Grant's Farm, St. Louis, Missouri

One of my favorite roads trip our family has taken was a three week trip from Connecticut to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We spent a few days in St Louis, Missouri and one of our highlights was a visit to Grant’s Farm.         Note: this post has been fact checked as of March 2018.

Grant’s Farm was originally owned Julia Grant's family. After the Civil War, it was purchased by Julia's husband, Ulysses S. Grant, and then by the Busch family, makers of Anheuser-Busch beers,  in the early 1900s. Located about twenty minutes southwest of of downtown St Louis, it’s open from April through October, with full time hours during the summer months, and limited hours in April, September, and October.  The farm is home to dozens of animals, including elephants, deer, kangaroos, donkeys, goats, buffalo, and the famous Clydesdale horses.

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10 Reasons Why I Love the National Parks Service System

Seven years ago I planned my first major road trip. My children were toddlers and we were planning on traveling almost cross country to visit good friends who were temporarily relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sharing my itinerary with my Uncle Bob, he asked if I planned on visiting any National Parks. I knew of the National Park Service system, but didn’t know much information about the various locations. Uncle Bob pulled out a worn, tattered, small blue spiral book and about an hour went by before I spoke again. (Full disclosure: Uncle Bob is a good storyteller and he does have a TON of travel experience.) His National Parks Passport book was filled with stamps dating back to the early 1970s. It was the perfect memento of his travels and I knew I had to start my own passport book.

Since 2012, I have collected dozens of passport stamps from various stops in the National Park Service system. There are over 400 locations in the United States and American owned islands. These locations include parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House. With every stop, I became a bigger and bigger fan of the National Parks system. Here are my top 10 reasons why:

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Why I Love Staying at Marriott Hotels

Airbnb and Homeaway are popular ideas when it comes to housing while traveling and I love the idea of staying in a neighborhood and really becoming part of a community. I also know several people who love hitting the road in their camp or trailer, or even camping in an old fashioned tent, communing with nature. For me, and my husband and young(er) children, it’s less hassle and gives me more of a “vacation” versus “trip” feel to stay in a hotel when we're traveling as a family. I like the idea of someone making my bed with fresh sheets each day, whipping up breakfast, and helping me navigate around a new place.

My family has become loyal fans of the Marriott company. You’ll read specifics about my favorite Marriott properties in some of my posts, but my favorite brand of the company is the Residence Inn. Residence Inns are designed to feel more like a home than a “regular” hotel room. Plus, they’re consistent in many ways I appreciate:

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