Three clues to one of 2019’s best trips

After a prolonged hiatus, the Chronicles are back to ring in the new year with three clues to one of the coming year’s top destinations. And why did the Chronicles make a comeback in this manner? That should become obvious by the end of the post. So allow me to walk you through your steps to reach one of the best destinations to visit in 2019:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (image from

CLUE 1: One of National Geographic’s best trips for 2019

Don’t take my word for it, read for yourself. It’s not the number one spot. That distinction went to Mexico City. It’s not number 2 either (Peruvian Amazon). You’ll have to scroll down the list, but it is the highest domestic destination on it, and far more affordable than a trip to Greenland or New Zealand (#8 and #6, respectively).  So go ahead and read about the barbecue, jazz, and urban renaissance of a city that has so much to offer, it cannot all fit in one state.  But if National Geographic’s list hasn’t yet convinced you to visit, read on.

CLUE 2: Find the loudest stadium in the world.

The stadium should be full next Saturday, on January 12th. Two NFL teams will face each other in a contest that will see one of them advance one step closer to what has become one of the biggest televised sporting events in the world: the Superbowl. This stadium holds the distinction of being the loudest stadium in the world, registering at 116+ decibels with all noise attributable to the voracious support of the fans eager to see their team make another appearance in the big show, something they have not done since the very first and fourth installment.

CLUE 3: Find your favorite Nightmare

One might be more inclined to follow dreams than look for nightmares, but this is my publication and I write what I want. Plus, this makes it more interesting, in that with this clue, there are at least two options. The first is from Niger. The second is a from a central-European country with a little-known connection to the first.

Ah, what the heck, enough with the silly clues. I was just about to make some vague reference to Christian “the Nigerian Nightmare” Okoye, and the little-known fact that this monster of the gridiron was the namesake of alter-ego with whom readers of the Chronicles may be familiar…

If it isn’t obvious by now, as of late I am a resident of the greater Kansas City metro area, on the Kansas side. I have traveled and lived in many places over the course of my career as the lead Chronicler, and I was skeptical before moving to what is sometimes referred to as “flyover country” in 2017. Despite my expectations, I have been pleasantly surprised. I shall be moving on soon, probably later this year, but while I am here I thought I’d share a bit about what I believe to be one of the best kept not-so-secret destinations in America, at least by National Geographic’s standards. So to add some other reasons to visit beyond the clues listed above: there is world-class barbecue here, along with every other type of cuisine you’d like. I am partial toward a German restaurant downtown, and there are plenty of good steak houses, too. The traffic report in the morning news usually shows nothing but roads marked with green, and there is usually ample parking, too. The cost of living cannot be beat, which was brought into full focus for me, having lived in California and Hawaii prior to moving here. Perhaps tied to the issue of affordability is also the fact that people in this area are noticeably different from those who dwell in the coastal regions: in Kansas City, people tend to be polite, and even NICE. This is in stark contrast to the chip-on-the shoulder intolerant anger that seems to be a prevalent feature of coastal areas. With the enormous cost of living, no wonder residents there are angry. And no wonder California ranked last in quality of life in 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report (and 46th in opportunity…). Despite the lack of oceanfront properties, Kansas seems to be a better overall bargain.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. The good people at National Geographic must have had a reason to put KC on their top 10 list of places to visit in 2019!

(And let it be known that Christian’s Chronicles made its triumphant return from this mid-western location, too.)



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