In Liberty Missouri, the Odd Fellows Home built in 1900, is now a the Belvoir Winery. This is one of our favorite winery so it was natural for us to take the Rotchfords there. This historic building was completed in 1900 and home to the Odd Fellows Home, a residential complex established for the care and maintenance widows, orphans, and members of the fraternal order who were unable to earn a livelihood by reasons of age or affliction. The complex included a school and a working farm and shops where residents contributed to their upkeep with their labor.The property consists of four buildings—the Old Folks Home, Hospital, Orphanage and Nursing Home/Morgue.The main building (old orphanage) is now home to Belvoir Winery & Inn on the first floor.  The winery building is beautiful with it stain glass windows. We did our wine tasting then took a tour of the public rooms. …
We packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Table Rock Lake. We found a very nice table overlooking the lake and enjoyed the beauty of the area. A toast to 31 years of friendship and travels! We had been to Sight and Sound Theatre to see Noah and enjoyed the behind the scenes tour. This time we were to see Joseph. We were met by two actors who lead our tour of the stage, sets, dressing rooms, animal quarters and sound system. It was amazing to be on the stage (20,000 square ft) with the HUGE props, to see the many stage markings and how they store the pieces of the scenes. This production used pyrotechnics, 60,000 watt sound system, live animals, animatronics and special effects. The theatre is truly one of a kind theatre in the Ozarks. The artist do mock ups of the set designs before they …
We found a Groupon for a three night stay at Stormy Point Village, located near the beautiful Table Rock Lake and Branson. It was a gated community styled after a timeless Cape Cod fishing village. The Guard at the gate was very nice and friendly. There was a police are just outside of the entrance with a “prisoner” sitting in the back seat. We continued down the road to Cape Co Drive and made a left at the stop sign.. We crossed over the covered bridge and continued on to club house with the light house. We got signed in, had a nice chat with three people at the desk and was off to find our cottage. This was our cute little two bedroom and two bath cottage. We explored the house, got unpacked and we were ready to enjoy our Branson experience. Steve got all the drinks setup, mixed …
The Rotchfords and Kerricks have been to Vegas several time and I am not sure there are pictures for each trip, especially in the early years. This would have been before cell phones. Carrying a camera in and out of casinos were not allowed years ago. We also learned, after the first trips, it was nice to rent a car to run up and down the strip. The sidewalks were always like traveling in a heard of people, some drunk some not. Add in the heat and lack of a breeze, it was much nicer to do valet parking at the casinos. The only cost was a couple dollar tip. At any rate, this trip was to see Celine at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. More about that later. We stayed at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, a 30-story pyramid topped with a 315,000nwatt light beam shooting into the sky. …
It was March of 2011, when Fred and Lupe flew into Kansas City from El Paso by way of Dallas. We had some relaxing days visiting before getting into our van for a road trip to Dallas. Now you may ask, why didn’t we just meet them in Dallas. My answer to that is “And what fun would that have been?” We were off to visit Maria, Derrick and Alex. It was our first visit to their beautiful home. House of Blues Dallas opened in 2007 in the historic White Swan Building at the crossroads of Dallas’ West End and the newly established Victory Park development. The building dates back to the 1920’s when it housed a White Swan Coffee processing plant. This unique and histor rich building continues to celebrate and showcase art and music. A little info about House of Blues. As we passed the back of the …
Out last stop, before heading back to Kansas, was Bear Country USA, located just a few miles from Rapid City. We hoped to seen bears except for one on our road trip, so this was a good way to get up and personal safely. The park was a two mile drive through a wonderland of animals. At first, we weren’t sure if the cost would be worth what we would see. We differently were not disappointed. Entering the 200 acres of Black Hills beauty we saw bears everywhere, just roaring. We could stop anywhere along the way and bears would come up to the car. There were all kinds of animals and most of the wildlife were born on the premises and were hand-raised by the park staff. Adventure! We had been awestruck by the scenery of Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Badlands National Parks, marveled at the sight of Mount …
We had made our upper west loop of our adventure, it was time to turn back east, back to Rapid City. The morning was very gloomy and raining so the mountains were hard to see as we left Jackson Lodge. We came upon Lava Mountain Lodge, situated on The Togwotee Pass in the Shoshone National Forest. We dashed into the General Store as the sky opened up and dumped a ton of water on us. The store housed the Wilderness Boundary Restaurant, a liquor package store, a full service bar, and a laundromat. They had a gas station, small campground, lodge rooms, vacation rental cabins and camping cabins. There was also a wide selection of the usual tourist items and snack foods. By the time we were ready to leave the rain had slowed and we were able to take in the sights on the outside. The bear was so …
Dragon’s Mouth has a temperature of 170.2°F and is 18X30 feet and is 16 feet deep. Tower Falls is approximately 1,000 yards upstream from the Yellowstone River, and plunges 132 feet. Its name comes from the rock pinnacles at the top of the falls. We took time to see Mammoth Hot Springs, different from other thermal areas at Yellowstone National Park. There was two levels with wood walkways to view the inside out caves. In the Mammoth area, the hot, acidic solution dissolves large quantities of limestone on its way up through the rock layers to the hot springs on the surface. When it is exposed to the air some of the carbon dioxide escapes from the solution. Without it the dissolved limestone can’t remain in the solution, so it reforms into a solid mineral. This white, chalky mineral is deposited as the travertine that forms the terraces. Picture could not …
As we entered Yellowstone National Park, this buffalo was walking down the road. He was walking down his side of the road. Don’t know where he was going or where he was coming from! A stop at the West Thumb Geyser Basin gift shop. Old Faithful Geyser reaches the height of 106 – 184 feet and last 1.5 – 5 minutes every 90 minutes with temperature of 204° F and discharges 3,700 – 8,400 gallons at a time. We spent some time walking the area’s scenic trails. We were told to stay on the trails because of the thermal area break so easy and there is scalding water just under the ground. We saw lots of steaming vents, spouting geysers (small ones), bubbling and boiling geothermal features and quite a few turquoise blue hot springs. There are rustic and meandering boardwalks that allow us to have personal access to thermal …
We did not have the Devil’s Tower on our list to visit but Rumi said it was a must see. So we whizzed down I-90 towards the tower enjoying the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest. Devils Tower, a laccolithic butte composed of ignesous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains in the northeastern Wyoming, was the very first official United States National Monument. It was proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906. Devils Tower isn’t simply tall, it’s also very wide. Its summit is around 180 feet by 300 feet, roughly the size of a football field and the circumference of its base is around one mile. Devils Tower was famously featured in 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” culminating in a scene in which an alien mothership descended upon the rock formation. This first picture is when we started seeing the tower …
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