Travel United States

Lewis and Clark Expedition Kansas USA

Lewis and Cark Expedition camped here at the confluence of the Kansas and the Missouri Rivers.

Lewis & Clark Kansas USA

Lewis & Clark Kansas USA

You can get a view of downtown Kansas City skyline from the Kaw Point Park, Kansas.  See the rivers flow gently bye. You can see the Missouri side (downtown Kansas City) from the Kansas side of Kansas City. Ponder what this place would have looked like when Lewis and Clark camped here.

Lewis & Clark Kansas City USA

Lewis & Clark Kansas City USA

Take a short trip into Missouri side of Kansas City to see more of Lewis and Clark’s historical trails.

This monument is located by Case Park, Kansas City Missouri.

Lewis and Clark Monument Kansas City Missouri USA

Lewis and Clark Monument Kansas City Missouri USA

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Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Quiet place close to the busy Kansas City.  It is located right off I-435. The hotel has a small cafe where you can buy food. Not too far from Burger King and McDonald’s for quick meal or breakfast.

We love the hot tub and pool area. It leads into the quiet courtyard. Safe place for kids to swim and for family to take a break.

Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Short drive to Minor Park where the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails crossed the Blue River.

Blue River Parkway Trails can be accessed from here. Lots of trees which turn really pretty in the Fall.

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA


Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Nice place to stay while exploring the Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel By-The-Sea and Big Sur. Pacific Grove is a good stop with fun things to see and do. We stayed at the Butterfly Grove Inn where the deer roam in the parking lot right outside our room.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA. It is next to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and very close to to Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Pebble Beach.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States of America.

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

There are various points around Pacific Grove along on Ocean View Boulevard that is simply stunning.

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

 

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA


Edelweiss German Cuisine Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Authentic German Food in a beautiful setting with live music on the weekends. We asked the musicians to play the Edelweiss song from the Sound of Music. They did and one of the musicians sang the song while he played his German Accordion.

 

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

You can sit outside during nice weather and and enjoy a German Beer Garden (Biergarten) experience.

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

The restaurant has beautiful German decor and you can even buy souvenirs.

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

The menu has real authentic German and European Cuisine. Don’t forget the desserts. Recommend the Apple Strudel for sure. You cannot go wrong on your choice. You may have to loosen your belt as you are not going away hungry!


Compass Cove OceanFront Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina is a fun family destination.  Lots of families with kids just enjoying the water. Food and lodging are reasonable. You can even walk to the McDonald’s from the beach in your swimming suit from the Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort where we stayed.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove had its own entertainment including a mini water park, arcade and several swimming pools.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Our room had a beautiful ocean view. You can view the sunrise from the balcony. A beautiful way to start the day.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

We walked right to the beach from the hotel. It felt safe and it was fun to get right to the beach from the hotel. It made washing up later so much easier.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

 


Fall Colors in Wamego, Kansas

Fall Colors in Wamego Kansas

Fall Colors in Wamego Kansas

You can find the most beautiful trees of varying colors at the Wamego City Park in Kansas.  Just go North on Highway K-99 (also known as the OZ Highway) from Interstate I-70.

Fall in Wamego Kansas

Fall Reflections in Wamego Kansas

The park is just North of the Kansas River (as you enter the city of Wamego go East on old US Highway 24) with a beautiful Schonhoff Dutch Mill overlooking a beautiful lake. The reflections of the trees on the water is just beautiful.

 

Fall Colors Wamego Kansas

Wamego Windmill –  Fall in Kansas

There are also other cool things to see and do in the park from a beautiful Veteran’s memorial, children’s train (runs from April to October), swimming pool, tennis courts, playground and  Wamego’s Historical Museum and Prairie Town Village .


St. Louis Gateway Arch Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

To be honest, when we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis a few years ago, we were not able to see the museum.  It was closed for renovation, so all we got to do was get a closeup view of the outside of the Arch.  And beware – our Google map sent us to the wrong place at first, probably due to the renovation.

Once we found the right spot, we really enjoyed seeing the Arch.  We will look forward to going back to see the museum and taking a ride up the Gateway Arch.  I had a chance to do that back many years ago and found it to be even more enjoyable than just viewing the Arch.

UPDATE:  As of the July 4 holiday, 2018, the museum and visitor’s center has now re-opened.

Our family will make a point to take a tram ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch one day soon.  Be ready for great photos from the top!

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA


Pacific Coast Highway 1 California USA

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast

California’s Highway 1 is probably the 2nd most famous US highway after Route 66. If you have driven the Trail Ridge Road hugging the side of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park), you would observed the steep valleys below. Here you will get to drive high above the cliffs with the  the Pacific Ocean below.  It is a drive with gorgeous views at every turn and along the way.

California

Panaromic view of the Pacific Coast from Highway 1 – California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Stunning beauty and raw power of the Pacific Ocean.  You can see white caps as the waves hit the rocks below.

Pacific Coast

Beautiful Flowers Adorn the Pacific Coast Highway

Beautiful flowers grow on the side of the cliffs from the mist of the Pacific Coast Ocean spray. In some places, you can park the car on the side of the road and get off on a trail to the hidden sandy beaches below.

 

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Amazing engineering work done to build bridges connecting one cliff to another. If you are headed south, you will have land on the left and the Pacific Coast Ocean view on the right.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

Great Smoky Mountains National Park USA

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-see. It is one of the few national parks that you can visit for free, which is a great bonus for a family on a budget.

One feature that is interesting if you go at just the right time of year is an area where the lighting bugs, a.k.a. fireflies, light up in sync with one another. We were not there at the right time when we visited, but our waiter in Pigeon Forge told us about it, and we researched where to go next time. Our future trip will most likely be timed to see those special lighting bugs.

There are a lot of beautiful trees and wooded areas, as well as the distinctive smoky look of the mountains. Friendly park rangers give educational presentations about the history of the area and the wildlife. It is common to see elk and other wildlife.

When visiting the park, you can stay in Pigeon Forge, which has a variety of family-friendly entertainment and lodging options. Or there is Gatlinburg, which is a beautiful family-friendly tourist town.


Rocky Mountain National Park USA

Beautiful Estes Park is the closest town to the Rocky Mountain National Park’s East entrance. You can find affordable lodging and restaurants here.  Even Elk roaming the golf course in the Fall!

Rocky Mountain National Park Bear Lake

Take a gentle hike around this lake and enjoy its beauty. You can see the Rocky Mountains reflecting on the water. Stand or sit (some rocks you can even lay down flat) on any of the  huge rocks on the side Bear Lake’s and soak in the beauty of this place.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park – Trail Ridge Road

As you drive on the Trail Ridge Road (closed in the Winter), take some time to stop and take photos at the various stops.  Due to the high altitude, drinking lots of water and taking gentle strides in your walk will help you catch your breath. You can get out of breath easy at this high altitude!

View from Alpine Visitor Center Rocky Mountain National ParkView from Alpine Visitor Center Rocky Mountain National Park

Stop at the Alpine Visitor Center for some food and a break in the trip. Enjoy the view of the valley and melting snow (depending on the time of the year and amount of Winter snow).

Beautiful tundra. You can find beautiful flowers up high in the mountains. Please keep to the trails and try not to damage this fragile ecosystem.


Rocky Mountain Glaciers are melting away. Let the kids run out some steam by hiking and sliding!

Poudre Lake Colorado

Milner Pass  and Poudre Lake ColoradoGet up to the Poudre Lake and Milner Pass and take a photo next to the Continental Divide sign. You have been to the roof of the United States! Water flows either East to the Atlantic Ocean or West to the Pacific Ocean.