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Along the way up to Hamilton and back, about an hour and a half each way, there are countless treasures to check out and explore. If I had more time I would’ve seen them all but there’s always next time. Here is what I found:

On the way up north ~

My first stop was in my hometown of Lee’s Summit, MO. Proper caffeination is important on road-trips and I love any excuse to visit the Whistle Stop Coffee and Mercantile in our downtown area. Pictured is their delicious mocha and three mini lemon biscotti, a steal for only $0.35 each!
My next stop was in Liberty, MO to pick up a half dozen cupcakes at 3 Girls Cupcakes. I normally follow them on Twitter, as they travel in their cruiser all over Kansas City stopping to sell their goodness to the locals, however, due to some car trouble they weren’t out delivering the day I passed through and I arranged a morning pickup at their house. They are so delicious and their flavors are inventive.

On the way back ~

Brian’s mom joined me for another day of adventure as I headed back home. Our first stop was at the James Farm and Museum where Jesse James was born in Kearney, MO. We had a 30 minute tour of the home and explored the museum on our own. Pictured here is the James’ family home and Jesse’s tombstone (a replica because people kept chipping away at the original for souvenirs). Jesse’s mother buried him in the front yard so she could keep her eye on him. I love what she had put on his tombstone. 
We then headed to Excelsior Springs, MO and stopped at the Ventana Gourmet Grill for some lunch. I had a delicious Veggie Special sandwich. This place also has a live piano bar on some evenings.
After lunch we visited the Hall of Waters, also in Excelsior Springs. This place was quite interesting. Currently it acts as a city hall and a mini-museum to the by-gone days of when this building was a mineral water bottling plant, a mineral spa, a water bar and a swimming hole (with a one foot deep pool in the basement).
We obviously had some fun at the Hall of Waters. We sampled some of the mineral water at the water bar pictured at the top/right. Then we headed into the non-functioning spa and tried out some of the equipment. It was a working spa up until a couple of years ago, sad it wasn’t still open now. The million dollar building (built for that back in 1937) was quite impressive and opulent. It’s not a place you’d be at long but if you are in the area it’s totally worth seeing.
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