Our Changing Lives


Home Avada 2018-04-13T11:48:02+00:00

Secret Treats At Black Cat Ice Cream

During the periods we spend research new destinations, many sites will be added to our list. From these we can glean a finished itinerary that will allow us to showcase a variety of options for our readers to add to their own travel schedule. We are always excited when we uncover one of those places that the locals love, but is off of the beaten path. Such is the case for Black Cat Ice Cream, which is located in the Gas Lamp building near Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It's the kind of place that would be hard to distinguish from a [...]

By | June 18th, 2018|Des Moines|0 Comments

A Story Of Passion Extinguished – Vaile Mansion

Kansas City is a metropolis filled with countless tales. Every corner of the city has its urban legends, myths, and tall tales. Somewhere along the way, many of these began with an inkling of truth and were merely stretched with passing time. Not long after the Civil War ended, many pioneers would pass through Independence on their way out west. A steady stream of travelers would have traveled along a path that would have led them past the Vaile Mansion at 1500 North Liberty Street. Many sories were spun regarding this massive home that rose high above the rolling hills. [...]

By | June 15th, 2018|About Us, Historical Visits|0 Comments

Kansas City Diners Test St. Louis BBQ At Salt and Smoke

Being from Kansas City, we always attempt to test out the local barbecue at least once. Now we are far from being BBQ experts, but we do know what we like. Since we were staying on the Delmar Loop, a visit to Salt + Smoke seemed to be the perfect spot to do some research. We had done a little surveying of some St. Louis foodie groups and as expected had received a myriad of suggestions. Just like what we find in Kansas City, it seems like everyone has their own reasons for liking one place over the other. Our [...]

By | June 13th, 2018|St. Louis|4 Comments

Iowa Through The Ages – State Historical Museum of Iowa

A visit to Des Moines, Iowa wouldn't be complete without checking out the State Historical Museum of Iowa in the East Village. This place is dedicated to telling the story of the people who have inhabited the territory for as long as the history is known. It was a short walk from our hotel to the museum and a beautiful day to take in a few of the sights. Upon entering the building, we were greeted by the skeleton of a mammoth. A similar species was discovered nearby during excavation for a building. It is a little surreal to imagine [...]

By | June 11th, 2018|Des Moines|12 Comments

Finding New Favorites At Happy Gillis

Do you get excited when you discover a new place that has been right under your nose for years? We do, and this is exactly what happened when we stopped in Happy Gillis at 549 Gillis St. in Kansas City, Mo. A day of exploring required a good breakfast, so we were scouting for a location along our day's route. Heading from KCK toward Independence, we discovered this eatery just on the east side of the City Market in the Columbus Park neighborhood. First Impressions The diner looks to have started life as a corner grocery store. Parking is on [...]

By | June 8th, 2018|Decent Dining - $$|0 Comments

Space Age Stay At Moonrise Hotel In St. Louis

With all of the cities that we visit, we will obviously need lodging. Most of these are nice chain locations that we try to mention during our overview articles. Once in a while we will happen upon a location that stands out as a special stay. This was the case in St. Louis, when we stayed at the Moonrise Hotel on the Delmar Loop. Touted as a modern boutique, it has some of the most unusual decor of any lodging we have encountered. We want to thank the Moonrise Hotel and Explore St. Louis for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our [...]

By | June 6th, 2018|St. Louis|8 Comments

Dining Around The World in Downtown Des Moines

Those of you who have been following our escapades for a while know that we love pizza. Whatever city we visit, we always try to add at least one good pie to our list of meals. Des Moines, Iowa was no exception, but it did deliver our treat with a twist. During the planning stage of our trip I reached out to many of the Des Moines locals through a restaurant Facebook group. (This is an excellent tip for those visiting a new city.) Throughout an ongoing conversation feed, it became apparent that Fong's Pizza was the one downtown pizzeria [...]

By | June 4th, 2018|Des Moines|8 Comments

On The History Trail in Miami County – A Kansas City Road Trip

Kansas Citians are blessed to have so many things to do in the metro area. Of course, sometimes it is nice to get away from the city for the day and strike out to one of the nearby communities. With just a little planning, it's easy to fill a day with new sights and some delicious treats. We swung by First Watch to fuel up before our trip and to get our coffee fix. The menu has obviously changed here, since we seem to remember it being an eggs and bacon restaurant in the past. Whatever the reason, we [...]

By | June 1st, 2018|Daytrips|0 Comments

Why We Were Surprised By Blueprint Coffee

No matter how well we research, it always seems that we find at least one nugget that we had not foreseen. In St. Louis, Missouri that hidden gem was Blueprint Coffee. During a morning stroll down the DelMar Loop, we stumbled upon this diminutive coffee house. We popped in to get a fresh cup of coffee and were immediately stricken with the ambiance and charm. This was definitely going to need further investigation. We want to thank Explore St. Louis for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own. Hopping Busy We usually keep at least one meal spot open [...]

By | May 30th, 2018|St. Louis|2 Comments

The City That Jack Built – Joplin, Missouri

Like many people, we are learning that there are lots of things to do in some of the medium sized cities. Our visit to Joplin, Missouri lasted just over 24 hours, but could have easily been extended to a full weekend. (We packed a lot into our timeline.) Joplin is a name that many have seen in recent years, due to the massive tornado that struck a significant portion of the city. While there are still scars from this event, the people of Joplin have pulled together to rebuild from this tragedy. With so much history in this region, it [...]

By | May 28th, 2018|Joplin|10 Comments


We are Jeff and Crystal, a Baby Boomer couple who love exploring this big blue marble we all call home. After spending the first portion of our lives together raising a family, the empty-nest syndrome finally caught up with us. This has given us the opportunity to spend more time traveling, and seeking out new destinations. We developed this travel blog with the goal of showing how we “Visit Like A Local”.

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