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The Ritchey Mansion in Newtonia, Missouri, is a treasure! This Civil War-era home is a great artifact in the area. And its paranormal happenings make it all the better. One of our favorite things to do when traveling is to take a ghost tour. You’ll get a dose of history with some spooky on the side. It’s also a great thing to do in the evenings when most historic sites have long been closed for the day. We’ve also discovered the joy of seeking out ghost tours in our area.  We’ve been following Paranormal Science Lab and Dark Ozarks, and they coordinate tours and paranormal investigations of local (to us) historic sites. The proceeds of these tours go to the maintenance and restoration of these sites, so it’s a no-brainer for us. We get to contribute to preserving history while visiting a cool site, known for paranormal activity, as an…

When we began planning a stop in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the places Jeff was really looking forward to was the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. He is really into military planes and ships, so this was the perfect place for him to explore. I love history, so I was all-in, too.  And Kristin, well, she likes exploring just about anything. Our Plan for Charleston We’d already spent nearly two weeks away from home on this particular trip to Walt Disney World. On the way down, we spent some time in Memphis.  After that, we had several days at Disney. Before we headed home, we spent a couple of nights in St. Augustine, Florida. For a final stop on the trip, we decided to spend a night in Charleston for the first time. We left St. Augustine in good time, and we arrived in Charleston just in time…

If you’re planning a trip to Southwest Missouri, be sure to include a visit to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. This Civil War battlefield is located near Springfield and just about a half-hour from Branson. It’s a great experience for history lovers and those who love the great outdoors; it’s a great addition to your trip to the Ozarks. We’ve been a couple of times now, both in the summer, though not this summer. My summer advice is to always go early, if you can, to beat the heat. Begin Your Adventure at the Wilson’s Creek Visitor Center Like most places that are part of the National Park Service, the visitor center is a great place to learn a little background and orient yourself to the park. I love the park vehicles parked out front. You can also pay your visitor fees and purchase any souvenirs. My family always gets a…

When we started planning a short trip to Charleston, I knew we’d love a visit to Fort Sumter.  While reading up on the tour, I soon discovered that Fort Sumter Tours handled the boat rides out to the fort.  Since we were only staying for a night on this trip, I thought it would be best to take the first ride of the day.  You can actually take the boat from downtown Charleston at Liberty Square or across the harbor at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant; the schedule differs at each location.  Though we were staying in a hotel at Mount Pleasant, Liberty Square had the earlier time, so we chose that tour.  It’s not too difficult to drive across the Ravenel Bridge to Charleston, so we woke up early, checked out of the hotel, and headed to Charleston.  The first tour was at 9:30 am. Beginning the Fort Sumter…

Thank you to @VisitKC 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, we…

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…

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…

If you have the opportunity, a stop at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, is a great way to spend an afternoon.  And it’s absolutely free!  Even if you think that military history really isn’t your thing, this place is worth a stop.  The exhibits here are pretty awe-inspiring. The buildings that house the museum are impressive in themselves.  The main building tells you that you are about to see some big planes. The National Museum of the USAF, located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the official museum of the Air Force.  Although the museum is free, be prepared to go through security.   Since we were on a road trip and our time was limited, we made a brief stop and were determined to see the highlights.  The museum is open 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., so try to give yourself…

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