Day 19: Even hotter in Kansas City

So, around 10am, we’d had enough and I turned on the A/C.  Lots of fans blowing but nothing cold coming out. And so it was.  I tried to find a garage but they would all say things like “maybe this afternoon”.  So we plugged along.  It broke 100 degrees which means it was probably 110 in the van.  I think tomorrow I’ll have better luck finding a not-so-backed-up mechanic in Lawrence or Topeka so we can get this thing fixed.  The AC has been working so great throughout this trip.  You really miss it when it’s not there — especially when you’re driving about 13 hours per day.  I did a little poking at Google and it seems air conditioning didn’t really become standard until the 1960s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioning

At one point in the afternoon, I thought I had a brainstorm. I bought a giant bag of ice for $2 and some garbage bags.  I filled up/spread out the ice in a bag for the dogs thinking they would really like to lay on that to stay cool.  But everyone seemed averse to this crunchy, weird thing.  Eventually, Nik figured out the benefit when I moved it to the front seat:

When I pulled in to reshoot one of my favorite mid-century churches, I spotted it from a distance:  a hose!  Fantastic!  Nobody around so I took the liberty of giving everybody a good long douse.  I even doused my head for awhile.  Then a couple stops later to see the giant Jesus statue, there was a little pond right there for the kids to swim in.  Even an atheist like myself found these “the Lord will provide” events pretty remarkable.

This afternoon seemed like an eternity but I just kept banging through the KS stuff and eventually moved across the border to Kansas. It’s been a long, exhausting day for all of us — but I won’t neglect my homework.  Lots of photos for ya.

Unless otherwise mentioned, everything’s from Kansas City, MO where we spent 95% of the day.  This one’s showing its age — a most unusual name:

a great used car lot sign:

Another used car lot — multiple views of this great place.  The pole sign in front.  Note the sweet drop lights above it:

The same drop lights on top of the office (close-up below).  And odd shape — maybe completely round originally and the back part added later?  Note the strands of bulbs all over the place.  This place must be quite stunning at night.

Love the literal-ness of this sign:

A couple of odd storefronts:

An art deco delight detail — with some twists.  The police camera — and the crane in the background.  Times sure have changed.

Nice contrasting brick for this sign — which must’ve been repurposed from a previous business.  KC-ers — do you have the scoop on this one?

Wonderful towering bank sign.  Can’t remember the last time, if ever, I saw a bank sign this big.  Usually, this style is reserved for shopping centers and the like.  It was a mere 91 here.  I think it peaked around 2pm and this was maybe noon.

Another mammoth sign (see buckets at the bottom for scale).  It probably looked a heckuva lot nicer once upon a time:

OK — we’ve moved into Kansas City, KS now.  It must be confusing sometimes mixing up the cities/states.  The KS side is remarkably poorer.  I don’t think Texarkana TX vs. OK is that much of a noticeable shift in economics.  But I guess this Missouri River is a bigger separator.

Next door to the Crown Rug is this crinkled-up sign for my rusty crusty fans:

Still in KS City, KS — love this advertising.  Who knew there were so many different kinds of wigs? (note to newbies to my blog – you can click on the photos for bigger sizes)

Near the Kansas Speedway — the T-Rex Cafe was on my list — but I had to steel myself since it’s in a MALL!  I stay far away from those places but sometimes, you have no  choice.  The outside of the place was intriguing and revolting in an overly commercial way but I gave it a go.  I do love dinosaurs. 

But once I was inside, I really got in the spirit.   There’s this animatronic, rubbery necked guy to greet you right when you go in:

To the left is an awesome bar with a giant squid and jellyfish (?) lights and fish tanks:

Up the stairs on the way to the bathroom, I passed the Ice Cave:

 

Regular folks having dinner amidst the dinos.  It’s a little too family-oriented for me.  I’m not that into children — esp. on the rare times that I eat at a restaurant.  Not that I would have on this trip.  OK, so I don’t like kids (actually, they’re okay, just not crazy about them) and I don’t believe in God.  Have I lost have my blog audience now?

Damn!  I missed the wooly mammoths!
http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/trexcafe.htm

On to Bonner Springs where I’m calling it a night.  I went to this place to see & shoot a giant chicken.  It was closed but luckily the chicken was in the yard so I still got my photo.  Little did I know that the place had lots of mcm (mid-century modern) touches — the cool sign:

The Farmers’ Memorial dome:

The museum itself:

OK — one more for you sign lovers — also from Bonner Springs.  The building itself is not that special but this sign is a winner:

Here’s hoping for a cooler day tomorrow!

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16 thoughts on “Day 19: Even hotter in Kansas City

  1. Bummer about the AC on the fritz. Hope this will be a quick fix Thursday. The T-Rex Cafe does look like fun for one visit. I too like dinos. You won’t lose your audience from your comments about kids, etc. BUT, speaking as a fan/follower, what I and others want you to do is : HAVE A MEAL SOMEWHERE! We WANT you to enjoy something, and hear about it ! Why, you could have had soup & salad at the T-Rex. Or a nice desert, like a S’MORE-ASAURUS or CHOCOLATE EXTINCTION. Oh,well.
    I checked up on your Sony on Amazon & Best Buy. Out of 18 reviews by people who had bought it, 13 gave it 4-5 stars out of 5. The rest 1-2 stars,complaining of image quality or other issues. So, hope you will be happy with yours.
    Be Cool, DJ. I hope…… SOON.

    • I mostly have the video for taking doggie movies. Silly stuff. Though I understand you can extract still frames and all that. But I don’t plan to become a serious videographer. Or photographer for that matter! I will be eating a meal in Wichita area coming up soon with a friend so I hope that will satisfy you foodies. If I had eaten at T-Rex, I would have had to do without the splendor of the Ag Hall of Fame that came immediately after. That’s why food is a VERY low priority for me.

  2. I have to say I love the simplicity and fun of the 4 Acre sign, a sweet combination of shapes that all work well together.

    Funny thing about the ice- Rigby loves to chomp on ice cubes, like his dogmom did, but if you put them in his water to cool it down he doesn’t go near it!

  3. My A/C doesn’t work either – and I’ve got a 2500 mile trip coming up to Las Vegas. I don’t know about your’s, but mine turns out to be the high pressure hose – about $400 to replace at the dealer.

    The HUGE Commerce Bank sign – yeah, that looks like something Milburn Drysdale would want, ego that he has…

    • I’ve had so many parts replaced on this AC in the past couple years — blenders, controls, trap doors, hoses, filters — it all blurs together. I don’t think I could do a desert trip without AC — that’s really hardcore!

  4. You haven’t lost me! I can’t stand kids, either. Working retail for 9 years, I’ve seen many tantrums and other bad behaviors from children. Which is a constant reaffirmation of my own life choices!

    Skip the mall-themed restaurants, but I do hope you will sit down at a good old diner and have a waffle or a piece of pie sometime during your trip.

    Hoping your AC is an easy fix today. I drove 4 years in Virginia without AC. It was not fun.

    • Whew! Glad I didn’t offend. I’m a little dangerous after midnight after a day of driving around in 100+ degrees. Who knows what I might say!
      I will try to do one civilized meal on this trip — in fact, I have one coming up with a friend near Wichita — I’ll try so shoot something there. I’ve had many cars without AC over the years. Even the VWs with no heat! But this weather is really NASTY.

  5. Rida-a-Way Credit is about 9 blocks from my house…it’s at 59th and Troost, I’m about 9 blocks West of there. You were so close!! Great pics. Looking forward to more. Hoping you cooler weather and an easy time getting your AC fixed in Lawrence.

  6. I’m with you on the kid thing. I like dogs better. ha. Also, it’s Texarkana TX/Texarkana AR, not OK, although OK is pretty close. About 55 miles. Enjoying the trip! Hope you get your AC up and running today.

    • Can’t believe I screwed that up. You know how much I love the side-by-side Texarkana thing. I love Stateline Avenue. I’m one of those people that loves those 4 corner state things where you can hop from one state to the next. Must have its complications though. Dogs are far better in every way than kids! I’d never make it through these trips if they could talk for one thing. The AC is rocking now and so are we. Western KS now and a real work-out for all of us. Tons of blogging to do tonight — gonna be a late one.

  7. You certainly haven’t lost me. No fan of religion and though I love my two god kids, I would never want to go home with them and they do annoy the crap out of me sometimes.

    Great set of signs, sad state and all.

    • Glad you’re enjoying the posts & photos. It’s exhausting — my last ounce of energy after I’m already exhuasted from the day. But I’m very happy once I get it done.

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