Fall Break & Branson, MO
Last summer I went to the Ark Encouter attraction in Williamstown, KY and found iit to be very interesting. When I heard about the Titanic Museum in Branson, MO I thought it would be a similar experience so I made plans to go see it during my fall break from school. The museum is 1/3 of the Titanic and has a recreated beautiful grand staircase that is really something to see in person. It took me about 2 hours to go through the museum, reading almost everything on display. I enjoyed my time and didn't have to be in a hurry. I was only disappointed I couldn't take pictures inside the museum.
I spent the rest of the day going to a fish hatchery, shopping at Branson Landing and attending a show in the evening. At the fish hatchery is was interesting to see the process of rasing the trout until they are ready to be released into the lakes.
I attended a show called "Six" in Branson. Six brothers that perform as an acapella group. The show was very good and music I like to listen to. It was two hours of fun and relaxation. These guys are very talented and included a very moving tribute to their mother.
Fall Break & Topeka, KS
Why drive 7 hours straight home when you can stop at IKEA and at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site? Driving by myself for long periods of time is very hard so I like to find interesting places to visit as side trips. When I was planning my trip I knew I would be coming back through Kansas City so I could stop at IKEA but when I really got to looking at the map I realized that Topeka, KS was only about 50 minutes from KC and I could then head north for home. I like to visit places that I teach about and Topeka was a place I had not visited before so I put it on my itinerary. The Brown v. Board of Education site was well worth the stop. The park ranger was very enthusiastic and gave me a great introduction to the building and exhibits. What I learned was that Kansas provided nicer segregated school facilities than other southern states, making the case of "separate but equal" harder to disprove. They also had on display a black doll used in the psychological study by Kenneth Clark to help win the case. The other great thing about the historical site was that people who lived it would come and drop by regularly to walk the halls of the former school. If this was closer, it would be a great place to bring my students.
I got home safely from this road trip and now I am planning for the next adventure.