Jeff & Crystal

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.

Frontier Fighting – St. Charles County Heritage Museum

These days we are so connected with the world that we receive news updates as they are happening. Tweets, posts, and internet news sites spew out an unending amount of information. Can you imagine how out of touch you would have been in the early 1800s? We stopped by the St. Charles County Heritage Museum to learn about frontier fighting around that time period. During our visit, they were featuring an exhibit named "The American Revolutionary War in the West". This is a part of our regional history that we were unfamiliar with, so we were excited to check out this new gallery. [...]

By |2023-01-12T07:06:54-06:00January 20th, 2023|Midwest, Missouri, North East, St. Louis|4 Comments

Life In The Past Lane – Nebraska State Museum Morrill Hall

Imagine being at a dig site, when suddenly you uncover volcanic ash from 12 million years ago. As you carefully dig through the layers, you discover the remains of elephants, rhinos, and horses that roamed the lands long ago. The excitement must have seized their hearts as they made these amazing discoveries. Now fast-forward to today, and we have the opportunity to see many of these artifacts with a visit to the Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall. Located in the heart of Lincoln, this museum offers visitors a chance to see life in the past lane. We want to thank Lincoln CVB and Nebraska State [...]

By |2023-01-04T04:52:57-06:00January 13th, 2023|Lincoln, Midwest, Nebraska|8 Comments

Hendricks BBQ – The Whole Shebang

Tell the truth, when you think of Christmas, do you think of barbecue? I'm guessing most would not, but we aren't like most people. When we descended on St. Charles, Missouri, for their annual Christmas Traditions event, we knew that we would be looking for some unique meals. This St. Louis suburb is steeped in history and the perfect setting for wining and dining during the holiday season. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Hendricks BBQ sat next door to our hotel, so we knew a visit would be in order. I decided to save this for our last meal in town, [...]

By |2023-01-06T07:12:46-06:00January 6th, 2023|Midwest, Missouri, North East, St. Louis|6 Comments

Manitou Cliff Dwellings – Life On The Edge

I'll never understand how you can claim to discover an already populated continent. When you look back through history, it's obvious that there were thriving civilizations across North America. There's debate about when humans first arrived, but its clear things were flourishing around 1000 years ago. That would have been the time that the Pueblo Tribe were building their communities in the "Four Corners" region. A recent visit to Colorado Springs gave us a chance to stop by Manitou Cliff Dwellings. This visually impressive attraction offers an opportunity to see inside their life on the edge. First Impressions The first thing we discovered [...]

By |2022-12-30T07:01:46-06:00December 30th, 2022|Colorado, Colorado Springs, West|4 Comments

Carroll Mansion – Decking The Halls

Christmas decorations can run the gamut but one of our favorite styles is Victorian. There is an elegance to this era that remains the benchmark for holiday exhibits. A visit to Leavenworth, Kansas offered a chance to check out the Carroll Mansion, which was all decked out for the season. This impressive family home has stood on a hill since it was originally built in the late 1850s. Subsequent additions have transformed the residence from a four-room home to the stately mansion that we see today. Let's head inside to see what surprises we can discover. We want to thank Visit Leavenworth and [...]

By |2022-12-23T06:07:17-06:00December 23rd, 2022|Kansas, Leavenworth, Midwest|6 Comments

Remembering School Days At Graduate Hotel

For many of us, college was our first big adventure of being on our own. Late nights and long hours of studying were offset with mac & cheese (or ramen noodles these days), keggers, and new friends. When nostalgia strikes, and we start remembering school days, we find more good than bad memories have remained. A trip to Lincoln, Nebraska called for finding lodging downtown, and when we learned about the Graduate Hotel, we had to check it out. This hand-crafted hotel chain is only found in university-driven towns and they love to theme them to the local community. We want to thank [...]

By |2022-12-16T06:59:35-06:00December 16th, 2022|Lincoln, Midwest, Nebraska|10 Comments

8 Top Activities In Fort Smith, Arkansas

Nestled at the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers, Fort Smith began as a frontier military post. Barely a decade after the Louisiana Purchase, the new lands were still being explored. With over 200 years of history under its belt, the city has a lot to offer visitors. We dropped in to explore the downtown region and discovered 8 top activities in Fort Smith, Arkansas. With so much to see and do, we knew that we would have to stay on track if we wanted to accomplish our itinerary. We want to thank Experience Fort Smith and the local businesses for hosting our [...]

By |2022-12-09T07:04:01-06:00December 9th, 2022|Arkansas, Fort Smith, Guides, Southeast|4 Comments

Celebrating Christmas Traditions In St. Charles

There's something magical about making an escape during the holiday season. Our family has been celebrating Christmas traditions for years, but there has always been unscheduled time right after Turkey Day. With the Thanksgiving meal a recent memory, we packed an overnight bag and headed east. As the sun crested the horizon, our conversation and music, turned to Christmas. The promise of boughs of greenery, shining tinsel, and gilded ornaments inspired me to hurry along. By mid-morning, we were pulling into town and turning down the brick-paved Main Street. The festivities were about to begin, so we hurried to join the gathering crowd. [...]

By |2022-12-28T06:49:14-06:00December 2nd, 2022|Midwest, Missouri, North East, St. Louis|6 Comments

The Cozy Inn – Burgers By The Bagful

100 years and 16 presidents ago, The Cozy Inn opened in Salina, Kansas. Bob Kinkel, the original owner, used his tiny space to whip up palm-sized bites of beef. He got the idea from White Castle, who had begun operations one year earlier in Wichita. Churning out dozens of mini-burgers at a time, he would slide them down the counter atop sheets of waxed paper. It's likely that this was where the term "sliders" began. We stopped in to check out their burgers by the bagful and find out what has kept this business in the forefront for over a century. 100 Years [...]

By |2022-11-18T07:27:30-06:00November 18th, 2022|Kansas, North Central, Salina|4 Comments

Jack Stack Barbecue – A Family Tradition

Let's time-travel back to 1957. The world was cast into the "Space Race" with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. In America, Jailhouse Rock was climbing the charts, while Elvis purchased Graceland. Frisbees first hit the market and The Music Man opened on Broadway. (You can read our article about the composer here.) While all of these events were taking place, here in Kansas City we were seeing the start of what would become a family tradition. Russ Fiorella launched his barbecue eatery with a modest menu of a few meat options. From this humble beginning, the Jack Stack Barbecue [...]

By |2022-11-11T07:05:56-06:00November 11th, 2022|Barbecue, Kansas City, KC Dining|8 Comments
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