One of my resolutions this year was to get more focused and learn how to say “no.” I can do it, you see, if I don’t want to do something it is hard to make me do it. However, most ideas and projects that people share with me sound great and I am always tempted to say “yes.” That’s why when Bridgette Epple invited me to go along with the Downtown Washington Inc. team as a photographer to the “Get Plugged in Downtown” conference in Kansas City organized by Missouri Main Street Connection, I said “yes.” Then I thought about it, and I said “no.” It took very little convincing after that to change my mind and find myself on a Tuesday morning at the downtown train station waiting for the Amtrak. I am glad I said yes. It’s so great to see Downtown Washington Inc. in action!
Ready to go! From left to right: Kevin, intern at Downtown Washington Inc, Sal, intern at City of Washington, Carolyn Witt, Sara Unerstall, Me, and Bridgette. (Andy Unerstall took the photo for us 😉
The train ride from Washington to Kansas City is a very enjoyable one, if you have never been on the train, take a short trip soon!
Bridgette got us some snacks around lunch time – you can have hummus and chips, a veggie burger, or even pizza on the train!
Snacking and chatting in the cafe car. This was Kevin’s first trip on the Amtrak, and he quite enjoyed it!
We arrived! The view of Kansas City from Union Station.
The conference is held at the beautiful historic Hotel Philip downtown – as soon as we got there I went to a volunteer training. My job was easy – capturing all events and the spirt of the conference. Leave it to me to take lots of pictures 😉
This year they are having a fun contest: all downtown communities submitted two photos of local men in front of historic buildings, and the best photos will be selected for the “Men on the Block” calendar. We naturally had two amazing entries, and we immediately put together a voting campaign on Facebook 😉
Here is one of the photos we submitted: Rick Marquart in front of the Downtown Cabin.
Bridgette, voting for Rodney Stoyer’s photo on Main Street downtown. Thank you to everyone who supported our downtown men and donated money for more voting tickets!
After we were all checked in at the hotel, it was time for the fun to begin. We boarded a bus and went to the Vine Street District where we enjoyed the Opening Reception for the conference at the Negro Leagues Baseball Hall of Fame.
It was great to meet people from other downtown communities in Missouri, and it also felt pretty cool to be part of the Washington group which is quite well known and loved.
Bridgette, networking. As I said, I am glad I said yes to her. Stay posted for day 2 of the conference on the blog.