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May 2017

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When I think of summer, I think of cook-outs, fireflies, swimming, and…family trips!  Growing up, I knew that summertime meant my family would go somewhere, often in our pop-up camper.  Now, my family continues the tradition.  As a teacher with a kid in school, our big trips happen during the summer.  We look forward to our destination for many months as we dream and plan.  A summer trip is between one and two weeks for us, so that means there is still a lot of summer left over.  Just because we are home again doesn’t mean that the wanderlust is cured.  So what to do?  For us, it’s little getaways here and there, sometimes during the week and other times for a weekend.  I’ve included very different experiences so you can find what is best for your family. Here are my favorite “getaway for a few days” places for families…

What do you do when it’s the last week of school and George Washington Carver National Monument is between the school and your home?  You stop by and take a walk, of course! It was a beautiful day, so Kristin and I couldn’t resist making a stop here on the way home from school.  I teach in Diamond where the monument is located.  We make the 25-minute drive home every day to Joplin, so we pass by the turnoff for the monument all the time.  It feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, and I guess it is.  The monument is located where George Washington Carver was born and spent his boyhood.  When you make the turnoff, it isn’t long before you see this. There is ample parking in front of the visitor’s center.  There is also no charge for visiting the center or walking the…

When you visit the Black Hills of South Dakota, there are so many opportunities to get back to nature.  During our trip, we knew we had to make a day of visiting Custer State Park.  Our party of three made Keystone our home base for three days. For Jeff, Kristin and me, it was the perfect little place to call home.  But before we could get to Custer State Park, we drove through the Black Hills National Forest. Our pictures show the cloudy, overcast weather we had during our trip.  It misted rain or poured during our entire trip, but we don’t let the weather get us down! Black Hills National Forest This scenic roadway in Black Hills National Forest has some great scenic views and interesting rock formations. There are also some great tunnels to drive through. Custer State Park After winding around for awhile, we came to…

If you’re on a budget and you want to visit Walt Disney World, you may believe that staying at a Disney deluxe resort is out of your reach. I know I believed that.  For my first stay at Disney with my family, I thought that I would just pick a value resort and go with it–maybe even a moderate.  But, when I really started researching lodging, I discovered that I could stay deluxe at Disney! You can too! Background I had been to Walt Disney World once before I became an adult.  I had just finished my freshman year of high school, and my little sister was going to start first grade.  My family loaded up our pop-up camper, hooked it up to the van, and hit the road from Missouri.  We even had grandma along for the ride.  We camped twice along the way, but finally, we made it…

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