To stay or not to stay? That is the question.
For our children vacations centered upon travel to grandparents. One set lived close and we saw them regularly. The other grandparents were 900 plus miles away. Some trips consisted of jumping in the car with overnight bags and off we went. Sometimes we made a day trip to St. Louis for the zoo and other times we visited Southeast Missouri sights such as Johnson’s Shut-Ins and Elephant Rocks.
The 900 mile trek was another story. This took planning for a 10-to-14-day vacation. When the children were toddlers, our trip involved two drivers, a station wagon, no overnight stops and a prayer hoping three small children would sleep quietly through the night. As the children reached elementary age, Joe and I wanted our son and daughters to experience more than interstate travel at 70 miles per hour. We began planning our trips and routes to give the children more than boring seat time.
We purchased a used RV. We camped along the route with plans for fun and educational experiences. How did we know where to visit? These were the beginning days of the Travel channel: post encyclopedia and pre-internet. We scanned our television for sights to see and places to camp. As a result, we learned about ferries, gardens, battlefields and breathtaking scenery. We did our Arm Chair Travel via our TV, allowing us to plan our trip and choose those locations we wanted to visit along the way.
Arm Chair Travel is viable today. You may plan your travel using the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library’s extensive travel collection of DVDs, guidebooks, evideo and ebooks in Hoopla and Overdrive (Libby) on your phone, tablet or computer. There are hundreds of physical books available. You have the opportunity to visit your land and neighbors without leaving your home enjoying all that your country has to offer. Or, you may dream of the more exotic lands further away. The experience of those who travel give insight and understanding of your world. A picture does paint a thousand words.
Call your local Chamber. The Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce promotes local tourism and has internet links for local sites. A trip to Wappapello Lake is more than a fishing trip. Besides the beauty of the lake, there is good dining, swimming, recreational sports, nature walks and bird watching. Ozark National Scenic Riverways has Big Spring, 1930s historical buildings, Alley Spring, trails, camping and river sports. Take the spring driving tour. Centrally located, Poplar Bluff encompasses idyllic scenic beauty with landscapes of hills, Mingo and the sweeping agricultural vistas of Southeast Missouri. Spring and summer are perfect for soaking in the warmer air and blooming landscapes on the driving route. Our community is less than a day’s drive with sights and wonders in our backyard. Visit https://visitbutlercountymo.com/virtual-guides/ for local trips.
For the adventurous, fly or take a cruise. Visit your country, go to the Caribbean, drive to Canada or Mexico, or visit countries across the ocean. These trips require you have a passport to board the plane or cross the borders by car. To get your travel documents, visit the library, your post office or court house to apply. These documents are issued by the United States Department of State, assisted by passport agents at these locations. There are fees and forms to fill out. Check with these agencies regarding necessary forms and documents or visit poplarbluff.org. Allow 4-6 weeks before travel for passport delivery. Additional fees apply to expedited documents.
Regardless of your plans, come into the library, visit the library’s website for access to e-resources with your library card, go to the Chamber’s website, and learn more about your travel destination. Plan your travel to see and enjoy. Your opportunities and options are endless.
<i>Sue Crites Szostak is the director of the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library. Contact her at email@example.com .</i>