The Longer I Run

I listened to this song so many times on my trip across America.  Now, everytime I hear it, I am taken back.

Enjoy!

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Missouri: The Show-Me State

Missouri was a whirlwind experience for us as we were only there for 1 day. After spending 3 quiet, but full, days in Kentucky we began our 8-9 hour car ride to Branson, Missouri located in the south west corner of the state.

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The first noteworthy thing that we saw was naturally the Gateway Arch in Jefferson Memorial Park.  We didn’t have time to stop and take in the sights as we had to get to Branson by 7:30pm for a show we were scheduled to see.   But, traffic was a bit backed up due to construction and I got to take many photos from many angles and a good few moments to stare at it.

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Luckily, traffic got flowing again quickly and we enjoyed the ride.  This was actually my husbands favorite part of the trip.  Branson has so much to offer with great hotel rates and numerous live shows and theater productions advertised everywhere.  We unfortunately didn’t have a chance to stop by the Laura Ingalls Wilder House, but that will definitely be on our list for next time.

I think one of my favorite parts was the drive through the beautiful Ozarks.  The landscape was breathtaking and awe inspiring and we were all filled with so much anticipation as our van took us further from home and closer to the unknown.

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We arrived in Branson with plenty of time to spare which was great and after finding our hotel was only 2 minutes from the theater we took a lot of time to rest, watch TV, shower, and snack on some foods.  The driving wasn’t too bad, but we knew the very next day we would be driving again, so this was a welcomed rest.

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At 7:30 we were scheduled to take in a showing of the biblical play “Jonah” at the Sight and Sound Theater.  We have been to these shows before in the theater in Lancaster, PA.  We were told, however, that the Branson theater is the bigger of the two so we were excited to see it.  It was a beautiful theater much like the one in PA, but just so big.

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We decided to eat at the Theater to save time and money since we were going to get snacks there anyway!

Printing our tickets in advance was a great idea because we got right in and had awesome seats in row 5 near the stage.

They do not allow photography during the show so unfortunately I can’t share any of the amazing production in media form, although I can say it was one of our families personal favorites.  The way they did the whole boat and whale scene was amazing and well, you just seriously should go check it out.  Like, now. For real.

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After the show we stopped of course at the gift shop where we spent too much money on stuffed animals for the children and I surprisingly treated myself to a shirt.  It was just that cool.

As we left the parking lot there were some beautiful fireworks being put on in the distance over the city.  It was a nice added bonus.   We then went straight back to the hotel which took, you know, two minutes at which point we all went promptly to bed to prepare for another 8 hour trip the next day to Amarillo!

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Thanks Missouri for “showing us” all the beauty and excitement you have to offer.  I hope you will “show-me” again really soon!

Kentucky: The Bluegrass State

Ah, Kentucky: The Backroads Bluegrass State!

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Our first official stop on our road trip across the United States of America was in the beautiful state of Kentucky.  We were privileged to stay in a home located on a private ranch in the Kentucky countryside.  The first thing I noticed about Kentucky is that is really didn’t look a whole lot different from my own home state, but I soon found there were some vital differences.

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For one, the roads in Kentucky are akin to driveways back home.  I wish I was joking.  There are highways, but you have to go a bit out of your way to travel on them, which now I highly recommend doing just that!  We used our gps to navigate to various locations in Kentucky and found many roads simply have no shoulder.  That, in itself, wouldn’t have been much more than a passing thought except that the roads were only big enough to support 1 1/2 cars.  Yes, if another car came down the road you had to practically pull off to the side to let them by.  This posed no problem to the native drivers of Kentucky because as we meticulously slowed down to move over, they just drove on at regular speed veering onto the grass and swerving.  It was if I was back in a foreign country again and for those who have traveled, you know what I mean!

If only this was the worst of the driving.

In fact, the more we tried to take the direct route to our destinations the smaller the roads got until we were diminished to the point of road so small our van was almost too big for it.  The tree branches were enveloping us and the road turned to dirt as it carelessly spun around corners and dipped into ravines.  Ok, so there were no ravines, but it felt like there could be at any moment!  Visibility around corners was so bad that if something had come our way we would have certainly crashed unless the locals have cars equipped with flying gear or some sort of early warning system.  I wouldn’t be surprised.

We were all quite on edge to say the least.  And at one point we had to fight for our lives hold on tight as a huge delivery truck fought for passage with us across a small and crumbling stone bridge.  Our tire was literally on the verge of slipping into a small creek as it bravely straddled the line between concrete and a gaping hole.

With that said, I am sure now you are ready to flock to Kentucky!

But, this is only part of the story.  We learned our lesson after that first day and went out of our way to take the highways.  To be honest, we didn’t lose any time because the backroads are so harrowing you have to crawl at 10mph.

Now, let us take a look at why I actually LOVE Kentucky and why it was and is one of my most favorite places.

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After that day of death defying driving we landed ourselves at the Creation Museum.  Say what you like, but this place was amazing!  I would recommend any family go whether it be for a faith infusing look at what and why you believe or for exploring an alternate view for our reason for being.

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It was beautifully laid out, exciting, informative, and cutting edge in technology!  They served amazing food, gave awesome tours, have a beautiful botanical garden, and zoo.

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You get two days to explore the museum for the price of one 30 dollar ticket per adult, and 15 per child, except this year (2014) kids go free with paying adults!  We took in a 3D special effects movie, were amazed as we viewed the planetarium show, and had a great time at the huge bookstore.

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There is also a stunning display of dinosaurs handcrafted by Buddy Davis and an equally stunning insectatorium where a man donated his whole collection of insects to the museum!

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Another highlight was seeing the recently donated Allosaurous named Ebeneezer!

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After two amazing days of visiting the museum, I got to reconnect with a childhood friend that I hadn’t see in 14 years.  She saw me posting about my adventures in Kentucky on facebook and messaged to inform me she was only 15 minutes away!  It was a great surprise to get to go chat with her and see her again after so many years.

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We returned to our beautiful and oh-so-temporary country home on the ranch to celebrate my oldest sons 11th birthday with cake and presents we brought on the trip with us.  His big gift was a geocaching gps!

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Through all the excitement, I find that the thing I love the most about Kentucky is its simple beauty and its serene atmosphere in which I found myself living while on the ranch in those three days.

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We saw does and bucks right in our backyard and followed trails and paths to discover the wildlife flourishing all around us.

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We watched the sunset on the Kentucky horizon as I have never seen it before and when night fell it was lit with thousands of fireflies dancing about.

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It was pure magic.  We walked and talked, explored, and shared the adventures, but most memorable is that for three short days I truly lived in Kentucky and now I find since leaving, that Kentucky lives in me.

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I often find myself thinking about this most unusual state with its contrasts of scary small roads, but wide open peaceful countryside that makes you forget you were ever worried about anything.

In my mind I want to go back again.

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In my heart, I never left.

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Finally, the day has come!

I have finally gotten around to sorting and organizing my photos from my two week summer trip around the United States and I am so excited in the coming days to start sharing with you the beautiful places that touched my heart and soul as well as some travel tips!  For now, I will leave you with this little teaser…

 

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The beautiful Colorado River.

Something New

I recently heard about this band from Iceland from another blogger who I subscribe to and after reading her description of how great the band is, I had a listen for myself.  I love everything about Iceland and now I have found something new to love about Iceland!

Hymnalaya!

They are a christian/folk band and their music features many instruments.  The lyrics are simple but thought provoking and fun.

For instance, in their song, “Colt for a King” they sing from the perspective of the colt carrying Jesus.  It is a sweet song with a few simple words that make their point clear.

Read an article about them here.

Just something new and fun to listen to.

 

Another something new for me, is my new laptop finally comes in on Tuesday so, I will be able to get to a lot more recipes and other posts accomplished with the ease and use of a computer that can come with me where I go.  I am also excited because as I embark on my cross country road trip this summer I will be able to update and post the experience as I go.

Lastly, I think spring might have finally come to the mountains and that’s something new worth singing about!