Monday, October 22, 2007

Joplin is closed on Monday

Not quite a Monday Morons post. Sorry.

Well, I did not blog much about our time in Independence, Kansas. It was pretty much like last year. Same motel and everything. And we made a second trip to Price Tower for lunch. This time we also did a tour of the Phillip's house. Or, at least, most of the tour of the Phillip's house. We left it early, because we had reservations at the restaurant at Price Tower, and the tour was taking longer than we had expected. We need not have worried. There were plenty of empty tables at the restaurant, but I after reading on their website that reservations were recommended I was surprised that they weren't busy. They were even less busy than they were last year, but that's probably because we were there earlier. Anyway, my apologies to the tour guide for leaving.

We made an attempt to go to the Safari Park we missed last year, only to find the reason we didn't go last year is that this late in the year they only open on Saturday or for expensive private tours. We didn't want a private expensive tour, so we went to The Little House on the Prairie instead. We had gone there last year too, but we didn't have the camera then, so we went back. Still not much to see.

So after the week in the middle of nowhere Kansas, my husband has to work a few days in middle of nowhere northern Oklahoma followed by a couple of days in another place in the middle of nowhere south Kansas. In between both of these places is Joplin, Missouri. We decided to stay there for the week.

We had briefly debated about going back to Kansas City for Sunday and Monday, but except for a bit of shopping we'd already done most of the stuff that we usually do there. And we briefly discussed going to other places in Kansas or Missouri or Oklahoma, but decided against that. Going to most places in Oklahoma is either a) not that big of a deal anymore, and or b). probably something we have either done recently or possibly will be doing again soon anyway. The other places in Kansas or Missouri that we either haven't been to or wanted to revisit we decided were farther away than we wanted to drive. So we spent all of our days off driving to and then staying in Joplin.

Having made no plans concerning Joplin, I expected to be quite bored and spend even our days off mostly in the motel. Again, we briefly discussed driving over to Branson, but decided against it. Anyway, in the motel lobby we found a little map with stuff to do in Joplin and recommended restaurants and such. According to the little map, the best dinning experience in town is Mythos, and it was just down the street from the motel.

So we were going to Mythos, but then it turned out that a.) they did not serve lunch except for private parties and b.) they weren't open on Sundays.

We instead had lunch at Sandstone Gardens, which my husband described as "like Garden Ridge on steroids." Anyway, they sell a lot of stuff if you want to be Martha Stewart, and they also have a little restaurant that sells desserts, Starbucks coffee, soup and salad, and overpriced sandwiches. Not that the sandwiches were bad. I ordered the turkey sandwich, expecting to get a sandwich with like...sandwich meat. I am so used to sliced turkey, I forget that it comes in other forms. This was more like the day after Thanksgiving kind of turkey and not bad at all. And it came with a lovely salad and a piece of chocolate cake.

After lunch we paid about seventeen dollars to go and see a couple of friendly parrots and a collection of reptiles. The alligator and crocodile were both very clean. There were four cobras, and three of them were not happy, so you could tell that they were cobras. One of the other snakes is as big around as I am. Nice snake.

Then we went back to the motel and spent some time in the hot tub, which was the main reason for choosing that particular motel. We must have gone to dinner after that, but I don't remember where. Anyway, we hadn't planned on doing much on Sunday. The drive from Independence to Joplin wasn't a long one, but we were a bit tired anyway.

On Monday we had planned on doing a lot of stuff, only to find out that most of the stuff was closed on Mondays. This happens to us a lot. Museums that are open both Saturday and Sunday are typically closed on Monday. At least, that is the way it is around here, so there was no reason to think that it would be different in Joplin. But, we forgot about having this problem on Mondays until we got out the map and tried to pick what we wanted to do first. Joplin has a museum, which was a bit of a surprise, but it is closed on Mondays. And they also have the Spiva Art Center, which is also closed on Mondays. And we were going to go take pictures of a waterfall, which was near the Wildcat Nature Center (Audubon Society), but we had planned to do both on the same day only to find that the nature center was closed on Mondays.

Not closed on Mondays is the George Washington Carver birthplace. So we went there. Being raised a Baptist, I have often heard the joke about Mr. Carver getting to talk to God, and he asks God a lot of questions, only to be told that God won't answer his questions because the answers wouldn't fit in his brain. So Mr. Carver asks about smaller and smaller things, but still God tells him the same thing. So finally Mr. Carver asks God why he created the peanut, and apparently God thought that was something he could handle. Mr. Carver then invents about three hundred things made from peanuts.

Maybe Mr. Carver should have asked God why he created the black walnut. There are black walnuts all over the place. But the black walnuts probably wouldn't have done anything to help the sharecroppers the way that growing peanuts did. So it's just as well that he didn't.

Next we looked on the map to find a place for lunch. We laughed when we saw a diner that was listed as having the best chili in town. So we went there, only to find that they we closed on Mondays. So we went to a place called the Sultan of Smoke and had brisket sandwiches instead. These were big sandwiches. And as usual the BBQ was a bit messy. There was enough stuff that fell out of my sandwich that I could have taken it with me and made a second sandwich later.

We spent most of the rest of the day doing the same dumb stuff that I would have done if we'd been at home. We went to Goodwill and bought some boots that will be part of a Halloween costume, and we went to Hobby Lobby and Walmart and JoAnn Fabrics. We even managed to find a mall with a Bath & Body Works.

After that we went back to the motel for a bit before going to dinner. We had an early dinner at Mythos. We probably shouldn't have spent that much money, but we'd already gotten it into our heads that we should go there, and most of the rest of the week he would be working and we wouldn't be having dinner together. So we went, and the food was good, but it wasn't my favorite.

We decided to then go back to the motel and watch Prisonbreak. Only Prisonbreak wasn't on. There was some stupid ball game instead.

Oh, well. Back to the hot tub.


dmarks said...

Joplin is a place I have been to several times, because my relatives all lived right around it. It is now so long ago that all I remembered the town name. Nice description of what to see (or maybe not to see) there, if I ever went back.

David in DC said...

I've never heard the George Washington Carver story.

Thank you, that's a very good one.

laughingattheslut said...

Sorry, I did not tell the joke very well. I thought that everyone had already heard it. Mr. Carver first asks God why He created the universe. And God tells him that he can't answer the question, that it's a big answer and it wouldn't fit in a little human brain, even if a human could live long enough to hear the answer and such. God suggests that maybe Mr. Carver could ask about something smaller. And then Mr. Carver asks why God created the earth, and again God says He can't tell him and suggests he ask about something smaller. Everything Mr. Carver asks about is too big of a subject. Mr. Carver asks why did God create man, and again this is too big. Ask about something smaller. Finally, he's getting nowhere, and he asks why did God create the peanut.

David in DC said...

Turns out, it's a story Dr. Carver told on himself.

Thanks for inspiring my post today.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I've never heard the George Washington Carver story either. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Joplin is closed on Sunday & Monday and, for the most part, Tuesday through Saturday.

Let's face it: The city's best days are behind it. The end came when the beating heart of the city was torn out when all the buildings were destroyed (or fell down) at 4th & Main.

Since then, it's strip malls, fast food, churches, bars and subdivisions. Very depressing.

laughingattheslut said...

I think that we also went for a walk to look at some historic homes. That is the sort of thing my husband is into. His brother is an antique dealer.

Oh, and I think that we ate at a place called the Red Onion.

Some of those strip malls and such I just can't live without. I was happy to find both a Hobby Lobby and a Michaels in Joplin. I go nuts on these trips if I run out of yarn and end up doing nothing but watching reruns of stuff on cable.

GratefulDog said...

Your review of the Sandstone Garden was very kind to say the least. The place is a real rip off but it seems like the locals or semi-locals think its a symbol of status.

Martha Stewart but much more snobby and a no return policy on their overpriced cheap crap!