following us on Instagram here>
*We want to thank Travel Kansas and Visit KCK for sponsoring our visit. Rest assured that all of the opinions are our own.