Missouri is called the “Show Me State” for a reason, as there is so much to do in each region of the state. From the Mississippi River with St. Louis to the western side and everything in between from hiking trails, caves, water, Route 66, and so much more! I never realized how much there was to do in Missouri. It is such a beautiful state with lots of great historical sites to all the natural settings to explore. Of course Branson with the popular shopping and musical shows.
I always wanted to travel to Missouri and ride in a steamboat on the Mississippi River as I live in South Louisiana where the Mississippi River ends. I always thought it would be fun to be further up the river and of course visit where Mark Twin lived. I would take my family as this is a great way to teach my son more about our wonderful country and explore it together as a family.
Our trip would begin in Hannibal, MO. Our first destination would be to visit the site of Mark Twain. I would spend a full day visiting the attraction and explore the cave.
Then our next day would be filled with the Tom Sawyer fun park for my son the rest of the day.
Our third day would be to explore the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Musuem and then take a lunch cruise on the steamboat to see the Mississippi River. That evening we could hit the ice cream parlor after we did some shopping at the antique stores and end with a nice supper at Lula Belle’s Restaurant.
Our last day would be spent driving down the state to get more of the Missouri feel and stop in at some local shops and diners along the way home. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my vacation than by sightseeing and also just driving and enjoying the view and meeting locals. I am a small town girl, and I really enjoy the quaintness of small towns and it’s more leisurely for me.
What would you do in Missouri? Are you looking for adventure on land or water? Maybe you want both. Are you a city person and want the night life of Kansas City or St. Louis. You can take in a baseball game as well. Are perhaps you want to do more shopping and take in a show at Bransen or visit the natural beauty of the Ozarks? Missouri has lots to offer and a different trip for everyone. Make sure to visit them and like VisitMO on Facebook and also to follow VisitMO on Twitter so you won’t miss any of the fun!
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So I haven’t posted in over two months. I know it’s terrible, but life has really gotten in the way since last year. I finally gave my blog a long overdue face lift. I hope everyone likes it. I’m not sure if I’m happy with all the text colors but it will do for now. I’m pleased with the template design, and I find it a little whimsical. It fits with my blog perfectly I think. So let me know what you think.
I had posted an update in February about how things were going for my family. If you had read then you know that I had a lot going on between my son and myself. I am happy to post that things are so much better for both of us. He finished the 2nd grade making straight A’s most of the year with only 2 B’s on his report cards. He finished the year very strong and should have a much easier time in 3rd grade. I’m very hopeful and just extremely grateful we found some wonderful people to help us.
I had decided to start losing weight at the end of last August. I had tried several times in the past, but I would never stick with it. I would quit all my bad habits at once which would overwhelm me. Then I would completely quit and undo any bad habits I had stopped. I decided to try a different approach by doing it with baby steps. My first step was to quit drinking soft drinks. I thought I had acid reflux, and I was drinking alka-seltzer 3-5x a week. Some days twice a day! It was craziness and I had to stop. I switched to sweet iced tea so no caffeine withdrawls or headaches. I would make a gallon of tea and put 1/2 cup of sugar so it wasn’t very sweet at all. When I got used to that, then a couple of weeks later I cut it down to a 1/4c. Then I finally got used to drinking it without any sugar. I drank more water and I lost 6 pounds in 10 days! That was amazing and 2 weeks later I noticed that I wasn’t having heartburn anymore. It finally dawned on me that the soft drinks were causing my heartburn. Once I quit drinking them it magically went away! That saved me lots of money as soft drinks are expensive. Then I was able to take another step by watching my calorie intake. I made switches from honey wheat bread to dark German bread. I also quit eating white rice by switching to brown. All of these small changes made big impacts on my appetite. I started walking with my Leslie Walk-Away-The-Pounds DVD’s at the end of December. I began slowly and kept challenging myself with slightly harder workouts. I was out of breath but I never quit. I also didn’t berate myself if I had to modify or quit. I just told myself tomorrow you will do better and I did.
I will say that my biggest motivator came in October. I got my prescription for Zoloft and my doctor ran a blood test on me. The results came back that my sugar level was elevated (126) and my cholesterol was 190. The worst part was she wanted me to take Glucophage since I was pre-diabetic! I was shocked and refused it. I had already lost 17 pounds at that point, and was committed to losing this weight on my own. I knew I could do it and I would prove to her that I didn’t need a diabetic medicine when I wasn’t truly diabetic. I had talked to a good friend of mine who is a diabetic and former nurse. She was also shocked and told me no way. She advised me to get a glucose meter and just check my blood after eating to see what would trigger it. I learned a lot by talking with her and really changed my eating habits more than I had. My blood sugar level went to normal quickly and has stayed that way since. I haven’t had a formal blood test but am planning one soon.
We finally got to Disney World at the end of April. I was down 65 pounds and it felt wonderful. I got to a size 16 in bottoms and XL in tops. I had prepared myself for all the walking before we went. Walking around WDW was a piece of cake. We also hit the beach in Panama City. It was a very long overdue vacation and our first family trip ever. I wasn’t even worried too much about the long drive. It was fine and we saved a lot of money by driving instead of flying. We broke up the drive by spending the night in Tallahassee. My husband and son have never been outside of MS or TX so it was a great experience for them. We had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave. We can’t wait for our next family trip which we hope will be next year. I’m going to wrap up this super long post soon. I am down 75 pounds as of today. I have lost 10 dress sizes and am currently wearing a LG in tops/14-16 in bottoms. I still have another 55 pounds to go but I know I will get there.
I have also started working part-time again as a merchandiser/mystery shopper/demonstrator. It’s not really steady right now, but it’s harder with the summer. My son is home with me so I can’t really dive into it like I want. I did just pick up a great job that has wonderful hours and nice pay. Once he’s back in school, then I’m sure work will pick up for me. I’m going to try really hard not to neglect this blog anymore and adding posts regularly. Thanks for letting me share. I’m not planning on leaving for long periods of time anymore. I will make this blog more of a priority again. I really enjoy having it to share my good deals, thrifty tips, and even about my family.
I posted earlier that we are going to Walt Disney World for a family vacation this year. The closer we approach our departure date, I must admit I’m feeling overwhelmed with the planning process. We are staying on grounds at the Port of Orleans French Quarter resort. With the current buy 4 nights and get 3 free promotion, we were able to stay at the more expensive resort for only a couple hundred more than a value. We are also getting 7 base Magic Your Way tickets for all 3 of us. This is a fantastic deal considering last year we would have spent almost as much for only 5 days at Pop Century in a standard room with base tickets for only 4 days. We are also going to fly and use the Magic Express service Disney offers.
This was the easy part for me. Now I’m getting overwhelmed with all the smaller details of making a daily ternary for each park. Not to mention, I need to figure out which day we will be going to the parks. I am finding all of this extremely stressful. I do have a couple of books and maps of the parks that a friend of mine is letting me use. I also frequent the DIS discussion boards which has been very helpful. I do love organizing and planning, but I find this process to be intimidating. I decided to just take it one step at a time with which rides we want to do, and which we don’t care about. We are planning on spending 2 days at Magic Kingdom since it’s so big and has the majority of the rides on our list. Luckily we are mostly eating at counter service places so I don’t have to worry about making reservations. We are definitely planning to eat at the T-Rex restaurant. My son is so excited and hitting the Lego store is also on the top of must do list at Disney. If anyone has any great tips, then I am definitely all ears (no pun intended).
My husband and I haven’t had a vacation since our honeymoon. That was well over 10 years ago. We are planning our first family vacation next year to Walt Disney World. I thought it would be wonderful to have a nice weekend getaway, just the two of us, for our anniversary next year. I have never been to Las Vegas and would love to go one day soon. We aren’t really into gambling, but there is so much to do and see on the strip. The best part is there is usually a great special combining air fare and las vegas suites to make the deal even sweeter.