19 May 2013

anniversary trip to Kansas City & Excelsior Springs

We drove to Missouri on Friday, celebrating our 41st anniversary a bit early (Bill is on-call the actual date). First a stop at the Kansas City Plaza for some cheese and a quick lunch-snack at this Irish Pub. LOVED the ceiling lights made from old ale bottles and a bit of iron!

Next stop, Excelsior Springs, at The Elms hotel. We have sketched at this historic hotel many times . . . but had never actually stayed there. So Bill decided we should do so. The 1920 structure was recently remodeled . . . . I do not agree with many of the new owners' choices, being a bit more modern than the old Arts &; Crafts style building should have. But it was comfortable. I LOVE that there are still so many original tile floors throughout the building, like these marble tiles in the bathroom.

This is the 3rd building built on the site; the original (1888) and 2nd hotels were lost to fire. There is a lovely wooded area behind the hotel, with a large gazebo and a path leading down to a river. So many views to sketch! but we opted to relax on the back porch and draw what we could see from there. (Our regular sketch crawl was Saturday. Not many could make it, being graduation weekend, but those of us who did had lots of fun and laughs.)

 Ilov the rich color of the local limestone the building is made of. A bit less yellow than the limestone found at home in Kansas, west of the Flint Hills. I have been looking for Taylor's of Harrogate Earl Grey loose-leaf tea for a long time, after Liz Steel mentioned that it is her favorite brand of Earl Gray. Hard to find around here, but the cheese shop had some!


  1. Just to take the time to relax and be able to sketch seems a dream... so wonderful to have a loving husband that enjoys doing it, too!!! Congrats on the anniversary. I love the Arts & Crafts Movement... I often think of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow and Frank Lloyd Wright... I can't imagine being an artist, hand-crafting extraordinary pieces (like chairs), only to see regular chairs beginning to be mass produced by machines... such a shame.

  2. I am indeed blessed with my very loving husband, but he does not sketch. When I wrote "we" above, I was meaning the regular sketchers who meet with Cathy 'Kate' Johnson for sketch crawls. Bill often joins us, as does Kate's husband, Joseph. Usually both of them bring books to read as the rest of us sketch. They do join in on the teasing and laughter though, as well as eating together afterwards.

  3. BTW, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is my favorite!

    Billy does create gorgeous art in oak, building Arts & Crafts style furniture. He likes Gustaph Stickley and the Shakers, among others, but adapts ideas into his own designs.


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