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Ranch Living/ Travel Notes

It’s not a September without the Kansas State Fair

kansas state fair

Oh, how I love the Kansas State Fair.

For ten days in September, the little town of Hutchison welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the Sunflower State. The roadways become packed, restaurants overflow, and “No Fair Parking” signs crop up in hastily manicured terraces. A city best known for its Cosmosphere and salt mine evolves into the state hub for pretty much everything for ten epic days of all-things-Kansan.

The Kansas State Fair is an annual festival that’s been going on for over 100 years. Thanks to a multitude of helpful volunteers and supporting organizations, the state fair provides both educational and entertainment opportunities for all ages. Some of the exhibits are predictable, like the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Fisheries mobile aquarium (super cool), while others breathe new life into the annual event, like a surprise visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales (the 2015 fair rocked).

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Social Media/ Travel Notes

#NoPlaceLikeKS Kansas City Instameet

kansas city art

Kansas City is a unique city, in more than one ways than one.

The barbeque is fabulous, the museums are awesome, and there’s a lot of history for your inner nerd. Oh, and there’s the KC Royals, and the Chiefs (can’t forget those!).

Another Kansas City distinction is that it’s a city spanning two states – Kansas and Missouri.

Although I’m a Kansas resident, I haven’t spent much time on the Kansas side of Kansas City. The majority of the metro’s population, along with a lot of historical development, is on the Missouri side. So, as a KC local, most of my day to day happenings end up being hosted across the state line, on the Show Me State’s side.

Like many residents, I’d heard a lot about must-see attractions in Kansas City, Missouri; however, I was pretty oblivious to the unique art and culture offered over in Kansas City, Kansas (KCKS). Thus, I was just tickled pink when Kansas Tourism announced the June #NoPlaceLikeKS Instameet hosted in Kansas City, Kansas (KCKS), as I was finally going to get to explore the often underrated KC gems of the Sunflower State!

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Lifestyle/ Travel Notes

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Kayak

kayak

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love to paddle.

Summer’s a little late coming in the Midwest, so June starts my four month season of kayaking in lakes and rivers all across Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Iowa. I’m pretty psyched about getting “Susie” – my budget-friendly, Lifetime® kayak – back in the water. It’s been a while since I felt the “paddle burn” in my forearms, after a long day’s trek upstream; there are few places I’d rather be than in the middle of a peaceful body of water with just my boat, my dog, and my camera.

Maybe you’re thinking about purchasing a kayak, or maybe you just enjoy an annual float and are wondering if it’d be cost effective to invest in your own. Paddling’s a great hobby with fabulous fitness benefits; plus it’s a fun new way to see familiar places or explore new destinations.

In case you’ve been bitten by the summertime paddle bug, here are five questions to ask before buying your first kayak:

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Give Back/ Travel Notes/ Veteran/Military

Nominate a Veteran to Win a Harley-Davidson TODAY!

This summer Adam Sandoval is hitting the road with Harley-Davidson for a cross-country ride to honor those who have served and give away bikes to eight lucky vets.

Adam is an avid H-D rider, and he and his chihuahua Scooter have crossed the country in support of military vets. His ScootinAmerica initiative has raised awareness for several veterans organizations, and he’s honored to partner with H-D to bring relief to more riders. He understands that riding can be a relaxing, restorative hobby for vets, especially for those suffering from PTSD.

Anyone can nominate an active military member or veteran to MISSION: THANK YOU by submitting their story of sacrifice, strength and courage to http://missionthankyou.com. Adam will be part of the group reviewing and selecting deserving patriots for the award.  Continue Reading…

Travel Notes

6 Road Trip Apps for Millennial Travelers

There are few things in life I enjoy more than a good road trip.

Where we’re going doesn’t seem to matter near as much as how much fun we have getting there.

Over the years, my husband and I have taken quite a few epic road trips, crisscrossing the country more than once on our quest to find inspiration and serenity.

I’ve learned much about the United States of America from sampling local cuisine, chatting up RVer’s and well-placed rest stops, and adventuring into the true jewel of America – her national parks.

Some of my fondest travel memories stem from road trips; like that time I ended up in Kansas and left with the deed to an abandoned homestead, or driving across Texas with a malfunctioning car horn (it made drive thru’s quite interesting).  Continue Reading…

Travel Notes

Exploring the Bridges of Madison County

As a 20-something millennial, I’m pretty late to The Bridges of Madison County fan club party.

Pretty sure I was somewhere between binge watching My Little Mermaid VHS’s and leaving my latest lost molar under my pillow for the tooth fairy when “The Bridges” made its daring debut.  A love story about an Italian born Midwestern farm wife and a vegetarian National Geographic photographer form the Pacific Northwest would probably have received the same reception from me as the “cooties”.

But fast forward 20-some odd years, to a time in life where my dressing up like Ariel has been replaced with an academic career as a business professor, and I receive a free copy of the bestseller The Bridges of Madison County at our local library book sale. I didn’t think much of the book at the time – looked like a good rainy day read for when our rural Wi-Fi leaves Netflix buffering – but boy, was I in for one of the best reads of my life. Continue Reading…

Caregiving/Family/ Lifestyle/ Travel Notes/ Veteran/Military/ Wellness

How Photography Changed My Perspective on Life

I’ve been taking pictures since Polaroids were a thing.

The whole “Smile! Flash! Shake!” was a pivotal part of my childhood, as I’d set up neighborhood “photo booths” charging kids a quarter for a “Glamour Shot” (in my defense, I had an impressive collection of Disney Princess inspired boas). Eventually, my early photographic style evolved into one that could be classified as more “photojournalistic”; however, that’s not how my neighbors saw it when I climbed over their fence and “documented” their family BBQ from the bushes.

In high school, I had the opportunity to take a few photography classes, but we amateur photographers were still processing film, as the digital option were priced well above my “after school job” budget. Taking photos got real expensive, real quick, so I had to limit the hobby to special occasions, shooting film only a few times a year.  Continue Reading…

Travel Notes

Tulip Time in Pella, Iowa

Pella, Iowa is one of the Midwest’s best kept secrets.

A historic Dutch settlement, about forty miles south of Des Moines, Pella offers a glimpse into the “old world” while providing a rich cultural experience to iPhone streaming visitors.

The first weekend of every May, the community of Pella puts on the three day Tulip Festival that is simply beyond words. I’ve attended many regional holiday events all across the United States in my travels, but Pella’s Tulip Festival truly takes the cake.

Before arriving in Pella, I did a little internet searching and was expecting just another Midwestern May Fest, with a crowd somewhere between your traditional county fair crowd and Veteran’s Day roll out. You can imagine my surprise when we rolled into town, only to find almost the entire town shut down to accommodate for the swelling crowd! Continue Reading…

Career Advice/ Millennials/ Travel Notes

4 Reasons Why Millennials Should Make Travel a Priority

millennials travel

Guest Post by Charlene Rhinehart

Instead of being viewed as a frivolous activity reserved for retirees or dreamy-eyed college grads, travel can help the motivated millennial gain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

​Any millennial who wants to go beyond what has already been done in the world needs to travel in order to find new and innovative ways of doing business. Whether working as a career driven employee or budding entrepreneur, millennials need to know what’s going on in the world and how they can play a role in it.

Are you ready to show the world the power of millennials?

Here are four reasons why millennials should make traveling a priority: Continue Reading…

Career Advice/ Travel Notes

3 Reasons Why Traveling the World is the Best Career Decision that You Can Make Before 30

travel

Guest Post by Charlene Rhinehart

Pressing pause and leaving the corporate casino to travel the world may sound scary, especially if you are a young professional still trying to make a name for yourself. But traveling may be the best thing you can do to maximize your future growth potential and impact. You don’t want to reach your 40s and 50s not discovering what you wanted to do when you were younger. It happens all the time, but you have a strategic opportunity to change this doom and gloom career behavior and make your mark on the world by going beyond the constraints of the world that you occupy every day. 

Save your money, allocate the time, give up all the excuses, and start planning your next travel destination. What do you have to lose? Take advantage of the plate of possibilities that you have at your disposal before you are stuck in the rat race, are pinned down by family obligations and lose confidence in your ability to dream bigger than your current circumstances.
 
Ready to exponentially boost your career potential? Here are three reasons why traveling the world is the best career decision that you can make before you’re 30:  Continue Reading…