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.


Roadside Attractions are Half the Adventure

In this day of massive airliners and six lane highways we focus solely on our travel destination. Pack, fly, arrive, return. What we’re missing is everything in between. The little towns, the natural wonders, the giant fiberglass fish beckoning weary families into a restaurant. These roadside attractions are slowly fading into the past as road trippers stick to the interstates with their cookie cutter exits. There was a time when travelers delighted in finding interesting places along the road instead of barreling by; desperate to reach their end point. It’s time we take a step back and seek out the interesting little side trips and roadside oddities.   Roadside Attractions Enrich Travel Family travel articles focusing on enrichment typically zero in on a specific location, such as a hands on museum or science center. While perfect for teaching lessons on a variety of subjects, this approach lacks curiosity and adventure. Instead of solely looking towards the final destination, seek out interesting stops along the way to expand the experience. The variety of places you might encounter along the road are endless. An old main street to wander, small local museums, specialty stores. All of these places have a story to tell and, most likely, it’s one you’ve never heard. While traveling with your kids, this acts as both a distraction and encourages a natural curiosity. You’ll often find locals...

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12 Reasons to Stay at a Disney World Resort

One of the first steps in planning a vacation at Walt Disney World for your family is deciding where to stay. There are several factors to think about when choosing a hotel including, budget, location, and how much time you plan to spend at the hotel. A trip to Disney World adds a few more items to the list for the more than 20 very unique resorts located within its borders, such as transportation option and amazing themes. Let’s take a look at several of the reasons I recommend staying at a Disney World resort; especially for first time...

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Maximize Vacation Savings with a Disney World Annual Pass

Walt Disney World is the most popular family vacation destination in the US. It’s also an expensive undertaking. We have been the more times than I can remember and along the way I’ve found ways to cut costs without sacrificing the experience. One of the best tools for balancing the budget is the Disney World annual pass. More than just a ticket to get you into the Parks, the annual pass is a key to unlocking huge savings for every aspect of your vacation.   Annual Pass Savings Before You Even Leave Home The first question posed is typically,...

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8 Ways to Save Money on Family Vacations

Traveling as a family is a great way to spend time with your kids and also build lasting memories. Whether your family likes to hit the the open road or lay claim to a spot on a sandy beach for a few days, these are moments enrich our lives. The downside is that these adventures can quickly become prohibitively expensive. To be able to travel more often without breaking the bank, here are eight useful tips for planning more budget friendly family vacations. Saving on Airfare Booking flights for a family vacation is often enough to cause mild chest...

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Create New Traditions with Local Holiday Travel This Year

Holiday travel is not what it once was. According to a recent Traveling Mom poll, many of us are no longer piling into the car or boarding a plane to gather at grandma’s house with the whole family. Americans are enjoying new options in how they spend their precious Holiday vacation time these days. A mere 24% host major holidays at their own home while 17% are jetting off to meet up with family at a vacation destination. And like my own family, 26% choose local holiday travel or head out on their own vacation to relax. Here’s a...

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How to Get the Most out of Disney World Character Meet and Greets

One of the biggest attractions vacationers at Disney World often overlook is the characters themselves. While not exactly a traditional attraction, character meet and greets are a huge draw for both children and adults alike. That’s right, you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy the fun interactions and get a picture with a favorite Disney personality. What does set meet and greets apart from other items on the to do list is the vast number of ways you’ll encounter characters in the theme parks and resorts. This guide will make it easy to find your favorites and...

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Easing Stress in Kids When Dad Travels

As a traveling dad, I’ve seen how it effects my daughter when I head out on solo trips. Even though it’s only for a few days at a time, when a parent is away for even a short time it can cause stress for kids. Some children will show it more than others, such as my kiddo who already deals with anxiety issues. Admittedly, even I feel a bit of worry when I’m away from my family. Here are a few things you can do to ease stress for your kids when dad travels alone.   Develop a Routine...

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Find Your Rhythm at Detroit’s Motown Museum

Motown, the combination of jazz and soulful upbeat lyrics, defined the 1960s for many Americans. Born in the heart of Detroit, Berry Gordy’s independent Motown Records studio turned out more successful artists than any of the major labels. Touring the Motown Museum will introduce you to the origins of this distinctive sound and you’ll learn a great deal of history about the Gordy family, record company, and artists. Here is a bit of history on Berry Gordy’s Motown Records and information to help you plan a visit to the Motown Museum.   The Creation of Motown Records Berry Gordy...

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Exploring the Columbus Zoo

Hearing nothing but praise as being one of America’s top zoos, we packed into the wagon and headed to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We weren’t disappointed in the least. In fact, after 8 hours our feet gave way in the summer heat and we missed exploring a few areas. All the better reason to come back again and experience all the zoo has to offer. Located near the beautiful town of Dublin, in central Ohio, it is the perfect place to launch a few days of exploring the area in and around Columbus. Even on its own, the...

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Art and Nature in Harmony at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Our day spent touring the Frederik Meijer Gardens reminded me of why I love traveling to new places. The 158 acre facility is much more than just well planned floral gardens. The grounds are divided into different environments, ranging from a local farmstead to a massive tropical conservatory. But what makes Meijer Gardens stand out is the hundreds of sculptures integrated into the landscape. Ranging from small animal statues to towering works of art, the sculptures are placed to add another dimension to the surrounding greenery. Located on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the gardens are open year...

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