Rich Christensen

Rich Christensen

Richard Christensen was born with an insatiable curiosity about the world and degrees in History and Library Science have only fueled that fire. He's often seeking new adventures, whether that be spinning in a teacup with his daughter at Disney World or heading off the beaten path to visit a lost piece of roadside Americana. You can read about this Michigan dad and his travels on the Wagon Pilot blog or brush up on your Disney World expertise over atPixie Dust Daily.


Discovering the Art of the Carousel at Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum

One of the joys of travel is discovering new facets of yourself. It could be a delicious food you’ve never heard of, or maybe that zip-lining over the forest is not really as fun as it looks. On occasion, something catches you by surprise. On a recent visit to Sandusky, Ohio’s Merry-Go-Round Museum an unexpected appreciation for carousels surfaced within me. Now, I’ve never been a fan of carousels. Clambering onto an uncomfortable horse to slowly spin and bounce along to the loud oompa-oompa of the pipe organ. Even at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, my favorite place on Earth, I’m...

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Plan a Fun-Filled Guys Weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin

Three fun-filled days was all it took for me to fall in love with the Fox Cities region in Eastern Wisconsin. In the Fox River Valley you’ll find a versatile mix of classic foods, sports, and nightlife to keep anyone entertained. While it’s often touted as a great place for shopping, I found more than enough to plan a fantastic guys weekend. Appleton, the heart of the region, is the perfect base to set up shop for a fun and affordable summer getaway.   What’s a Guy to do in Appleton? You can’t go wrong with a baseball game...

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10 Unique Things to Do in Michigan this Summer

Michigan is a large state with many different environments and activities. The warm summer weather is the perfect time to hit the road for a tour of this wonderful state. From the urban sprawl of Detroit to thick forests of the Upper Peninsula, there is something for every traveler in the Great Lakes State. Here are a few of my favorite activities and places to visit.   Walk Through History at Greenfield Village Henry Ford was an avid collector with the intent of preserving what life was like before people flocked to cities to work in factories. At Greenfield...

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See Why People are Flocking to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh

The National Aviary, located in the Allegheny Commons Park in Pittsburgh’s North Side, offers an unique way to learn about the lives of birds. With more than 500 birds representing over 150 species, the aviary invites visitors to step into open spaces where the birds are as free their guests. The variety of habitats and sheer number of birds made this one of the highlights during our recent family trip to Pittsburgh. Originally built in 1952 as part of a conservatory, the aviary has undergone several expansions and became a publicly owned organization in 1991 when the city could...

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20 Unique Attractions You Must Visit in Pittsburgh

Sitting where the mighty Ohio River splits into the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, Pittsburgh looks like no other city with its sweeping mountain vistas and waterways. The dozens of bridges, steep, streets, and tunnels offer their own navigational challenges to visitors. Anchoring the east end of the Rust Belt, Pittsburgh has shed its steel mills for museums, parks, and inviting neighborhoods. Visitors will find an amazing array of activities for all ages to fit any type of vacation itinerary. The twenty places listed here merely scratch the surface of Pittsburgh’s attractions. 20 Attractions to Visit in Pittsburgh Carnegie Science...

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Exciting Reasons for a Family Visit to Chicago

Despite its big city atmosphere, Chicago is a great destination for families. With a variety of activities, and central Midwestern location, the Windy City will easily keep your kids busy for a long weekend trip. Museums, parks, sports, and more offer activities both indoors and out for year round fun. Here are some of the places to go and things to see on your Chicago vacation.   Convenient Transportation If anything, Chicago is easy to get to and, once there, simple to get around. Two major airports, O’Hare and Midway, service all of the major airlines with flights coming...

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Why You Need to Add Detroit to Your Travel Plans

Detroit. Underdog of the Rust Belt. When I was growing up it was a place to avoid; a place to fear. They built the Renaissance Center in the 1970s to usher in a new era of progress. It didn’t happen. The auto industry continued its slow decline until finally collapsing. A lot has changed since then. The new era has finally arrived. Over the past decade years the auto companies have found their footing while new industries have begun to fill in the gaps. Major investments have been made to renovate old hotels and erect new offices. Little by...

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Amazing Activities for Tweens on Disney Cruise Lines

While often viewed as the premiere ships for parents of young children, Disney Cruise Lines also caters to the desires of older kids. Tweens, in particular, benefit from the diverse array of areas and activities on the ship designed just for them. Being a transitional age group (10-12), the Disney ships offer the security of supervised areas alongside adult-free zones where kids can test their budding social skills. As my daughter enters the tween years, her recent experience on the Disney Dream was exciting and let her choose which activities had appeal.   A Note on Tweens and Social...

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Change Your Routine and Plan a Local Vacation

While hopping on a jet to some far off tourist destination is always on our minds, but what happens when you just don’t have the extra time or money for a week long retreat? An alternative many overlook is planning a local vacation. Set aside a few days and stick close to home. You’ll be surprised at how many activities and unique experiences are available within a short drive. I’m not fond of the term ‘staycation.’ It takes the wind out of the sails and all too often articles I see about staycations involve nothing more than doing the...

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Perfect Park for Preschoolers

When planning a Disney World vacation, parents often focus solely on the Magic Kingdom for entertaining their preschoolers. It’s the obvious choice; Cinderella Castle greeting you from afar and plenty of recognizable characters and rides aimed squarely at their youthful audience. Epcot and Hollywood Studios fill in the extra days. Lost in the shuffle is Animal Kingdom. With only three rides for little tykes, parents overlook all the amazing shows and adventure and animals. “Isn’t it just a zoo?” Over the years I’ve come to enjoy Animal Kingdom from my daughter’s perspective. First as a toddler and now moving...

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