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Disclaimer: The post was in progress when the flooding in Yellowstone happened. We realize that not all areas in Yellowstone may be open at this time. We hope that many will still visit the open areas as available to help support local economies in the area. The trip in this post occurred in July of 2021. When you think of national parks in the United States, Yellowstone is probably one of the first parks to come to mind. And why wouldn’t it? Yellowstone is America’s first national park. Established March 1, 1872, this park has been dazzling visitors with its beauty and wonders for generations. It’s only natural that our family, lovers of the American road trip, would hop in our car and make that pilgrimage like so many before us and see what the American West is all about. Planning Our Yellowstone Trip As we began planning our road…

If you’re looking for something fun to do in January in Missouri, why not take a trip to see the bald eagles in Stella, Missouri? Since we live about 40 miles away, we’ve been a few times. Pre-Covid, Stella hosted an Eagle Days event around the third weekend in January each year. I couldn’t find any information for this year, but like our visit last year, you can drive to Stella to see the eagles without the hosted event by the Chert Glades Missouri Master Naturalists, the Missouri of Department of Conservation and the City of Stella. The eagles show up whether there is a festival or not. Remembering Our Visit to Stella’s Eagle Days Veteran’s Memorial Park Again, last year they didn’t have the festival, and I haven’t seen any information for this year. Still, I hope the festival returns one day in the future. In Veteran’s Memorial Park,…

We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring our visit to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.  As always, all opinions are honest and our own. If you find yourself in the Ozarks, check out the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge near Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  This refuge rescues big cats and other animals that often started out as someone’s pet or part of an animal attraction that was neglectful.  When you visit Turpentine Creek, you are supporting the care and rescue of animals that may have no other option out there.  Plus, you get to see the animals. It’s a win-win! Arriving at Turpentine Creek Normally we try to arrive at attractions at opening, but on this July day, we didn’t get to Eureka Springs until around noon.  It had been raining all morning, so we thought perhaps the animals may be active, even though it was midday.  We…

When I discovered that you could see sea lions and seals in the wild at La Jolla in San Diego, I knew we had to make La Jolla Beach a part of our quick diversion to San Diego.  We only planned one night in San Diego after two in Los Angeles, so we had to prioritize our activities.  Visiting the seals and sea lions was a perfect activity for our family! Finding the Sea Lions and Seals This was our first visit to San Diego, so we weren’t sure what to expect.  We chose Fairfield Inn and Suites San Diego Old Town for our hotel for its proximity to Old Town.  La Jolla is about 20 minutes away, so it’s an easy drive from Old Town.  Once we got to the La Jolla area, we looked for a  place to park.  Here is a map of the area from the…

Last month, we were still in the middle of producing Beauty and the Beast at my high school. If you’ve followed my life, you know that play production is a family affair. We were spending both Saturday and Sunday of most weekends working on the set of the show, and that’s when I didn’t have a speech tournament on Saturdays. When I saw that the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, was offering discounted tickets for area appreciation, I thought this might be the perfect way for our family to take a little break and explore a little. After a little research, I learned that our county was part of the promotion that was taking place for the month of March. Though we still had much to do, a little break was just what we needed. One Saturday, instead of heading to the school to build…

Why Red Boat Water Tours in St. Augustine? When we were planning our last trip to Florida, we knew we wanted to try some new things we’d never done before. After spending time in Disney, we like to take things a little slower in St. Augustine. We love staying on the beach, and St. Augustine has so many things to explore. Taking a dolphin tour in St. Augustine seemed like a fun adventure, so we looked at our options. We’d never tried a dolphin-viewing cruise. Not anywhere. After looking around the Internet, we decided to book a tour with Red Boats Water Tours. We chose the Dolphin Odyssey & Sightseeing tour, and I am so glad we did! It was easy to reserve online, and they were running a special, so be sure to check the website. We also needed a daytime cruise that was family-friendly since we had our…

I’d like to thank The Butterfly Palace in Branson, Missouri, for sponsoring our visit.  As usual, all opinions are honest and my own. When you think of rainforests, Branson, Missouri, is probably not the first place that comes to mind.  Still, you can get a little taste of the rainforest right here in the Ozarks.  The Butterfly Palace in Branson is a lovely celebration of some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. Arriving at The Butterfly Palace The Butterfly Palace is at the very end of the “strip” as you head west as if you were going to drive to Silver Dollar City.  The building itself sits on top of a hill. Right inside the entrance is a gift shop filled with many butterfly-inspired items.  It’s fun to just look through this area.  Right in the center of the room is the ticket booth. There are two floors with various…

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