Kansas City Roadtrip Eats: Part 1 + Tips for Staying Active During Travel

Shout out to Saturday!! To ring in the new weekend, I thought I’d share my adventures of last weekend!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to travel to Kansas City, MO to watch my sister play in the National Collegiate Club Volleyball Federation’s national tournament.

KC road trip buddies

Road trip buddies

I drove down with my Mom and Dad on Thursday and we stayed until Sunday mid-morning, so it was a nice little vacation. While there was a lot of great volleyball to watch, we also had some free time and were able to explore KC a little bit!

Since we didn’t have a kitchen or even a microwave at our disposal, we obviously ended up eating out more than usual, but we also tried to pack some food and snack options so we didn’t have to go out or order in for every meal.

Today, I thought I’d share a bit of a recap of my long weekend in KC, along with some healthy travel tips for staying active and eating well. Since I realized I have a lot to ramble on about say, I decided it would be best to break this into two parts instead of one mega-long post.

So on two part one…Here we go!

We set out on our 7.5 hour journey from Madison around 9:30am. After a few restroom breaks, driver exchanges, and a stop for lunch at Subway, we arrived in KC around 7pm just in time for my sister’s last match of the day. We made our way directly to the convention center where the tournament was being held.

There were 52 courts of volleyball being played at any one given time, so you can just imagine how many teams were there. Needless to say, lots of great volleyball being played.

KC vb

So. Much. Volleyball. Picture this x 52.

My sister’s team ended up going 3 – 0 Thursday night and entered play on Friday as undefeated!

Afterwards we checked into our hotel. We stayed at The Westin at Crown Center, which was only about a mile from the convention center – perfectly within walking distance. By the time we figured out where to park, caught an open elevator up to the 11th floor, and finally got our bags to our room, it was past 9pm and we were famished and tired. Amazing how sitting in a car all day can really wear you out.

Our hotel [source].

We had a late snack-y dinner of delicious food and snacks packed from home (cheese curds, sliced cheese, crackers, sunflower seed bites, almonds, pretzels, and fresh fruit and veggies), and then crashed hard.

hotel snacks

I swear there are more cheese curds buried under that mound of veggies. Also, those somersaults = the bomb.

Saturday my sister didn’t play til mid-morning so we slept in and then walked over to watch her two matches for the day. Breakfast that day was a banana on the walk over, plus a packed Kashi granola bar and an orange.

kashi bar

These are my all-time, hands-down favorite store-bought granola bars and are perfect for when I need breakfast or a snack on-the-go. Not to mention, they’ve got good nutritional stats to boot too!

After her matches we hit the streets of KC to explore and grab some lunch. We ended up at an Irish pub called Dubliners in the Power and Lights District where we sat outside and enjoyed a late lunch in the sunshine.

kiss me i'm local

Two thumbs up for this place.

My dad ordered the Rueben with their aaaahmazing sweet potato fries which he so graciously shared with me. Seriously, they were the bomb dot com. My mom and I each went with their special of the day: a cranberry, pecan grilled chicken salad with homemade champagne vinaigrette. I got mine sans dressing, since I don’t care for dressing, and subbed in chopped cucumber.

dubliner salad KC

That salad, eaten outside in the sunshine, seriously felt like summer!

It was delicious- so fresh and satisfying. My mom loved the dressing and said it really made the salad. There was also a giant artisan pretzel on happy hour special that my mom and I seriously contemplated going back for.

Post lunch we walked over to the River district and checked out the City Market – a marketplace with restaurants, shops, and fresh produce. I grabbed a few apples for snacks and then we headed back to exploring. In addition to exploring downtown we also checked out Union Station and a few fountains.

KC farmers market

Excuse the lack of people or action going on – we went right before closing time, but went back on Saturday for the market which was hoppin’!

fountain selfie

Did you know there are more fountains in KC than in any other place in the world besides Rome?!

We had planned on going out for a casual dinner, but on the walk back discovered a nice little grocery store called Consentino’s and ended up grabbing a few items there to bring back to the hotel: fresh baked bread from a local bakery, a new-to-me jar of peanut butter, and some locally produced chocolate milk and cottage cheese.

PB

Ummmm…can I eat this on everythang!?

[Side note: I love cottage cheese. Like love, love, love it. I like to call myself a cottage cheese connoisseur and have to try any new brand or type of cottage cheese when I find one. Weird, I know.]

Anyways, with our groceries in tow we made our way back to the hotel, broke out the cheese, nuts, fruit, and veggies we packed and had ourselves a nice little cheese board spread, along with a few cold beverages we packed too (our room had a fridge, plus we brought a cooler along), before winding down with some TV and falling asleep.

hotel food

Who needs room service? Hotel room dining at its finest!

I was so exhausted after our first full day, that I crashed hard – I think from all of the walking! We walked around 10 miles, or even more, each day so I didn’t even think about trying to fit in a workout while we were there. I loved that I was able to explore the city and get my ‘steps’ in for the day at the same time!

Here are some of my other top tips for staying active on road trips and getaways:

  • Leave the car in the parking garage and walk to your destinations! We purposefully chose a hotel downtown so that we could be near all of the action and explore the city on foot.
  • Go for a walk at rest areas. We stopped at a few beautiful rest areas in Iowa along the way, and made sure to stretch our legs and get in a few steps by taking a lap or two around the grounds. Many rest areas even have short walking paths!
  • Use the pool! While we didn’t get in the pool on this trip, I definitely would have if it was a bit warmer. I know this may make me sound like I am 60, but I love water aerobics. Swimming laps is always good exercise too.
  • Check out a local park – heck maybe even test out the swings or attempt to conquer the monkey bars. It’s always fun to feel like a kid again!
  • Rent a bike! In KC they have the same B-cycle program that we have here in Madison. It allows you to rent a bike from one of the many kiosks throughout the city. When you are done with your ride, you can simply return it back to the location most convenient to you! It’s a great way to sight see and get the lay of the land – I definitely want to rent a bike if I ever make it back to KC again!

I think I’ll stop there for today since this is already quite lengthy, but make sure to check back soon for the rest of our trip recap, plus my tops tips for eating healthy while on the road!

Anyone else love Ruby Tuesday’s Garden Bar?

What are your favorite ways to stay active on the road or on vacation?

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