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Thank you to Visit KC for sponsoring our visit!  As always, all opinions are honest and our own. I don’t know about you, but my knowledge of World War I is a little lacking.  In school, we never seemed to have a lot of time to study this conflict.  I’m not blaming my teachers; as a high school teacher, I know how much time is limited.  Every history class I’ve had seemed to hit the highlights, but I’m not sure I understood much. I realize the history behind World War I is complicated and that a simple survey is not enough to truly understand; still, I also know that this war doesn’t have as much exposure in general as opposed to other conflicts.  You can watch far more films about World War II or the Vietnam War.  When we realized that Kansas City has a world-class museum featuring World War I,…

I’d like to thank @visitkc for sponsoring our visit to Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America. As always, all opinions are our own. When the temperatures soar outside, we start looking for attractions that are indoors and cool. When we saw that Union Station in Kansas City would be offering a dinosaur exhibit, we knew it would be cool in all senses of the word. We planned a few days in Kansas City, and Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America was at the top of our itinerary. To stay close to the action, we made reservations at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. If your room faces downtown Kansas City, you will also be able to see Union Station. This is actually the ideal place to stay because you can walk to several attractions, and Union Station is accessible via the air-conditioned skywalk from the hotel. We could even see Union Station…

I love going to Walt Disney World. It’s no secret; I love the all the little details and the exceptional entertainment. My husband has also become a Disney fan, and my daughter Kristin is still talking about our most recent trip. One of the best experiences at Disney is character dining. Food plus characters? Sign me up! For our last visit, we did some resort hopping so that we could experience Disney in new ways. One of those resorts was Disney’s Boardwalk. On the day we planned to move to Bay Lake Tower, I made an ADR (advanced dining reservation) for the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno, a restaurant located on the Boardwalk. We slept in a little later since we’d been doing rope drops, and then we packed the car. After we’d checked out, we made our way outside to the restaurant. If you’d like to…

A couple of years ago, a fellow English teacher and road tripper from a nearby school district posted pictures about her trip to Charleston on Facebook.  Ever since I saw the pictures of Kayla’s trip with her family, I knew I wanted to go.  One place she highlighted really caught my eye–Poe’s Tavern.  I teach an Edgar Allan Poe story, “The Masque of the Red Death,” to sophomores every year.  One year I even taught “The Cask of Amontillado” to freshman.  This may make me a nerd, but I also have an Edgar Allan Poe action figure that I take out when it’s time to do these stories.  The English teacher next door, my teacher bestie Rachael, celebrates Poe with a special day of food and films every year.  Visiting Poe’s Tavern just seemed right. Some Background Since we drive to Walt Disney World, I try to find places of…

I’ll admit, this title may be a little misleading.  Just know this–Branson, Missouri, does Christmas in a big way.  Branson at Christmas time is a Christmas-lover’s paradise.  But if you’re not feeling it yet and you need a little Christmas, Branson will make any Grinch’s heart grow ten sizes.  Here are the my favorite ways to embrace the holidays in Branson. 1. An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City If you only have time for one attraction in Branson during the Christmas season, you should choose An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City.  This 1880s theme park transforms into a magical Christmas town complete with over 6.5 million Christmas lights.  Merry and bright, indeed. Silver Dollar City has so much to offer during Christmas time.  The comfort food is abundant, and you’ll have so many entertainment options that you won’t be able to see everything in one day. …

If you’re looking for a special place to get into the Christmas spirit, look no further than Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.  Every year during November and December, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with Christmas touches in every nook and cranny.  My family has been coming to Silver Dollar City at Christmas time for fourteen years, and we often go more than once.  I’d like to share some of the details that make An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City so special while giving you my best tips for making it a memorable trip instead of a miserable one.  Sometimes crowds can dampen even the jolliest of elves’ Christmas joy, so I’ll share with you what I’ve learned through a lot of trial and error. Get to Silver Dollar City Before Opening This really is so helpful in getting the most out of your experience. …

One of my favorite Walt Disney World memories is when Kristin became a princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  I have been asked about this experience, so I thought I would share this memory with you.  Kristin was four years old at the time, and she was a huge Frozen fan.  I asked her if she would like to look like Elsa at Disney World, and she was so excited.  For us, four years old was the perfect age to try out Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.   We like to plan a trip for every other year, and as she’s gotten older, she has been just a little less into looking like the princesses.  She was at the height of her love of Disney princesses for this trip. Planning Our Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Experience I admit that I am a planner when it comes to trips–especially Disney trips.  I don’t want to miss anything simply…

I have been a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan since I began reading her books in elementary school.  I also loved watching the TV show, even though it is pretty loosely based on the books.  As an adult, I’ve wanted to learn more about her life, so I have started taking my family to her homes across the Midwest.  We are lucky to live near to two of those homes–The Little House on the Prairie near Independence, Kansas, and Rocky Ridge Farm near Mansfield, Missouri. Heading to Rocky Ridge Farm I was pretty excited to bring Kristin to Laura’s homes.  She is starting to learn more about her, although currently Jack the bulldog is her favorite character, not Laura. What can I say?  The girl loves animals.  We’ve also stayed a night in De Smet, South Dakota, at the Ingalls Homestead.  That was an amazing experience.  If you’d like to read…

If you are looking for a great way to meet Disney princesses without waiting in long lines or using your FastPasses, then you should consider booking a character meal like the one at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavillion at Epcot.  This is also a cheaper option if you don’t want to spend the extra money or use two dining credits at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the castle at the Magic Kingdom.  Cinderella’s Royal Table is an amazing experience that I think everyone should try once, though. Click here to read about our experience there.  Anyway, we decided to try Akershus for our daughter’s first princess character meal, and I am so glad we did!  We have some wonderful pictures and memories now. Getting to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall We decided to do breakfast for our meal at Akershus, and we opted to go at opening so that the…

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