Also called “the Magic Dragon” for its serpentine shape, the Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir created by the Osage River in central Missouri. Its surface covers a vast 54,000 acres and its shoreline stretches 1,150 miles.
The Lake of the Ozarks was created in 1929 when the construction of the Bagnell Dam by the Union Electrical Company of St. Louis impounded a much smaller lake. At the time of construction of the dam, Lake of the Ozarks was the largest man-made lake in the United States.
Renamed multiple times over the years as none of the officially chosen titles stuck, it became known by its location on the northern edge of the lake that is nearby the Ozarks.
Well known for being a popular tourist destination, Lake of the Ozarks the shoreline is relatively stable in comparison to other flood control lakes, creating ideal conditions for developments very close to the water’s edge.
Nearby is Bridal Cave, a natural cave system attraction that is names after an Osage Native American legend. Additionally, there is a national park called the Lake of the Ozarks State Park which covers 17,500 acres of the land and is the largest state park in Missouri.
We recommend this spot to our nature and outdoor lovers. It is the perfect destination for a weeklong family getaway close to the water but nearly a stone’s throw away from other fun things like plenty of restaurants, stores for shopping and even a water park.
It’s nothing new to hear that a little time away from the office is good for everyone. But when it comes to one’s ability to unplug on vacation, a new study claims that the more you make, the harder it is for you to truly be out of the office.
With a smartphone in everyone’s pocket, it’s no surprise that 59 percent of employees check their phone, make calls or answer emails at least once a day on vacation.
The chances of work interfering with your time off increases with your salary. Those who make under $25,000 annually never work on vacation while individuals who make between $180,000 t0 $200,000 are the biggest offenders. 47 percent of this category of people engage in work activities up to 5 times a day.
This ever-constant feeling that one needs to work, even on vacation can be attributed to the work martyr syndrome. It significantly impacts your ability to truly get away and reset from work, thus feeding into more feelings of burnout. And with the advances in technology, it can be even easier to tell yourself “just one email, just one phone call” before it becomes working remotely instead of unplugging.
To prevent this, enable the vacation responder on your work email and set that to automatically reply to emails for the duration of your vacation. The email will be in your inbox when you come home. We also recommend informing your business associate of your time away and strictly unavailable, to prevent work phone calls.
Come and visit the former mansion estate of the King of Rock and Roll. Purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957 for just over $100,000, the former cattle farm turned renovated home is where Elvis lived for over twenty years.
Named after the original estate owner, Stephen C. Toof’s daughter, Grace. The estate features five sets of staircases, three grand fireplaces and a kidney-shaped pool. The famous music-themed gates were installed in April of 1957.
Graceland became the center hub for Elvis and his life. It is where Elvis lived with his wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, in the first years of their marriage and where Lisa Maria, Elvis’s daughter spent the first years of her life.
While on tour, Elvis would have his hotel rooms “renovated” to the same configurations as Graceland with the same furniture for his complete comfort.
Elvis’s tombstone is in the Meditation Garden next to the estate and is viewable on mansion tours.
In 1991, Graceland was added to the American National Register of Historic Places and is the first landmark that is related to rock and roll to be included on the register. It is the second most-visited house in the country, after to the White House of course, with over 600,000 visitors each year.
The grounds feature exhibits like a new car museum, Presley Motors, including the famous pink Cadillac, a radio studio that plays all Elvis music around the clock, his two planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II. Graceland also includes the personal effects of the musician like his wardrobe, costumes, awards and furniture.
We highly recommend this attraction to all music and rock and roll fans and allot for 2-3 hours to fully immerse yourself in all the property has to offer.
Despite the many statistics and a long list of benefits of music education for children, some schools are choosing to forgo the subject. But music and music education is so incredibly important to kiddos and their growth.
For one, studies have found it helps students, regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, score higher on math, reading and spelling exams. Additionally, students who have a music education have been found to have better neural processing pathways and brain development than of students who merely listen to music. Music, gives children better reading comprehension skills, a tool that they can then use in countless other paths and school subjects.
It gives students the ability to connect with other people. As it is a very social experience, it encourages them to share their love and passion, and continue to bond with new individuals. It has been found to help students improve their teamwork and collaboration skills.
Musical performance helps to solidify all of these skills and teaches kids how to take pride in their skills. Music education and performance do wonders for children and their self-confidence, improving their self-worth too.
Other positive benefits of music education but are not limited to:
Music education gives students a platform to spring from and supports them in other areas of life. It is essential of helping children develop and continuing to expand their education in and out of the classroom.
The Forbidden City, The Great Smoky Mountains, The Sydney Opera House, The Taj Mahal and Versailles are some of the world’s most visited UNESCO Heritage Sites. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s aim is to “build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.”
In addition to helping to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between countries the UNESCO organization determines World Heritage Sites. These sites are deemed important, unique, educational and beautiful and are protected from being destroyed by receiving the honor.
This week a special committee is looking into adding more sites to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The contenders include sites like a bird-filled estuary in China’s Yalu River, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 20th-century architecture, Alpine road in Austria, Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland and Jaipur city in India among others.
In order to be added to the World Heritage Site list, the sites must pass a series of evaluations where experts evaluate the destinations and report on their preservation.
If accepted, the UNESCO stamp of approval will most definitely help increase the valuable tourism dollars for the sites. If denied, the sites can still be nominated in subsequent years and go through the process again.
To see the complete list of World Heritage Site click here.
Friends of the Earth (FOE) an environmental organization gave out A-F letter grades reports in their 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card to cruise ships.
The organization explains that cruises “can be more harmful to the environment and human health than other forms of travel.”
They evaluated 16 major cruise lines and 185 ships on four criteria sections like sewage, air pollution reduction, water quality compliance, transparency, and criminal violations.
Most notable Disney Cruise Line was rated with an A- while others like Norwegian being graded with a C-. However, the rest of the cruise lines had overall grades of Ds and Fs.
Many of the cruise liners included in the report expressed frustration with FOE and the qualifications to publish the report and level of scientific research.
Also known as the Alamo Mission in what is now San Antonio, Texas, it is a fortress and compound founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century. Famous for the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and for being the pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
The battle was fought between the Republic of Texas and Mexico from February 23rd to March 6th, 1836. In the end, the Mexican army won and ultimately killed the estimated 200 Texans including the national hero and “King of the Frontier,” Davy Crockett.
Built initially for the education of the converted Native Americans, it was later transformed to a fortress to house the military unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras.
Now it is part of a museum in the Alamo Historic District and a World Heritage Site.
The Alamo calls to all interested in history, the military, and politics. We recommend allotting around 2 hours to explore the museum, fortress and gardens available at this attraction.
First and foremost, make sure you inform your bank of your travel plans. They will be able to place the appropriate alert on your cards so you won’t get declined on vacation. In addition, they can help alert you to any suspicious banking activity while you are on the go and focusing on having an enjoyable time rather than monitoring your charges.
Secondly, research the currency exchange rate and know the ballpark for a good exchange. Look for establishments that do not charge a commission- meaning they do not benefit as much financially from the exchange. Speak to your bank in advance and they might be able to get you the currency in advance depending on their policy.
Bring enough cash for the first 24 hours or until you have time to find an ATM. A good rule of thumb is some authentic and smaller businesses will not always be able to take a card, so be prepared and bring some cash.
Also, pay attention to foreign transaction fees for your accounts and know how much you will or will not be charged per transaction abroad. Some cards have transaction fees of 1%- meaning if you charge the equivalent of $100 USD, you will be charged 1% of $100 on the transaction.
But the most important tip I like to share is pay in foreign currency! When charging something, let say a meal at a small café in a foreign country and the wait staff ask, “would you like to pay in the currency of the country or would you like to pay in U.S. dollars?” always say the foreign currency. That allows your bank to choose the conversion rate of the payment and ultimately give you a better rate than if you had paid in U.S. dollars
Lastly, don’t only bring one card. Things happen and it is better to be safe than sorry. Put this second backup card in a different, hidden location and not in your wallet. You will be glad to have it if you happen to meet a sneaky pickpocket whilst traveling.
With the Grand Canyon National Park turning 100 in 2019, they have a lot to celebrate. But the festivities shouldn’t just applaud the age of the park.
It is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park.
Now the Grand Canyon is joining the ranks of 60 other esteemed parks and reserves that are Dark Sky Parks. It is now one of 9 other U.S. National Parks to qualify out of the 61 total U.S. National Parks.
Efforts to attain this achievement began in 2016. The Grand Canyon National Park was outfitted with thousands of exterior lights to reduce the light pollution as more and more of the nights are being polluted by lights.
The famous American country music stage was founded in 1925 by George D. Hay. Back then it was known for the one-hour “barn dance” segment on the radio but now it is the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history.
The Grand Ole Opry is “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” and aims to honor the music genre and its history along with bluegrass and gospel music too.
Membership in the Opry is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for country musicians. In order to be inducted, regular performers must be asked by current members on stage during a live performance. Membership must be maintained for the entire career of the musician with frequent performances and ends when the artists pass away.
The Grand Ole Opry attracts thousands of its listeners from all over and is a crowning achievement to the “country music capital” of the nation. Visit to see a backstage tour or buy tickets to a one of a kind live music show.