Thursday, May 15, 2014

Travel Across the USA: Home of Superman



Welcome to the beginning of my new Travel Across the USA series!

As I mentioned previously, our family has traveled across the US extensively since the beginning of 2013 due to some life changes. This has given us the unique opportunity to visit many tourist traps sites, some have been fun and amusing, others very educational. I'd like to share some of them with you! Follow along with me...

Our first stop in this series is Metropolis, IL, the Home of Superman...




Destination: Metropolis, IL 



Major Attraction: 15-foot high statue of Superman




Cost: Free

Web links: www.metropolistourism.com

Ideal for: Kids and comic enthusiasts 




What we did: Since we were only driving through, we just hit the main Superman attractions. We got photos with the famous 15-foot tall Superman statue in Superman Square. If you walk a block or two, you’ll find a little shop where you can find some Superman memorabilia. The shop won’t be hard to spot since there’s a smaller flying Superman statue hanging off the side of the building over the Superman-style telephone booth. We also drove a few blocks and found a large chunk of Kryptonite. 





Date of our visit: February 2013

Our thoughts about the area: It was a fun little diversion from driving and took less than an hour to see. If you’re driving through the area and have little boys who are into super heroes, they would definitely enjoy stopping! 




Tips when visiting: Parking is pretty easy to find near the large Superman statue, you can walk to the little shops and attractions from there. RoadsideAmerica.com explains why Metropolis is considered the "Home of Superman".


Other Attractions nearby: 
Super Museum, located at 517 Market St., Metropolis, IL, cost $5.00/adult, children 5 and under are free, www.supermuseum.com

Big John statue located in the parking lot of the Big John grocery store



Directions: If you followed Hwy. 45 (E. 5th St.) off of I-24 on into the town, you will pass right by the Big John statue, just before Yashoda Street in Metropolis. You can find the giant statue of Superman on Market Street, between E. 5th and E. 6th Street. Only 2 minutes away, on the corner of E. 3rd and Ferry Street, you'll find the giant green Kryptonite Rock. 

Map: 



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Guest Bedrooms: The Extras

As mentioned in my post Guest Bedrooms: The Essentials, there are a few things that every guest room should have. To provide extra comfort for your guests, there are a few simple things you can add to your guest room. 




Obviously, the extent to which you can add amenities depends on the size of the space you have available. Remember not to over-crowd the room, you don't want your guests feeling claustrophobic; your guests will need to have space to place their suitcase and belongings. 


Extras for the Guest Bedroom

1. Wifi 
With the technology of today, wifi really should probably be listed on the essential list. However, since one truly can live without it (shocking, I know!), Im listing it here under extras.

Always make sure to provide a wifi password. Sometimes guests may not feel comfortable asking for the password, even if they know you have wifi. Be sure to write down the password in case your guests have multiple devices. If you want to have fun with it, try framing the wifi password and placing it in the room for your guests to see. Or you can purchase a lovely printable like this one from Brittany at Our Wonderful Life.


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2. Bottled water
Providing bottled water will provide your guests with the convenience of not needing to go to the kitchen every time they want a drink. This is especially helpful in the middle of the night.

3. Closet space with extra hangers
A small empty closet in the guest bedroom is ideal. However, if youre not able to provide a fully empty closet, at least try to clean out a 18-24 inch hanging space for your guests to hang clothes or coats. Dont forget to provide extra hangers!

4. Iron and ironing board
If your guest bedroom is spacious enough to house an iron and ironing board or to slip it in the closet, then by all means, provide it! Otherwise, be sure to let your guests know where to find it.

5. 
Chair and/or seating area
If your guest bedroom is spacious enough, its always a nice touch to add a chair or seating area so that your guests have a place to sit other than on the bed.
6. Small table or desk
A well placed small table or desk will provide a space to set up a laptop or attend to personal business your guest may have.

7. Robe hooks 
Adding three or four robe hooks to the back of the door or somewhere else in the room will provide your guest with a space to hang their clothes or towels. It can be frustrating to a guest when there is no where to lay or hang clothes, this often leads to clutter which is further frustrating.

8. Nightlight
Since you generally dont know your guests sleeping preferences, its a good idea to provide a nightlight. Personally, I prefer a dim nightlight so I can see if I need to get up during the night. My kids have a hard time sleeping if they dont have a nightlight. On the other hand, my husband loves a totally dark room for sleeping. So you see, every one is different.

9. Full length mirror
If at all possible, provide your guests with a full length mirror, either in the bedroom or in the bathroom. Your guests will feel much more confident knowing that they have approved their entire outfit in front of a full length mirror, rather than just the top half in a smaller wall mirror. 


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If for some reason youre not able to provide a full length mirror, do be sure to provide some sort of mirror for your guests bedroom. (Its pretty embarrassing to exit the bedroom with chicken hair”, greet your hosts on the way to bathroom, only to realize how dreadful you look once you see yourself in the bathroom mirror!)

10. Empty drawers 
Depending on the length of the stay, guests sometimes prefer to unpack their suitcase and move in for a few days. Providing at least one empty dresser drawer is a thoughtful gesture. 

11. Air freshener spray 
Guests generally prefer to sleep with the bedroom door closed at night. Sometimes, a bedroom will become stuffy by the morning and smell like “morning breath”. To avoid your guests’ embarrassment, it is polite to provide them with an aerosol air freshener. 

I will also note here that, unless it is a very mild scent, the majority of the time “plug in” type air fresheners are too strong for a guest bedroom. We have had more than one occasion in which we have had to unplug the air freshener because it was entirely too overwhelming and giving us a headache. 


Remember: You can make each guest feel special and feel at home by paying special attention to the little details. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Bedrooms: The Essentials

Thanksgiving is only a couple short weeks away and Christmas four weeks later. Visitors are common over these holiday seasons and everyone is making a mad scramble to get their guest room in order.



As stated previously, our family has been traveling across the U.S. staying in many hotels, motels, missions apartments, prophet's chambers, and guest rooms. The guest rooms we've stayed in have been quite varied - some are simply a private bedroom, while others, such as "prophet's chambers" attached to a church, are more like a small apartment complete with a small kitchen and living room area. Obviously, we are very grateful for any type of accommodations! It is always such a blessing to be able to stay in a place where we can relax and feel at home after having traveled for many miles. For my own sake, since I'd like to have a guest room myself some day, I've decided to keep a list of things that are essential for a guest room and also a list of notes and "extras" I could add.

Basic Guest Room

1. Full or queen sized bed
While not an absolute must, a full or queen sized bed is most comfortable for guest. It is difficult for a couple to sleep in a twin bed no matter how in love they might be, unless they each weigh 110 pounds. 

2. Clean, unstained sheets and bedding

No explanation needed here. Be mindful of tears and strange smells that may accompany blankets that have been away in storage.

3. Fluffy pillows and Extra Pillows

Find some other use for the old, matted, lumpy pillows and buy some nice fluffy pillows with medium firmness. My husband likes a firmer pillow, I like soft ones. Some people like extra pillows for support while sleeping. Obviously, not everyone is the same. Providing extra pillows will give the variety needed to suit most any guest. 



4. Extra blankets
Guests may not feel comfortable about asking you to turn up the heat. Providing some extra blankets will assure that they are sufficiently warm during the night. 

5. Night stands

One frustrating thing when sleeping somewhere, albeit a rather minor problem, is to have no place to rest my glasses (I'm blind without them), set a glass of water, or lay my phone (which doubles as an alarm clock). A simple table or night stand beside the bed would solve this dilemma, preferably one for each side of the bed. Nothing fancy is necessary, just a resting place for small personal items. We've stayed in some guest rooms where the host used a small empty dresser as a night stand. This was great because we could also make use of the empty space while staying there!




6. Bedside lamps

It is polite to provide your guests with a bedside lamp or two. This way, they can read or relax in bed and turn out the light when ready without getting out of the warm comfort of the bed to walk across the room to turn out the light. You get the idea.

7. Alarm clock

While many of us use our phones as alarm clocks, there are some who still depend on a trustworthy alarm clock. For this reason, it is always a good idea to provide a small electric alarm clock.

8. Extra plugs for charging electronics

This happens to be another matter of frustration: not enough empty plugs to charge our electronics. While traveling on the road, we depend heavily on our phones for directions and information about the area, not to mention keeping in touch with people. If you are limited on outlets in your guest room, consider purchasing an outlet strip of some sort. We have seen some outlets that include a USB port, which is wonderful for charging our phones!



9. Mirror 

It's just simple courtesy to provide your guests with a mirror that they can use to get ready for the day, preferably full length mirror.

10. Garbage can

Everyone has garbage. Nobody wants to carry it half way through the house on a search for a garbage can. You can find decent garbage cans at the dollar store.

11. Kleenex

We all need them from time to time, it's nice if they are provided for the guests.

12. Fan

As with providing extra blankets in case guests get cold, also provide them with a small fan in case they are too warm in your home. Everyone is used to different temperatures. What may feel great to you, may be entirely way to warm for your guest. Just don't forget to clean the fan before providing it!



Keep in mind that these items are merely the "bare essentials" of the ideal guest room. This list is intended to give you an idea of some things to include in your own guest room and why your guest will find them useful. I will be posting a list soon of "special touches" you can add to make the room even more pleasant.




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Changes and Plans

We have had a change of direction in our family over the past year. As of the beginning of this year, our family has been traveling across the U.S. to various churches trying to raise support and partnership in ministry for the Independent Baptist church we will be starting in Connecticut, Lord willing, next year. 





We have traveled literally thousands of miles and have had the privilege of seeing some unique places we might otherwise never have seen. I've decided to begin a travel series featuring some of the places we've visited.



Also, as we stay in many homes and guest rooms, I have observed many things and would like to share some tips on hospitality and setting up a guest room. 



Because of our travels, I stay very busy and internet access is often sporadic, so for this reason, my blog posts have been and will continue to be somewhat random. I thank you for your patience and faithfulness in visiting my site.

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