About Jeff & Crystal

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”. Our itineraries are designed to get us off the interstates, and into the heart of the places we visit. We believe this will allow our readers to choose a cultural experience, and eventually head home with a real flavor of the places they visit. We hope you are enjoying our website and will consider sharing it with your friends. Please come back often, as we post new articles three times per week.

Legendary Gunslinger – Wyatt Earp Experience

Wandering through the vast displays of beautiful tulips, we found ourselves immersed in the Dutch heritage of Pella, Iowa. Little would we imagine that this humble Midwestern city has a connection with the rowdy, wild west. Yet, as we made our way through the Pella Historical Village, we happened upon a house that at one time was called home by the legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp. There was no way we were going to pass up checking out the Wyatt Earp Experience, which had just recently opened. We want to thank Visit Pella and the Pella Historical Village for their hospitality. Rest assured all [...]

By |2021-07-30T05:55:25-06:00July 30th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|0 Comments

Smoky Goodness – Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse

Throughout our travels, we have discovered that barbecue is a language understood by most people. The smoky goodness of this cuisine brings people together. Even in bayou country, which is known for its Cajun dishes, we uncovered a world-class BBQ joint. Traveling the backroads of the Louisiana River Parishes landed us in some delectable settings, including this stop at Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse & Restaurant. We could tell from the packed parking lot that we were in for an enjoyable experience. We want to thank Louisiana River Parishes and Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.  Local Life [...]

By |2021-07-21T03:57:54-06:00July 27th, 2021|Louisiana, River Parishes, Southeast|2 Comments

Changing Times – Precious Moments

Back in 1982, we began our family with the birth of our daughter. By that time, the Precious Moments figurine craze was growing. The bulb-eyed figurines were flying off the shelves as fast as they could be restocked. Artist and creator Sam Butcher was preparing to launch on a journey to find a home for the pinnacle of his dream. During a stay in Joplin, Missouri, he felt the call to build in the heart of the country. Nearby Carthage would become the home of the Precious Moments Chapel, which would draw in millions of fans. These days, the changing times have caused [...]

By |2021-07-18T06:03:07-06:00July 23rd, 2021|Carthage, Midwest, Missouri|8 Comments

Carving A Space In The New World – Fort Conde

Nearly three-quarters of a century before the Revolutionary War, the city of Mobile sprang to life. At that time, the lands were claimed by France. Time would find this ownership tenuous, as they struggled to ward off enemy advances. With this being our first Alabama visit, we wanted to get in touch with the history of the city. A tour of Fort Conde is a "must-see" since it is so integral to the founding of the city. Here we would get a glimpse of how the early players were carving a space in the New World. The current structures are reproductions of the [...]

By |2021-07-20T05:56:08-06:00July 20th, 2021|Alabama, Mobile, Southeast|10 Comments

Being Childish – Scott Family Amazeum

It has been said that we grow old when we stop playing. If this is true, then we should remain young forever. Visits to science-based play zones have become a popular all-ages experience. In Bentonville, the Scott Family Amazeum offers a fun way to learn while you play. We will sometimes get a sideways glance at these places, but these days most people figure that we are doing research. It's kind of funny to think of it as research, when in reality it's just having a great time. There is something to be said for having an opportunity to keep being childish. We [...]

By |2021-06-30T03:54:56-06:00July 16th, 2021|Arkansas, Bentonville, Southeast|5 Comments

Preserving Traditions – Pella History Village

Seeing a new destination through the eyes of others will reveal stories that are waiting to be discovered. We find that digging into the history will give us a chance to learn how communities are preserving traditions. Pella, Iowa is steeped in Dutch culture that can sometimes seem strange to Midwesterners, but at the same time intriguing. A visit to the Pella Historical Village allowed us to watch some of their unique skills being put to use. We want to thank Visit Pella and the Pella Historical Society for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.  Milling Around It's easy to [...]

By |2021-07-13T06:12:59-06:00July 13th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|4 Comments

Crown Jewel Of The River Road – Houmas House

The Mighty Mississippi River snakes its way through the River Parishes of southern Louisiana. Each twist and turn drags a bit more mud into the murky waters. Along its path, landowners carved out their segments of land that would grow into massive plantations. The use of enslaved labor would eventually be the downfall of the wealthy sugar barons. These days visitors can retrace the history of this region. Each plantation tells the story from a different perspective. We began our education at Houmas House, which is considered the crown jewel of the river road. We want to thank the Louisiana River Parishes and [...]

By |2021-07-12T06:41:53-06:00July 9th, 2021|Louisiana, River Parishes, Southeast|10 Comments

Reviving Nostalgia Along The Mother Road – Iggy’s Diner

Cruising the path of the old Route 66 led us through the heart of Carthage, Missouri. As we pass the normal mix of fast-food restaurants and corporate businesses, we spot a gleaming silver shape ahead. Positioned on a frontage space, which has since been converted to a traffic circle, we spot Iggy's Diner. The stainless steel shell screams "retro" with flashbacks of 50s malt shops dancing through our heads. Even on an overcast day, the appearance of this iconic stop excites us. Here we were confident to find that they were reviving nostalgia along the Mother Road. Diner History Diners have been around [...]

By |2021-06-24T03:29:25-06:00June 29th, 2021|Carthage, Midwest, Missouri, Route 66|6 Comments

Party In The New World – Mobile Carnival Museum

When Mardi Gras is mentioned, most people picture the revelry that revolves around Bourbon Street in the French Quarter section of New Orleans. To be honest, we were in that group for way too long. It would take a trip to Mobile, Alabama to help us learn the true origin of this party in the New World. Among our planned stops was a visit to the Mobile Carnival Museum. This would be the place that opened our eyes to a tradition that has surpassed the 300-year mark. We want to thank Visit Mobile and the Mobile Carnival Museum for their hospitality. Rest assured [...]

By |2021-06-25T06:13:12-06:00June 25th, 2021|Alabama, Mobile, Southeast|4 Comments

Charcuterie Trail – Tastes Of The Heartland

No matter where we travel, we know that food will be involved. After all, everyone needs to eat to survive. That doesn't mean it has to be boring. For us, the culinary adventure is a large part of our explorations. When we were in the midst of planning our trip to Oskaloosa and Pella, we discovered a plethora of unique dishes. With the resurgence of tapas-style dining growing in popularity, we decided to embark on a Charcuterie Trail. This would certainly provide us with a sampling of the tastes of the heartland. We want to thank Mahaska Chamber and Visit Pella for their [...]

By |2021-06-22T06:40:05-06:00June 22nd, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Oskaloosa, Pella|2 Comments
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