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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, and I’ve always wanted to tour her home and museum in Mansfield, Missouri.  I also loved watching the TV show as a child, 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,…

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…

If you’ve ever wondered what life would have been like for the first English colonists who made America their permanent home, then you simply must stop at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia.  We made the Jamestown Settlement part of our road trip to historic sites in the eastern part of the United States. Jamestown is one-third of what is known as Virginia’s Historic Triangle.  Just to be clear–this is not the actual site of what is now called Historic Jamestowne.  If you want to visit the actual site of the colony and see archeologists in action, then you’ll want to go to the site that is run by the National Park Service.  If we’d had more time, we probably would’ve checked that area out, too. In the end, we decided to visit the reenactment attraction, the Jamestown Settlement, because we thought that Kristin would learn more there. If you are…

Have you ever wondered what the American Revolution would have been like for the average family in the late 1700s?  Just like today, most people were not wealthy; many had small farms and were just trying to survive and maybe even thrive in the colonies.  Our history books tend to focus on the Founding Fathers and their service to our new country, and they absolutely should. But there is more to the story.  While Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates what life would be like in a city or town during the early years of our nation, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown aims to teach us more about rural life during this time period.  The indoor galleries do provide a timeline of the events leading up to the revolution, the war itself, and a little about the new nation.  The Siege of Yorktown is also highlighted, and the lives and actions of…

If you were anywhere near the path of totality for Monday’s solar eclipse, you could feel the sense of suspense as people prepared for an event that hasn’t occurred in the U.S. in the continuous 48 states in over 30 years, and even then a total eclipse was only visible in the northwest part of the country.  In 1991, parts of Hawaii were able to see a total solar eclipse.  But this was different.  For about two minutes, a swath across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina would be known as the Path of Totality.  With this eclipse being available to so many people across the country, it was inevitable that excitement of the eclipse would grow over the weeks leading up to August 21. To be honest, I wasn’t planning to write about the eclipse.  I was excited to see it, but I didn’t think it would become…

When you think of Norfolk, Virginia, one thing comes to mind–the United States Naval Base.  Norfolk and the Navy just go hand-in-hand.  On our road trip this summer, we planned two nights at Virginia Beach.  As we planned this part of our trip, we soon realized how close we were to Norfolk.  We also discovered the Nauticus, a museum that commemorates shipping in every regard–commercial, scientific, and defensive. Adding to our excitement, we learned that you could take a two-hour cruise of the Navy ships nearby.  In fact, you could buy a combo-ticket to the museum and the cruise.  It was a no-brainer!  We had to do it! After our first night at Virginia Beach, we woke up early enough to head over to Norfolk to be at the museum before opening.  It is about a 30-40 minute drive, depending on traffic.  We also wanted to be early enough to…

I’d like to thank the Clay Cooper Theatre for sponsoring our attendance to the performance of Clay Cooper’s Country Express.  As always, all opinions are honest and my own. When you think of Branson, Missouri, you may think of country music shows lining the 76 Strip, or the main highway through town.  That strip of highway is also known as Country Music Boulevard, and those shows make up Branson’s history.  Add the beautiful Ozark Mountains and attractions like Silver Dollar’s City, and you have the family destination of Branson. Though historically those shows featured country music, nowadays the shows along the strip offer a diverse array of music and entertainment options.  Clay Cooper’s Country Express is a wonderful example of a show that does it all–music, dancing, and comedy.  And the music covers so many genres that there is truly something for everyone; your whole family will love it! Before…

One thing my daughter looks forward to all summer is going boating and camping at Campbell Point on Table Rock Lake near Shell Knob, Missouri, with Grandma and Grandpa.  Can you blame her?  For a seven-year-old, sleeping in the camper is an adventure!  And it doesn’t get much better than riding in the boat with the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your skin.  Going to Table Rock Lake is a family tradition! Campbell Point If you enjoy camping or boating, Table Rock Lake is a great place.  The lake is clean and clear, and the campground is nestled in the Ozark woods. My parents enjoy camping at the Army Corps of Engineers Campground at the Campbell Point Marina.  Some of the sites are even lakeside.  Click here to see a map of the campground.  My parents like to camp in the more wooded area at the full hook-up site.…

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