Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My 1st Mother's Day

As any of my readers know, I am a new Mommy. My husband and I were blessed with our first born, a daughter, whom we named Olivia. The first 3 months were awful, she had colic and did nothing but scream. And I mean scream. It wasn't a cry, it was a scream! Like I said, awful.

However, as the agony of bleeding ears from the screaming began to subside shortly after month 3, the joys of parenthood started to shine through.

Olivia is now 7 months old and I fall more in love with her every day (although I don't know how because I already feel like I couldn't possibly love her anymore than I already do). Even though it took us a while to get used to the new lifestyle of parenthood versus the singlehood we were so used to after 30 years, Robby and I are both finding ourselves being total smitten kittens.

Olivia's personality is definitely what I expected of any girl that came from my family. Boisterous, playful, happy, loud, girly, and full of attitude.

My 1st Mother's Day was spent not only celebrating my beautiful mother and mother-in-law, but also reveling in the life of my mommyhood. The love a parent has for their child is immeasurable and I wouldn't trade this for anything.

I hope you had a great weekend celebrating your mother's and yourself if you are a mother. To you, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day.

My very 1st Mother's Day: Me, Olivia Grace, and Chiyo
On Friday, we are heading down to Gulf Shores, AL. Of all the places I've been, I've yet to be there. If you have any travel tips on traveling with a baby to the beach, please indulge me. Also, if there's something we must do/see/eat in Gulf Shores, tell me all about it!

Hope you have a great week! Stay tuned for live Gulf Shores updates! Pan, The Gravel-Roadin' Guru

Friday, May 11, 2012

Festival Friday 5-11-12

Terrible blogger? Lack of dedication? Lazy? I promise I'm not trying to be a single one of these things. I know I've disappointed all one and a half of my readers by not presenting many posts lately. I do apologize. Fact of the matter is, I've spent my last several days off soaking up Mommyhood. Olivia and I have spent some much needed together-time on the floor learning how to crawl (well almost, she's soooo close!). Anyways, I really don't have a lot for you to do this weekend but that's okay. We should be spending time celebrating Mom's everywhere anyway! For the ones that still have time otherwise, below is a list of some things around Missouri to entertain you. Hope you enjoy!


Last week I introduced you to the C-Street Market. Don't forget that it's every Saturday at the Footbridge Pavilion on Commercial Street. Lots of vendors. Free event!

Stomp the Blues out of Homelessness Blues Festival will be going on at 1315 E Trafficway ($15-$18 per ticket) on Saturday between 2 & 11pm. Not only will you be helping raise money to benefit local homelessness needs, you also get to do some relaxing while listening to some easy listening tunes. Enjoy!

Head to the Remington's Event Center on Republic tomorrow from 8-5 for the Springfield Indian Artifact Show. Close to 200 tables will be on display showcasing ancient pottery and arrowheads, along with other indian relics. There will be display-only tables and people will also be on hand to purchase your indian artifacts!


Downtown Rolla is playing host of "Downtown Days" tomorrow from 10am-4pm. Head downtown for wine tastings, art exhibits, and special sales from local businesses and discover all Rolla has to offer!


Calling all bluegrass fans! For more than an entire month, Silver Dollar City invites you for their Bluegrass & BBQ Festival. The fest runs from May 10 until June 12 with tons of different bluegass artists. Visit the website for more detailed info and dates.


Get to the Farmington Industrial Parks with the kiddos so they can participate in the Wiggle & Giggle fishing competition. Children must be accompanied by an adult with a valid fishing license and supply all their own equipment. Be there early as the event goes from 8am-11am. 756.2215 for more info.

As always, contact me with your upcoming event so we can feature it on Festival Friday! Happy Mother's Day weekend! Pan

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Famous Leaning Tower of Osage City

Being a new parent is hard. Hard for many reasons but one of those being the lifestyle adjustment you must make for the little one. Robby and I have found that to be one of our toughest battles. Parenthood means not being able to go and do what you please and when you please.

Thankfully, we have parents that love spending time with Olivia, which occasionally allows us to have some Mommy-Daddy time.

Which is just what we did yesterday. Enjoyed a much-needed, long-0verdue river day, out on the Osage. And geez, what a beautiful one at that. We got our solar power recharged (we also got sunburned), as we spent the entire afternoon soaking up those powerful sunrays.

We had to take a jaunt towards Osage City since I learned last week that they're tearing the famous Leaning Tower down. I'm not from Osage City, I have no ties to Osage City (except the partying I've done along the riverbanks there), and I generally don't care what happens in Osage City.

The Famous Leaning Tower of Osage City: early demolition has already destroyed the top right section of the tower.

Except for the fact that they're tearing down the famous Leaning Tower (I know I said this already but I wanted to be sure you heard me).

If you don't know what the Leaning Tower is, you should take a quick trip down to Osage City. It's quite the sight to see. This 5 story tall tower is an old grain mill that sits just beside the railroad track and right along the Osage riverbank.

Just as I turned back to snap one last shot of the Leaning Tower, a train came rolling by. How picturesque.....

Last night, I did some quick internet searching and found where a railroad worker had mentioned that the Leaning Tower was leaning as far back as 1974, when he first started working on the railroad. How the tower could have stayed standing after leaning for so many years blows my mind.

With the construction of an additional railroad bridge, crossing the Osage River at Osage City, the crew has begun the destruction of this landmark, with the completion estimated to be within the next 2 weeks.

The existing railroad bridge. The new railroad bridge will be placed in the foreground of this one.

Yesterday, I pleaded with Robby to please drive (I guess the proper wording would be steer, since we were on the boat) me by the famous tower for one last look of admiration (and a couple pictures) to hold with me in memory.

If you want to see the Leaning Tower firsthand, be sure to get down to Osage City quick, as of a couple weeks, it will be leaning no more.

Pan, The Gravel-Roadin' Guru

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Arrow Rock

When I was little, I remember taking a daytrip to Arrow Rock with my mom and my sister. The Arrow Rock I remembered from so long ago was a cobblestone street lined with vintage shops and boutiques, people jaunting in and out with their bags, a whole day full of purusing.

At the end of the summer last year, I was fat. And by fat, I mean I was 8 months pregnant. Robby wanted to do a quick one-night getaway, just as something to do before baby came and our social lives as we knew it was over.

See? Fat.

After a little online searching, we came up with taking a drive up to Arrow Rock to cozy in at Bunny's Bed and Breakfast and stroll through the town, later hitting up some sort of ice cream festival (with live folk music!) at the old schoolhouse downtown.

We packed our bags and headed that way about noon time on a Saturday. When we arrived, first thing we did was make a quick drive through the town. At first glance, it didn't look like there was a whole heck of a lot to do but we figured we had just missed part of town.

We found Bunny's, located at the end of a dead end street, and followed the directions (given to Robby over the phone by the husband of Bunny) to just make ourselves at home. We entered the home around back where we found our room just off the main living area. Now, Bunny's wasn't just your run-of-the-mill B&B. Bunny's was also Bunny's house. She uses the refurbished basement as her rented rooms. We easily found our room and left our stuff inside. Bunny's room's are also so cleverly decorated in bunnies......

photo of Bunny's Bed and Breakfast, Arrow Rock, Missouri

Here it is. Bunny's.

The room was of a decent size for our one night stay, the bathroom, however, was nothing to write home to mom about. A little small, a little old fashioned, a little rundown.

(Please keep in mind that I really don't like giving bad reviews, I just want to give it to ya straight. That's what I'm here for after all, right?)

Once we took a quick bathroom break, we set off in the car for some afternoon wasting of time. We headed downtown so Robby could appease me with window shopping (and possibly buying!). Once we parked, we began walking along the streets of olden days (or what looked like) until we got to our first shop.

I can't remember the name of the first store, probably because it was fairly forgettable. They did have local, hand-crafted items, which is totally my thing. However, they didn't have anything that was my thing.

The next shop we found did have some neat things but nothing to set the store apart from the next. Also, there were only about 18 neat things, as there was hardly anything stocked in the store.

We kept walking in hopes of finding a shop that intrigued me, but when we got to the end of the street, we realized that was it. Except the ice cream shop. Literally, that was it. There were several stores that looked recently closed and the ice cream shop. And seriously, that was it. We had drove 2 hours for this?!?!

Well, since it didn't look like there was much else to shop for, we thought we'd at least go to the tavern for an appetizer (and of course Robby was lucky enough to indulge in a much needed brewsky to cool off from the stickiness of the day). There were few people in the tavern and no appetizers on the menu. Luckily, they came up with a grape, cracker, and cheese tray. Hey, at that point, we would've taken anything.

This is the tavern. It was just ok.

This part of the day, I remember well, as I busted into a fight of laughter at the sight of my cankles, which were so swollen from the pregnancy and the walking that they looked like water balloons on the verge of busting open. I laughed for 23 minutes, atleast.

I still laugh out loud looking at these things. This picture was taken early on in my pregancy, so you can imagine how huge they were at 8 months pregnant. I'm not proud, just thought you could use a chuckle. I'm ok that it's at my expense.

We did make a point to head down to the schoolhouse for the ice cream festival since that was kind of the reason we had chosen Arrow Rock in the first place. Once again, it left a lot to be desired. Although, I'm pretty sure the whole town did come down for the occasion (probably because there was nothing else to do).

So, after we built up our excitement of getting away for one last small hoorah, it's safe to tell you that we left Arrow Rock with nothing but disappointment. I was saddened to crush my memory of that quaint town with the cobblestone streets. My only hope is that I have saved you.

(If you're wondering, we did NOT stay at Bunny's that night. On our way out of town, I called to tell her such, but had to leave a message, as I'm sure she was at the ice cream festival.)