Shortly after settling into our new Alaskan home, it was time to venture back to the midwest to visit Matt’s family. It had been three years since we had visited the area, and were excited to make the trip back. But first, a great photo op with some friends at the Anchorage International Airport.
And we found summer! The weather happened to be extraordinary for our early-October visit. Temps in the high-70’s was indeed swimming weather for these Alaska kids. (Though, the water was already too cool for me, kids never care about that!)
One evening we drove to Claremore, Oklahoma (right outside Tulsa) to cousin Shelley’s for a fabulous BBQ spread. Brisket, chicken, pork, baked beans, potato salad, you name it, it was there. We really missed good ‘ol barbeque during our three years in Japan, so this was such a treat.
We spent the remainder of the visit in Branson, Missouri, home of the 9:00 am variety show. In fact, the TV show, 60 Minutes, dubbed Branson, “the music capital of the entire universe”. So, there you have it!
You know you’re not in Japan anymore when you can buy a 64 oz. refillable mug at the corner Kum & Go. God Bless America! (In Japan it was very rare to find any beverage over 12 oz.-anywhere! I would take my 32 oz. iced tea, purchased from the military base, to a Japanese mall, and receive actual gasps from passersby at the size of the drink.)
Let’s get this out in the open, I’m not a fan of rides that get you wet. Ever. But especially on a cold day. The weather had turned significantly cooler by the end of the week and was only in the high-50’s on our last day. Ella was desperate to go on one such water ride, and I refused. Eva opted out as well. At the end of the day, Matt finally agreed. After observing, some people didn’t get too wet, while others were soaked. It was a gamble.
The week passed too quickly, and it was already time to say our goodbyes. The good thing about being back in the states (sort of back in the states!) is not having to wait another three years before we see these cuties again!
On the four hour drive back to Kansas City International Airport, Matt and I just had to make a stop at our favorite BBQ joint, Joe’s. Right after we were married, we lived a few blocks from this place, and have such good memories there. Not to mention that Anthony Bourdain and countless other foodies have sung it’s praises!
But, the food. Ahhhh, the food speaks for itself. I got the pulled pork sandwich, with perfectly seasoned fries and barbeque mayo to use as dip. You have not lived until you have had their barbeque mayo. Add it to your bucket list today!
The place was packed and we had a flight to catch so instead of waiting for a table, we sat down outside, right next to the gas pumps, and feasted. Kansas City, oh how I’ve missed you so. (I actually loved living in KC and would move back there tomorrow. Great food, and very genuine and warm Midwestern people.)
It was a week filled with family, food and fun. When can we return?!