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|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

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 [...]

By |2021-12-10T07:34:20-06:00June 15th, 2021|Carthage, Midwest, Missouri, Route 66|0 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 |2022-03-08T05:22:05-06:00February 2nd, 2021|Carthage, Midwest, Missouri, Route 66|12 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

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 was important for [...]

Have You Heard Of The Peanut Man?

Like many of you, we associated the name George Washington Carver with peanuts, but couldn't really tell you why. The knowledge that he was a botanist seemed familiar, but that was about the extent of what we remembered from school. A visit to the George Washington Carver National Monument would forever change this. The site is located in Diamond, Missouri, which lies just about 20 minutes south of Joplin. Our contact at Visit Joplin suggested a visit, so we made sure to add it to our itinerary. It ended up being an educational eye-opener. The Early Years Born into slavery in the 1860s, [...]

By |2022-03-26T05:00:09-06:00April 23rd, 2018|Destinations, Joplin, Midwest, Missouri|7 Comments

What To Expect At The Joplin History Museum

When the name of Joplin, Missouri is mentioned, many will think immediately of the 2011 EF5 tornado that devastated portions of the city. Joplin is so much more than that. It has a rich history reaching back before the Civil War. We stopped in the Joplin Museum Complex to learn more about this southwestern Missouri city. The official name of this portion of the museum complex is the Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum. It is laid out as an assembly of collections, with each having its specific gallery area. We want to thank the Joplin Museum Complex and Visit Joplin, Mo. for their hospitality. Rest assured that [...]

By |2020-02-27T19:36:54-06:00April 16th, 2018|Destinations, Joplin, Midwest, Missouri|6 Comments

Getting Stuffed At Red Onion Cafe

During our visit to Joplin, Missouri we took some time to visit the downtown area. This section of the city falls on the path of Route 66, so it draws a wide variety of travelers every year. After taking in some of the sights, we had worked up a big lunchtime appetite, so we made a stop in the Red Onion Cafe. The restaurant was pretty busy, but we were still seated almost immediately. We want to thank the Red Onion Cafe for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own. Popular Place This day's lunch crowd was clearly a mix of local [...]

By |2020-02-27T19:37:09-06:00April 9th, 2018|Destinations, Joplin, Midwest, Missouri|2 Comments

Candy House Gourmet – A Sweet Story

Let’s just face the facts. We like chocolate! There, it has been said, and there is no taking it back. This may be the reason why so many of our trips include a visit to a chocolate shop. We like to think it is just a service we provide for our readers who are looking for a sweet treat option when touring a destination. At least that is our way of convincing ourselves we are just doing public service work. Whatever the reason, we have had tremendous fortune in digging up some wonderful chocolatiers during our travels. In Joplin, Missouri our [...]

By |2020-02-27T19:37:24-06:00April 2nd, 2018|Destinations, Joplin, Midwest, Missouri|3 Comments
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