Haunted Lafayette Square in St. Louis

RoadTripLogoHaving been to Savannah and other beautiful cities, it never gets old to see the impressive architecture used back in the day. Buildings then had such personalities, each one different and unique.  I don’t mind the cookie cutter homes, but there’s nothing like a home from the early 1900’s. Of course, I am sure they would love our technology today than their pretty buildings, but hey, I’ll guess I’ll have to ask them some day!rsz_img_0472

 

Every neighborhood has that ONE home that everyone avoids, talks about, walks quickly past because it just gives them a bad vibe. Well what if it was the ENTIRE neighborhood? In May of 1896, the “Great Cyclone” as they would deem it, destroyed this area, eating everything in it’s path. One of the deadliest tornadoes in history, it would take 255 precious souls that day. rsz_img_0473

With all of that death, it would be no surprise that the neighborhood, and the Park it surrounds, are said to be haunted with those who perished in the storm. This suburb just outside the city of St. Louis is so beautiful and quaint, it’s almost hard to wrap your head around the devestation that occured there.  I drove and took pics, not really feeling anything but sadness for so many people who left this Earth so quickly.  If you’d like to check out more spooky sites that I have road tripped to, check them out HERE. Enjoy!rsz_img_0474

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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!

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Lincoln Visits Strevel…An Historical Moment

Over the summer, I have figured out that I have several categories of travel that I truly enjoy checking off.  One of them being History, but more specific, Lincoln and his travels.  Having spent some serious time in the Midwest lately, it has given me a really cool perspective of this President and his life and times.  So when I visit a city, I look up if there was anything Lincoln did or saw there to add to my digital scrapbook of travels. This was one of those places, a diamond in the rough, and unless you knew where it was, I doubt most would make it a stop. rsz_img_1070

Yes, it’s a red house on a corner, 401 Livingston Street.  But it’s the Gothic Style architecture that gives this house a very spooky vibe, on top of the fact that Lincoln himself spent time here visiting and celebrating. Built in 1854 and located in Pontiac, Illinois, sits this interesting home where Lincoln visited his good friend, Jason Strevell. Why is it so significant? Because it is here that Lincoln penned a letter to his son on the evening of January 27th, 1860, that he predicted he would be nominated for the vice-presidency of the Republican Party.  The Strevels would also host a celebration for Lincoln here after one of his speeches at the local church. It is the ONLY and LAST house standing in Livingston County in which Lincoln visited. rsz_img_1068 (2)1LincolnDwightHomersz_img_1069 (1)rsz_img_1067Anything with Lincoln gives me the goosebumps…to know the man walked the same steps I now took in 2020, the same pavement, the same view of this home.  The home wasn’t open, due to Covid, but I was able to get a shot of the inside through the front door. To see him walk down the stairs, to know he walked and thought about where his foothold in history would be. Maybe he had no idea how he would shape us, but it’s pretty incredible to see these places and feel that amazing, historical energy.  I encourage you or the family to road trip to these spots around Illinois, it’s a great learning experience and it’s important to keep the history alive. Want to see more of my Lincoln Road Trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!

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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!

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The Regal Eagle Smokehouse at Epcot

When you live here, you can get spoiled with having so many choices to dine from every time you enter a Park. One choice was Liberty Inn, located in the American Pavilion area back in the World Showcase at Epcot. It was an airconditioned oasis out of the hot sun, and there aren’t many back in that area to escape too so it was always a welcome sight. Down for refurbishment over the last several months, I had heard rumors of a BBQ Smokehouse replacing the Inn. What I didn’t know was that it would be Muppet themed, ever so slightly, to give a nod to the great eagle himself, Sam Eagle. Hearing this news, I was more excited about the Sam aspect and less about the BBQ, so I headed in yesterday, on it’s 2nd day open to try it out.IMG_1500JPG

Craig and I headed in at around 11:30 and it took about 20 minutes to maneuver “Wallcot” and get back into the World Showcase, and of course its furthest point, America. I was shocked at how packed the place was since WS had barely been open an hour. We grabbed the very last line, briefly looked up, saw BBQ Chicken leg, sounded yummy, told Craig that’s it and then proceeded to camp out for a booth that I got lucky with right away. In our haste, we didn’t look at ALL of the menus. Yes folks, we were reading off the kids menu. They are on large digital screens, but they didn’t change out like they do at Cosmic Rays, so we assumed it was the same across the top- it wasn’t. So Craig wound up ordering me something like a chicken leg, which was the Kansa City Smoked Half-Chicken which came with garlic toast and your choice of side which he chose coleslaw for me. Since he was flustered with the crowds and not reading the menu right, he chose the Power Greens Salad as a fall back, it was served with chilled pull chicken and fresh citrus. (Oranges and grapefruit). I was holding our table, so he told me that the staff were running around pretty lost, but he understood because it was only day 2. They gave us a Smores Brownie for making Craig wait so long for our food which was nice.

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Kansas City Smoked Half-Chicken
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Power Greens Salad with Chilled Chicken
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Smores Brownie

Food? So the chicken I had was smoked and had that nice smokey taste to it, but it definitely needed to be drowned in bbq sauce more because it was a tad on the dry side. For half a chicken, I didn’t feel I was getting much meat off the bone, so for it being as large as a portion as it “appears” to be, it didn’t fill me up. The Garlic toast was good and the coleslaw I would have liked to be a bit more creamier and less peppery. I like KFC coleslaw, so if that tells you anything about my taste buds when it comes to coleslaw.
Craig had the Citrus Salad which had ZERO dressing on it and NONE given with it. He assumed it came on it since it wasn’t offered, and it was dry as a bone. The radish shavings and dry cranberries didn’t add to any type of rich flavor, it was just dry. He thinks it was supposed to come with some type of lime cilantro dressing, but we both witnessed a dry salad. Again, the crowds and Cast Members were frazzled to a point that it wasn’t worth our time to complain to management at that time- they had enough to deal with. The Smores Brownie was very heavy in taste and dry, I am more a fan of the moist brownies.IMG_1492JPG

Cost? The Salad was $11.49 and the Half-Chicken was $13.99. On par with Disney pricing? Yes. Worth the money? No. You can have a better salad with a heck of a lot more chicken on it and lots of good veggies or fruit at your local Wawa here or ChickFila. I know, they aren’t on Disney property, but for us locals, I wouldn’t be going in again for either item. I am curious to hear what everyone else has had and what they thought of it.IMG_1487JPG

Atmosphere? It’s homey and adorable in there in all it’s Americana goodness. Very little “Sam” is represented, so that was disappointing, but they did take out those horrible metal chairs and tables and replaced them with warm and inviting booths and picnic tables. The fountain was removed from the center of the Restaurant, and definitely gives off more of the “Smokehouse” feel and less the Greenhouse vibe it had going on before. It seemed to have a lot more seating now, and the noise level seemed to be the same as before- it was always very loud and echoey in there- still is.  There is seating inside and outside as well, outside surrounding a large BBQ smoker.  They also have a walk up for drinks and food outside if you don’t want to make your way inside the Restaurant.IMG_1484JPGIMG_1503JPGIMG_1502JPGI wouldn’t go out of your way to eat here, it’s a Smokehouse like the rest. But if you are hankering for some BBQ, and you find yourself in Epcot, this will do just fine.

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!

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The 2020 Sea World All Day Dining Deal: Part One…The Food Choices

Living the Relocated Tourist life, you discover little ways here and there to make the most out of your money, especially since I am in them 3-4 times a week. Having been a Passholder for a while, I had been curious about this “All Day Dining Deal” that they advertise all over their site and Parks. I am usually in the Parks from open to mid-afternoon, usually because I am trying to beat rush hour on the way home, so it is rare these days to do an open to close in any of the Theme Parks. An “All Day Dining Deal” for myself never seemed worth it because I usually ate breakfast at home or on the way, grabbed my lunch at the Park and then was home well in time for dinner. That being said, I thought it would be a fun blog to challenge myself to the “All Day Dining Deal.” Meaning I would eat on the hour, every hour the Park was open, to see what kind of food options, drinks, and such I could get out of the deal. Here’s the gluttonous tale…. I hope you’re hungry….said no one ever after doing this challenge.

First, I want to start off by thanking my amazing husband, Craig, who willingly agreed to do this challenge with me. Sea World was having a great offer for Passholders for the month of January, where I could bring in a friend for free. I am the Passholder of the family, so these deals are nice for me to bring in a family member on occasion without having to pay for family passes. (A nice perk if you’re thinking of becoming an Annual Passholder). So let’s state the facts first for your reference. It was a Monday, it was in January, their hours were 10-6, and it was a quiet Park. We were pretty sure there were more employees than visitors. January is typically a slow month in the Parks, so keep that in mind. These facts are important when deciding when and if you’d like to do the dining plan. Time of year means more or less people, which means more or less lines, which means more or less time to achieve this challenge in the first place. You have to get in line, then order your food, then pay for food, and then eat your food all in a span of time before the next hour was up to eat again. You’d think this would be an easy task, it wasn’t. Had we had bigger crowds with bigger lines, not only would we not have gotten so much done, but we wouldn’t have wanted to do as much because more people usually causes more stress which leads to me in my car going home as soon as possible.

We got to the Park right away at opening, again 10 am, and immediately bought the dining plan at a kiosk just inside the entrance, right next to the “Sea World” sign photo opp. (These kiosks are located throughout the Park) Since I am a Passholder, I was able to save 15% off. So for any adult, it would be $39.99 with tax, ($19.99 for children) and for me it was $33.99 with tax. They give you a wristband with a UPC Code for them to scan every time you purchase something. It was purchased at 10:09 a.m. which now was basically the green light to start eating. What is in the Dining Deal? The one that I bought gives you ONE entrée, ONE side or dessert, and ONE beverage. You can upgrade to include alcohol for $15 more- that’s ONE drink per hour. Who knew you could get lit at Sea World? Tis true! IMPORTANT NOTE- The ONLY place serving breakfast was “Seafire Inn” which is a couple right turns off the entrance. Again, you want to get the most for your purchase, so we headed there to grab breakfast first. You could get a fruit cup($3.99), choice of bakery item ($3.99), and then a drink($3.99) (fountain drink, bottled water, or milk). The total value of breakfast was roughly $13 let’s say. We recorded our time down at 10:17 a.m. and made sure to keep track of everything we were eating. Check out the next blog post about reviews of the food and the places we ate- I would’ve added it here but it would make this post about 80 pages long, aint no one got time for that! SW11

A note here, you can ask for a receipt for each transaction, but there are no prices listed on said receipt, you will want these for the time stamp on the bottom, so you know when you can get your next meal. When they say you can eat every hour, they mean it, and not a MINUTE sooner. Now drinks? They are more relaxed on those. I was told you can get as many as you want throughout the day, but I was told by another Team Member that they allow 12 beverages per visitor which equals a normal Park day’s hours are usually 12 hours. Since they were only open 8 on the day we went, she still said the system allows 12 each. So keep that in mind if you already used your meal credit for the hour but you’re dying for a bottle of water, go ahead and get it.

Next we hit up “Mango Joes” at 11:17 a.m. which was in the back corner of the Park, next to “Wild Artic.” Now being lunch time, we could get a little more creative with our choices. I wanted to pick different items at each offered location so that I could report a variety of offerings the Park has. We all get sick of chicken nuggets and fries don’t we? Here we chose the Impossible burger (which for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a plant based, vegan option)($14.99), a side summer salad($4.99), waffle fries came included with the entrée, and a Coke Zero($3.99). A total value of $25 let’s say with tax. Now just after TWO meals, we had gotten a value of $38- already $5 over what I paid into it. SW12

At 12:17, we found ourselves at “Waterway Grill” which is a brand new Restaurant back behind the newest ride “Infinity Falls.” A cleaner menu, they offered tofu, steak, and chicken, which was a nice variety to choose from. We chose the Churrasco Steak($15.99), which came with rice and beans, a large piece of carrot cake($3.99), and another Coke Zero($3.99). By the way, all meal plans come with the regular size drink, and not the 2 Liter size. Value around $25 for that meal. SW13

After saying hello to my favorite penguin crew, we dined at “Expedition Cafe” which is just outside their ride and area. We dined at 1:20 p.m. and I was super excited that they served Asian food here. We chose the Teriyaki chicken, Orange Chicken, Fried Veggies and Fried Rice combo ($15.99) with a large piece of Chocolate cake($3.99) and mixed things up a bit with a Lemonade($3.99)this round. A total value of $25 with tax. I even snagged a White Cherry(they had three flavors here) Icee ($4.99) after dinner as part of my “unlimited beverages.”SW14

At 2:20 p.m., we headed to “Captain Pete’s Island Hot Dogs” stand where we picked up a Foot Long Chili Cheese Hot Dog ($12.99), more waffle fries included, a bottle of water ($2.99), and a bag of cookies ($3.99). Total Value was roughly $21. I was excited about the cookies being in a bag, it was the first item we had received that I could take home with me, funny thing is I just remembered they were in my bag and currently eating one as I write.SW16

3:20 p.m. came fast, so we headed to “Voyagers” which is a BBQ Smokehouse. We got the Rib Platter which was 3 Ribs, a quarter Chicken, smoked sausage, waffle fries, and a dinner roll ($18.99). Also was a piece of cherry cheesecake ($3.99) and a Sprite ($3.99). A value roughly of $28.SW17

Since there was a large line at the last one, our time was bumped to 4:30 p.m. for the next gluttonous adventure. We headed to “Spice Mill” where we got the Bacon Cheeseburger with all the fixings ($13.49), a side of Potato Salad ($3.99) and TWO bottles of water ($2.99 each) (because again I could get as many as they’d let me). Total value was $24.SW9

5:30 p.m. came and we could see the end in sight….all I could think about is how much pepto I was going to have to take to counter act the battle that was about to happen in my digestive tract. We ended where we started, “Seafire Inn” where they now were serving dinner. We chose the Grilled Chicken Wrap ($12.99), piece of Chocolate Cake ($3.99) and another Coke Zero ($3.99) to end the day. Total value of this meal, $22 with tax.SW18

So again with estimation of tax, for the $33.99 that I had spent for ONE dining, all day, plan, the TOTAL value you COULD get in one EIGHT hour day is $183!!!! Now, let’s be realistic. Who is going to eat EIGHT meals during a Park day? Between rides and shows, you can barely sit for one, maybe two meals. The point though is that if you do your research, you can find the best value for that plan, and also you can get those beverages any time you like. Bottled water any time is a HUGE commodity in the Florida heat, so that alone with your meals is well worth the dining plan. NOW if you or your family are light eaters, I would say it’s not worth it. Split some meals up and save the cash. I split every single meal with my husband all day long – ONE plan- and we were STILL stuffed to the gills!!

Check out my next post about my review on the food we ate and the places we ate for this Challenge HERE. I hope you found this informative and that it helps YOU out on your next adventure to Sea World, Orlando!

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!

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The Distracted Parent at the Parks

rsz_img_e6378Recently on a trip to the Parks, I was waiting in line at Slinky Dog with the family.  As we all know, the culmination of tired guests at the end of a long day, can make those lines seem even longer. I GET IT.  But that being said, I watched as a couple were in deep discussion over a map or kissing, whatever, as their small children of probably 5 years old, played around my family and I behind them… at first it’s cute. You tell yourself that kids will be kids and let them have their fun.  Then they step on you….they don’t mean it so you try to keep your cool and again convince yourselves that these little humans don’t realize they can be jerks.  But as I watched the parents, time and time again over the next 90 minute wait we had, my blood began to boil.  If you say something, you’re the bad guy.  PLUS you get the added bonus of waiting in line with the people you just asked to stop for however long and that’s just as uncomfortable. At one point we had moved forward a good ten feet and their kids were playing on the poles and Mom and Dad didn’t even notice they were a good 4 parties behind them. Nothing. It wasn’t until the kids ran up to join them that they even looked down.

I get it folks, people want to celebrate with their kids in this happy place.  But you know what doesn’t make it happy anymore? When I constantly have to watch your child for you because you are too distracted.  Parenting is rough, many of us have been through it or are still in the trenches. And yes, it does take a Village. Here’s an example of when I was more than happy to help. I have found that the parade environment, at Disney especially, can be a very toxic place. The reason is that EVERYONE feels entitled to see, have the perfect spot, and it doesn’t matter who around them has to deal with it.  I have sat hours beforehand to get a perfect picture or that “just right” experience and I don’t mind standing to let little ones sit or stand in front of me.  When parents ASK ME I have totally ok with it- as long as the kids are going to sit still and I am not having to babysit. But when parents decide to SHOVE their little human in front of me and yell “Its just a child, it’s just a child” I truthfully want to shout back at the parent “It’s my foot, it’s just my foot.” Read into that how you want.  I was sitting on Main Street with the family on a vacation back in the day and a stroller came behind us, parked, and the child’s ice cream dripped down my back.  Nothing like getting my spot early only to have to deal with a sticky backside and parents who didn’t care as I looked back at them with “the look.”  Or holding a place for hours on end just to be made to feel like you’re a bad human because you got there first and did the time and they can’t believe they can’t just walk up and sit in your spot. Oh and on a side not, for Pete’s sake if you need to put your child up on your shoulders to see, stand in the BACK.

What people get wrong about the Parks is that they are for EVERYONE. Not just families, not just the single rider, and certainly not just for the kids- EVERYBODY. So it just takes a little time and respect to watch your kids in line, say sorry when your kid does something to a stranger, and please don’t play it off when they do and think “It’s just my kid being a kid.”  Most people, like myself, will give the benefit of the doubt repeatedly because we don’t want to come off looking like jerks either.  We want your kids and your family to have a GREAT time, just be aware that you’re not the only one enjoying the magic.

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!

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What’s In a Name?

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For those who don’t know our story, back in 2009, Craig and I were on our nightly walk when we not only came up with the name “The Relocated Tourist”, but also our mantra and life statement, which is “Going from what if, to why not?” Still love that to this day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that has applied to our lives.

When I started blogging that 9 years ago, I was thirsty to share with the World what information we had collected for our big move to Florida. There wasn’t anything out there that talked about “REAL” life here, and that concerned us both.  Thus a building of a beautiful community of friends that I have had since that launch day, oh so long ago, that I wish I had realized that I didn’t have to stay in the box that I had created for myself back then.

People will tell you if you want the numbers, stay on target. Focus on what you want to talk about and go with that subject in mind.  But I have learned that I have lots I want to talk about and share with people, and I am definitely not “normal.”  The reason I LOVED the name of my blog was for the fact that I could talk about travel, relocation, Disney, Universal, Sea World, Florida, Wisconsin, road trips, life mishaps, etc… and why I hope that when the day comes that this isn’t all about Mickey and Main Street that you STILL follow along my adventures.

I can guarantee you we will relocate again down the road…but for now, the magic of Disney, the frustrations of Florida, and all of my road trip goodness will hopefully keep you tucked in at night.  Stay tuned!

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