Year of Adventure

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It’s a new year. Time for fresh starts, changes, goals and exciting opportunities.

For me, 2022 also brings a new theme, a symbol and a song. It’s a long standing tradition for me that is more than fun. The theme, symbol and song are important elements of my guidance system for the year.

This is the Year of Adventure. Discover more about what that means to me.

Year of Adventure title meme

Year of Adventure Theme

Near the end of 2021, as my attention turned toward a new year and new possibilities, the word adventure began showing up in my awareness. That’s how my word for the upcoming year finds me. It shows up via repetition and synchronicities. I’m very familiar with the word and use it occasionally. However, in the space of a few weeks, I saw the word or representations of adventures everywhere.

With my attention caught, I looked up the word. I love etymology…the study of words.

Adventure originates from the Latin word advenire, meaning ” to arrive at or reach”. That word formed the basis for the Latin adventurus, meaning “about to happen”. For me the root words imply a sense of anticipation for something about to happen, or about to arrive.

Today adventure means an exciting, remarkable or dangerous experience.

And, I like this thought. Venture is a “daring journey”. Ad, as a prefix, means “toward”. Put those two together and I have “toward a daring journey”. That’s what I’m doing…moving toward…reaching out for…arriving for…a daring journey.  I love it!

Year of Adventure travel guides
Year of Adventure – travel guides

Year of Adventure Symbol

Like the word for the year, the symbol for 2022 began to show up in repetitions and synchronicities.

I’ve felt drawn to the vintage teal colored VW bus for a couple of years. It actually showed up on last year’s vision boards. And a couple of years ago I adopted a teal mini van  as my travel mascot, naming her Ferni. However, beginning last fall, the symbol popped up everywhere. My great nephew Kaleb even presented me with a stack of cool vinyl stickers…many of them featuring colorful VW vans.

The vintage VW van is the perfect symbol for adventure. It represents freedom, travel, hippies, peace and fun. It became an icon of the counterculture movement in the 1960s, a symbol of protest against overpowered cars, expensive lifestyles and society in general. VW vans during that time frequently sported a peace sign on the front.

Although I’d love to own a vintage van, for the fun of driving one around, it’s not necessary. I’m charmed by the symbol and looking forward to developing a deeper relationship with it this year.

Year of Adventure vw van
Year of Adventure symbol – VW Van

Year of Adventure Song

And finally, my song for the year arrived.

Staying open to possibilities, I listened carefully to any song that caught my interest. And then one night, working on a project, my Echo Dot randomly selected “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts for my enjoyment.

I tuned in about half way through the song, then requested a second and a third playing.

“Life’s like a road that you travel on, when there’s one day here and the next day gone. Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, sometimes you turn your back to the wind.”

The lyrics remind me that life is fleeting and I’m no longer a young woman. I’m certainly not beyond adventures, but I don’t want to wait until “someday” to enjoy them. As I’m entering my twilight years, I’m determined to ride this highway called life all…night…long…in a vintage VW van. See how perfectly that works?

Year of Adventure highway
Year of Adventure song – Life is a Highway

If You’re Goin’ My Way

I look forward to experiencing adventure this year.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition scratch off book is part of my “map” for 2022. The 15 cities I want to experience definitely fall into the adventure category. My adventure list is growing longer with ideas. However, I know that adventure doesn’t always mean risky or dangerous. Jumping out of a plane is adventurous…and on my list. However, discovering different aspects of myself is just as much an adventure as exploring a new city or trying something daringly new.

Solo adventures are important to me. And sharing the adventure…with my kids and grandkids, other family members and friends…is important too, as is sharing with my community of readers.

If you’re goin’ my way…or watching and cheering me on as I zip by down the highway of life…it’s all good. I wanna drive it all night long.

Year of Adventure Cindy

Get your Adventure Challenge Books below:

Family Edition

Couples Edition

Solo Edition


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Ms Gilmore’s Springfield, Missouri

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During my solo getaway weekend in Springfield, Missouri, I enjoyed exploring historic C Street. What a delightful mix of unique restaurants and shops and home to the beautiful Culture Boutique Hotel, my accommodations for the weekend.

As a long time hot tea drinker, a visit to Chabom Teas & Spices allowed me to bring home an assortment of fragrant teas. And located next door, the most wonderful surprise awaited.

Ms Gilmore’s delighted me the moment I walked through the door. With its Alice in Wonderland themed décor, tea rooms and wide selection of new and vintage items, I truly fell down the rabbit hole into a whimsical place that I wanted to linger in.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri


Ms Gilmore’s Story

Robin Gilmore grew up in the Branson, Missouri area. As a young girl she and her friends loved visiting the wonderful shops on the square there. After their favorite lunch, consisting of an egg salad sandwich and a soda, the girls enjoyed chocolate from the candy counter.

In their teens, the friends traveled frequently to Springfield to try on vintage clothing at Nellie Dunn’s. The tin ceilings in the building caught young Robin’s eyes and snagged her heart. She wished she owned such a building.

Eventually, she did. Ms Gilmore’s continued to honor the thrill of looking through antiques and finding treasures and enjoying memorable meals and afternoon teas. Many of the entrées on the menu carry the names of historic sites in Springfield.

The historic building, built in 1874, was originally part of a manufacturing complex for Parce and Gray Wagon Builders. Over the years it housed a clothing company, a men’s fine fashion retail shop, a salvage and sales company and Nellie Dunn’s.

Robin Gilmore retired in 2020 and the business continues under new ownership,

Ms Gilmore's exterior
Ms Gilmore’s inviting exterior

Shop for Treasures or New Merchandise

The charming building is divided into retail space and tea rooms on the first floor with antiques, vintage pieces and collectibles on the second floor.

Walking through the front door, the cute décor is the first thing you notice. The Wonderland theme is apparent everywhere and creates a magical experience. Umbrellas and teacup chandeliers hang from the ceilings while prints and treasures adorn the walls.

Tea rooms occupy space to the right and left. However, the center of the first floor…and various nooks…offer a variety of unique items. Specialty gifts share space with bohemian style clothing, cozy throws and fun collectibles. During the holidays, shop for Christmas gifts, ornaments and decorations,

Upstairs, browse for one of a kind finds among antiques, vintage pieces and craft type items. The large windows at the front of the building drew me to the rooms there, full of golden sunlight.

As I visited in December, Christmas dominated the retail shop. I purchased an ornament, as a memento of my trip.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Ms Gilmore’s whimsical décor
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri upstairs
An upstairs room at Ms Gilmore’s.

The Tea Rooms

Ms Gilmore’s offers lunch, tea and desserts. They have a full lunch menu and scrumptious desserts plus an assortment of teas.

Their large tea rooms accommodate large parties and private events.

Before settling into the main tea room, for afternoon tea, I wandered about in the other rooms, charmed by the incredible details. One tea room features a mural with the famous words from Alice in Wonderland, “It’s always tea time.”

I agree!

One of the other rooms on the left, as you enter the building, featured a lovely gown with a Christmas tree beneath the raised up skirt. I could happily enjoy tea or lunch in any of these amazing spaces.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
One of the magical tea rooms at Ms Gilmore’s.
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
The farther down the rabbit hole you, go the more incredible it gets!
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
It’s always tea time at Ms Gilmore’s!

Tea for One

I actually stopped by Ms Gilmore’s twice on the Saturday of my trip. I spent a wonderful hour there before my lunch at Café Cusco, exploring the downstairs and snapping photos.

After lunch, and a brisk walk down C Street, I returned to warm up with a cup of hot tea. Although past the lunch hour rush, the main tea room remained filled with people. I enjoyed my table for one, sipping hot strawberry hibiscus tea while people watching.

Ms Gilmore’s is perfect for a family lunch, girls’ afternoon out or a mother/daughter tea. While the lunch menu offers vegan options, the dessert menu, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps that will change in the future!

After my tea time, I explored the upstairs, admiring the assortment of vintage treasures and antiques.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Look at that fun chandelier in the main tea room!
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Strawberry hibiscus tea for one at Ms Gilmore’s.

Location and Hours

Ms Gilmore’s is located at 211 East Commercial Street in Springfield, Missouri.

The shop and bakery counter are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

The tea rooms/café are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 am until 2:30 pm on weekdays and open until 3:00 pm on Saturdays.

If you are passing through Springfield, or live in the southwest Missouri area, drop down the rabbit hole into the fantasy world of Ms Gilmore’s. Enjoy a meal, a cup of tea or shop the eclectic mix of items there.

I spent a couple of hours there, however, I’d love more time in Wonderland. I’m planning another visit. It’s always tea time for me!

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri


It’s Always Tea Time


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Let the Adventures Begin

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I celebrated my 64th birthday last weekend. What a fun, if busy, time…experiencing 64 wild things for my 64th birthday over the last two months. Was it easy this year? No. I struggled to fit time into my schedule to complete the activities. Am I grateful that I did the birthday game anyway? Yes I am!

I managed four birthday update posts this year. Here is the final one, Let the Adventures Begin. What a great way to start the new year. Truly, I’m grateful for a January birthday.

Let the Adventures Begin title meme

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday

As a reminder, here’s how this works.

I listed and numbered 64 activities in my notebook. Beginning on November 7, I randomly selected a number, using an online generator, and then dated the chosen activity.

While there are some “wild” experiences on the list, I’m leaning heavily into adventures. My word for 2022 is adventure and I’m super excited about that. As I complete this wild year and embrace an adventurous one, this blend of birthday activities moves me solidly into a new year.

I created birthday posts to update what I did. And like last year, I didn’t write about every experience but highlighted some. I also note whether the activity is completed, in process or scheduled out.

Here are the final activities.

12/15/21 Reach Out to 10 Adventure Companies for Collabs (in process)

12/16/21 Create a Wild Woman Playlist on Spotify (completed)

Using Spotify is a fun way to create a playlist of songs. Some of the songs on my list include last year’s song, Girl on Fire, plus Eclipse of the Moon, Jaguar Dreaming and Earth Breath.

12/17/21 Design an Adventure T Shirt (completed)

I’m having fun designing tees and sending them to my daughter in law Megan to create! My little granddaughter Finley and I even came up with t shirt ideas for Christmas gifts to her parents. I appreciate Megan’s willingness to take my ideas and turn them into reality for me! Check out her Facebook page, MiliLou Styles. I’m excited to wear my wild woman and adventure t shirts this year.

Let the Adventures Begin tee
Let the Adventures Begin – design an adventure tee

12/18/21 Research Things to Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea (completed)

I’m excited about visiting this charming European style city in California.

12/19/21 Research Things to Do in Chicago (completed)

Chicago is an short plane ride from Joplin. I’m aware of the high crime rate, which puts this city a bit lower on my adventure list than other cities. However, it’s still a place I want to explore.

Let the Adventures Begin chicago
Let the Adventures Begin – Research things to do in Chicago

12/20/21 Email Pitch to Fort Lauderdale + Accommodations (in process)

12/21/21 Email Pitch to Boston + Accommodations (in process)

12/22/21 Eat at a New to Me Restaurant (completed)

While enjoying my getaway weekend in Springfield, MO, I ate Peruvian food for the first time, at Café Cusco. Read my review on Journey With Healthy Me HERE.

12/23/21 Create an Adventure Playlist on Spotify (completed)

Some of the songs on my  Adventure Playlist include Life is a Highway…this year’s song…plus I Lived, Castle on the Hill and Another Day of Sun.

12/24/21 Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Travel (in process)

12/25/21 Create Simple Christmas Décor (completed)

I cheated on this one. I created the simple décor before Christmas Day, knowing this activity would pop up at some point. Due to my schedule, I really simplified my Christmas decorating, relying on Decocrated items from the Winter 2021 Box and a few pieces from my own collection. I actually like what I created so well that some of the decorations are remaining up until spring!

Let the Adventures Begin decor
Let the Adventures Begin – simple Christmas décor

12/26/21 Create a 2022 Symbol Board (in process)

12/27/21 Email Pitch to Portland + Accommodations (in process)

12/28/21 Research Things to Do on John’s Island, South Carolina (completed)

I’m excited about this return trip to the Charleston area, scheduled for May. I have comped accommodations too, in an Airbnb on the island. While I’m planning a day trip to explore more in Charleston, the rest of the time I’ll enjoy the beauty of this island. One of the things I’m thrilled about seeing is the Angel Tree, a 400 – 500 year old Southern Live Oak with an impressive size and spread.

Let the Adventures Begin angel tree
Let the Adventures Begin – Angel Tree on John’s Island

12/29/21 Research Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale (completed)

Another of the cities on my adventure list, Fort Lauderdale shares my maiden name, Lauderdale. I’m looking forward to a visit here!

12/30/21 Email Pitch to Tempe + Accommodations (in process)

12/31/21 Research Things to Do in Seattle and Portland (completed)

I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest. I’m excited to visit both of these cities and explore.

Let the Adventures Begin portland
Let the Adventures Begin – Research things to do in Portland

1/1/22 Pick a City to Visit in Each of the 50 States (in process)

1/2/22 Try a New Tea (completed)

While in Springfield on my weekend away, I visited Chabom Teas & Spices on historic Commercial Street. What a wonderful shop to wander about it. It smelled amazing in there. I selected several teas, including Christmas in Paris from Stash Teas. It’s a flavorful blend of lavender, chocolate, peppermint and vanilla. How perfect for the holidays.

Let the Adventures Begin tea
Let the Adventures Begin – Try a new tea

1/3/22 Add Adventure Décor to My Home (completed)

This activity is also still in process. I added a beautiful “To travel is to live” fabric wall hanging, from the Decocrated online shop, to my bedroom using it as a covering over my double windows. I’m also working on a couple of adventure vignettes that I’ll share another time.

Let the Adventures Begin wall hanging
Let the Adventures Begin – Travel is Life

1/4/22 Enjoy a Winter Firepit Night (scheduled)

1/5/22 Full Moon Dance in the Backyard (scheduled with firepit night)

1/6/22 Email Pitch to Seattle + Accommodations (in process)

11/7/22 Email Pitch to Salem + Accommodations (in process)

1/8/22 Email Pitch to Providence + Accommodations (in process)

I’ve created an email template to use, when sending pitches to tourism boards in cities, and one for pitches to accommodations. I’m preparing to batch send emails.

1/9/22 (my actual Birthday) Read a Book about Adventure (completed)

Greg gifted me a book for my birthday, that is perfect for this activity, titled The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Charlie MacKesy wrote and illustrated this gorgeous book about the adventures of…you guessed it…a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse. The little group shares simple yet deep conversations and fun adventures in the “wild”, a place that represents life.

Easily read in less than an hour, the life lessons, however, remain forever. And the whimsical drawings and paintings touch the heart. It’s a delightful book that I’ll re-read every week and pick up frequently, to open to a random page.

Check the book out and order HERE.

Let the Adventures Begin book
Let the Adventures Begin – read an adventure book


The morning before my birthday, I journaled about the things I’ve learned the last decade. As I wrote out my thoughts, I realized how much I’ve grown. It’s a good realization to have, turning a year older, and hopefully a year wiser.

This is what I wrote:

Let the Adventures Begin words

It’s been an intense time of learning during the last ten years. And it began a few years before that, with much unlearning.

I claim my years…all 64 of them…and the experiences…all of them…that brought me to this place in life, right now, right here.

This is me. And this is 64.

I’m excited to see what I learn in the next 12 months, during this Year of Adventure, and where I go.

This is 64
This is 64.




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15 Cities on My Adventure List

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As I dream of adventures this year, I created a list of cities I want to explore.

The success of my solo trip to Charleston last fall fuels this desire. Because while I enjoy the beauty of nature and walking in forests and along rivers, I learned something important about myself during the Charleston trip. I LOVE the energy of cities, especially historic ones. Walking in charming downtowns, hearing the stories behind the area and looking at architecture and old houses lights up my soul.

Check out these 15 cities on my adventure list. I’ve included a brief summary of each city and why I’m excited to visit.

15 Cities on My Adventure List title meme

15 Cities on My Adventure List

Last year I shared a post called Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US. First of all, I decided I possess some hipster qualities. And secondly, I felt drawn to some of those cities based on what I discovered about them.

Shortly after that post, I enjoyed the solo trip to Charleston and fell in love…with the city and with traveling on my own. Even while in Charleston, I began a list of other cities to explore.

I included these cities in my birthday activities, researching them, writing down things I’d like to do there and listing possible accommodations. I’m in the process of gathering city travel guides and reaching out to tourism boards and accommodations. I’ll visit the cities as accommodations are arranged, preferably comped as part of a travel blogger/writer trip. So whether I visit two or three of these cities this year…or six…or all 15…I’m open to what unfolds.

John’s Island, South Carolina

I’m so happy about this visit, which is already scheduled for May with comped accommodations. After an incredible trip to Charleston, I longed for a return visit.

An Airbnb reached out to me, offering a comped stay on John’s Island which is near Charleston. The largest island in South Carolina, John’s Island is home to wildlife, rivers, marshes, abundant flora and hundreds of bird species. About one third of the island is actually within the Charleston city limits

Why I’m Visiting

I’m excited to visit Charleston again. Although I spent four days exploring the historic district last September, there’s more to see. And, I’m excited to explore John’s Island. It’s a gorgeous setting for rest, writing, walking and taking photos and it’s ideally located for a day trip to Charleston. Plus John’s Island is home to the famous Angel Tree, a sprawling 400 – 500 year old Southern Live Oak tree. I wanted to see the Angel Tree while in Charleston and didn’t make it by. Now, I’ll be staying near it.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

This small California beach town is on the Monterey Peninsula. The village like setting is home to charming homes and shops, museums, historic Carmel Mission and the Carmel River State Beach.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Carmel’s European style. Spanish style buildings and Victorian homes share space with storybook cottages and shops. Additionally, Carmel offers hidden passageways and quaint courtyards. It’s a very walkable community with artisan shops and one of a kind establishments. The beach is a huge bonus.

Savannah, Georgia

With its cobblestone streets, gardens, and 22 historic squares, Savannah is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Like Charleston, at the heart of the city lies the historic district featuring culture, charm, shops and restaurants.

The squares house museums, mansions, gardens, monuments and accommodations.

Why I’m Visiting

Over and over, while exploring Charleston, people recommended that I also visit Savannah. After researching that sister city, I see why. I love the 22 squares in the historic downtown area and the historical and cultural aspects. This city is high on my adventure list and I’m hopeful about a bed & breakfast that I found.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Savannah
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Savannah

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This city on Florida’s southeastern coast is known for beaches and boating canals, The Strip…a promenade running along oceanside highway A1A…and upscale outdoor restaurants, boutiques and luxury hotels. Its nickname is Venice of America, due to the canals.

Why I’m Visiting

This city caught my attention many years ago. My maiden name is Lauderdale so of course I must visit this city. When I discovered Fort Lauderdale’s canals and ocean promenade, it moved higher up on my list. It’s also a hipster city.

Tempe, Arizona

Located just east of Phoenix, Tempe shares space with Hayden Butte, a mountain dotted with centuries old rock art. Tempe offers Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Beach Park, one of the longest standing juried arts festivals in the state, and 100+ bohemian shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the downtown area.

Why I’m Visiting

This city showed up on my hipster list as well, intriguing me with its artsy culture and those bohemian shops in the fun downtown area.

San Francisco, California

Another hipster city I’ve long wanted to explore, San Francisco offers the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and cable cars that trek up and down those steep streets. Victorian houses provide photo opportunities in San Francisco’s 11 historic districts.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m fascinated by San Francisco’s history, cable cars and those gorgeous houses, called Painted Ladies. And visits to Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge Park and Fisherman’s Wharf rank high on my explore list.

15 Cities on My Adventure List San FranciscoSs
15 Cities on My Adventure List – San Francisco

Providence, Rhode Island

This little city in the smallest state in the US offers much to visitors. Providence, a university town, is famous for its beautiful outdoor spaces, historic locations and the delicious food in the Little Italy area. This hipster city ranks high in culture and boasts the most coffee shops of any city in the US.

Why I’m Visiting

I love the energy of college towns. Providence’s historical spots appeal to me and the promise of coffee shops hints at possibilities for afternoon tea times.

Portland, Oregon

This hipster city sits in the shadow on Mt Hood, in the Pacific Northwest. Portland is famous for green spaces, bridges and bicycle paths, eco-friendliness and its microbreweries and coffeehouses. The city offers a vibrant downtown, a unique aerial tram and the Pearl District, a trendy area full of art galleries, shops, boutiques and fine dining.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Portland’s mix of green spaces, such as the Japanese Gardens, coffeehouses and the Pearl District. And I’ve always wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest.

Boston, Massachusetts

This historic city offers visitors a wealth of fun experiences, from Fenway Park to the Freedom Trail to the North End district to a wide array of museums and public gardens.

Why I’m Visiting

Boston’s historical locations strongly appeal to me. The North End, Boston’s oldest district, offers cobblestone streets, fine dining, Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church. Boston features amazing gardens and museums as well that I’ll enjoy wandering through.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Boston
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Boston

New Orleans, Louisiana

Located near the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is famous for its round-the-clock nightlife, 18th century architecture,  live music scene, spicy cuisine, Mardi Gras and its blend of French, African and American cultures.

Why I’m Visiting

Although I’ve visited New Orleans twice, both trips were for real estate related conventions. And yes, we had some free time to walk the city. However, I’d love to visit again as a solo traveler and explore the French Quarter more thoroughly.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital of Hawaii and the gateway to the island chain. The city is famous for its tropical climate, beaches, hotels and culture.

Why I’m Visiting

I feel drawn to this hipster city because of its incredible beauty and culture. The riotous abundance of plants and flowers is a gardener’s dream.

Salem, Massachusetts

Another historical city, located north of Boston, this town is most famous for the 1692 witch trials. While it becomes Halloween Town during the month of October, Salem also offers historic homes, museums and attractions.

Why I’m Visiting

I’m drawn to Salem’s history and also curious about the energy there, due to the witch trials. My ideal itinerary is a few days in Boston and a day trip to Salem, preferably not in October when 500,000 other people visit.

15 Cities on My Adventure List Salem
15 Cities on My Adventure List – Salem

Memphis, Tennessee

Located on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis is famous for all types of music. BB King and Johnny Cash recorded albums here as did Elvis Presley. That artist’s Graceland Mansion is a popular tourist destination.

Why I’m Visiting

I’ve driven through Memphis several times and have yet to stop. I’m most interested in visiting the Civil Rights Museum and walking along Beale Street. I’m very aware that Memphis has a high crime rate, which puts it low on my list of 15 cities. I’d love to hear of your experiences in Memphis, if you have visited recently.

Chicago, Illinois

This midwestern city is one of the largest in the US. It offers visitors bold architecture, many museums, sporting events and music. Foodies enjoy Chicago as well.

Why I’m Visiting

My desire to visit Chicago’s museums and see the cityscape is tempered somewhat by the high crime rate here too. It’s a short plane ride from Joplin, however, and would make a great weekend destination.

Seattle, Washington

Located on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, beautiful Seattle is surrounded by water, mountains and forests. The futuristic Space Needle is the city’s most iconic landmark. Seattle also features a variety of museums and festivals.

Why I’m Visiting

The beauty of the PNW lures me to this busy city. The art culture is huge in Seattle, which hosts 100 annual festivals and houses 200 art galleries.

Your Adventure List

How many of these cities on my list have you visited? What did you enjoy most while there?

And do you have an adventure list? I’d love to know what experiences are on it!

15 Cities on My Adventure List Seattle


Click photo to order Adventure Tee

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Year of the Wild Woman Review

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It’s the end of the year and the start of a new one. Unbelievably, the pandemic continues. In spite of that fact, 2021 brought many incredible experiences and opportunities. 

Check out Year of the Wild Woman Review, to see what 2021 taught me.

Year of the Wild Woman Review title meme

Year of the Wild Woman

This year I embarked on a journey to unleash my inner wild woman. The moon was my symbol for 2021 and “This Girl is on Fire” my song. The books Untamed by Glennon Doyle and Women Who Run with Wolves provided valuable information and guidance.

Stated simply, becoming a wild woman is more about living out of my untamed heart than living in an unruly, out of control way. All of our hearts start out innocent, pure and untamed. As we grow into adulthood, we allow ourselves to become domesticated for a variety of reasons. The primary one, for me, was so that I would not disappoint others’ expectations of me.

Reconnecting with the wild woman within reconnected me as well with my truest self. That freedom to be me shifted my whole world, from my business life to my relationships to my personal life.

My Business Life

Interestingly, unleashing the wild woman within helped me to narrow down my niche in Cindy Goes Beyond, especially on social media. What I offer to others is the tagline I adopted several years ago. I help people live life beyond the edges…of fears, comfort zones and limiting beliefs. I do that by encouraging them to live as their truest, most authentic wild selves, by my example and via my writing. Right now that manifests as inspirational, motivational posts and travel posts.

On social media, I almost exclusively focus on travel as that is how I best go beyond and discover new experiences to try.

It’s no surprise to me that my top post for 2021 was The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. It continues to bring in new readers every day and the Challenge scratch off book is foundational to this Year of Adventure.

Year of the Wild Woman Review solo
Year of the Wild Woman Review – Adventure Challenge

Collaboration Opportunities

Knowing what I want to offer to others helped me to also narrow down what brands and companies I work with. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working with a wide variety of brands initially. It’s good experience and I learned much about how to create good content.

Last year I became more selective about working with brands that closely align with who I am and the direction I’m heading. As a result, I turn down many more opportunities than I accept. Doing so, however, strengthens my own brand and attracts companies and readers that are in alignment with me.

Two of my favorite paid campaigns this year: Missouri Tourism and Splendid Spoon, a plant based meal delivery box.

The success of 2021 encourages me to really challenge myself for 2022. I’m no longer timid about reaching out to collaborate with brands that I align with. And I’m excited to already have several collaborations lined up for this year.

Year of the Wild Woman Review missouri
Year of the Wild Woman Review – paid campaign with Missouri Tourism

A Greater Focus on Instagram

The majority of collaborations come to me via Instagram, encouraging me to focus on that social media site in 2021. I began the year taking a class that helped me tremendously.

If you want to learn more about working with brands and building a genuine Instagram account, I highly recommend Insta Success by Christine McEvoy. Bonuses from taking the course, beyond the vast improvement in my Instagram work, are: the course continues to update with new, pertinent info (such as creating Instagram Reels) AND there is an extremely supportive Facebook group.

While the course focuses on the travel niche, the class is helpful for anyone who wants to build a successful Instagram account and work with brands.

The Insta Success Masterclass is free. Click this LINK.

Or enroll in the Insta Success course HERE. The lessons are all available online and you can move through them at your own pace. Plus Christine offers a convenient payment plan, making this course affordable for everyone.

Please, if you enroll in either class, type in my name in the referral box at check out.

Year of the Wild Woman Review splendid
Year of the Wild Woman Review – Splendid Spoon

Favorite Experiences as a Blogger

My favorite experiences this year involved travel. I chose to stay in the US, while the pandemic continues. However, I am discovering wonderful places to explore here.

The solo trip to Charleston is definitely the highlight of the 2021. It was my first big solo travel experience, to a city I’ve never visited before. I not only learned I can handle solo travel, I enjoyed everything about the experience. That trip is paving the way for many more solo adventures.

I also enjoyed a solo weekend in nearby Springfield, Missouri and day trips to places in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Year of the Wild Woman Review charleston
Year of the Wild Woman Review – solo trip to Charleston

My Personal Life

The Year of the Wild Woman changed me…or rather, it allowed me to become myself in deeper ways.

I spent much time delving into the experiences I enjoyed as a child, for therein lies clues about who I am made to be.

It’s not a big surprise to me to discover that I am, indeed, a solitary person. I love people and enjoy spending time with family and friends. And…I adore spending time alone. As a child, fear drew me away from my true self. Fear caused me to seek out others because I was afraid when I was alone.

I am no longer afraid.

And that brings me the freedom to explore new cities or new regions in my heart, on my own.

The trip to Charleston was so much more than a travel blogger’s dream. It was an important trip that allowed me to fully embrace solo travel and fully cater to that part of me that craves solitude. I loved every moment of that trip. And, for this year, I have a list of cities that I’d love to experience as a solo traveler. I’m excited to see which of the 15 manifest as trips in 2022. Two are already planned, with comped stays. I am grateful.

Year of the Wild Woman Review sunnies
Year of the Wild Woman Review – in Charleston

Becoming Untamed…and Adventurous

During 2021 I also learned to listen to the quiet voice of my heart and follow the deep knowing there. I used challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. I updated my manifesto. And I continue to honor the woman I am and the woman I am becoming while shedding domestication.

Like 2020, 2021 offered unique circumstances and experiences that provided “go with the flow” life lessons that I embraced. The only alternative was resistance and I know that pulls me out of the flow of life and out of alignment with myself.

This year is all about adventure. I’m excited to see where adventure leads me and what I learn as I stay open to all that comes to me.

Thank you for journeying with me. I hope you will enjoy my upcoming adventures and accept encouragement from me to live life beyond the edges…in your own magnificent way.

Year of the Wild Woman Review adventure
2022 – Year of Adventure


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15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure

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Adventure. It’s commonly defined as “an unusual and exciting experience or journey that involves risk.” The word originates from the Latin advenire, meaning “about to happen”. I liken that to anticipation, the feeling of looking forward to what’s about to happen. What better way to experience a sense of adventure?

This is my Year of Adventure. As I look forward to new experiences, journeys and activities, I do so with a keen sense of anticipation. And while I have some of those adventures planned out, I remain open to what unfolds and shows up in my life. Indeed, life itself is a huge adventure.

I love collecting quotes that motivate and encourage. Check out these 15 quotes to inspire adventure, for some of my favorites!

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure title meme

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure

Words are so incredibly powerful. The words we speak are a reflection of the thoughts we think. They inspire action. It becomes crucial that we not only choose our words carefully but also that we monitor our thoughts.

Affirmations are one way to bring the power of words into our lives. Another is through writing out or speaking aloud quotes that align with who we are…or the person we are becoming.

Hoping for adventures this year? Add these quotes to your collection of inspiring words.

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” Amelia Earhart

Wisdom from the queen of adventure herself. Amelia saw adventure as a worthy pursuit. For her, it was a way of life.

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey

This is one of my guiding quotes for 2022.  To live the biggest adventure I intend to live out of my dreams. That means I need to know what they are. For me, the life of my dreams involves adventures in the form of travel, taking my children and grandchildren on trips, trying new experiences and living fully as myself.

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an adventure is about to happen.” Winnie the Pooh (AA Milne)

This quote from Winnie the Pooh makes me smile. When I travel, I always take along my walking boots. Because they take up a great deal of room in my carry on, I wear them during my flight. I love that thrill of excitement I feel when I pull on my boots, grab my suitcase handle and head out on an adventure.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure boots
15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure – booting up

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” JRR Tolkien

An appropriate quote, on the professor’s birthday. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books and movies have greatly impacted my life and helped create my longing for adventure.

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” TS Eliot

These words inspire me to keep going beyond. How far can I go, if I refuse to take the risk of stepping beyond my comfort zone?

“You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong.” Sue Fitzmaurice

I understand the truth of these words every time I visit Edinburgh, Scotland. More than any other place in the world, it feels like home to me there. I belong.

More recently, I discovered more about where I belong when I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina on my own. For this stage in my life, solo travel brings me deeply into who I am.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure dream
15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure – Dean Village, Edinburgh, Scotland

“I hope you see things that startle you…feel things that you never felt before…meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” Eric Roth

One of my favorite things is shifting my perspectives as a result of travels and adventures. I expand my views about myself and the world when I go on adventures that push me beyond my limited beliefs.

“Adventure isn’t hanging off a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life.” John Amat

Risky activities such as mountain climbing or jumping out of a plane aren’t the only adventures worth having. The greatest adventure is learning to see life differently and respond accordingly. Challenges become the classrooms that we learn and grow in.

“A woman practices the art of adventure when she breaks the chain of routine and renews her life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” Wilfred Peterson

Pronouns in above quote changed from masculine to feminine.

Do you see the connection between adventures and new experiences? Breaking out of routines and trying new things is the catalyst for fresh adventures.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure - wonder
15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure – first time to see this chapel in the woods

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I want a no regrets life. How sad to get to the end of life without really living it. I am reaching out eagerly and without fear.

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered .” GK Chesterton

I love this switch in attitude, this adjustment in perspective. What a great question to ask myself: “Is this an inconvenience…or an adventure?”

“Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.” Viggo Mortensen

I’m in this category, with Viggo. I realize how short life is and I too don’t want to waste a moment of it. It’s become so important to pursue the things I enjoy and choose the experiences I desire.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure the grave
15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure – adventure while I can

“Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.” Ewan McGregor

These words remind me to stay open to wonder, possibilities and opportunities. While I am seeking adventure, adventure is seeking me.

“Why do you go away? So you can come back. So you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett

Adventures change us, expands us. We come back different people than those who left. And we bring fresh perspectives back with us, shifting the way we view our own communities and neighborhoods. People see us differently as well.

“Don’t let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It’s your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don’t let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality, not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is more to life than following another’s prescribed path. There’s so much more to life than what you are experiencing right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.” Roy T Bennett

I love how the words progress from freeing yourself from the expectations of others, to breaking people pleasing tendencies, to living the life you decide to live…and ending with a single word: adventure. Freedom from what others think leads to freedom to see life as an adventure.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure follow
15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure – follow your own path

Do You have a favorite adventure quote?

This promises to be an exciting and fun year of adventures and continuing to live life beyond the edges.

Which of the above quotes inspires you?

And do you have a favorite adventure quote? Share it in the comments below.

15 Quotes to Inspire Adventure curiosity


Travel Quotes for the Wanderer


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Create Happiness in 2022

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A dozen years ago, I bought myself a wooden sign to hang on my wall. It served as an important reminder of a truth I sought to embrace.

“Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances.”

During that challenging time, as I released all that was not me, faced down fears and accepted myself completely, I discovered much about happiness. I learned what it is…my responsibility and my creation…and what it isn’t…found outside myself.

And while creating happiness looks a bit different for everyone, there are habits we can cultivate that fill us up with our own specific brand of happy. It is possible to create happiness in 2022.

Create Happiness in 2022 title meme

Create Happiness in 2022

Do you expect others to make you happy? Or do you take responsibility for your own joy and happiness, just as you do your health and wellness?

It’s easy to blame unhappiness on others or on circumstances. A romantic relationship shifts, illness strikes, the promotion goes to someone else, a friend disappoints, we lose a pet or a family member. Our joy dwindles away. Happiness becomes an elusive thing that taunts us.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

When we take responsibility for our own happiness, we discover that we are able to make choices that release others from the burden of making us happy. We find that our responses to challenging times change. Sadness, anger, and a host of other emotions still arise occasionally, however we are no longer defined by them. Our happiness remains at our core, deep, sustaining and unmovable.

Shifting from unhappy to happy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an intentional journey. The following habits cultivate it and help happiness to bloom into a magnificent way of being.

Practice Gratitude

Regularly expressing gratitude is a life changer. It’s the foundation for joy and happiness. Start small, if this is a new practice. Write or speak aloud a gratitude from the day, every evening before sleeping. A daily gratitude practice has the power to transform perspectives and raise awareness. We see how much we have to express gratitude for.

Seize the Moment

Let go of the past and refuse to dwell on it, replay it or create internal conversations about it. Doing so is such a waste of energy and contributes to feelings of regret and unhappiness.

It’s equally unproductive to worry about the future. That creates anxiety, another drain on energy and wellbeing. It’s fine and even desirable to make plans or set goals for the future. Fretting about what might happen erodes happiness.

Learn to stay present in the moment. Use meditation or a word (I use the word “adsum“) to gently bring yourself back to the present. Savor the moments. Look for the good.

Keep a Journal

Free write, record your thoughts, list the things that make you smile, jot down dreams, hopes and intentions. Capture the moments that made you feel good. The end of the year is the perfect time to read back through your writings and recognize all the blessings in your life.

If a blank page in a journal seems intimidating, try a guided journal, such as Get Untamed The Journal by Glennon Doyle.

Create Happiness in 2022 journal
Create Happiness in 2022 – journal

Walk in Nature

Walking in nature reduces anger, fear and stress while increasing joy and happiness. A Finnish study found that people felt restored and happier after a short 15 minute walk through a forest.

Check out the health benefits as well HERE.

Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends

The last two years changed the way many of us connect with family and friends. It’s important, for us and for our loved ones, to spend time together even if those connections are through Zoom calls, FaceTime, phone calls or texts. Spending time with people we care about releases the feel good hormone dopamine.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Yep, people who eat more fruits and veggies experience greater happiness, studies in Germany and Australia found. They also possess higher levels of life satisfaction and mental wellbeing. Including more fruits and veggies improves overall health, and when we feel better, we feel happier.

After many years of experiencing chronic pain and a host of ailments, switching to a plant based diet created a level of health that I had never experienced before. As a result, I often feel euphoric. This, I realized, is what healthy feels like…and I love it.

Create Happiness in 2022 fruits and veggies
Create Happiness in 2022 – eat more fruits and veggies

Take Care of You

Connected to eating better, is taking excellent care of yourself. Self care contributes to wellbeing and health, which boosts happiness. Self care includes downtime, learning how to soothe yourself, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and using positive, kind words in inner dialogues and when talking about yourself. And, don’t compare yourself to others or to what others post on social media.

Practice Acts of Kindness

Doing good for others not only benefits the receiver, it benefits the giver as well. Acts of kindness release serotonin, another feel good hormone. Serotonin does amazing things for the body, stabilizing mood and producing feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

Make a list of acts of kindness, such as paying for a coffee for the person behind you in line, complimenting a stranger, helping a young mother load groceries in the car or picking up trash at a park. Raising your awareness about possible ways to spread kindness increases the potential for carrying out such acts.

Create Rituals that Support You

Find comforting, pleasing rituals that make you smile. These might be as simple as putting a fresh glass of water by your bed at night to a whole morning routine. One of my favorite rituals that makes me smile is opening the blinds on my windows every morning, to let the light in. Another is afternoon tea time, no matter where I am.

Create Happiness in 2022 rituals
Create Happiness in 2022 – one of my daily rituals…afternoon tea


Physically smiling raises mood. When we smile, the brain releases neuropeptides that reduce stress. And then those happiness hormones…dopamine, serotonin and endorphins get released as well. Studies show that even forcing a smile boosts mood and happiness levels. Add to your happiness by smiling at others and saying “hello”!

See the Bigger Picture

Even happy people experience challenges. What they learn, however, is that challenging times don’t last. And growth typically happens as we journey through them.

Learn to step back and broaden your view. What can you learn during this time? Remind yourself that this difficulty will pass, leaving you wiser and more resilient. Do as I did and hang a visual reminder that happiness is not dependent on circumstances. Use affirmations, prayer, positive self talk, intense self care or meditation to help you gain a bigger perspective of the situation. Especially during challenges, allow yourself to find moments of joy.

Read Widely

The people of Iceland are considered some of the most cheerful people on earth. One reason is due to their love of reading. Reykjavik is a UNESCO City of Literature.

Scientifically, reading is similar to meditation. It puts our brains into a pleasant trance-like state that promotes relaxation and calmness. Those who read often experience better sleep, lower stress, higher self esteem and greater happiness than those who don’t read. And, reading opens the mind to broader perspectives and fires up the imagination.

A few of my favorite books: Untamed, Loving What Is, The Untethered Soul, Eat, Pray Love.

Pursue Dreams and Goals

Taking responsibility for your own happiness allows you discover what you most enjoy doing and what dreams and goals you want to pursue. By not relying on others for happiness, you can get clear on what it is that you want.

Want to write a book? Learn the steps to get that story published. Is travel what lights up your heart? Go…even if you go alone. Don’t waste a moment of your time doing things that don’t bring you joy. Feed your happiness.

A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I had a terminal illness. I’m a lucid dreamer and could have changed the dream or “healed” myself but I chose to go with it. In the dream I decided I didn’t want to spend a moment of my precious remaining time doing anything other than what was most important to me. I said “no” to things that didn’t align with me and “yes” to the things that did. I awoke thinking “Ohhh….that’s what the dream was really about…staying in alignment with what I most want to do.”

In reality, our time on earth IS limited. Do the thing. Don’t wait.

Create Happiness in 2022 do what you want to do
Create Happiness in 2022 – a solo trip to Charleston, one of the things I wanted to do…and did in 2021

How Will You Create Happiness in 2022?

In spite of the unusual challenges of the last two years, do you feel anticipation for 2022? Is cultivating your own happiness high on your list of intentions for the new year?

I continue to cultivate my own happiness after making shifts 12 years ago. It’s an ongoing journey. Am I happier? Yes. Do I still experience challenges occasionally and move more deeply into the practices listed above to go beyond? Yes.

I’m excited about 2022. It’s my Year of Adventure and I remain open and optimistic about where those adventures will lead me and how my happiness will continue to expand.

Which happiness habits do you practice? And which ones do you want to incorporate into your life?

Create Happiness in 2022 happy


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Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri

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During these past two years, with travel more restricted due to the pandemic, I’ve discovered that adventures are literally everywhere. I don’t have to travel far to find fun places to explore.

On a recent solo getaway weekend, my destination lay 75 miles east of my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Springfield is a big, sprawling city that offers many fun experiences. For this weekend, I chose a part of the city that I didn’t even know existed.

Come explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri and see why I enjoyed my weekend so much!

Explore Historic C Street title meme

Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri

C Street is what the locals call Commercial Street, in northern Springfield. This six block historical section of the city is home to coffee shops, a variety of restaurants and charming stores. It’s an oasis with a small town feel, in the midst of a big city.

My weekend here, with Culture Boutique Hotel as my home base, included doing an Adventure Challenge. The challenge was to explore in a new area, visit a restaurant and a museum or shop, and then create a fresh narrative about that place.

While I explored C Street, I created a story about this charming and delightful small town, in the shadow of a much larger one. Because those six blocks lined with 1870s and 1880s buildings reminded me of a thriving downtown in a small community.

When I later researched C Street, I discovered my made up narrative was actually the truth. Commercial Street used to be the hub of a small town, North Springfield.

Historic C Street shops
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – shops and restaurants
Explore Historic C Street downtown feel
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri with its downtown feel

The Origins of C Street

In 1870, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad came into the area. It bypassed the town of Springfield and laid tracks north, to the new community of North Springfield, established with the purpose of attracting the railroad.

A commercial district grew around the train depot and Commercial Street was born.

Many Springfield businesses moved to the new district, catering to the railroad personnel, inhabitants and travelers. Bars, restaurants, hotels and shops opened. Commercial Street was THE place to go for good food, unique shops and music.

North Springfield became a part of Springfield in 1887. The area continued to thrive until the 1960s. When rail travel declined, the population and businesses shifted south.

The Commercial Club, found in 1928, fueled interest in revitalizing the area. The street was designated a historic district in 1978 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Today it is once again a thriving area favored by artists, craftsmen, teachers, students and businesses.

Explore Historic C Street art
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – street art

Explore the Restaurants on C Street

You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food joints on C Street. Savor a meal in one of the area’s fine restaurants. From local flavors to ethnic foods, coffee or tea to breweries, C Street is a delight for the culinary adventurer.

The Artisan Oven 206 East Commercial – offering breads, pastries, desserts, coffee and tea and breakfast and lunch.

Basilico Italian Café 306 East Commercial – offering Italian food for lunch and supper.

Big Momma’s 217 East Commercial – offering coffee and tea and soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Café Cusco 2234 East Commercial – offering Peruvian inspired meals for lunch and supper. (Read my review of Café Cusco HERE). Reservation required.

Eurasia Coffee and Tea 445 East Commercial – offering casual dining for breakfast, lunch and supper plus coffee and teas. This café is part of Culture Boutique Hotel and open to the public.

Gilmore’s Tea Room 211 East Commercial – offering a variety of teas and sweet treats plus lunch.

La Habana Vieja 220 West Commercial – offering authentic Cuban cuisine for lunch and supper.

Linberg’s Tavern 318 West Commercial – the oldest tavern in Springfield offers drinks and meals from noon until midnight.

Pizza House 312 East Commercial – offers hand rolled, thin crust pizza from 11:00 until 9:00

Ruthie’s on C Street 504 East Commercial – offering soups, sandwiches, drinks and live music.

That Lebanese Place 338 East Commercial – offering authentic Lebanese food for lunch and supper.

Van Gogh’s Eeterie  334 East Commercial – offers Dutch inspired food for breakfast, lunch and supper. Reservation required.


Moon City Pub 420 West Commercial – offers craft beers and cocktails plus gourmet soft pretzels and live music

Q Enoteca 308 West Commercial – offering wine, craft beers and appetizers.

White River Brewing Company 505 West Commercial – offering beers and live music.

Creating Adventure cafe cusco 2
Café Cusco, serving delicious Peruvian food.

Explore the Shops on C Street

A variety of unique and fun shops await the visitor to C Street. I love that it’s easy to walk this six block area and discover so many interesting places to explore.

I share just a sampling of what’s available on historic C Street.

Askinosie Chocolate  514 East Commercial – offering award winning, made from scratch chocolates.

Chabom Teas & Spices 209 East Commercial – offering a wide variety of spices and spice mixes plus teas and tea blends.

Cymphony’s on C Street 426 West Commercial – offering unique clothing and treasures.

Footbridge Trading Company 320 East Commercial – offering unique gifts from local artisans.

Gypsy Girl Junk 225 West Commercial – offering vintage and flea market type finds.

Hakaar’s Bazaar 217 West Commercial – offering vintage furniture, decor and lots of fun stuff.

Ms Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase 211 East Commercial – located in the same shop as Gilmore’s Tea Room, this fun space offers clothing, new merchandise, collectibles and antiques.

Springfield Mercantile Co 326 East Commercial – offering natural home goods for a simple, sustainable lifestyle with zero waste.

A Wench in Gear 301 East Commercial – offering upcycled, sustainable corsets and clothing.

Although it is closed for the season, The C Street City Market, 321 East Commercial, offers local produce, soaps, baked goods, herbal tinctures and salves, gifts, jewelry and so much more, from April until October.

Explore Historic C Street mercantile
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – Springfield Mercantile Co
Explore Historic C Street tea market
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – Chabom Teas and Spices

My Experience on C Street

I am so grateful that I ended up on C Street, for my solo getaway weekend.

I parked my car at the hotel and didn’t get in it again until I headed home. Within walking distance of the hotel are all the restaurants and shops I wanted to explore. I enjoyed breakfasts and suppers at Eurasia Coffee and Tea. Plus my first experience with Peruvian food happened at Café Cusco when I dined there for lunch on Saturday.

And I loved my leisurely explorations in the eclectic shops.

One of my favorite experiences was afternoon tea at Ms Gilmore’s. I seriously could spend an entire day wandering around that two story shop and the tea was delightful.

I look forward to another trip to historic C Street. One visit is not enough to see all that there is to see! I appreciate the warm, close knit community and all that it offers.

Are you ready to explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri?

Explore Historic C Street tea room
Alice in Wonderland inspired tea room in Ms Gilmore’s.


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Creating Adventure

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With less than a month until my 64th birthday, I’m ticking off the activities on my list of 64 wild things to do. During this time between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, I’m delving deeply into adventure. This is good! Adventure is my word and theme for next year and this in between time is prepping me for the new year it seems.

I am creating adventure. How you ask? I’m breaking out of routines, thinking about experiences rather than material things, dreaming big, putting action with my dreams and learning that truly, adventure is everywhere. And, I’ll allowing myself to be guided, invited and inspired.

Check out the first post in the birthday series HERE, for an explanation of this fun, ongoing celebration.

Creating Adventure title meme

11/30/21 Have My Daughter-in-Law Create T-Shirts I Design (in process…I have one more shirt to design before Megan can create my tees.)

12/1/21 Email Pitch to Honolulu + Accommodations (in process)

12/2/21 Eat at a New to Me Restaurant (completed)

I completed this activity while on my solo getaway weekend in Springfield, Missouri. I chose Café Cusco, a Peruvian restaurant near my accommodations. My meal…vegan sweet potato noodle stir fry…tasted amazing! A few drops of their house hot sauce added to the outstanding flavor of the veggies and noodles. How fun to experience Café Cusco and Peruvian food for the first time.

Creating Adventure cafe cusco meal
Creating Adventure – Café Cusco meal.

12/3/21 Plan an Alleyway Garden (in process)

12/4/21 Watch an Adventure Documentary (not completed although I’ve selected “Expedition Happiness” to watch)

12/5/21 Reconnect with Tai Chi (in process)

Years ago, I took Tai Chi lessons with a local instructor. I loved those lessons in moving meditation….until my legs could no longer keep up with my desire to continue. Pain stopped the Tai Chi. Although I am healing, and no longer in intense pain, my legs remain more stiff than I’d like. One of my goals for 2022 is to strengthen my legs and create greater flexibility.

I expressed a desire to return to my Tai Chi practice. The next day, I received an invitation on Facebook from an instructor in the UK who offers free daily Tai Chi lessons. I accepted that invitation! Check out the page if you are interested as well.

Creating Adventure tai chi
Creating Adventure – Tai Chi

12/6/21 Research Things to Do in Providence, Rhode Island (completed)

Providence is on my list of 15 cities I most want to visit!

12/7/21 Research Things to Do in Tempe, Arizona

Tempe is also on my list of 15 cities I most want to visit. I discovered both Providence and Tempe while doing research for Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US. I fit the hipster definition well and feel drawn to exploring these fun cities.

Creating Adventure tempe
Creating Adventure – Learning about Tempe

12/8/21 Email Pitch to San Francisco + Accommodations (in process)

12/9/21 Send Thank You Notes/Emails to Inspiring Wild Women (in process)

12/10/21 Research Things to Do in Boston (completed)

This city is high on my list of places I want to explore! Historical Boston offers so many fun things to do. My list is long.

Creating Adventure boston
Creating Adventure – Boston

12/11/21 Create Adventure Artwork for 2022 (in process…this art represents my symbol for next year, the VW van.)

12/12/21 Email Pitch to Carmel By the Sea + Accommodations (in process)

12/13/21 Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights (completed)

It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed this seasonal activity. Greg and I drove to Carthage, Missouri on a mild evening, taking in the festive light displays there. I snapped a photo of a cute display on the historic courthouse lawn, then we walked through the light tunnel, off of the square. We also walked through Carthage Central Park. Thousands of lights adorn the trees, making it a magical experience.

Creating Adventure christmas lights
Creating Adventure – Christmas Lights

12/14/21 Do the 30 Day Instagram Reel Challenge (scheduled to begin January 1, 2022)

Reels are an excellent way to grow an Instagram account. I’ve been reluctant, however, to create them as consistently as I should. This challenge is a fun way to get me in Reel creative mode. You can join the challenge HERE.

Adventure is Calling

And I am answering that call!

Have you heard the expression that what you focus on expands? As I am focusing on 2022, my Year of Adventure, adventures are flowing to me. I’m an active participant in creating adventure by not just waiting for it to find me but by planning and taking action steps and also by remaining open to those surprise opportunities that arrive as invitations.

Additionally, I’m discovering that adventures are everywhere. Although I love international travel, I’m also exploring in my own area and enjoying those experiences.

I’m loving the Year of Adventure already.

What are you focusing on, for 2022?

Creating Adventure cafe cusco 2
Café Cusco, serving delicious Peruvian food.


Click photo to order shirt.



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Culture Boutique Hotel A Unique Place to Stay in Springfield Missouri

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One of my yearly personal traditions, as I move toward my January birthday, is a solo getaway weekend. Going off by myself allows me to reflect on the past year and dream big for the upcoming one. Typically, I find a place to stay a short distance from home, so as not to use up time traveling. Last year, due to COVID, I stayed home and created a staycation in my room.

This year, through a series of synchronicities, the most amazing and fun place showed up, within 80 miles of home. Culture Boutique Hotel, a unique place to stay in Springfield Missouri, perfectly checked all my boxes and allowed me a weekend of restoration, planning, playing and exploring.

Culture Boutique Hotel title meme

C-Street in Springfield

Springfield, Missouri lies 75 miles east of my hometown of Joplin, making it ideal for my getaway weekend. It’s an easy drive up I-44. This sprawling city of 167,000 offers many exciting events and experiences. However, I tend to visit smaller, more artsy towns for my getaways. I love to surround myself with charm, beauty or the out-of-the-ordinary as inspiration for planning a new year.

Culture Boutique Hotel sits at the corner of Benton Avenue and Commercial Street in Springfield, called C-Street by the locals. This six block historical section of the city is home to coffee shops, a variety of restaurants and charming small stores. It’s an oasis with a small town feel, in the midst of a big city. I’ll be sharing more about this lively community in an upcoming post.

The hotel’s location appealed to me. Although I spend most of my time in my accommodations during my getaway, C-Street offered opportunities to experience a Peruvian lunch, enjoy an afternoon tea and explore shops.

The biggest draw for me, however, was the hotel itself. The more I read about it, the stronger my desire became to spend the weekend there.

Culture Boutique Hotel end photo
Side view of Culture Boutique Hotel on C Street

Culture Boutique Hotel

This unique hotel offers six themed suites for guests, in a 1880s two story building converted into accommodations, a café and a meeting room called the Fireside Gallery. Each suite is inspired by a city in Eurasia. The accommodations showcase furnishings and features made from reclaimed and repurposed materials from the original building. The rooms are spacious, exceptionally clean and comfortable, with a beautiful, minimalistic feel.

The suites are:

  • Jaipur, India
  • Pokhara, Nepal
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Tallinn, Estonia

Each suite offers a kitchenette with mini fridge, Eurasia Coffee Co coffee, electric kettle and microwave, cable tv + wifi and king sized COMFY beds. Some suites also provide a whirlpool tub. All are decorated with art and décor from the cities whose name they bear.

Culture Boutique Hotel lobby
Culture Boutique Hotel – entrance and sitting area

Eurasia Coffee Co

The café, Eurasia Coffee Co is located on the first floor, while all of the suites are upstairs. This popular gathering spot serves Eurasia Coffee Co coffee and drinks. smoothies, bakery treats and breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. They have vegan options.

This casual café is ideal for grabbing a meal, working on the laptop while sipping a coffee or tea and carrying goodies up to the room to enjoy later.

I ate dinner here both nights and carried chia pudding, made with coconut milk and fresh berries, up to my room for breakfast each morning. I also snagged scones to enjoy with hot tea in my room.

Culture Boutique Hotel cafe
Eurasia Coffee Co – onsite café

Fireside Gallery Meeting Room

This multi-purpose space provides two meeting rooms, seating for up to 35 people and catering upon request. It is perfect for showers, business meetings, photoshoots and family gatherings.

This cozy space was in use all day Saturday, by at least two different groups. I snapped a phot Friday afternoon, right after I arrived.

Culture Boutique Hotel fireside gallery
Fireside Gallery

The Story Behind Culture Boutique Hotel

Justin Beiler founded Eurasia Coffee & Tea Co, initially selling products to local businesses and churches. He gave 10% of sales to support projects in Eurasia, including healthcare and education and causes that fight against modern slavery and poverty.

Justin met his wife, Karen, in 2013. Both were raised as missionary kids…Karen in Japan and Justin in Austria. Justin’s parents serve as area directors for Assemblies of God missionaries in the Eurasia region.

The two married in 2015 and opened the café the same year, in the building on Commercial Street that Justin purchased in 2011. The Frisco Opera House originally occupied the brick structure, built in 1882. The building changed ownership over the years, becoming a boarding house, a drug store and a mattress shop, among other things.

The Beilers wanted to make use of the building, in a unique way that honors their connection to the Eurasia region and highlights the social justice projects there. Culture Boutique Hotel is the wonderful result. Staying at the hotel is a cultural event indeed that promotes good in the world, as well as providing a comfortable and interesting experience.

Culture Boutique Hotel eurasia
Culture Boutique Hotel – such a fun view from the elevator, of a map of the Eurasia region. I smiled every time the elevator doors opened.

My Experience at Culture Boutique Hotel

I arrived by car on a Friday afternoon and left Sunday morning.

I stayed in the Tallinn, Estonia suite. On Saturday I chatted with Justin and got a peek into a couple of other rooms. He shared that the Tallinn suite occupies the space of the former opera stage. Standing together in the hallway, he painted a picture of what the building looked like then, with its wide staircase leading up to the opera house. Later, when the boarding house occupied the building, a kitchen and bathrooms for the boarders filled the space where my suite now exists. As a history buff, I like knowing those stories.

Tallinn is the largest suite, being at the back of the building. I felt charmed as soon as I opened the door. Truly, with its kitchenette, dining and living areas, huge bathroom with shower and jacuzzi tub and spacious bedroom, the suite feels more like an apartment. Large skylights in the living room and bedroom provide natural light. I loved the bright space. Art representing Estonia hung on the walls and repurposed wood finishes and furniture create an inviting, homey atmosphere.

My suite included a sofa with a chaise lounge at the end and a small electric fireplace. I spent most of my time in that spot! Hallmark Christmas movies played on the wall mounted tv as I worked on projects, wrote in my journal and dreamed dreams.

Plus I appreciated the kitchenette AND the café downstairs. Both made my stay perfect.

Culture Boutique Hotel suite
Tallinn Suite at Culture Boutique Hotel

Book Your Stay

I loved everything about my stay at Culture Boutique Hotel, located at 445 E. Commercial Street, Springfield. The weekend restored me, allowed me important downtime and a chance to experience new things, which is always a bonus for me.

Watch for my post next week on C-Street and fun things to do there.

Whether you are traveling through the area and want a unique place to stay…or live in the Springfield/Joplin/NW Arkansas area and desire a couples, solo or mother/daughter weekend, consider Culture Boutique Hotel! Cookie cutter hotel rooms are plentiful. Unique, historical places with heart and soul impart more than comfort. I felt supported and inspired, both creatively, physically and spiritually. I lay in bed each night, wondering about the people who lived and worked here, in the building and the community. The experience fired up my imagination, my curiosity and my compassion.

Are you looking for such a place? Check out Culture’s website HERE for details on reservations, rates and check in/check out times.

I’m looking forward to a return visit. I want to try a new suite, featuring a different city! Perhaps eventually, I experience all six.

On an Adventure
I love going on adventures!

Read More:

My getaway weekend was one of my 64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday activities. Read more HERE.


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