Brandon Billinger

Brandon Billinger

Brandon, AKA The Rookie Dad, is a working father of two.  He hails from Kansas City, the heart of the U.S. where it is easy to travel to just about anywhere in the United States. He has traveled the length of I-70 through Kansas and all the way to east coast, and hopes in the near future to travel it to the west coast. He offers tips and tricks for people traveling to the Midwest and believes that it is one of the most under traveled destinations.


Wichita: Your Transportation Museum Hub

It’s known as the Air Capital of the World. While the aviation industry might seem that it is on the decline regarding building aircraft, centrally located Wichita, Kansas is still a hotbed for the industry. Hosting Textron Aviation (formally Beechcraft and Cessna), Learjet, Airbus, and Spirit AeroSystems still operate facilities in Wichita. It all began back in 1917 when Clyde Cessna built the Cessna Comet, the first aircraft built in Wichita. Then in the 1920’s saw the take off of both Beechcraft and Stearman Aircraft and quickly their after the Aeronautical Chamber Of Commerce dubbed Wichita the Air Capital...

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Baseball: Bringing Three Generations Of A Family Together

I am sitting in the front seat of the family Toyota Camry. The roadmap is open with a highlighted route that I had chosen for us to take on our trip to Denver. It was a journey that we had made several times, in fact, once a summer it felt like. There weren’t many different ways from our small town in western Kansas to get to Denver, but we made it a point to take as many routes as we could. Once, even stopping at Amance Internment Camp outside of Granada, Colorado. The reason for our yearly trek to...

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The Plaza Art Fair: Kansas City’s Way To Bring In Fall

240 Artists and three music stages all converge on 55-acres just 4 miles south of downtown Kansas City on the Country Club Plaza. Those 240 artists celebrate the unofficial beginning of Fall in Kansas City.Along with the crowd of 240,000 that converge on “the plaza” as the locals call it. The Plaza, 4-miles south of downtown Kansas City was established in 1922 and architecturally based in Seville, Spain. One of the things that you will quickly notice is that “The Plaza” is not a plaza after all. There are over 30 statues, murals, and tile mosaics in the area....

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Packing For Four And A Dog In A Toyota Prius

I take packing a car seriously. It has taken a few road trips with multiple suitcases to get to this point, but I know just how to pack it all in. I have learned the in’s and out’s of our little Toyota Prius and its 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space. That was until we had our fourth. The baby might be the smallest of the bunch, but he also requires a suitcase just for him, a pack and play, stroller, and a car seat. Don’t forget the diaper bag or you might be up a creek whenever you...

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5 Reasons to Visit Kansas City This Summer

When you think of the Kansas City, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe all you think about is the Kansas City Royals after their World Series Championship in 2015. Maybe Kansas City is just a stop on the map on your way from St. Louis to Denver? Maybe you think that there isn’t anything to do? You couldn’t be more wrong. No, Kansas City isn’t just in Kansas in fact, the larger city is in Missouri (make sure you don’t say you are in Kansas when you are in Missouri to a local) but it...

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4 Tips To Help Make Going Through A TSA Security Checkpoint Easier

I’ve flown more in the last 3 years of my life than I have in the last 30 years. While my wife hates flying, I am one who is always ready to book a flight and fly somewhere. If you were to ask me, I would rather fly than drive, and I love driving. My increase in flying has meant that I have also had more opportunities (I wouldn’t really call them opportunities) to go through security. I’ve heard their speeches about electronics and liquids so much by now that I am sure I am saying the in my sleep....

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There Is Always A Way Back Home

I can count myself lucky in that my job keeps me home for the most part. There are some that are not as lucky. There are parents out there who are forced to travel 50% or more of the time. Personally, I don’t even know how I could travel one week a month and be away from my family even that much. Ever since I took my job at PBS, traveling to Arizona the first week of January has become an annual trip. Not that I will complain about going to Arizona in the middle of winter. I look...

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It’s The Destination You Love

We all have one.  Sometimes you have more than one. A destination you love. To you, it is more than just a vacation. It quickly became your obsession. Every time you stepped foot out the door you headed there. Whether it was to the lake, a city, a region, or a country.  It is just the one place that you want to visit over and over.You know all of the ins and outs of that particular place. You have your favorite restaurants. The staff probably knows you by name even though you visit there but once a year. You know which pier...

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Taking To The Great Outdoors

There is something about pulling your car up to a camp site.  Unpacking your tent and the struggle to build it.  Lifting the cooler filled with your food for the next couple days.  There is a wonder in your eye to see what you will find surrounding your campsite.  It brings you closer to not only the outdoors but your family.We spent our day exploring.  Hiking trails and fishing.  The day we arrived was cool and crisp with a slight breeze which made for tough fishing.  While we might not have been fishing long, not catching anything either, the...

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How to Fly with a Toddler

The birth of our son has kept me and my wife close to home. We have ventured out on some road trips and train rides, but it wasn’t until recently that we flew with our baby for the first time on our recent Baltimore adventure. We weren’t sure how flying with a 2-year-old would go, but we were sure that any number of things could go wrong. He might get scared with every bump. Or, he might have an ear infection that would cause him pain while we flying over the Mississippi River. How could we prepare for these...

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