Destination: Family

Let me tell you a story of destinations.

Over the long holiday weekend, I went on two very different outings. Saturday afternoon I drove to Liberty Memorial to see the traveling Vietnam memorial. Monday morning, in one outing, I discovered Donna’s Dress Shop and Taco Republic.

They left tributes.
They left tributes.

Once controversial for its simple design and use of black granite, the Vietnam wall has become a revered mainstream image in America. The wall I saw on Saturday lacked the impact of the original for two necessary reasons. It wasn’t built into the ground, and it didn’t have the reflective quality of polished black stone. But the names of the dead were there: all 58,220 of them, and that was the important part to the 25,000 people who visited this weekend. They left tributes to their fallen loved ones, and made rubbings of family names. They hugged and cried.

My veterans
My veterans

I’m among the fortunate. My Vietnam veteran accompanied me to Liberty Memorial. My dad, a retired naval officer, served in Vietnam for two years. My mom kept the family intact while he was away. They strolled the length of the wall with two of their grandchildren and talked of the war’s impact on America.

I wanted that memory. I wanted to watch the generations come together to share history. If I’d blinked, I would have missed it, but it happened.
We visited the wall. We found the brick in the Liberty Memorial walk that honors my great-grandfather’s service in WWI. We climbed the steps to the observation deck to take pictures of Downtown, and we went home.

We took pictures of Downtown KC
We took pictures of Downtown KC

If you like bright, vintage, one-of-a-kind clothes, Donna’s Dress Shop is for you. Emily, who follows the shop on Instagram, talked me into taking her to the big Memorial Day sale, and I’m so glad she did. Both girls found clothes: Emily, a lightweight red and white skirt; Betsy, a simple dress she can wear to work. We all came away with a lot to talk about. Speaking of work, since both girls have jobs, I stood outside on the sidewalk while they paid for their purchases!

IMG_2113 IMG_2111We were tight on time. The shop opened at eleven, and Emily had to work at one. But we weren’t far from 47th and Mission, so I talked them into going to Taco Republic for lunch, not knowing that it’s a sit-down restaurant. We mixed and matched tacos—some were hits, and some were misses. Now that we know what we like, we want to go back.
She made it to work at one o’clock precisely.
That was the fastest girls’ day out I’ve ever experienced, and one of the best. The older my kids get, the more I enjoy them.

I guess my story of destinations will have to wait. This is a story of family.

Betsy and me
Betsy and me at the wall.


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