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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…

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…

If you’ve followed my “real life” at all, you’d know that I recently wrapped up directing the musical, The Little Mermaid, at the high school where I’ve been teaching for the past twelve years. As any director knows, the show still isn’t over after closing night. The set must be taken apart and all of the items you’ve rented or borrowed need to be returned. One of the items we borrowed, a rowboat for the “Kiss the Girl” scene, needed to be returned to Lee’s Summit, Missouri.  We opted to leave our youngest with Grandma and Grandpa for this road trip, and it was nice to have a day to ourselves.  After we made the delivery on a cool, blustery Saturday morning, my husband and I decided we needed some lunch. And that lunch should be Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. A Little Background We had not eaten at this place since…

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. …

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…

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #WeatherProven #CollectiveBias One of my family’s favorite times of year for a road trip is winter time.  Every year, we take a drive through the Ozark hills in Missouri to visit Branson for An Ozark Mountain Christmas.  We visit area attractions and watch live Christmas-themed shows as we get into the spirit of Christmas and revel in the beauty of the season.  We also finish up our Christmas shopping and eat some of the best country cooking you’ll find anywhere.  It’s a special time that my family looks forward to every year. Of course, when driving through the Ozarks in winter, you have to be extra vigilant about road safety.  We live in Southwest Missouri, and the weather can change at any moment, especially in the winter.  It’s important that my family…

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