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Showing posts from November, 2014

Missouri Camper Award

As winter starts to settle into our Midwest home we received great news this week that reminds us of all of our summer fun.  Hopefully you read about our goal of earning a Missouri Camper Award as I shared our Tour of Missouri travels this past summer.   In order to obtain the award, campers have to visit five different state parks in a year. 

I learned about the award doing one of the things that I do best. Reading. My friend Angie and I were sitting together at a picnic table on one of our early camping trips to a state park. I was reading the brochure the camp host handed us at check-in and found a tiny paragraph about earning the camper award. It looked simple, camp in five different state parks in one year and earn a patch. Our geek-ness took over and Angie and I decided we wanted the award! 
The Missouri Camper Award was actually started in 1971 with only 13 recipients. Each year the program has grown to reach nearly 600 recipients in 2011. 




This was our first year to try and o…

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Among Disney fanatics there is a well known fact. 
All the magic of Disney started with a mouse. 

Mickey Mouse.

And today is his birthday.


Happy 82nd Birthday, Mickey!


Disney World: Staying On Property Or Not?

Anyone planning a trip a Disney vacation has to decide the age old question: to stay on property or not.

I have made seven trips to Disney property; four of those were day trips while visiting relatives in Southern California and three have been multiple day visits that included lodging. I have only stayed on property once.

If you are planning a trip to a Disney Park please read the lessons I learned about staying on property.

1. Effortless Transportation




From the moment your plane lands in Orlando, Disney provides transportation to Disney World via the Magical Express. We checked our bags in when we left Kansas City and they magically appeared in our hotel room. The effortless transportation continues through your entire stay at Disney World. Multiple sources of transportation are available each day to take you and your family from your hotel to one of Disney's theme parks, or to Downtown Disney, or any other Disney property. Bus, boat,  or monorail either way you chose it is qui…

Disney World's Thrill Rides

Thrill Rides. They are the excitement of any amusement park. Disney World has some of the most exciting thrill rides. From the Tower of Terror to Expedition to Everest to the old classic of Space Mountain. These are the rides that my family can't wait to ride over and over again on our visit. 
Now, you can preserve memories of these thrill rides. One of the major differences between Disney's Photo Pass and the new Memory Maker is the addition of ride photos.  I am sure your family is like mine, we always love to go look at our silly photo after the ride but we never purchased those photos. 
Well, now they are included in your Memory Maker.  Through the magic of Disney and the Magic Band you are automatically matched to your photo and it is included on your Memory Maker. Here are some of our ride photos from our Disney 2014 trip!
Epcot Center's Test Track:

The line to Test Track was so long during our Disney World 2013 trip that we skipped it. The R Family showed us that wi…

Disney World Character Greetings

I remember my first visit to Disney in 1986. I was a teenager and I wanted nothing more than to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I searched the entire day hoping for a chance to see them. The closest I got was seeing them in a parade. 


Times have changed since then.  Meeting characters during your visit to Disney is super easy. Disney prints a weekly schedule that gives the times and places of where you can meet your favorite characters.  As you enter the park, pick a schedule up and make a plan for your day. 
Characters can be found all over in each of the four parks. Some characters (Mulan, Belle, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice, and even  Mary Poppins) like to hang out at Epcot's World Showcase in their respective countries. 
Some characters like Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, and Rapunzel often have more formal settings inside the Princess Fairytale Hall in The Magic Kingdom. 

Character dining experiences are also an extremely popular ways to meet characters. We enjoyed three character …

Camp N' Treat

This past weekend we said farewell to a summer tradition: camping.

We went on our ninth camping trip this year. Our usual camping buddies joined us (they have made seven camping trips this summer).  We stayed close to home, returning for the third time this year to Watkins Woolen Mill State Park.

Watkins Mill had their First Annual Camp N' Treat Weekend. It was the first time we have ever participated in a camp n' treat. The concept is simple, each camp site that elects to participate in decorates their camp and the kids trick or treat from one camp site to the next. I should also note that Watkin's Mill is not the only state park that has a Camp N' Treat, I know Wallace also had one too.


All of us just returned from Walt Disney World where we attended Mickey's Not So Spooky Halloween Party where we dressed up as Crayons. We wanted to make use of our costumes so we stuck with our theme and decorated with crayons.

The State Park granted awards for best costumes and …