Friday Favs – Kansas City Getaway Edition

Friday Favs – Kansas City Getaway Edition


^One of my favorite quotes from The Alchemist + pic from my first time riding Capri, a 5-gaited American Saddlebred, earlier this week. 

It’s already been a few weeks since my trip to Kansas & Kansas City and I still haven’t found the time to start writing about my adventures, so I thought I’d just tell you my top 5 favs from my shenanigans on the way to & in KC instead! (I’ll still be doing at least one whole post about Equifest and one about Topeka, as well as one about the insanely huge suite I stayed at in Kansas City!)

Here we go, in no particular order:

1. Best. Groupon. EVER. 

I just started riding horses again after a 10+ year break, so  knew that I wanted to try to get some riding time in while I was away. I browsed through the deals available on Groupon and after some super nerdy research on the stables with offers, ended up buying the one for two one hour lessons at Stutts Performance Horses just outside of KC. The $45 price was a pretty good deal since I usually pay $30/hr where I currently ride, but it was an even better deal since I found a promo code for 20% off that dropped it down to $36, and then I got 72 Swagbucks because I purchased it through their link! (Yes, that’s basically 72 cents, but it’s something!)

The stable was about 20 minutes from my hotel, but thank goodness I left early because I missed a turn and got way off track. The following conversation ensued:

Me: (whining) Hey Siri! I’m lost!

Useless iPhone: I don’t know where you are, Crystal.

Thanks, Siri, you’re a real pal. (I lost count of the number of times I asked “Siri, are you drunk?” on this trip.)

2. An awesome lesson horse.

For my lesson, I rode Remedy, an awesome Quarter Horse with a background in reining.

A video posted by Crystal Ward (@crystalward11) on

She was exactly what I needed at the time – Not only was she really fun to ride, but she was super responsive to my legs and seat, so if I got off balance at all or was squeezing with one leg more firmly than the other, it would show. I had to really focus on riding correctly!

A video posted by Crystal Ward (@crystalward11) on

I was only able to fit one of the 2 lessons I got with the Groupon into this trip, so I’m hoping to head back up next month for the second one! (I have until August to use it.)

3. Braving the Goodwill Outlet

It’s no secret that I love thrift shopping, so of course I checked my map app for thrift stores near my hotel. I was excited to see that there was a Goodwill outlet about 10 minutes away, and it was even on my way to the stable I talked about above. YAY!

Goodwill Outlet in Kansas City MO

I’d heard of the notorious Goodwill “bins” where stuff is sold by the pound, but this was my first time actually going to that kind of store. Definitely an experience!

Goodwill Outlet with bins of clothing sold by the pound

The entire store is filled with these huge blue bins of stuff. There’s definitely not much organization – all sizes and genders of clothes are mixed together in the bins you see here, but you’ll also find stuff like sheets, pillows, curtains, etc in those. I dug around for about 20 minutes and found an almost new bag, a cute t-shirt, and some fabric, but the line to check out was crazy and I didn’t want to be late for my riding lesson, so I ended up abandoning them. Fail. At least I can now say I’ve survived the legendary bins!

4. Finally Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Yep, even though I’m a Star Wars nerd, it took me until February to actually make it out to see the new movie! I stayed at Ameristar Kansas City, which has a movie theater in it, so after my riding lesson I ate a quick dinner and then ran downstairs just in time for the movie. (Loved it, obvs.)

5. Osceola Cheese

If you ever find yourself driving through middle of nowhere Missouri, you must stop at Osceola Cheese Co. They have something like 250 different kinds of cheese, and samples out for almost all of them. Plus, it’s about halfway between where I live and KC, so it’s the perfect place for a break from driving!

Osceola Cheese

Just one of two long shelves of cheese & samples. 


After an entire hour of poking around, I ended up with cheese, fudge, and honey. 

I’m headed up to Springfield today to help run the horse event booth for the stable I take lessons at, and then will probably be up there again tomorrow to actually enjoy the event myself! (Bye, what’s left of my money!) Any fun weekend plans?

Linking up with these lovely ladies!

fri-favs 5-friday Friday blog linkup