Restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel Kansas City
Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, Investment Advisory, and Value Investing

Last night, I realized that I needed to take a trip to the local Charles Schwab & Company branch office to turn over a framed Berkshire Hathaway Class B certificate that we had on the office wall for a few years as decor because the stock split 50-1 and the transfer agent had been continually sending us messages and paperwork.

[mainbodyad]Instead of dealing with it, I could just redeposit it into one of the company’s brokerage accounts and the broker will handle all of the paperwork. Frankly, it was only 50 Class B shares and I didn’t want to have to arrange my schedule for it but it turned out to be a great experience because …

At the same time, my mom got word that the Apple Store at the Country Club Plaza would have a new shipments of iPad 2’s coming in stock. Even though we bought them already, the expected delivery date is 5 to 6 weeks in the future. We realized if we could get our hands on them, we could cancel our online order and save ourselves a considerable amount of waiting.

Aaron suggested we head over to the Country Club Plaza and just stay in a hotel because we wouldn’t want to wake up late – we’d just want to get out of bed, have breakfast, and wander on over to wait in line since supply was certain to be limited. Then, after we were finished, we could swing by the Schwab branch and, if we had time, make it to one of the bakeries one of the readers recommended we try – 3 Women and an Oven.

Hotel Lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City at the Country Club Plaza

We arrived at the hotel at approximately 10:30 p.m. I ran into the lobby to handle check-in and get the keys to our room, which was on the 9th floor overlooking the Country Club Plaza so we could see the Apple store street from our room.

I had heard that the Intercontinental hotel had undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and, being from the area, knew that it was only two blocks from the Apple store. I also knew a few years ago, Travel & Leisure magazine had rated it as one of the world’s best hotels thanks to the changes and upgrades that have taken place. So I called and booked a room. We left the office, picked up my mom, threw our clothes in a bag, and headed to the hotel. We pulled up, the valet parked the car, we checked in, and … well, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Intercontinental Hotel Beds

We walked into the hotel room and started to unload our stuff …


The Bathroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City

The bathrooms were very nice. I started unpacking on the counter as we settled into our room.


Aaron and Tammy Overlooking the Plaza

My mom and Aaron went out onto the balcony and were looking over the Country Club Plaza trying to figure out exactly where we needed to be in the morning to have the best chance of getting an iPad 2 from the new shipment that was set to arrive.


Outside Intercontinental Hotel Kansas City Country Club Plaza at Night

The view from the ninth floor really was nice.


Room Service at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City at the Country Club Plaza

Aaron ordered room service for everyone as I jumped in the shower and switched into a set of pajamas …


Aaron's Dessert

Aaron’s dessert from room service looked fantastic.


Aaron and Tammy Eating Room Service

I was eating at the desk going over some paperwork as Aaron and my mom ate on the beds.


Aaron Eating Dessert

Aaron said his food was great, even though the ice cream was supposed to be some sort of pear flavor and was, instead, vanilla.


Tiny Alcohol Bottle

There were tiny alcohol bottles in the in-room bar and, even though I don’t drink very often since I hate the taste of alcohol, I almost bought a bunch of the bottles because of my love of all things miniature. There was no point, though, so I put it back and got a Perrier, instead, which I can actually enjoy.


Joshua in the Morning Before Apple

A few hours later, we woke up and got dressed. I was wearing four layers, two scarves, and a hat, and after two hours standing in 34 degree freezing weather, I was still so cold it hurt. This was taken before we left the room; this is me on 3 to 4 hours of sleep.


Aaron in the Morning Before Apple

Aaron right after getting dressed in the morning before leaving the room …


Getting Out of the Elevator

We stepped out of the elevator on the first floor …


Coffee at Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City

We rounded the corner into the lobby where there were silver urns lit by fire waiting to serve fresh, hot, black coffee. I grabbed a cup.


Lounge at the Intercontinental Kansas City

We continued through the lounge, where a huge fireplace was roaring and warming the room …


Restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel Kansas City

We passed the restaurant and continued down a hallway to the side exit nearest to the street where we needed to venture …


Outside of the Hotel on the Plaza in the Morning

We broke out onto the street, wrapped ourselves in scarves and blankets, and made our way two blocks north to the Apple store. We were hoping to arrive between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., meaning we would have to stand in line until 9:00 a.m. Even though the store doesn’t technically open until 10 a.m., they hand out tickets based upon your position in line an hour before and then start letting you into the store based upon your order.


The Fountain at the Intercontinental Hotel Kansas City

We passed the fountain at the Intercontinental Hotel Kansas City …


Crossing the Water at the Country Club Plaza

We crossed the bridge and made our way up to the store.


The Lamps on the Bridge at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City

I liked the lamps on the bridge.

We huddled against the shop window surrounding the Apple store for quite awhile before the staff came out, setup a line marker, and asked us to move to the other side of the sidewalk.

Apple Store Kansas City Country Club Plaza iPad

The sun was beginning to rise but it was still cold.


My Mom, Tammy Kennon, Freezing Under a Blanket Waiting for an iPad at the Country Club Plaza

It was so cold – roughly 34 degrees for most of the time we stood outside – that once we reached the final part of our 2+ hour wait, it was getting painful. Aaron and I look over and my mom had covered herself completely in her blanket and was standing like a statue in the middle of the line. We laughed so hard we couldn’t stop.


Mom Walking with Coffee

At one point, I was finished with the coffee I had picked up at the hotel and, since I wasn’t wearing gloves, was forced to hold it. My mom asked me if I was done and told me I could throw it away at the end of the street. I told her I didn’t want to get out of line. She took the coffee, walked up the street to throw it away from me, donning her yellow blanket. Aaron and I dubbed her “Our Lady of Eternal Sunshine” because it made her look like a nun. A very happy nun. When she got back, she said, “Now put your hands in your coat because you look cold.”


Apple iPad Ticket

Then, it happened. We got it! Both my mom and I ended up going with a 64 Gigabyte Black AT&T WiFi+3G model, while Aaron upgraded to the 32 Gigabyte White WiFi+3G. Unfortunately, my dad did not want the 3G feature so they didn’t have any of the iPad 2 32 Gigabyte WiFi only units he wanted. We knew we had to formulate another plan. More on that later.


iPad 2 WiFi+3G

We bought our three models and then made our way back to the hotel room to recover. Here, I was opening my new iPad 2 and examining it before taking it out of the protective plastic cover.


Back in the Hotel Room

Back in the hotel room, mom called her office. I looked out the window and Aaron and I discussed the remainder of our plans for the day.


Aaron In the Hotel Restaurant

We decided to grab some breakfast in the hotel restaurant since it was now pushing 11:30 a.m., and then checkout of the hotel. A big motivating factor was my need for coffee – a lot of coffee – early in the morning. I needed to relax and recover from the ordeal of waiting in line in the cold for hours.


The View Outside of the Restaurant

The view to the right of my seat in the hotel restaurant was nice.


Black Coffee Delivered

The coffee, orange juice, and water was delivered to the table.


American Breakfast

I had an “American Breakfast” with sausage, eggs, miniature pancakes, hash browns, and wheat toast.



My mom ordered one plain pancake, one blueberry pancake, and one banana pancake so she could try them all. She split half of them with the table so we could try them, too. Everyone agreed banana pancakes were the best.


Aaron Biscuits and Gravy

Aaron ordered biscuits and gravy.

A Quick Stop at the Charles Schwab & Company Branch Office

Stock Certificates Joshua Kennon

Berkshire Hathaway Class B split 50-1 awhile ago and the office had a single share of the old pre-split stock framed on the wall. It started to make me upset that I hadn’t taken care of it so I stopped by the Charles Schwab & Company branch office, filled out the necessary paperwork, and turned over the certificate, along with a few other that were frame and subject to corporate action or that I just didn’t want around, anymore. I used to have hundreds of single-share stock certificates at the company’s offices so that annual reports are sent directly to me. Now that everything is going electronic, companies don’t always send the paperwork, which infuriates me (and one of the reasons I’m switching to the iPad for all of our investment research). I decided to just undo the entire mess to make my life simpler and the fastest way was to turn them over to a broker, such as Schwab, and then deal with it from there. The entire experience at Schwab was effortless. I was thrilled.


Mom and Aaron at Charles Schwab & Company

My mom was on the phone when Aaron and I were taking care of some paperwork at Charles Schwab, trying to find the iPad 2 model for my dad that we weren’t able to get at the Apple store. She finally located it at the Tiffany Springs Best Buy so we had one put aside for us, finished signing the corporate resolutions, and jumped in the car to secure the fourth, and final, iPad.


Best Buy Tiffany Springs

We made it to the Best Buy Tiffany Springs store within our deadline of one hour to pick up the fourth iPad 2.


Mom Celebrating Victory

We bought the iPad 2, which is such a great business tool, and then as we were walking out, I started to take a picture. My mom spontaneously throws up the hand that is holding the iPad receipt and yells, “Victory!”.

[mainbodyad]We passed a Wendy’s, where Aaron said, “That is the Wendy’s where you and I were eating years ago and you looked and me and told me you had a feeling something had just happened to Dave Thomas. I think you made us actually stop and pray for the founder of Wendy’s. We found out later that he had just died. You were so certain about it.” That was weird. I have no explanation for you.

I’m back home now, curled up by the fireplace about to play a few hours of Dragon Age II before spending the rest of week working on, our sporting goods businesses, and maybe working on a few spreadsheets. I got the online iPad 2 orders canceled now that we have them from our adventure this morning. It’s been a good day. A great day.

Movies and Videos of the Trip