What I am Thankful For in 2020

Let’s be honest here, I think we can all say that this year sucked. Not bad, not okay, it just bit the big one. I hate these “thankful” posts I see that are full of butterflies and sunshine when I KNOW that we all feel something else, it’s to what degree we each have buried that horrible feeling too. I’d like to think I am a positive person most of the time, I think many want too. I don’t have many friends who wake up each day shouting to the world how negative they are going to be, I just think life happens to each of us differently that makes “being positive” a lot harder than others.

rsz_img_0051

So with that said, let me paste that smile on my face y’all are used to seeing me with and tell you what I truly am thankful for.  I am thankful I didn’t get Covid yet, and I do mean yet. Don’t you feel like it’s just waiting for you somewhere? Of course I don’t want it, I don’t want ANYONE to get it, but at the end of each day, I am happy that I am alive to see the next one. I am thankful to have a home to call my own with a comfy bed and so on- I know many are fearing where their next paycheck is coming from or if they will lose their home.

rsz_img_5102

I am thankful for my family, for the love and joy they bring me every year. Yep, there is a ton of stress in there too, my shoulders can prove it. BUT at the end of the day, they are the ones who are always there for me. I am thankful that I still have them in my life, I am incredibly sad for those who are without this year.

KYRA3 - Copy

I am thankful for traveling during times that no one could or should- being on my own gave me the freedom to move safely while still adhering to restrictions by each State. I am thankful for National Parks that stayed open and finding spots all over the place that didn’t require admission or tickets.  I figured out how to travel with little to no contact with as many people as possible- it was great.  It became a game after awhile of how to visit or see something completely alone and away from the crowds.

rsz_img_2413

I am thankful for change in my life, in families lives, and friends as well. I am thankful for new and old jobs, friends I made this past year, experiences I had- the good and the bad. I think we get nervous about letting the “bad” change us, but we have to see it as teaching us- you don’t know what you don’t know.  It’s kind of sad when the bad seems to teach me more than the good. LOL  I’ll get it right someday.

rsz_img_3487

I AM thankful for all of you, for those of you who have followed my words since 2010, for those who have sought my friendship out and stuck with me over all these years, for so many of you who have encouraged my dreams and goals when I didn’t want to continue them. So let us all be thankful today… sarcasm or not, we are still here, and that has to count for something from the year of Hell. God bless each of you!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING- I am so THANKFUL for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

The William M. Black Steamboat

While visiting Dubuque, I decided to go and explore the Port area, coming across a Museum (The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium) that sat against the Mississippi River.  Two beautiful bridges surrounding the area, the Museum had sea life, along with a full steamboat and other marina vessels to tour.

rsz_img_2425rsz_img_2258rsz_img_2121

rsz_img_2389

The dredge known as the William M. Black, was 277 feet long and 85 feet wide. One of the last steamboats to use steam in the 1930’s before diesel power replaced it. The US Corps used the vessel from 1934 to 1973 for opening important navigation channels. It would burn up to 7,000 gallons of oil a day, making it capable of dredging more than 75,000 cubic yards PER DAY!

rsz_img_2335rsz_img_2337rsz_img_2344

The Steamboat had a machine shop, two boilers with large smokestacks, two paddle areas, and a pump engine. Off the machine side, there were several living quarters, staterooms, storerooms, food prep and kitchen area, and captain and engineer’s rooms.

rsz_img_2359rsz_1img_2357

A tour guide welcomes you onto the boat and then it’s a free for all on how you would like to tour. Everything was open to look at an explore, but they’d like you to follow the arrows on the ground to keep everyone from gathering together due to Covid.

rsz_img_2383

I was alone, I didn’t have much of anyone around me at any given time. I wore my mask the entire time, but I also got the chills on this steamboat that I was being watched.  The captains quarters area especially. 

rsz_img_2365rsz_img_2368rsz_img_2372

The view of Dubuque from the outside of the boat was spectacular, as was the other side of the Mississippi. There is signage everywhere so you know what you’re looking at, and it took about 45 minutes to tour the entire boat. I seriously don’t know how people did it back then or even now- I would crawl the walls being on a boat for months on end. Maybe that’s why I have never been on a Cruise yet? Check it out if you’re in the area- admittance is through the Museum. Enjoy!

rsz_img_2333 (1)rsz_img_2354

Thank you for believing in me!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Grant Park in Galena, Illinois

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of this busy little town and not look at the whole picture. I don’t know about any of you, but when I see something in front of me, I tend to feed off the energy of that moment or thing, and I don’t take the time to look around the main event. For example, when I shop at garage sales, I see an item and it’s like my tractor beam hones in on it and doesn’t let go until I have it safely in my hands and THEN I look around my surroundings. Same happened here in Galena, trying to find parking, as it was VERY busy this past September (a good thing and a cautious thing with Covid) and I was too concerned on actually getting A spot that I didn’t pay attention to where my spot laid.

rsz_img_2014_1

rsz_1img_1990_1

After I had walked the entire downtown area of Galena, ate at Fried Green Tomatoes, toured the Dowling House, I was pooped and headed to my car. Then I saw some folks walking up a staircase over the grassy hills that I was parked against. Curiosity ALWAYS getting the best of me, I decided to muster up any energy I had left, and check out what was up there.

rsz_img_1992_1

As you ascend the staircase, you come across a lovely bridge lined with American flags. I headed over on it, I could see the train tracks beneath me and thought “What a cool view of a train coming” since it’s usually from my car at a stop that I see them most.  I would be blessed to catch a train coming through minutes later, loving every second of it. Also the view of the Town from the bridge is breathtaking, I suggest taking the time to enjoy it.

rsz_img_2003rsz_img_2009

On the other side of the bridge lies “Grant Park” which is named after Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President, who lived in Galena. The Park has rolling hills of green grass with a cute gazebo, a statue to the President himself, a pavilion and fountain.  A wonderful escape from the business of town, and a nice break under the shade of the beautiful trees.  I think we take parks for “GRANTed”….. thanks, I’ll be here all week, try the veal.  But seriously, we don’t appreciate these parks sometimes.  As a kid, all I did was lay under a tree and wonder what my adult life would look like, would I have a family, what would I be. We need these parks for our sanity, for the peace they bring without screens, without technology. Although I did take all these pics posted on my IPhone, videos too, so yeah, I know, it’s hard to put the tech toys away.

rsz_img_2007rsz_img_2006

Would I recommend the park? I’ll always encourage a sit, a break, a spot of time to just “be” for awhile without purpose or work.  I think this is a wonderful spot for yourself or the family to plop down on a blanket, look at the clouds, and feel the wind tickle your nose. Check it out and enjoy!

rsz_img_2013 (2)rsz_img_1993_1

Thank you for your support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$1.00

The Most Haunted City in Illinois….Meet Alton

Over the years, I have watched shows, read the books, and saw the pictures about the scary little town of Alton, Illinois. What makes it so scary? Well it hosts so many haunted areas and buildings, that it is a plethora of delights for the historian and ghost hunter in me.  As they say here, “Where all your Witches come true,” this place isn’t for the faint of heart. Lined with limestone rock, the town sits upon the Mississippi River, which is a recipe for paranormal activity.rsz_img_0139

18 miles outside of St. Louis, MO, it made for a perfect “two-fer” road trip! Easy to get to Alton, and also to get to St. Louis from there. Downtown Alton was a sleepy little town, full of the Main Street feel, buried in hills that surround it opposite the Mississippi. Free parking downtown, plenty of it, and stores and restaurants were open, but the visitors center was closed due to Covid.  rsz_img_0105rsz_img_0018rsz_img_0015rsz_img_0010rsz_img_0014

First, I had written one long blog post about everything I saw and visited and it was far too long and way to boring. So, in this age of 2020, our attention spans are only so long and hence, the many parts of my Alton trip were born. So much easier for everyone to find, and short and sweet just works better sometimes.  Check out my posts about the HAUNTED McPike Mansion, First Unitarian Church, Alton Prison, Confederate Cemetary, Mineral Springs Hotel, and the Alton Cemetery.  rsz_img_0061

As for the town itself, it hosts some pretty cool people people that used to walk this Earth. Miles Davis, a very famous Jazz performer was born here, along with the Tallest Man in the World, Robert Wadlow.  Also a famous argument, hence a DEBATE, happened here between a beloved President and one who wished he could be. The very spot the building rest for the infamous “Lincoln-Douglas” Debate can be found right in town, across from the large water towers “Alton” sign. Check out more of this spot HERE. rsz_img_0133rsz_img_0134rsz_img_0055Alton1

Enjoy the Town’s pictures and check out all of the highlighted subjects to read more about my amazing haunted road trip to Alton- enjoy!rsz_img_0019rsz_img_9999rsz_img_9990

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL… Al Capone’s Final Resting Place.

RoadTripLogo

There is peace found in places where all that lives is silence. It’s what brings me to these solitudes, to walk among the once vertical and chat. Might seem strange to some, but if you know me, you are not surprised.  What people don’t realize is that you can learn so much from a walk amongst the dead, what they stood for, or lay for I guess now, and what they wanted to be remembered by. I have seen some strange stuff this summer, and I’m not talking Covid, but the stones, and monuments that people chose to be remembered by are very interesting.  When I look up a Cemetery, I am looking for the older ones, the 1800’s have THE most beautiful pictures and stones. I also do my research to see if someone famous has been buried there, which a quick chat wit Sir Google will always help you find that!

rsz_img_1298

rsz_img_1314 (1)rsz_img_1271rsz_img_1324rsz_img_1302 (1)rsz_img_1262

Today’s Cemetery adventure took me to Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, located at 100 S.. Wolf Road.  As you drive in, you can’t help but drop your jaw to the floor. Hills and hills of tombstones make it look like something you would definitely find out of a horror film, and it doesn’t help things that THIS Cemetery is known as the “Mobster’s Cemetery.” Why? THE Al Capone is buried here, along with Frank Capone, Ralph Capone, Vincent Drucci, Sam Giancana, Genna Brothers, Jake Lingle, Antonio Lombardo, Jack McGurn, Charles Nicoletti, Frank Nitti, Dean O’Banion, Frank Rio, Roger Touhy, and Earl Weiss.  The Capone stone was huge, and surrounded by many family members who are buried there. To find it, enter the Cemetery from Roosevelt Rd, and he’s about 6 stones down on the right. It’s actually on the list of “Route 66 Roadside Attractions.”  Apparently they had to move Al Capone to this Cemetery from Mount Olivet because of constantly dealing with grave diggers at the previous place. It was beautiful to see all of the fresh rose petals and candy all over the graves. I paid my respects and left.  

rsz_img_1333rsz_img_1337

Also noted that several Cardinals and Bishops were buried here, as it is a Catholic Cemetery, along with Dennis Farina (actor), and MLB Baseball Players, Jack Powell and Ken Silvestri.  A famous gal and ghost story surrounds Julia Buccola Petta, the “Italian Bride.”  Check out her story tomorrow on the blog! I encourage you to take a sunny day and drive through and read the stones, for what they are there for is TO be remembered. Thanks for reading!

Blog Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$1.00

The Neighborhood that Frank Lloyd Wright Designed

RoadTripLogo

The goal was to see the home in which Frank Lloyd Wright designed and lived in from 1889 to 1909 with his wife and children. A beautiful home, see it in pictures and read about it HERE. After my hour long tour, I saw a map in the gift shop that mentioned the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. I had no idea he had designed so many of them! So purchase in one hand, and cellphone in the other, I was off to find my adventure in this Oak Park neighborhood!

rsz_img_8361rsz_img_8386rsz_img_8362rsz_img_8363rsz_img_8368rsz_img_8379rsz_img_8373rsz_img_8372rsz_img_8371rsz_img_8369rsz_2img_8404rsz_1img_8384rsz_1img_8377rsz_1img_8366rsz_img_8397rsz_img_8378

First off, the homes here are just gigantic. I can’t imagine what it takes to clean them, furnish them, and make them feel homey when there is just so much space to occupy. What was interesting though is how each home definitely had his feel, but yet they were all so different. He definitely likes using either very firm lines, or he goes completely the other direction with curves and arches. It is literally outside his home, so make a morning or afternoon of it and see the home, then walk the neighborhood. Also there is a sweet park at the end of it, complete with a dedication to the man himself. Check it out and enjoy the pictures.

rsz_img_8382 (2)rsz_img_8380rsz_img_8383

Donations for Blog Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$1.00

“The Music of Yesterday”… The Music Machines of House on the Rock.

I took so many wonderful pictures during my time at “House on the Rock,” that I wanted to make sure to not overwhelm my readers with a novel of pictures. So to break it up a bit, I thought I would just post a couple of pictoral posts about some of the rooms that were JUST AMAZING!! For more information about my visit, check out the FULL POST HERE. Today’s installment, and FINAL one of the HOTR Pictorial Series, is that of the Music Machines. I didn’t even really understand the point of these upon my first time at the house. You find them in the home section, then littered throughout the Museum sections. You can normally purchase tokens, but with Covid, they were limiting a few given with your ticket purchased. The machines ONLY run on tokens, along with several fun things like a fortune teller and displays you can play. Most take ONE, but the large ones, that literally FILL a room, take TWO. It’s fun to enjoy with or without the kids, but it’s so unusual to play them that it’s worth it. Several times I passed them up, and then I thought I better start using my tokens, can’t use them to pay for my fries on the way home so might as well! The video can be seen on Facebook on The Relocated Tourist page, but here are the pics posted below of these mammoth music makers- enjoy! Check out more about the HOUSE here!

rsz_img_9011rsz_img_9010rsz_img_9113_1rsz_img_9178rsz_img_9179rsz_img_9095rsz_img_9083rsz_img_9074rsz_img_9061

56994_10151171584614294_1587271304_o

Blog Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$1.00