A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends, Jill, Marlene, Lynda and I took a road trip from Chicago to Kansas City. We have been close friends for over 25 years and have all had professional lives in Department Stores ( Marshall Fields, Robinson's, Famous Barr). So we are all pretty judgemental and very opinionated about retail in general. To make things even more interesting, while Jill and Lynda have retired, crazy Marlene and I now own our own retail venues. So we are constantly looking for other retail stores that inspire us and have found few in the past few years. But what a different story in Kansas City! We were all blown away- in this mid sized , mid west (of all places) city, retail was inspiring!. Nell Hill's new store was sensational - 2 floors filled to the brim with tasty merchandise. We all bought stuff and almost filled my large SUV in that first stop! Next, the Curious Sofa - one of the most beautiful stores that we have ever seen. A vintage tile ceiling, Italian plastered walls, and awesome antique doors greeted you in this strip center location! Lot's of glittered holiday decor, candles, vintage accessories inspired us. And then after an amazing lunch at a little French Cafe across the street(my girlfriends are still trying to figure out how they prepared this amazing tomato salad), off to Miss Frenchies we went! I had been reading about this event for over a year on the Curious Sofas blog. We were not disappointed - it was a blast. A group of artists, antique dealers and store keepers all came together in this magical barn and created a holiday extravaganza. Now our car really was full! But Saturday morning, before we headed back to Chicago, we made a little stop at a local department store - Hall's. When we walked in and saw the Christmas Shop, I began to hyperventilate - we had never seen such a beautiful assortment of holiday decor, since the grand old days of Marshall Fields in the 80's. Gorgeous hand blown ornaments, incredible elves and Santa's, silver, unbelievable tables capes - it was like Christmas heaven. Ten shopping bags later, we had to re-pack the car. Who was going to be tied on top to get home - certainly not my new ornaments! This was an awesome trip, 3 great antique malls too! And by the way, the ribs that we had at Jack Stacks in Kansas City, they were the best that I have ever tasted in my life - I had them overnight-ed for my family to celebrate Christmas Eve tonight!
Picture 1 - Elf from Hall's
Picture 2- candle stick from Nell Hill's
Pictures3-5 ornaments from Hall's
After Note - I never write this much in my blog - but I was totally blown away by Kansas City. The homes, the people we talked to, and the general rolling beauty of the city - all left me with lasting memories of one of the most wonderful road trips in my life. Kansas City, we'll see you again next Christmas!