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Last summer as we planned a short trip to Springfield, Illinois, we decided to take Kristin to see the Gateway Arch at the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. Kristin had never been to the top even though we often pass the Arch on our road trips to various destinations. It’s a right-of-passage for Missouri folk; Kristin was on her way. Arriving at Gateway Arch National Park It’s pretty exciting when you can see the Arch as you get closer to the park. We followed the GPS and signs to get to a parking lot nearby. I would suggest getting tickets to go up inside the Arch before you arrive; they may run out of available time slots for the time you are there. We happened to get ours online the night before. We guessed about when we would arrive. We had a pleasant stroll from the parking area…

If you’re heading out to Knott’s Berry Farm and you like fried chicken, you really should plan on eating at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant while you’re there. During our first visit to Knott’s Berry Farm last year, we had a yummy lunch at the restaurant. When I read that you can try numerous boysenberry menu items, I knew we had to give it a shot. The boysenberry is central to the history of the park, and I’d never tasted one, so the idea was too tempting to resist. Apparently, the boysenberry is a cross between a red raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry. It’s also a great way to break up the day and relax in the middle of park touring. You really can’t miss it; we walked right on by as we headed to the front gate from the parking lot. Yes, it’s outside the park, but if…

When we took a trip to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, we decided to make a day trip out to see some surrounding states, just to say we’d been there. Who knew when we’d be back? On this day trip from Keystone, South Dakota, we drove to North Dakota, Montana, and ended up in Wyoming to see Devils Tower. (For people into punctuation, the site officially drops the possessive apostrophe in the title of the monument.) Why Did We Go to Devils Tower? I’ll be honest; I wouldn’t have even known about Devils Tower if it hadn’t been for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss. I’d seen the movie a few times growing up, so that’s what I associated with this National Monument, the first National Monument declared in the U.S. by President Theodore Roosevelt, to be exact. If you haven’t seen the movie,…

When some people travel, they search for things “off the beaten path” while avoiding tourist traps. Those people aren’t us. Sure, we like to experience places “as the locals do,” and we love finding those little known gems. But we also love those places that “everyone should see once” in their lives. The more cliche the better. And why not? We like to experience a little bit of everything. The Hollywood Walk of Fame area may not be for everyone, and I don’t know if I’d ever go back, but when we planned our Los Angeles trip, I knew I wanted to see it. Even if it’s only one time. I wanted to be able to say that I’d been there. With a preface like this, you may believe that the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a horrible experience. It wasn’t. Was it amazing? Again, no. Am I glad we…

If you’re spending time in St. Augustine, consider taking a tour of Flagler College, a liberal arts college originally known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. This beautiful historic hotel sits in downtown St. Augustine, Florida, just a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The history and architecture are worth a visit, and I’m so glad a spent a couple of hours here. When we drive to Walt Disney World in Orlando from Joplin, Missouri, we often take a few side trips on the way home. We often go to St. Augustine after a couple of weeks in Disney to relax and get some beach time in. We love the area, and there is so much to do. On one trip, I decided to take a Flagler College tour on my own. Family trips are wonderful, but every once in awhile, it’s okay to do something on your own. Jeff…

A couple of years ago, my family visited Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, on our drive home from Disney in Florida. Since we make the drive from Missouri, I like to find some places on the way and on the way home to explore. On this trip, we spent one night in Charleston. Since I’ve been reading more, I’m finding that I’m making more connections in my life. I recently started reading The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far, I am liking it. If you’re wondering which book I’m referring to, here is an affiliate link. As I read, the book made reference to Sullivan’s Island near Charleston. While we were there, we ate at Poe’s Tavern at Sullivan’s Island, before taking a walk on the beach. I could completely visualize the area. Click here to read more…

If you’re looking for a great place to make memories with your family, look no further than Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Surrounded by the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is the perfect place to spend a few days. It could be its own destination, or add it on to a trip to Branson, Missouri. My family spent time there one summer, and Jeff and I have been there on numerous occasions as well, so now we feel like we can share the ultimate guide to Eureka Springs for families! We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center for sponsoring our family trip. As always, all opinions are honest and our own. What is there to do in Eureka Springs? 1. Visit Historic Downtown There is so much to do downtown, including shopping and dining. We had fun checking out the specialty shops and trying treats like homemade…

In the summer, you can’t go wrong cooling down at Knights Action Park and ending the day with a movie at Route 66 Drive-In. If you’re planning a trip with your family to Springfield, Illinois, to see the Lincoln attractions, you may want to add some kid-centered attractions into the mix. We love history, but we also like to mix in some “kid-centered” fun. One of those attractions was the Kidzeum of Health and Science.  But we also spent time at Knights Action Park and Route 66 Drive-In, two attractions that are the perfect ways to spend an afternoon and an evening. We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for hosting our visit! As always, all opinions are honest and our own. Knights Action Park: The Waterpark The waterpark was the perfect place to cool off on a hot July afternoon. Our daughter isn’t into thrill rides, including big slides at…

If you’re looking for a fun way to get out of the heat of the sun on a warm summer day, consider taking a cave tour. Cosmic Cavern, near the Eureka Springs and Branson areas, is a great choice when hoping to get a glimpse of the cave formations in the Ozarks. This cave hosts Arkansas’s largest private cave tour; it’s the perfect tour for summertime, even though it also holds the title of Arkansas’s warmest cave at 64 degrees year round! We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for hosting our visit. As always, all opinions are honest and our own. Arriving at Cosmic Cavern As you drive out to Cosmic Cavern, you’ll enjoy a rural road over hills and through wooded areas. This cave attraction fits in perfectly with its surroundings; it’s not overly commercialized. Cosmic Cavern is just a great cave to explore. When…

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