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If you’re looking for a trip that combines adventure with beautiful scenery, look no further than the charming town of Moab, Utah. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for desert fun including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. When you’re not out exploring, Moab is a nice place to call your home base when you’re ready to shop or unwind in the pool. If you’re wondering what to do while you’re in the area, take a look at what our family did during our three nights and two full days in Moab. For this post, I’ll only be sharing the activities we actually participated in, though we only scratched the surface. There is plenty more fun that we didn’t have time for on this visit to Moab, which happened to be our first! We had such a great time, we hope to return one day.…

One of the great things about taking a family road trip is finding those quirky roadside attractions so you can stop and stretch you legs. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, is one of those fun stops. I mean, who can resist a replica of Stonehenge created from old cars? We certainly couldn’t. Getting to Carhenge Carhenge became a possibility to us as we traveled from Joplin, Missouri, to the Yellowstone area. For our first night, we stayed along I-80 at North Platte. When we realized that it wouldn’t be out-of-the-way to stop by, we knew we wanted the Carhenge experience to be part of our road trip memories. Incidentally, we also made stops at Scotts Bluff, Chimney Rock, and Fort Laramie. The History Behind Carhenge In 1987, Jim Reinders created this replica–even true to scale–on farmland owned by his father. Reinders had previously spent some time in England where he learned…

If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park, be sure to put Going-to-the-Sun Road on your list of must-dos. We absolutely loved the area, and we can’t wait to return and explore more of the park. Though reservations to this part of the park can be a bit nerve-wracking, it’s worth the effort if you can snag one of these tickets. One thing that makes the crowds converge at once–snow. The road isn’t fully open until summer, sometimes not fully opening until the first week of July. There’s only a window of a few months before snowfall closes the road again, usually in October. Since traffic in the area has continued to increase, a reservation system separate from the park admission is now in place. If you’re lucky enough to get lodging reservations in the park or to reserve a tour, you won’t be required to get the $2 reservation…

One of the most popular activities in Grand Teton National Park is to experience the area around Jenny Lake. You can either hike around the lake, or you can take one of the ferries to the other side. We even saw people swimming in the chilly water in June! No matter how you choose to experience the area, you’re in for a treat. Jenny Lake is one of the prettiest places inside the park and not to be missed! Jenny Lake: What to Do Jenny Lake was named after Jenny Leigh, the Shoshone wife of trapper Richard Leigh. Both Jenny and Richard, also known as Beaver Dick, helped guide the Ferdinand Hayden Expedition of 1872.  Sadly, Jenny and their six children all died of small pox within a two-week span in December of 1876. The Jenny Lake area is popular in Grand Teton National Park for many reasons. The lake…

While many would probably disagree with me, T-Rex Café in Disney Springs is a great place for families, especially if your family has some eaters on the picky side who would love to have some food options that are familiar. While it is part of the Landry’s family of restaurants, T-Rex Café is now one-of-a-kind since the closure of the Kansas City location. And while you can find similar food options at either of the Rainforest Cafés or Yak and Yeti on Disney property, T-Rex Café is the only place where you can dine near animatronic dinosaurs. How cool is that? Now that I’ve explained the coolness of T-Rex Café, I’ll tell you why this place should be one of your family’s Walt Disney World must-dos! It’s in Disney Springs If you’re planning to take some time away from the parks or your resort, Disney Springs is a great place…

If you’re looking for a quiet place to stay during peak time at Grand Teton National Park, then the Hatchet Resort near Moran, Wyoming, may be just what you’re looking for! One of the trickiest parts of planning a spring or summer visit to one of America’s national parks is lodging and dining. During the pandemic, we planned a road trip from Missouri to places out west, much like other travelers who didn’t want to risk flying or cruising. It turned out to be an amazing trip, so I thought I’d share one of places we stayed and why it turned out to be a great choice while we explored Grand Teton National Park. Planning the Trip We began planning this trip about a year out. The first thing we booked for our road trip was lodging at Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone. The crazy thing to realize about Old…

What do you think of when you think of Malibu? Hollywood stars? Expensive homes? Barbie? (Yes, I’m a child of the 80s.) I think of all of these things, so when we had a chance to make a quick stop to Malibu Beach, we took it. Malibu: The Plan or More Accurately, the Non-Plan When we planned our first trip to California in 2019, we knew we wanted to include some beach time. Kristin and I had never even been near the Pacific Ocean, so squeezing in a beach visit or two was definitely a goal. There are a lot of choices, of course, but in the end, we chose Malibu and Santa Monica Pier.  One reason we chose Santa Monica is that it’s the end of Route 66, and we live blocks away from the historic highway in Joplin, Missouri. If you want to check out more about our…

I’d always wanted to do a whale tour. As we were planning this trip, we were hoping we somewhere along the way, we could squeeze in some whale-watching. When a co-worker told me about San Juan Island, I knew this should be the place to take the tour. I’d never heard about San Juan, Washington, before, but the more I read about this special place, the more I knew we had to check it out. My only regret about San Juan is that we didn’t spend the night there. If you are planning to visit, I would certainly recommend at least one night on the island. We just didn’t realize how much time we’d want to spend there. Also, we initially booked a much smaller tour with another outfitter. It would’ve been a tour with a maximum of eight guests. When that tour guide told us he had to rebook…

When we began planning our first trip to Disneyland and Southern California, Knott’s Berry Farm came up in our planning. I’d always wanted to go, and we didn’t know how often we’d make it to to the area since we’re from Missouri. Little did we know that we’d find our way back to California in July of 2021 and that we’d plan a Halloween trip to Disneyland for September. But at the time, you know, it seemed like we should pack as much in as we could. In fact, that’s always how we roll: if we can swing it, we’ll make it happen. So, we thought we may as well give it a go, and I’m so glad we did! It’s a charming park with some pretty high-thrill coasters. It also reminded us of the theme park near us that we call home–Silver Dollar City. If you’d like to read…

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