• Colorado,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Trips,  Utah


    We all crashed hard after two long days of traveling across this great nation (See travel days 1 & 2 HERE.) While traveling, we are always on the lookout for local breakfast stops that open early to fit our schedules. Our first morning in Avon found us at the Avon Bakery & Deli where on a whim I picked up a “French Toast Sandwich”. And it became my new favorite breakfast food for the trip!

  • Colorado,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Playgrounds,  Trips,  Utah

    Colorado and Utah Trip 2019

    Travel Days 1 and 2 in the Mighty Merc It’s been way too long since we last had a blog post up! We have so much to share from our summer and fall adventures and want to start with all we saw, hiked, and climbed on our last westward adventure. Once again we found ourselves loading up and heading west for our family vacation. This year was a dual destination event with the bulk of our time being spent around the Avon, Colorado area with…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  Trips

    Favorite Family Hikes near St. Louis – Part 1, the Illinois side

    One of the questions I get asked the most is which hikes do I recommend in the St. Louis area, especially which hikes are good for kids. We are blessed with so many amazing hikes in the area, but I’m going to try and narrow it down to the ones I think give the best bang for your buck. I’m going to start with the Illinois side of the river as there are so many Missouri area hikes that it’s going to take me longer…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri

    Climb Among the Giants at Missouri’s Elephant Rocks State Park

    I’ve been too busy to blog lately so this post is a couple weeks overdue but I want to take the time to share this hike. We consider this one of the best in Missouri and perfect for families. The park gets its name from the unique and massive granite boulders that stand on end like a train of circus elephants. The largest of these boulders, known as “Dumbo” is estimated to weight 680 tons! The oldest commercial granite quarry in the state operated here…

  • Arkansas,  Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids

    Waterfalls Views at Tanyard Creek Nature Trail in Bella Vista, Arkansas

    Since we have family in northwest Arkansas, we make the trek to this region several times a year. Each trip we try to explore a different attraction. One of the highlights of our latest trip to the Natural State is the hidden gem of Tanyard Creek. The Tanyard Creek Nature Trail is located in Bella Vista, not far from the Missouri border. This beautiful trail was built by volunteers and donations to create a stunning slice of nature right in the middle of town. The…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    Climb to Great Views at Salt Lick Point Trail in Illinois

    Salt Lick Point is a favorite hike of ours on the Illinois side of the metro area. This hike is located on a former quarry site in Valmeyer, Illinois. In fact you can even spy interesting old remainders of this site’s former life. The preserve consists of three different trails. We like to make a loop by hiking a portion of the Salt Lick Trail along the bluffs, continuing along on a section of the Newman Trail, and then completing the loop by hiking the…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  Trips

    Hike to Scenic Jackson Falls in Southern Illinois

    Shawnee National Forest, Illinois We’ve done a lot of hiking and exploring over the years and one of our favorite spots to spend a day is in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. While we have visited many scenic spots including Bell Smith Springs, Garden of the Gods, and Ferne Clyffe, we somehow had never made it over to Jackson Falls. I can’t believe we had missed this awesome trail for so long! The trail starts at a parking area not far from Bell…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis,  Trips

    Cliff Cave County Park Trail in St. Louis County

    Cliff Cave Park is a St. Louis County Park. The cave has a long and varied history of being used as a tavern in the 1700s, then part of the Cliff Cave Wine Company in the mid 1800s and finally used by Jefferson Barracks soldiers for recreation. In 1969 Cliff Cave was purchased by the county and opened as a park in 1977. Last year the park received upgraded trails and facilities. Two miles of trail extensions were added to provide a connector to the…