Saturday was a day for urban pleasures. #2 son had us start out at his favorite bakery, which is at Crown Center, across from Union Station. I love Union Station, and I also love The Link, pictured here. It is a metal-and-glass structure to walk through from Union Station to Crown Center. We were not able to persuade #1 son to make another visit to Science City, but we did roam around admiring the ornamentation.

We also went to the bakery, the bookstore (no David Hume), the Franklin Covey store, and the toy store. The people at the Franklin Covey store are so helpful, it is amazing. I guess it is not amazing. Where I work, we care deeply about education and are pretty well educated. So I suppose at the Franklin Covey store they care deeply about organization and are predictably organized. But they will find you exactly what you need for your personal situation and work out how to get the best results from all the current sales and specials, before you have had time to think about it. And they will be right, too.

We also had lunch at Fritz’s. I’ll tell you frankly that the food was not a thrill for me, although the kids liked it, but the place itself is fascinating. You sit in a booth made to look like a train booth, with a window through which a model train sometimes runs, and call on a telephone to give the kitchen your order. Then it comes on a train around the ceiling, and is lowered by a sort of elevator or dumbwaiter to your table. #2 son loved this, and is determined to put such an arrangement into his house when he grows up.

We went next to the Nelson Atkins, which I love. We went to look at our favorite artworks (20th century European paintings for me, Henry Moore and Romantic landscapes for #2 son, the Oriental Hall for #2 daughter; #1 son was undecided, but it was his first visit). We also tried to look at things we hadn’t seen before, though we kept getting drawn to other wonderful things we remembered.

If I lived in that city, which I often think I would like to when I visit, I would volunteer there.

I also would find out about that ancient Japanese zither which appears to be strung with — string. I don’t think it would sound like anything at all if you played it. However, since the guard was beginning to look perturbed by the close scrutiny we were giving it, and the depth of our fascination with it, none of us did so.

Our next stop was the Plaza. The Nelson Atkins is a temple of art, but the Plaza is a temple of commerce. It is filled with wonderful statues, mosaics, and architectural details. It has fountains and other wondrous things. And it is filled with people trundling around with shopping bags entirely ignoring the beauty of it.

Maybe they are used to it.

I have to admit that I was tired of all shopping places by then, and while I was glad to find the needed David Hume (and happy to show #2 daughter the honorable and courteous way to ask for a discount on a book with a damaged spine), I had absolutely no interest in the things in the stores.

So I was glad to return to the home of our kind host and hostess. She had a gig that night, so we gathered up BBQ and a gateau and took it back to her place so she could practice rather than cook.

Over dinner, the kids amused her with stories of just how scared I was on the freeways. “We ridiculed her mercilessly,” #2 son crowed. It was true, all true.