Branson’s most unique store

Branson, Missouri has no shortage of one-of-a-kind stores and attractions, but one stands out from the rest:  Dick’s 5 and 10.  I got to spend some time looking around, and was amazed by their inventory.  They had lots of things I needed, and a bunch more that I didn’t know I needed until I saw them.

Be sure and check them out when you’re in Branson.  To read more about the store, click here.

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Daytona Beach: Birthplace of Speed

In Daytona Beach, the roar of the beach is rivaled by the roar of the engines.  Daytona International Speedway is home to numerous races each year, including NASCAR’s Coke 400 and Daytona 500.  In front of the building is the “Walk of Fame” which honors those NASCAR drivers who have won at the 500.


You can see tributes to racing legends, such as Dale Earnhardt Sr.


When there is no event, the speedway offers a track tour.  It’s amazing to see first-hand the steepness of the track’s banks; seeing it on television doesn’t do it justice.  If you listen close enough, you can almost hear the most famous words in motor sports:  “Gentlemen, start your engines”, and the second most famous words:  “Boogity, boogity, boogity:  let’s go racing boys”.


Another highlight of the tour is a tour of a garage area:


After the track tour, you get to watch a short film highlighting racing heroes.  As you are leaving, you get to see the car that won the previous Daytona 500, which was Dale Jr. when we were there.


It’s a great experience;  if you want more information, click here.

Relaxing at Bahama House

We stayed at the Bahama House in Daytona Beach Shores during a recent trip to the area, and it was an amazing experience.  The front desk employees were cheerful and pleasant, which set the tone for the rest of our stay.  We stayed on the seventh floor in a corner room.  We had views of the ocean from our breakfast table…..


as well as from our balcony.


The beautifully appointed room included a kitchen area, complete with a toaster.


For those who don’t want to cook while on vacation, the hotel offers a free breakfast each morning.  In addition, there is a nightly complimentary cocktail hour.

The Bahama House is a great place to stay while in Daytona Beach Shores.  The rooms are clean, the staff is helpful, and the views can’t be beat.

Sun Viking Lodge Daytona Beach

I was fortunate enough to spend two nights at the Sun Viking Lodge in beautiful (and quiet) Daytona Beach Shores.  I can’t say enough great things about the family-friendly accommodations.  The staff was super-welcoming and set a great tone for our stay.

The room was immaculate and the view of the Atlantic from our eighth-floor balcony was spectacular.



The room had two ultra-comfy beds…….


and a fully-stocked kitchen that had everything you needed to cook a quick meal.


Sun Viking features both an indoor pool, complete with a rock formation waterfall, and an outdoor pool (which has a water slide).

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In addition, it offers a hot tub, a kiddie pool, a fitness center, and a beachfront picnic/bbq area.

The most pleasant surprise of all was the list of activities that Sun Viking sponsored.  They had things for all ages:  bingo, shuffleboard, poolside games, Wii competitions, a basketball goal, and beach volleyball.  The staff even popped popcorn and screened a movie against the side of one of their buildings.

I highly recommend the Sun Viking Lodge for anyone seeking family-centered lodging.  Several guests I met during my stay had been coming to Sun Viking for years; I know I will be back every chance I get.  Before your next Daytona vacation, make sure to check out Sun Viking Lodge.

Alabama Adventure

We had so much fun at the Alabama Safari Park, located just outside Montgomery. We got to see and feed many different types of animals. While lots of the animals were beautiful, the zebra was my favorite.

However, things didn’t always go smoothly. We were held hostage by a llama.

And, just before we left, we were robbed by a camel. I’m pretty sure the second camel is laughing at us.

I can’t wait to return, but will definitely follow their advice about being careful with your food bucket around the camels. They weren’t kidding about losing them.

If you want to see the animals yourself, the Alabama Safari Park is located at 1664 Venable Road, Hope Hull, AL 36043. You can also check them out online at