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 [...]

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 [...]

War Out West – Battle of Carthage Museum

Conflict along the Missouri state line had been occurring throughout the second half of the 1850s. Far away in the East, the political battles were raging. After John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harper's Ferry, some believed that signaled the end to the threat from the west. Little would anyone expect that the first significant land battle would be pitted in the Missouri arena. One day after our nation celebrated the anniversary of its independence, the north and south clashed at the Battle of Carthage. As the eastern portion of the nation prepared for battle, the war out west was already heating up. We [...]

Route 66 Museum – Lebanon, Missouri

Few highways have captured the American spirit like Route 66. This nostalgic thoroughfare has been dubbed "The Mother Road" and "Main Street of America". With 2,448 miles of open road, it led travelers from Chicago to Los Angeles. Along the way, drivers would find iconic stops to satisfy just about every need. This famous path has become immortalized in movies, books, and a number of memorials. Just about every city and town along the way has looked for a way to embrace its drawing power. For those carving out the road in sections, you will likely find at least one Route 66 museum [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:29-06:00March 9th, 2021|Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri, South|8 Comments

Test Of Time – Route 66 Local Love

Midwesterners have had a long love affair with the open road. While there are many wonderful destinations scattered across the region, often one is faced with a significant drive. The invention of roads helped make travel more feasible and shortened the time needed to move from point to point. One of our favorite thoroughfares to explore is Route 66, which is often referred to as the "Mother Road". One of America's first highways, the love for this path has stood the test of time. Even today, travelers spend hours and hours planning their own excursions down the route. Glory Days Cruising along Route [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:29-06:00March 2nd, 2021|Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri, South|4 Comments

Route 66 Road Trip – Road From Rolla

Our country is filled with an array of vacation opportunities. Just about any type of diversion can be found, if you know where to look. One of our favorite activities is exploring the haunts that early drivers would find across the United States. An easy way to do this is a Route 66 road trip. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles, it served travelers for generations. Even before it was paved, in 1926, it was still winding its way through big cities and small towns across the country. Road from Rolla During the Dust Bowl days, many would follow this path west to [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:29-06:00February 23rd, 2021|Guides, Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri, South|10 Comments

Juvenile Jokes Galore – Uranus, Missouri

Route 66 explorers are always on the lookout for iconic stops. The Mother Road has been a fascination for decades and too many of the original attractions have deteriorated by the wayside. These days, a journey along one of America's first highways can turn into a treasure hunt that brings a mixed bag of rewards. As we made our way west from Rolla to Lebanon, we kept our eyes peeled for any reason to pull off the road. Just a stone's throw from Fort Leonard Wood, we happened upon the tourist trap named Uranus, Missouri. As we pulled into the parking lot, we [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:29-06:00February 16th, 2021|Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri, South|8 Comments

Uranus Sideshow Museum – Throwback To Carnival Days

Rolling down Route 66 in rural Missouri brought us to the pun-filled destination of Uranus, Missouri. Among the variety of commercial attractions is the Uranus Sideshow Museum. This place is a throwback to carnival days of old. While my only memories are of small versions at rural locations, there are certain things that I can recall. Barkers shouting out fantastic claims to the passing crowd caught my attention. The mixture of bright lights and colorful banners created a sensory overload that required seeing the promised oddities firsthand. These were certainly different days and a form of entertainment that wasn't available on television. Carnival [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:30-06:00February 9th, 2021|Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri, South|10 Comments

Red Oak II – A Labor Of Love

It would be safe to say that most people have heard the name Norman Rockwell, but how about Lowell Davis? This Missouri-born artist was often referred to as a master of rural art. Davis was born near Carthage, in the original Red Oak, Missouri. Growing up in a rural setting instilled a love for the simpler life in him. After building a successful career, he would return to the area to create his own testament, which he dubbed Red Oak II. A Life of Art Lowell's life experiences affected every aspect of his art. While he was only a small child during the [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:24:30-06:00February 2nd, 2021|Carthage, Midwest, Missouri, Route 66, Route 66 Missouri|14 Comments

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – 10,000 Acres Of Exploring

For many years, we have enjoyed visits to the Ozark Mountains. This ancient mountain range offers amazing scenery, abundant wildlife, and many hidden wonders. During a trip to Top of the Rock, we learned about another scenic site that we wanted to see firsthand. A little research uncovered 10,000 acres of exploring that offers visitors plenty of natural experiences. Since we had planned a Branson trip, it made sense to add a stop at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park to our itinerary.    Miles of Nature Dogwood Canyon is a little over 30 minutes southwest of Branson, Missouri. That makes it an easy day [...]

By |2021-01-30T11:40:42-06:00January 26th, 2021|Branson, Midwest, Missouri|8 Comments
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