As I mentioned in my post about Kaiser Carlile, the idea of spending a week-long vacation in Kansas confused most Southern Californians. “Aren’t there tornadoes there?!” “But it’s so humid!” “What on earth can you do for a whole week in Kansas?” “WHY Kansas?!”
I get it. Southern Californians think they have it all. (Why else would so many people choose to live so close together and spend so much money in order to do so?)
We chose Kansas for two simple reasons: 1.) We love Kansas and consider it “home” in many ways; and 2.) We’ve attended the NBC World Series together every summer since we met which makes it our only true annual tradition together, and we just don’t want to give that up. But, to tell you the truth, Kansas was not our original plan.
Chicago was our first idea. Last summer, we planned a trip to Chicago, but we had to forego those plans when we realized we were moving to California. We intended to try again this year. Unfortunately, the dates we wanted to embark on this little adventure were the exact dates the Cubs would be out of town. For a baseball family, no trip to Chicago would be complete without a game at Wrigley, so we decided to postpone Chicago for another year when our dates would align with Cubs home games.
Our second idea was Northern California. We would fly to the bay area, catch a couple of baseball games, rent a car, and take the long way back home through a multitude of Northern Californian sites. It seemed like a good enough idea, but neither of us was exceptionally excited about it.
So we decided to do what we’ve always done: go to the NBC World Series in Wichita. When my husband made this suggestion, I was thrilled. I nearly teared up with excitement. I’d spent the past year homesick for Kansas, and I was eager to get back. This would be our fourth annual trip to the tournament, and the fact that we would be traveling across the country to be there made it a true tradition that we could strive to maintain for years.
Why we love Kansas:
- Everything about Kansas is laid back. After a year in the hustle and bustle of Southern California—yes, even small town, blue-collar Southern California—I was ready for an escape. The people are friendly, and the drivers are patient.
- There is room to breathe. And drive. Even Kansas crowds are more spacious than crowds elsewhere. Traffic is always light (at least by comparison). And if we ever felt overwhelmed, an expanse of open land was never far.
- Kansas was our first home together. We were married in Kansas, and we truly started our lives together there. Our dreams were established there, and our first dreams together relied on spending our lives there.
Why we love the National Baseball Congress World Series:
- As I mentioned above, it is our only true tradition together. We intend to be here as often as possible even if every year is not realistic. We can picture enjoying the tournament together even as our family grows.
- The NBC is a family. I’ve experienced this for the last four years, and if you need evidence, read this. Everyone there has stories to share, and the people truly care about each other, even in the midst of rivalries. NBC is built on alumni support and involvement, so we all have shared experiences across generations.
- The environment cannot be beat. Fans and players throw water at each other. Teams celebrate their fans. No baseball tradition is more unique than Baseball ‘Round the Clock, and many dedicated fans make it through a weekend of games. The environment is perfect for baseball fans of all ages.
As we planned our vacation this year, there was no contest. Nothing excited us more than returning to Kansas for the 81st NBC World Series.