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Babcia and Yia Yia!, Travel With Terri: USA 101

Missouri 101: Goin’ To Kansas City

On the banks of the Missouri River lies Kansas City. It’s a strange situation in that it technically overlaps the border of two states. However, its downtown area, full of revitalized neighborhoods lies clearly on the Missouri side of the mighty river. So, besides eating that famous BBQ, what are the best things to do in Kansas City? Let’s dig in to our 9 favorite picks that make a perfect weekend getaway!

First thing’s first, you may be a bit confused on which airport to fly into: Kansas? Missouri? The answer is Kansas City Missouri and the airport code is MCI. I don’t who thought having two states involved in the naming process but he was simply wrong! Now that we’ve gotten you into the right airport, you’re probably going to take an Uber to wherever you choose to stay. There are plenty of nice choices downtown. And keep that Uber app at the ready. It will get you from place to place efficiently.

The downtown area is divided up into all kinds of great neighborhoods and it is easy to see all of the hard work that has gone into the revitalization of this mid west gem. At the top of the revitalization efforts are architecture from the industrial boom and outdoor art installations. This makes the entire town rather Insta ready.

The Library District

The Public Library Garage: You know us! We love a good library! I never thought, though, that I would fall in love with the parking garage next store! Kansas City changed my book loving mind! Jump into the world of books as you walk past a serious of larger than life stories that were once banned. The stone steps give you page upon page to perch on and enjoy the view.

The Fountain on Main and 10th

Right in the library district is this lovely throwback to the early 20th century. This lovely fountain sets the tone for the many fountains that you’ll discover throughout the city. They are both modern and classical in design and have become a point of pride for the downtown area. Use this beauty as a jumping off point to discover many of the hidden gems KC has to offer including lots of great art installations on buildings so get your camera ready for those insta perfect shots! Visit KC has all of the information about this beauty and more. Click here to get a free map to all of the fountains and create your own walking tour.

Big John’s Deck

Just on the edge of the library district are 88 stairs that beg to be climbed. this laid back dive is a great break from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. Head on up for drinks and a cool breeze that’s sure to put you in holiday mode. Big John’s has standard fare on the menu and full bar for plenty of rooftop vibes.

18th and Vine

The American Jazz Museum and The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum sit side by side in this area of town and both are well worth the visit. Learn how Kansas City revolutionized both jazz and baseball with such legends as Charlie Parker and Jackie Robinson. Baseball and jazz may not be your thing but let these facilities try to convince you otherwise. Fabulous installations and great times await you in both museums!

While we are on the topic of sports, check out the groundbreaking work that the Kansas City Current is doing as they establish and host women’s soccer, a sport that is growing by leaps and bounds! This female backed team, is right in the middle of it and the timing is just right to grab some tickets and cheer on these incredible athletes!

The Kansas City Power and Light District

Has plenty of restaurants and Insta ready shots to enjoy. Look to find great food in this area as you stroll around. This is also a great area to rent a few electric powered bikes to really enjoy the architecture and sites along the hilly streets. Check out Pedego’s Electric Bikes for more. As for that world famous BBQ? you know we couldn’t leave you without a seriously great option! Check out KC Barbecue for a great sampling of all the city has to offer.

Hotel Kansas City

Mid west architecture meets modern interior design at this landmark hotel that used to be a private social club. The lobby features a moody whiskey bar that’s perfect for a late night nightcap. Four floors up you’ll find the fully restored, two story event space with lovely stained glass and polished wood that gives anyone a trip back in time. Great food, great atmosphere and well worth the stay.

The Main Street Streetcar

As KC evolves and opens more and more to travelers and tourists, they’ve taken the time to invest in a little infrastructure. Enter the modern version of a Kansas City streetcar. Free to everyone, look for this light rail model to usher passengers up and down Main Street from Union Station to the main library intersection.

Union Station

This iconic centerpiece of the city sits front and center as any grand dame should. Built in 1914, this great American transit hub has seen its share of events which means that its full of stories! The most infamous must be the bullet holes in the wall left from the assassination of mobster Frank Nash as he was being escorted by federal agents.

The National WWI Museum

By far, our favorite stop in the whole city was this incredibly well thought out museum to “the great war”. While the memorial itself was built in 1926 but has since become our nation’s official museum to WWI. Enjoy the memorial and its views then take in the multimedia exhibits that explain the start of the was and how Americans wound up being involved in this world wide conflict. Find a cafe and a very interesting uniform exhibit to round out your visit. Located super close to Crown Plaza shopping, Union Station and the city park, it’s a can’t miss destination!

Enjoy Kansas City!

There you have it! Kansas City has plenty to offer for the perfect getaway! This great city has done so very much to truly highlight its history while giving a nod to everything that’s new and progressive about it. It’s certainly nice to see so much thought and foresight put into great city revival.

Babcia and Yia Yia!, Travel With Terri: USA 101

South Carolina 101: Beaufort

Just 45 minutes off of I-95 sits little Beaufort in the low country of South Carolina. This southern charmer has all the small town vibes and plenty of historical features to make a perfect weekend getaway. Beaufort is locally known for plenty of things like good food and great artists but the one fact that will put the biggest smile on your face is that many scenes from Forest Gump were filmed in the area. This includes the big bridge over to Sea Island. Read on to find out our favorite picks (among many) to build your perfect weekend getaway!

via GIPHY

Downtown on Bay St.

Bay St. is the Main St. of this little town that is very proud to share the work of local artisans and talents of great kitchens. Park on either end and take stroll to check out great locally owned shops and galleries. Some of our favorites include:

  • Beaufort River Glass Company where you can find all kinds of glass art as well as plenty of low country prints and jewelry. Take a step inside and enjoy the recycled plastic bottle installation on the ceiling.
  • Rhett Gallery which has been in business and run by the same family of artists for 5 generations. This includes the man you’ll most likely find behind the counter, Thomas Rhett. If you are looking for great art representative of the local low country feel, this gallery is certainly for you! It will be hard to walk away without a little Rhett family treasure.
  • Beaufort Emporium has plenty of little finds and our absolute favorite was a table toward the back with books that are wrapped up. Choose one off the table, read the little summary on the label and then have a blind date with a new book! So fun!
  • McIntosh Books and Nevermore Books will both delight and inspire you to keep on reading. Featuring local celebrity author Pat Conroy of Prince of Tides fame, these book shops do a great job of keeping the good read alive.
  • Bay St. Outfitters connects visitors to the outdoors and has everything that you could need to enjoy all the low country has to offer.
  • Olive The Above greets you with plenty of artisanal olive oils and balsamic vinegars. With flavors like peach and balsamic and rosemary infused olive oil, there’s something for everyone from this female owned business.
  • Atelier Off Bay is the local artist’s collective. With 14 artists in residence it’s hard not to find that perfect piece that speaks to you.

Restaurants

Please note that these areas tend to be very very busy on Fridays and Saturdays as the influx of visitors spikes significantly over each weekend.

  • Q on Bay serves up plenty of main street menu items and has a back patio to enjoy the view and the live music. While the tables may need an updating but the pleasant service makes up for it.
  • Saltus Grill is by far our favorite pick for upscale dining. Every seasonal thing on the menu is well worth the order! Enjoy the atmosphere inside or outside.
  • Paninis in the old bank is perfect for a quick bite during the day. Look for simple lunch items and a look at the old bank building.

Outdoors

Hunting Island State Park

Look to the right as you come onto the island and check out Gay Shrimp Co. Forest Gump calls this area home. Everything from the shrimp boats to Vietnam were all done in this location. Be sure to take a walk along the pier and enjoy the nature center as well.

a man who s on the wooden boat
Photo by Daniel Anuar on Pexels.com

ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is a great way to see some local nature and to introduce yourself to the African American history of the low country.

Spanish Moss Trail: take advantage of the sunny weather and rent a few bikes from University Bikes or Low Country Bike Rentals to enjoy this trail that starts at the train depot and takes you either north or south to see a little more of this low country land.

Coastal Expeditions will get you out on the water whether you’d like to take a sunset cruise or charter a boat for the day. Located downtown on Bay St., it’s an easy process to set up a little fun on the bay.

Rainy Day Options

Every Second Counts Escape Room has plenty of escape room fun. Choose from any of the 5 themed rooms and try your luck at finding every clue in under 60 minutes. It’s a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon!

Beaufort History Museum learn a little about this area that was first found by old world explorers over 311 years ago. This amazing area has had its ups and downs and this little rainy day stop will tell you all about it! Check it out!

Lowcountry Produce Company

Be sure to stop in to this lovely establishment just north of town on Highway 21. It is, by far, the best breakfast in the area. While you are there check out all of the local fare ready for you to take home. It’s all canned in the back! Our fave? The sweet cucumber pickles will knock your socks off! So, go. Sit a spell! It’s totally worth it!

The Few, The Proud…

So, I can’t lie. I really never went to Beaufort because I thought it was a great travel destination. But don’t be deceived, I went there out of love! Beaufort’s next door neighbor is Parris Island. Home to the few and the proud. The United States Marines have been turning out recruits in this neck of the woods for over 100 years. And… you guessed it! My son is among their numbers.

The Parris Island Museum

Parris Island is open for visitors who would like to check out the museum and old fort ruins. Simply check in to the gate toward the right and ask for directions to the areas open for visiting.

Beaufort offers something for everyone and can be the perfect plan for a long lazy weekend to somewhere new! So, enjoy!

aerial view of alps mountains
Notes on Planning and Packing

5 Escapes For That Reluctant Husband!

I don’t know about you but my husband is not a fan of travel. No matter how enthusiastic I try to be, his reaction is often “meh”. I think it’s because he doesn’t want to travel after so much time at sea in the Navy. Maybe it’s because he had the chance to love overseas and he has a “been there done that” attitude to it all. I also wonder if it’s because he thinks that travel is just too much work to use that precious vacation time. Mostly, I think he doesn’t like change. So, what’s a girl to do?! C’mon! Escape with us!

Maybe the best way to get the loves of our lives to tag along is to choose the perfect escape. Here are our picks for some premium travel time with that reluctant

Jackson Hole and West Yellowstone

photo of waterfalls during daytime
Photo by Laura Link on Pexels.com

Part of Big Sky Country and adjacent to the great Yellowstone Park, Jackson Hole has lots of ambiance in their eateries and lodges. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do each day whether you take in skiing in the Winter or you hike a waterfall in the Summer. For our complete coverage on Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, click here.

Alaska

Epic vistas, massive glaciers, and a Summer season chock full of things to do make Alaska a premium escape. This northern most state has plenty of wildlife, fishing, river rafting and pond hopper experiences to fuel the most reluctant of travelers. The bonus? Sled dog puppies. Alaska offers perfect road trip conditions as well as being one of the most famous places to take a cruise. For more on how to spend time in Alaska, click here.

fishing fun
black deer lying on plants near green trees during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Normandy

On June 6th, 1944, the world changed for the better right here in Normandy. Military buffs around the world will tell you that these fabled beaches along the coast turned the tables on evil and started the path toward ending World War II. The entire region of Normandy not only gives you that first hand glimpse but also offers orchards full of apples ready to provide you with Calvados. For more on everything Normandy has to offer, click here.

Belize

Turn the tables and head to the beach by escaping to Belize and it’s central American beaches. Belize offers world class everything from jungle excursions to surf side beaches. Look for SCUBA diving to be on the top of your list and follow that up with great food and some true down time. Click here for a great take on Belize from A Blonde Abroad.

wood landscape nature beach
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

Ireland

One of the most amazing road trip the world has to offer is the western shore of Ireland. The wild Atlantic Way offers 1,500 miles of wind swept Irish goodness. Pick up anywhere and drive as long as you want. This part of Ireland is dotted with colorful villages, untamed castles, and once in a lifetime views. This rugged landscape delights with every person you encounter. So, pull up a chair, grab a beer, and listen in as the local musicians start tuning up and turning in. Click here to discover more about the amazing Emerald Isle.

Now, Escape With The Girls To These Places!

We all need a girls’ getaway and we here at TGC, know all about that! Check out our top 5 picks!