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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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 Arzt House….Haunted St. Louis

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Many a home and location are haunted in the City of St. Louis, and one of the most haunted, yet not too known, is the “Arzt House.”  An immigrant from Hungaria, Dr. Franz Arzt came to America, finding many business opportunities to lead him up the ladder of success and fortune. Building the home in 1874, it hosts not only a carriage house, but tunnels that run underneath the home.

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Located at 2330 S. 12th Street, also known as “Soulard,” I had no problem finding the house. It stands out like a single candle on a birthday cake. Want to make a wish? This row of homes that surround it seem to sit in it’s shadows, while it reigns over them at the top of the hill. Had I known earlier, I wouldv’e booked a night hear on Air BnB for $90 a night- not sure I would get any sleep though! It is rumored that the good Doctor himself haunts the home and has been seen on more than one occasion.  I can tell you that just from walking around the property, as it takes up a good corner of the block, it is impressive and it is HUGE!  I may have to think on a second trip here, it sounds like a scary good time in a beautiful home. Want to see more of my haunted road trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!ArtzHouse5ArtzHouse6

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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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The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

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One of my bucket lists, and I have many going, is to visit each National Park in the great U.S.A. I have been blessed to have been to many already, so I am well on my way to checking them off.  I am always intimidated by the “big city” on driving in, around, and especially the anxiety around parking.  You’d think that living in Florida I would be used to bumper to bumper traffic and being constantly on my guard when changing lanes or using my GPS, but alas, I was still intimidated here. Thankfully I was there on a Saturday morning, around 9 a.m., and the first parking lot I saw I took!  $10, pre-paid CC only lot, I didn’t care because it was nice and close to the Park and it was also close to the highway to get out- a VERY important detail!rsz_img_0198rsz_img_0199rsz_img_0200

I was there around 9 a.m. so lucky me, I had pretty much the place to myself.  The sun was shining, and the walk TO the Park was pretty neat!  I walked underneath their train system, then up a large hill lined with trees and clean sidewalks.  It was the kind of Park that you see picnics in, joggers running by, and kids holding parents hands.  As you get to the cusp of the hill, like a movie being revealed behind the red velvet curtains, the great Mississippi in all it’s majesty presents herself. It was so beautiful, it almost takes the attention away from the Arch that sits quietly above your head. Riverboat cruises and helicopter tours are provided down on the river, a large paved staircase located next to the one side of the Arch.rsz_img_0203rsz_img_0205rsz_img_0207

Constructed in the early 1960s, and costing $13 million, the land they needed to build the arch would need 40 blocks of the downtown St. Louis area, and demolish it they would along with 290 Businesses.  Ouch! The legs were built seperately, so if they were even off by a HAIR, they would not reconnect at the top correctly! Can you imagine them getting to that point and being like “well crap, it’s a do over!” LOL.  Kind of a cool fact, it is as high as it is wide. 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide! Now, the Tram wasn’t operating, due to Covid at the time, but my Mom had ridden it and said it’s a spectacular view but a terrifying experience- especially if you don’t like heights.  Part elevator and part ferris wheel, it takes you to the top where you can see out of windows, and then back down again. rsz_img_0208rsz_img_0188rsz_img_0213

Personally, I was just happy to touch it. I was so happy standing underneath it, taking pictures, and enjoying the view of the Mississippi. They had food trucks near the Main Entrance of the Park, and then souvenirs being sold out of another truck.  It’s a great location to walk from to enjoy the River or the Downtown area, which I then walked to get to the City Museum. Check out that post HERE.  It was a great experience, everyone had masks on, and you can easily social distance in this spacious area. Enjoy!

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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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The Most Haunted City in Illinois… First Unitarian Church

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Climbing back up the steep hills of Alton, I found myself at the First Unitarian Church (110 E. 3r St). A view from here of the mighty Mississippi, and the beautiful bridge, you would never guess the sadness that has happened at this church and on this spot. On the site of where a previous Church had burned down, the First Unitarian Church structure was erected, and both had been used as part of the “Underground Railroad.” Along with that,  in 1935, the Pastor of the Church hung himself, and he has been seen roaming the Church and its grounds ever since.  I thought the view was spectacular for all of the parishoners that still frequent this Church, but I also did feel some off energy in the front area. Again, this is a town I wouldn’t want to roam by myself at night- it speaks to you enough during the day. Check out the rest of my Haunted Alton Road Trip HERE.

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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 2020 Sea World All Day Dining Deal: Part Two…The What and Where Food Reviews

If you haven’t caught Part One: The Sea World 2020 All Day Dining Challenge, please check it out FIRST. If you have, well then let’s talk about this gluttonous venture that was my day yesterday. I would’ve loved to have kept this all one article, but it was just going to be too stinking long so here we are, a FRESH chapter to dig into. SW10

Alrighty, I am just going to go in chronological order of our day, that way you can follow much easier from the transition of the first chapter on this. So we began at “Seafire Grill.” This place is on the far right as you walk into the Park, and it’s located right before you hit the long bridge across the waterfront area. What I used to love about this Restaurant, was that they had a porch on it for outside dining. I would grab my Mexi-bowl of goodness and listen to the seagulls (piped in mind you) and just enjoyed the warm breeze outside. Then they made it a bar. Wah wah. So when we grabbed our very light breakfast offerings (Continental as advertised) we opted for a high table in the courtyard area outside. The inside of this Restaurant has no music, it’s quiet, it’s dark, and clearly used for dinner shows but they open it up for seating during the day. It basically feels like you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be. Hence, we ate outside. Plus, it was 60 degrees and overcast so it was somewhat pleasurable. No heat stroke today Satan! The fruit in the fruit cup was fresh, which was a light way to start our day, and the blueberry muffin we had, had a very wet consistency. Delicious but a bit mushy. I like them more fluffier.SW3

Onto “Mango Joes,” located in the back corner near Antartica. The outside porch of this one is under construction right now since they are making another rollercoaster near it. The inside is just for lining up and ordering, all dining is outside here. We had the impossible burger….and it was, ok. Strange honestly. My brain says “This should be beef” yet my taste buds don’t know what to make of it. I wouldn’t have it again, but I am glad I tried it. The side summer salad was DELICIOUS!!! They had a couple of choices of salads here, but this one had peaches, strawberries, crumbled cheese and red onions- sooo good!! SW2

Waterway Grill” is one of their largest Restaurants- also has an Annual Passholder lounge here. If you have a large group, this is a great place to sit inside and enjoy the ac! They had very limited seating outside, but we found a table that was just outside the “Infinity Falls” ride. We did have some bees….so there’s that for eating outside. Here we had the Churrasco Steak with beans and rice. The Steak was incredibly chewy, so we opted out after the first bite. The rice and beans were really good and we poured the sauce that came with the dish all over that instead of the steak. You can’t go wrong with carrot cake, it was yummy!SW5

Expedition Café” was a walk up area inside to order, and then you pay and eat either outside or in an designated air conditioned hangar they have for it. A very well themed area for the penguins, this was a fun stop to eat and look around. The Asian dish we had of Orange Chicken, Teriyaki, Fried Veggies and Rice were actually really good. The Orange Chicken had a bit more breading than bird, but otherwise I would highly recommend this dish. And of course, chocolate cake was delish…hard to mess up that one! The White Cherry Icee was really good, but oh boy did I get the cold headache from that one, take caution my amigos.SW6

Captain Pete’s Island Hot Dogs” is a hot dog stand right outside the Sting Ray petting zone. A walk up, the tables are all outside, but thankfully under coverage. By this point I couldn’t think about food anymore, so when we got this footlong chili cheese hot dog, I had to find every strength in me to take a few bites, which I did. They are the brand “Nathan’s” – well known for those dogs. I thought it was delicious, and honestly intimidating for the size of thing. Seriously. I don’t know who can eat one of these in a sitting. It came with waffle fries (because Sea World believes in waffle fries for some reason, for everything) and a bag of cookies (which I had today and they were very good- Chocolate Chip!). For $13, you do get a lot for a hot dog, and the fries, but it’s still $13.SW8

I love a good BBQ, so “Voyagers” was exciting for me. The Rib platter had 2-3 ribs, a quarter chicken, a sausage, waffle fries and a dinner roll. The ribs were chewy, and didn’t “fall of the bone” like “MoriMoto.” The Chicken was delicious and the sausage was just ok. The roll actually had some flavor to it, so that was a nice surprise – kind of like Kings Hawaiian. The Cherry Cheesecake was smooth and yummy. We sat outside, limited seating, but inside is another large restaurant with booths and large tables for big groups.

By the time we hit “Spice Mill,” I was pretty sure that if I was the fuzzy pumper from a playdoh set, people would be able to squeeze out food from every pore. We had the Bacon Cheeseburger, which was HUGE, and a side of potato salad. Both were excellent and they offered all the fixings for the burger. They have lots of seating indoors but they have a wrap around porch on the water which makes this location relaxing to enjoy.

Last but not least, we hit “Seafire Grill” again, but this time for dinner. Still quiet and dark, we found a table off to the side to enjoy our last meal of the day. We chose the grilled chicken wrap, which was tasteless, and a side of Chocolate cake (which again was delish). I would recommend ordering something hot here, the wraps were pre-made and who knows how long they were sitting out. It was a mundane way to end the day of dining, but there you go.

I hope you find this helpful and check out the YouTube vlog that accompanies this visit on my “The Relocated Tourist” YouTube channel!

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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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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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