MO Travel Guide
With the warmer weather comes theme park season, as parks across the country dust off the rides and attractions. In addition to bringing down the decorations from the attic and testing out all the old favorites, there’s also the opportunity to try out some new stuff.
There’s one coaster that we’re particularly intrigued with during this season, as we’re eager to check out the latest offering over at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.
We’ve always had a spot in our hearts for the wooden roller coasters. Sure they might not go as fast as their steel siblings, but the twists and turns—not to mention the shimmies and shakes—more than make up for things. However, Outlaw Run is looking to change everything, as it’s going to be the world’s first wooden roller coaster to offer a double barrel roll. They’re not stopping there either, as the thing will also feature plenty of other firsts.
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Airports go through a lot of food. From Sbarro slices to more classy dining options there’s a lot of stuff being made, consumed, and thrown away at airports across the globe. We’ve seen hubs get in on the green movement, and now it looks like the airport over in St. Louis is the latest to do so. However, they’re doing a lot more than just sticking out a special bin for your left over soda bottles.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport just announced a new food recycling program. Don’t worrythey’re not reheating and reusing other people’s discarded foodstuffs. What they are doing is making use of food both from customer’s leftovers and the discards during the cooking and preparation process.
If you’re looking to get a little culture this summer there’s always the option to visit a museum, and if you’re into airline this and that like we are, we’ve got a new one to recommend. You know we’re all about taking a sneak peek into the past lives of passengers, pilots, and flight attendants, so it’s only natural that we’re already enamored with the TWA Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
For just $5 visitors are welcome to take a step back in history and observe how it used to be up in the skies, and of course feel the jealousy that comes with seeing how air travel used to be.
The museum just moved into their new digs at the site of the airline’s former 1931 headquarters, 10 Richards Road, so now even the building holding the exhibits, artifacts, and treasures contributes to the history. The museum has displays on everything from old uniforms to actual flight decks, and of course everything in between. It’s just enough to keep you entertained as you relive the glory years of flight. Some of the stuff even travelled around the country almost twenty years ago, as TWA was one of the main sponsors of the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary, and they sent out some their goodies on a road trip across the country.
This week marks the one year anniversary of the tornado that destroyed more than 2,700 homes in Joplin, Missouri. The community has come a long way in the past year, but volunteers are still needed to continue rebuilding homes for those who are still displaced.
Yesterday Missouri's Governor, Jay Nixon, announced the Governor's Joplin Challenge, a partnership between Missouri sports teams and Habitat for Humanity to build 35 homes this year. To meet their goal, Habitat for Humanity needs all of the volunteers they can get. To be included in their build schedule, fill out the application at joplinchallenge.mo.gov/volunteer.
Last week the Joplin, MO Convention and Visitors Bureau sparked controversy among residents of the tornado-ravaged town when they launched a new "Tornado Tourism" Map. Visitors can pick up the map, for free, at several local hotels and restaurants to find the best routes through the disaster zone.
The Visitor Bureau Director defended the map after residents called it "tacky" and "insensitive" saying, "We are not actively promoting the tornado, mainly, (the map) is a piece of information. Maybe people will have a reason to give, or put together a volunteer group because there's still a lot of work being done, or even come into town and buy something."
The St. Louis Zoo went out of its way to attract park-goers this summer, from opening a new Panda Trek to hosting a summer concert series. As the summer winds down, though, they're shifting to a more basic and straightforward strategy: reminding potential visitors that there are a bunch of cute baby things on exhibit, and that people who come to the zoo can see them.
Just this week the zoo let loose their new baby lion cub "Imani," which drew exactly the kind of press that you'd expect a rambunctious lion cub to draw. She's not technically on exhibit yetapparently this was just a supervised excursion into her future home in Big Cat Countrybut some visitors still managed to catch a glimpse of the cub.
Those who weren't lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, of course, were still able to see the zoo's Amur Leopard, Amur Tiger, Jaguar, and Snow Leopard, all in nearby exhibits along the trail.
The situation in Joplin, MO since the May 22 F5 tornado has been so bad that volunteers haven't been able to get into town until this week, when the area was again deemed safe-ish.
Now that volunteers are able to enter the city and help rebuild, the challenge has become organizing those who want to help. That's why Project 195, a non-profit environmental organization in the U.S. which helps organize and lead community clean up, is currently recruiting and managing more than 1000 volunteers to help with Joplin's clean-up and rebuilding.
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Talk about a tarmac delay. When the F-4 tornado swept through St. Louis, MO late Friday night, its 111-165 mph winds wreaking havoc on Lambert International Airport, there were still three planes full of passengers at their gates. Luckily airplanes are made for such high winds and no one was hurtalthough those who experienced it say they were scared at experiencing turbulence while still on the ground.
Meanwhile, in the airport, things got dangerous very quickly. In the videos above and below, you can watch as the storm approaches and travelers gawk at the funnel cloud through the high, floor-to-ceiling airport windows. In the next moment, a mass of the same people are powerwalking away from the windows to talk shelter in baggage claim.
Your bracket has been busted, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be tuning in this evening to check out the men’s NCAA championship game in Houston. However, once it’s over, things always become somewhat of a downer. Sure the winning team is excited, but fans like us get a little depressed without the thrill of the buzzer beater, so that’s why we’re suggesting a trip to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame is just one part of the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, Missouri, so if strolling down memory lane gets a little boring, you can always hit up some of the place’s interactive displays.
We knew that St. Louis was busy looking for some help giving a facelift to their city’s most famous attraction. However, it now looks like things are getting pretty serious as park officials and organizers have finalized an open call for plans, suggestions, and proposals to improve the Gateway Arch.
Specifically they’re looking to update and upgrade the park that surrounds the monument, the one dedicated to the American dream of heading west. Already there are plenty of naysayers that dislike that the current park, as it and the monument are detached from the rest of downtown and a huge intestate next to the Arch doesn’t really help things either.
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What is Prince Albert II of Monaco up to only a month after making one of the biggest announcements in his country's modern history? Well, the Prince is taking a vacation to the Midwest, "the heartland of the USA," as the press keeps calling it.
Back in June, Prince Albert, the son of Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly, declared that he and his longtime girlfriend Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa, would be married next year. Monaco had almost given up on seeing another royal wedding, since Albert has always topped lists of the hottest bachelors, but now he will give his country something to celebrate for sure.
We’ve talked about Branson and airlines plenty of times before, but this time we’re talking about the place in Missouri not the man behind the Virgin brand. The family version of Las Vegas might not be your idea of the ultimate vacation, but there’s apparently enough people looking to go to justify a brand new airline.
The city built its own airport last year, and now they are going a step further to ensure that there are plenty of flights to fill its gates. Branson AirExpress is going to whisk passengers into the city beginning on May 17 from destinations including Des Moines, Shreveport, and Terre Haute, Indiana. Austin will have service as well even though we thought they were too cool for Branson. Officials are hoping the promise of infinite family entertainment and country music is enough to fill up these planes for years to come.