Category Archives: Road Trip

I Lost My Kids in Disney World

It has taken me months to start this post because of  sheer embarrassment, but if my story can provide insight to someone else…then it is worth sharing.  Last summer we went to Disney World for a family vacation.  My sister had planned the trip from wake-ups to bedtimes and we had the time of our lives.  That would be minus the 15 minutes of terror when I realized I had lost my two kids in the park.

My husband had taken the kids on the train-ride around Magic Kingdom and I was shopping on Main Street.  We were planning to meet at the train stop at the front of the park and continue our day.  When the three of them got to the train stop my husband realized he had left our empty stroller at one of the other train stops and was staying on the train to go back to get it.  The kids came off the train and started walking down the ramp that they thought was going to bring them to me.  As I watched them exit the train I realized that the train exit ramp and the platform I was standing on did not meet in the same location.  Before I could yell to them they were gone.  I ran down a set of stairs hoping it would end where the kids came off the ramp, but the ramp was nowhere in sight and neither were Nicholas and Abby.  I ran around like a maniac trying to find them, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.  I found a young “cast member” (that is what they call the people who work in Disney) and told him I lost my kids.  He didn’t really seem to jump with any urgency and I immediately knew I needed to find someone else to help me.  The next cast member that I found was a woman who immediately sprung into action.  She got on a radio and asked me what the kids looked like.  She assured me that the kids would be found and that they would not get out of the park.  Like a scene out of a movie I watched all of the cast members leap into action…as I kept saying “My son is 5 and my daughter is 3, they are blonde as blonde can be, she is wearing a red and white polka dot dress and he is wearing and black and red Mickey Mouse shirt.”  My heart raced as I cried picturing how scared my babies must have been.  The woman kept me calm by telling me that she lost her own son in the park a little over a week ago and that an undercover cast  member had found him.  I wish I had gotten her name…she knew how it felt to be a mom who was missing her greatest blessing and hugged me as we watched the scene unfold and wait for what seemed like an eternity.  After about 15 minutes I heard a voice say, “We’ve got them.”  I looked at the top of the train platform and ran to the steps to see my scared little ones walking toward me.  They were holding hands and Nicholas (my mamma’s boy) was crying.  I hugged them and never wanted to let go.


I am beyond grateful to the cast members who went above and beyond to find my kids and keep me calm.  I wish I could have thanked them all, but the moment was so overwhelming that by the time I got it together everything had gone back to normal in The Magic Kingdom and they were all scattered about doing their jobs.

When I look back on this I really can’t BlAmE this on anyone.  There was no way any of us could have known that the ramp and stairs didn’t meet up.  It wasn’t like my kids had wondered off and weren’t paying attention…they thought they were walking and meeting me after getting off the train.  What I did learn is that there are things I could have done PriOr to this incident that could have made finding them a little easier.

Before our trip we had purchased tattoos for the kids arms that said, “If lost call XXX-XXX-XXXX.”  Did I have the tattoos on the kids arms that day?  NO!  What good were they doing in our hotel room?!!!  My husband and I also realized we had never had a discussion with the kids telling them what to do if they got lost.  We should have pointed out what cast members look like and told them to find one if they were lost.  Someone else gave me a great suggestion to take a picture of my kids each morning on my phone so that if they are lost you can see exactly what they are wearing in case you forget and you can show the picture to anyone who is helping to find them.  I also found a great idea on Pinterest where you make a bracelet with your phone number on it so that if they are lost someone can call you.  Bottom line…if you ever get into the situation that I was in act fast and find someone who you feel can help you.

I hope you never find yourself in this predicament, but just in case here are some ideas to help others get your kids back to you safely.

Take a Picture of Your

Kids Each Morning


Cell Phone Bracelet


If Lost Tattoo

Website for Safety Tattoo


~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Getting Real, Hard Reality, Junk Drawer, Kid Stuff, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized

Robyn’s Tips for a Disney World Vacation

This past August my entire family went on a 9 day trip to Disney World.  My kids had just turned 5 and 3 and my niece was 3 1/2.  It was the MoSt MaGiCaL time of my life.  There are no words to describe the sheer joy and awe that comes with seeing your children experience the magic of Disney for the first time.  Here is a list of tips that I put together based on my experience at “The Happiest Place on Earth!”


*PLAN AHEAD!!! We had our entire schedule planned out from wake-up through bedtime before we even left for Disney.

*Book all of your meals in advance.

*Bring clear ponchos to put over your stroller if it rains.  They are cheap and fit over single and double strollers.

*Don’t bring ponchos for the kids…they are too big, just pack their raincoat.

*The Hoop Dee Doo Revue is a great show/dinner for a big family trip.

*Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins are going to be characters  in Hollywood Studios. If you do the Hollywood and Vine breakfast they should be characters there along with Special Agent Oso, and Jake from the Neverland Pirates, and Handy Manny.

*FAST PASS EVERYTHING!!! It saves you a ton of time!  Fast passes are available on rides and attractions that have long wait times.  You can take a fast pass ticket and it tells you when to come back and do the attractions with no wait time.

*To see the princesses (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle…sometimes they switch out Sleeping Beauty for Rapunzel) without doing a princess breakfast, you can fast pass the line for the Princesses in Town Square at Magic Kingdom. Right next to this is the same spot to get your picture taken with Mickey and Minnie. Fast Pass them both and get all the pictures there. It is near impossible to get pictures with any of these characters unless you do a breakfast.


*Get to Magic Kingdom a half hour before it opens so you are there for rope drop. The characters come in on the train and fireworks go off…it is AMAZING.


*Right after rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, if you hang out in town square, there are always characters. Mary Poppins was there every morning off to the right along with Snow White. Goofy and Daisy and Pluto were there most days too.

*If you hang out by the Mad Tea Party ride you can find Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit.

*The ONLY way to meet Tinker Bell is to wait on line at Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook (on the right hand side on your way to Adventure Land). Tinker Bell is always there with another fairy. We waited over an hour, but it was worth it!


Pure Magic!

*You can find Peter Pan on the bridge going into Adventure Land right after the character parade that goes down Main Street.

*Make sure you see the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Parade in Magic Kingdom. My kids LOVED it! We went twice a day on some days!

*Pre-purchase your Disney Photo Pass. This is a pass that looks like a credit card. They sell plastic things to keep it in with your park tickets on a lanyard around your neck so that you can access it easily. There are park photographers ALL OVER the place. You ask them to take your picture/family picture and they scan the card.  All of the pictures go onto your Photo Pass account. When you get home you can upload your own photos to this account and make your Disney Memory Album.

*Get a bright colored bandanna and tie it to your stroller. When you get out of an attraction the strollers are sometimes moved around and it makes it really easy to find yours.

*ASK QUESTIONS…Disney employees are extremely knowledgeable and can help you navigate your day through the parks.

*In Hollywood Studios, The Character Department at the Magic of Disney Animation Building is a GOLDMINE for hard to find characters at 5:00.  We were able to get pictures with Pinocchio, The Queen from Snow White, Captain Hook and Smee, Mulan, Goofy, Mary Poppins, Jake, Piglet and Pooh and more!

*Bring your kid’s costumes with you.  There are kids dressed up as Disney Princesses everywhere you look.  My sister and I brought all of our costumes and brought certain ones to the park based on which characters we knew we would see that day.  My son brought his Peter Pan costume and a pirate costume!  It is a lot less expensive to bring the costumes you already own than to buy them in the parks!


Mommy’s little Peter Pan!

*Bring glow-sticks, glow-wands, glow-necklaces, etc. from your local dollar store with you!  The kids can use them at night at the Main Street Electric Light Parade and lots of other nighttime festivities!

*Grab a park map at the entrance of each park.  Not only will you save time knowing where you are going, but they list the character spots and times that they are there so that you don’t have to guess who is in each park for photos.

*If there is a character that you are trying to get a picture with and can’t seem to find, go to guest relations in City Hall on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and ask.  They have a schedule of all of the characters who will be in the park for the day.

*If you are staying in the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks, make sure you have a view of the top of the castle.  Weather permitting…each night the fireworks are started after Tinker Bell flies out of the top of the castle.  If you are staying that late, with kids…it is a MUST SEE!

*If you are planning a family trip or reunion, you can schedule a photography session at The Grand Floridian.  You are paired up with a professional photographer who will take family photos for a half hour.  When you are finished you get to keep all of the photos on disc that can then be uploaded to your Disney PhotoPass account.


Family Portrait Taken at The Grand Floridian



~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Family, Good Life, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized

{Cotton Bowl Baby!}

If you follow our blog you already know that our guys are KaNsAs StAtE WiLdCaT fanatics.  So, when the Cats made it to CoTtOn BowL it was signed, sealed, and delivered that they were going.

Cotton Bowl Ticket

Nothing like grilling a fillet mignon for the tailgate!!

Although the outcome wasn't as the guys had wished (Arkansas won 29-16) they had a great time! They really loved the Cowboys Stadium!!

Can you pick out our guys?! {Doug is directly above the guy in the middle of the pic with a black shirt, orange lanyard, and who is talking on the phone. Scott is to the right of Doug.}

~Robynn & Lara~

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Filed under Good Life, Life, Marriage, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized


Ok, so I really like AnTiQuE shops.  This past weekend I visited some Kansas City shops once again.  This time around I thought I would feature one I enjoyed visiting last time called, “BoTtOmS Up”. 

I like this place for many reasons, one BIG reason is the building it is in:  (There are a lot of other things I really like about this place such as old, industrial furniture taken out of banks, warehouses, factories, etc. to name a few.)

It is the old StOwE HaRdWaRe aNd SuPpLy Co.  How cool is that?

So, you step into this old warehouse and here are the stairs.  (The eLeVaToR isn’t working so enjoy the three flights of steps!)

What an InTrIgUiNg stairwell!

The ChiPpeD paint gives you the feel that this building is really, really old!

That is because it really is oLd!!

I love this tile mOsAic!

Here’s what I would have LoVeD to take home with me had:   1.) I had the room to transport it, 2.) The price was right, AND 3.) I had room for it in my house.

For some reason I am eNamOrEd with old tables.  This one came out of a Westport hardware.

This old table I absolutely loved!!  It came from an oLd sHoP cLaSs and had so many unique characteristics.  I loved the metal legs that bolt to the floor, but most of all, I love that names that had been carved into the wood by students.  (Sorry, I didn’t get a close-up of that – didn’t think of it until after I left.)  What a cool piece to have as an island in your kitchen!

Like the LoCkErS!

Does this flag ReMiNd you of something?  (For those of you who didn’t see that post, I made a homemade flag – similar to this one – around the 4th of July.)

They do have a FiEe EsCaPe.  I had to take this pic for my friends Mark & Marilyn.  (To see Marilyn’s I Am Story, click here.)


Anyone need a BaRn DoOr?

Browse a LiTtLe.

Wouldn’t this make a cool LoFt apartment?

BrOwSe some more.

More cHipPed paint.

So, what was I looking for this time around?  Old caMerAs.  I’m starting a collection of them.  By collection, I mean three or four.   And although I enjoyed my time at Bottoms Up, I hit JaCkPoT at Good Ju Ju.  (For our past Good Ju Ju posts, click here. )

Yet another SuCeSsFuL day of antiquing!



{By The Way}:  If you like antiquing, there is a heap of antique shops in this area of downtown Kansas City.  You can park and walk from shop to shop!


Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA, Road Trip

Country Roads Take Me Home!

In my opinion, there are few things as good for the SouL as a drive in the CoUnTrY.  If you need a break from the rat race or just want a slower pace grab your keys and EnJoY the countryside. 

Need a good song?  John Denver’s, CoUnTrY RoAdS is one song my family and I love to belt out as we do our country cruising.



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Filed under Inspiration, RANDO•RAMA, Road Trip, Videos


My family and I recently vacationed in Colorado and made a stop in HaYs, KaNsAs just off of Interstate 70.  We “DiScOvErEd” this happening little town a year or so ago and have thoroughly enjoyed taking in all it has to offer.

Here’s a little preview of our short visit on a Friday evening:

We did a lot of WiNdOw ShOpPiNg:

ChiLdrEn’s BoUtiQuE.  (I love the old WaGoNs with flowers!)

Very trendy little shops.  CS PoSt & Co.

The PaisLeY PeAr.

The #1 Voted SeMoLiNo Coffee House.

The place was BuZziNg.

They even had LiVe MuSiC.

In fact there seemed to be live music all over downtown including this street CoRnEr.

We love to eat at GeLLa’s DiNer.  Some favorites:  the murals painted on brick walls, home brewed RoOt BeEr and CrEaM sOdA, trendy decor, and of course their kids meals that come in a cardboard retro little car.  (I can’t believe I forgot to get a picture of them!)

Check out this MuRaL, one of many.

I also love this SuNfLoWeR made from road signs.

We’ve been told there are other great eating spots that we want to check out as well.

Right next door to Gella’s is ArTiSt DeNniS ScHiEl’s art studio.  We enjoyed talking with him and looking at his art.  (By the way, if you are looking for some close-up painted art of CoW’s faces check out his work.)  Dennis is one of many artists in Hays.

This town has quite the Historic Downtown.  We intend to visit it more on those long, long trips to Colorado.

This “ArT-sY” little town has a lot going for it.  If you are passing by check it out!!



Filed under RANDO•RAMA, Road Trip

Suede Sofa Makes Road Trip To “Good Ju Ju”

On Friday, June 3rd, Lara and I took a road trip from our home in rural southeast Kansas to Kansas City about 2 hours away.  The purpose:  Shop at “GoOd Ju Ju” an antique shop in downtown Kansas City.  I was specifically looking for a table for my back porch.  Come along on our journey and see what I found!

We’re almost there!!

Lara poses in front of the Good Ju Ju sign as we wait for the doors to OpEn!!

Is that my TaBLe?!

Inside Good Ju Ju its packed with items and PeOpLe!!

What a fun time we had looking around.   (And I bought the blue bench/coffee table).

InTeReStInG FaCt:  Good JuJu is a top 5 FiNaLiSt in KC Magazines “CiTy BeSt” for“BeSt AnTiQuE ShOpPiNg”.   (You can find them on Facebook.)

After we visited Good JuJu we walked down the street and hit some of the other antique shops within walking distance.  What a fun time we had!

So now, for the coffee table:

Before photo of space:

And now for the finished space:

We have already had our first meal out there. I’m sure the first of many.

Happy Antique – ing!!


P.S.  Thanks Cassie for the tip!!


Filed under At Home, Inspiration, Inspire, Pets, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip

Hey Cow!!

S U M M E R  break officially (according to me) begins next weekend and many people are beginning to plan vacations and get-a ways.  If yours includes a road trip, here is a game you can play with your family to make the time go by faster!  My niece, a member of the BaKeR UniVerSitY softball team, told me about this game a couple of days ago and it made me laugh!  She and her teammates play it on their road trips.  The name of the game is “HeY CoW!!”  The object of this game is to yell out your window, “Hey Cow!!” every time you see a cow and see how many cows look at you.  Give yourself a point for each cow that looks your way.  Take turns and see who has tallied the most points by the end of the trip.  That person is the WiNnEr!

Have a favorite game you like to play when traveling?  Mind sharing? Comment below!!

Hello Summer!!


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Filed under Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA, Road Trip