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Ghostly Adventures in Independence!

Ghostly Adventures in Independence! | Woodstock Inn Mo

Ghostly Adventures in Independence!

We are a historic ‘wild west’ town so of course we have some stories to tell and fun activities for October in Independence. If you’re looking for some paranormal activity or just looking for something different to do, enjoy the spirited fun at several of the historic sites. (The events below are NOT in any kind of order)

Vaile Mansion | Woodstock Inn Mo Independence Mo

New Additions:

Bingham Waggoner Estate | Independence Mo

Presidential history in Independence!

Yes, he was the 33rd President
of the United States

Our beautiful Truman Library is evolving and in recognition of the 75th anniversary of his presidency, the Truman Library and Truman Library Institute have developed a momentous plan to use Truman’s life and legacy to inform, inspire, educate, and engage a 21st-century audience at an increasingly critical time in our nation’s history.

Yes, the library itself will be closed for almost a year but the research library, Truman Home, Visitors Center on the Independence Square are still open during library renovations. Woodstock Inn owner Kim Morgan can happily help you create a satisfying historical tour of the sites of the 33rd president of the United States.

Read more about:

Getting Fit in the Fall 2019

A Healthy Week at
Woodstock Inn Bed and Breakfast
Oct. 27-Nov 2

You asked, we have organized a great week of fitness and fun at Woodstock Inn B&B, Independence’s international bed and breakfast. At Woodstock Inn Bed and Breakfast each room has a European theme, and we love to draw people from all over the United States and the world. For this first ever healthy week at Woodstock, we have extended a special invitation to our UK friends to join us for a week of music and some country western fun. It’s a week of getting on track in advance of the holidays, and taking a little time for you. “Get fit and flexible in an environment committed to bringing physical, mental, and spiritual balance to your life.” That is the mission of our guest instructors at Studio on Main. Also, we will have instructors for boot camp and dance. This is a great chance to learn something new in a supportive atmosphere.
 
Read on for a sample week of getting fit at Woodstock Inn…
 
Monday, Oct. 28
12 Lunch
1:30 Beginning reformer. Reformer classes use equipment such as cables and mats to increase strength and flexibility in a safe and supported environment.
2:00 Introduction to Studio on Main
5:00 Dinner
**Celine Dion concert
 
Tuesday, Oct. 29
8 Breakfast. Overview of the week by owner and week organizer, Kim Morgan
8:45 Stretch
9 Walk the historic sites and Independence Square. We will follow a set route passing by some of the historic western trail, but we will keep a good walking pace throughout.
10:30 Boot camp. This is a chance to see what you can do, work with partners, and have fun achieving exercise goals. Our boot camp instructor will cater our exercises to the class abilities.
12 Studio on Main. Tower. Work with a partner to stretch and strengthen. Fun!
1 Lunch
3:30 Piloxing. Piloxing combines boxing, pilates, and dance. There is music, laughing, bonding, and a good cardio workout throughout.
5 Dinner
6:30 Yoga
Cooking Seminar: Healthy French cooking. How the French approach good eating.
 
Wednesday, Oct. 30
8 Breakfast
9 Piloxing
10 Yoga or reformer
11 Jumpboard. A jumpboard attaches to the end of a reformer so that you are lying horizonally and springing off the board. It creates a feeling of weightlessness, and allows the heart rate to increase while protecting joints and improving bone health.
12:30 Lunch
2:00 Boot camp
5:30 Dinner
Dancing with Pure Dance Studio
 
Thursday, Oct. 31
8 Breakfast
9 Walk the Truman sites. This is another historic walk passing by the summer White House of former president Harry S. Truman.
10 Boot camp
12 Yoga
1 Lunch
2:30 Swimming
4  Tai Chi
5:30 Dinner
Mindfulness, and preparing good habits for home
 
Friday, Nov. 1
8 Breakfast
9 Walk
10 Boot camp
12 Lunch
1 Reformer
2:30 Dancing with Pure Dance Studio
4:00 Style seminar. A bit of pampering to celebrate the week.
Special dinner
 
Saturday, Nov. 2
8 Breakfast
9 Walk
10 Weigh out
11 Check out

The cost for 5 days accommodations in a private room with ensuite bathroom, all lunches and dinners, and all fitness activities is $960. If you want to attend the **Celine Dion concert on Monday night with us, that will cost about $100 depending on the tickets we can get at that time. 

SantaCaliGon Days 2019

47th annual SantaCaliGon Days Festival
August 30th through September 2nd, 2019
(Labor Day Weekend)

SantaCaliGon Days | Independence MO

Mark your calendar for a weekend filled with amazing shopping in one of the Midwest’s best arts and crafts shows that includes more that 500 vendor booths to explore, unique food and live entertainment on two stages, and a carnival for the young and young at heart! Admission to the festival is FREE and all are welcome!

> Handmade, crafters, and food vendors (500+ vendor booths)
> Live music and performance on 2 stages
> Root Beer Chugging Contest (Sunday)
> Ice Cream Eating Contest (Sunday)
> Craft/DIY demonstrations
> Festival food
> Main Street 1949 Experience
>Pan for Gold
>One Room Schoolhouse
>Activities for the kids
> Antique Fire Trucks
> 1969 Huey Helicopter
> Fall photo opportunities

FESTIVAL DATES & HOURS:
Friday, August 30th | 12 PM – 11 PM
Saturday, August 31st | 10 AM – 11 PM
Sunday, September 1st | 10 AM – 11 PM
Monday, September 2nd | 10 AM – 5 PM

CARNIVAL DATES & HOURS:
Thursday, August 29th | 5 PM-Midnight
Friday, August 30th | 12 PM – Midnight
Saturday, August 31st | 10 AM – Midnight
Sunday, September 1st | 10 AM – Midnight
Monday, September 2nd | 10 AM – 5 PM

LOCATION:
Independence Square
116 W. Lexington
Independence, MO 64050

MAIN STAGE ENTERTAINMENT:
Friday, August 30th
6:30 PM – Brad Cunningham Band
8:00 PM – Big Time Grain Company
9:30 PM – WYNONNA & The Big Noise

Saturday, August 31st
6:30 PM – Hudson Drive
8:00 PM – Edge of Forever – Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band
9:30 PM – Whitey Morgan & the 78’s

Sunday, September 1st
“Class Reunion Night”
6:30 PM – The Rippers
8:00 PM – Special Forces – 38 Special Tribute Band
9:30 PM – Almost KISS

COMMUNITY STAGE ENTERTAINMENT:
Friday, August 30th
5:00 PM – Sequoia Newland
6:00 PM – Alex Sons
7:30 PM – The Trace

Saturday, August 31st
10:00 AM – Claudia’s School of Dance & Gymnastics
11:00 AM – Cathy’s Creative Dance School
12:00 PM – Kim’s Dance Company
1:00 PM – Norita Taylor – Piano and Vocal
2:00 PM – Unity Studio
3:00 PM – Studio 3V Dance Center
4:00 PM – Suzette Sings featuring Brother John
5:00 PM – Julia Reynolds
7:30 PM – Jesse Kinch – Winner of ABC’s “Rising Star”

Sunday, September 1st
12:00 PM – Ice Cream Eating Contest
(Sponsored by Stewardship Capitol & Clinton’s Soda Fountain)
1:00 PM – Root Beer Chugging Contest (Sponsored by Polly’s Pop)
2:00 PM – Veterans Pinning Ceremony
3:00 PM – Carl Worden Band
6:00 PM – Havilah’s Fools Gold Country
7:30 PM – Prairie Moon

Monday, September 2nd
11:00 AM – High School Robotics Competition teams #1723 & #5801
12:30 PM – School of Rock
2:00 PM – Steve Sterner & Sundown

Let us know if you need a place to soak your aching feet or just a little quiet!

Trails & Truman–Aug. 29–Sept. 2

President Harry S Truman and daughter Margaret wedding day

Have you ever gone to see sites in far off places, but failed to visit and enjoy the history in your own back yard? Join professional tour organizer Kim Morgan on this most special of weekends in Independence, Missouri. Book now and enjoy 15% off your stay!

Day one:

Come and walk in the footsteps of adventurers, bandits, and people who have changed the world. Our guided weekend starts on Thursday with a horse and buggy visit. You will ride the streets where the early pioneers kitted out their caravans for the long trip west, view the jail that held Jesse James, and the first courthouse where Judge Truman presided. Enjoy a local Kansas City BBQ, or visit the carnival before the big crowds begin.

Day two:

SantaCaliGon Independence MO

On Friday, gear up for the largest festival weekend in town. The 47th annual SantaCaliGon days begins today on the historic Independence Square. Peruse over 500 vendor booths and take a swig of sarsaparilla (home-made root beer). Handmade goods, crafters, and food vendors from all over the region gather for the big weekend. Have a rest at the inn before the evening show starring none other than Wynonna and the Big Noise band!

Wynonna Judd | Woodstock Inn Independence MO

Day three:

Saturday, walk in the footsteps of Truman as you take a step back in time through the Truman Summer White House, Vaile Mansion and/or the Bingham-Waggoner estate. “I hope to be remembered as the people’s president,” Truman said. Indeed, the Truman story is one of the great American stories…and it started right here in Independence. Independence also has some beautiful church buildings known throughout the world.

Later, pop up to the square to fill in what you missed on Friday, and enjoy some of the special programming such as Main Street 1849 and the big carnival.

Day four:

Sunday is a chance to see some other famous Kansas City sites including the iconic Country Club Plaza, built in 1910 and still a world-class shopping area, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with beautiful American, Chinese, and European collections. Top off the evening with your choice of a gourmet dinner with a 360 view of Kansas City, a more down-home specialty restaurant, or a dinner and dancing venue at the Kansas City Power and Light district.

Country Club Plaza, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City MO

Day five:

Head out on Monday, or extend your vacation one more day

Book your four-night stay at Woodstock Inn Bed and Breakfast, and we will extend complimentary tickets to the horse and buggy ride, the Truman House, Vaile Mansion, and the Bingham-Waggoner Estate. (Tickets for up to 2 people).

A little corner of Spain…

A little corner of Spain

In a little corner of Madrid, in the event room of a little restaurant….there is an extraordinary cultural experience. If you are one of the lucky ones that gets a seat for the evening, you are in for one of the most passionate and artistic displays of flamenco dancing and music that you can experience in Spain. This is where generations of flamenco dancers have hung out to watch other professionals hone their craft. If you are an observer of this great tradition, the vibration of the foot tapping, and the haunting melodies of the guitar will strum within you long after your visit to the Spanish mother country.

Through the brilliance of Christopher Columbus, Spain became one of the most powerful countries in the world during the 16th century, and the influence of the Spanish culture is now felt throughout the western hemisphere. A visit to Madrid, the capital, is a rich and cultural experience that gives one a good dose of old Spain in the midst of a vibrant and energetic city.

We stayed in Hotel Europa right on the Puerta del Sol, and the little balconies hung over the pedestrian streets of the center. In the corner of the plaza is a traditional bakery called La Mallorquina that sells savory and sweet neopolitanas. They are like croissants filled with cheeses, ham, chocolate or fruit. A visit to this traditional bakery is in order every day!

On Sunday mornings is the huge El Rastro market where you can find antiques, arts, and flea market goods including hand-made flamenco dresses worn once for the Feria celebration, and then sold in second hand stores and booths. This was a fantastic find for a Spanish teacher like me. My students have LOVED wearing these dresses for years!

As charming as it is to discover the rich history of this city during the day, the city at night will enthrall you. We start with a Mexican mariachi band in the plaza and watch spectators break into dance. Then, we head to Calle Victoria for a tapas tour. Before arriving there, we take a detour to the cuevas (caves) and eat mushrooms stuffed and cooked in garlic butter at Meson de Champignon. After that, Calle Victoria offers tapas such as jamon, shrimp in garlic butter, calamari, spicy potatoes and chorizo…all to be shared with great company!


Before finishing at the flamenco show, stop by Chocolateria San Gines to get churros and chocolate. One of the greatest food discoveries of the conquistadores of the new world Americas was chocolate. Chocolate returned to Spain, and has been a staple world-wide ever since. Dip your donut-like churro in the thick hot chocolate.

Finally, outside of the tiny street in front of Casa Patas (House of Feet), we take a picture. The glow of the lamps continues inside to a busy, chatty dining room. We head straight back to the cashier in the corner taking tickets for the show inside. In the event room is a platform, and tourists and professionals from all over the world munch on tapas and drink sangria waiting for the evening show. When the musicians line the stage, and the first taping shoe hits the stage, we are mesmerized from start to finish.

In a sweet Victorian house on Lexington in Independence, Missouri, in the event room of Woodstock Inn, there are extraordinary cultural experiences every month. Last month was the Scottish bagpipes, and this month is reminiscent of Spain with a few strains of Spanish guitar, and the images of flamenco dancers tapping their feet thousands of miles away. If you are one of the lucky ones, you are here with us experiencing the world through these little cultural experiences. We await you!

Falling In Love With Scotland

Love Scotland | Dunoon Highland Games

Well, it starts with that perfect spoonful of custard or buttery bite of Scottish shortbread, and then falling in love with Scotland is all but a certainty after a few visits to the windswept coasts, mysterious islands, and poignant historical grounds.

It was my very first Scottish Highland Games. As is typical in Scotland, it was a rainy day, and a soft cashmere plaid scarf and brolly (umbrella) were in order. We parked the car at Port Glasgow and hopped on the ferry headed over to Dunoon along with a boatful of merrymakers. Weather doesn’t dampen the spirits in these parts. In fact, most of Scotland’s greatest memories I suspect happened in the rain. This was one of those damp and misty mornings. The drizzle eventually stopped, but the mist lay heavy in the valleys and glens, just adding to the dreamlike quality of this incredible event.

The Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, Scotland, is the largest highland games in Scotland, and the absolute most spectacular and grandiose display of bagpipe bands in the world. The finale…wait for it! It’s about to get big….!

Love Scotland | Dunoon Highland Games

We hadn’t even stepped off the boat at the little town of Dunoon when the first soulful bagpipe sound reached our ears. From then on, it was just a matter of following the sound, the merrymakers, and our favorite men in kilts. There was every color of kilt one can imagine. Every Scottish tribe has a tartan, and most have work, dress, special occasion tartans with different patterns of the same or similar colors. Thick wood socks up to the knees, heavy shoes or boots, and layers of shirts and tartan jackets and capes round out the typical outfit.

In fact, we stopped in various pubs on the way to the fairgrounds to warm up with a mug of coffee, and to enter the pub was as if one was entering into a different century. Kilts lined the bar, and the jaunty Tam o’ Shanter cap bobbed all around as the crowd got denser throughout the afternoon, and the laughter and song broke out more frequently. The only indication of the 21st century was the ever present tele with the local football (soccer club) playing.

Love Scotland | Highland Dancers

Well, it starts with that perfect spoonful of custard or buttery bite of Scottish shortbread, and then falling in love with Scotland is all but a certainty after a few visits to the windswept coasts, mysterious islands, and poignant historical grounds.

It was my very first Scottish Highland Games. As is typical in Scotland, it was a rainy day, and a soft cashmere plaid scarf and brolly (umbrella) were in order. We parked the car at Port Glasgow and hopped on the ferry headed over to Dunoon along with a boatful of merrymakers. Weather doesn’t dampen the spirits in these parts. In fact, most of Scotland’s greatest memories I suspect happened in the rain. This was one of those damp and misty mornings. The drizzle eventually stopped, but the mist lay heavy in the valleys and glens, just adding to the dreamlike quality of this incredible event.

The Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, Scotland, is the largest highland games in Scotland, and the absolute most spectacular and grandiose display of bagpipe bands in the world. The finale…wait for it! It’s about to get big….!

We hadn’t even stepped off the boat at the little town of Dunoon when the first soulful bagpipe sound reached our ears. From then on, it was just a matter of following the sound, the merrymakers, and our favorite men in kilts. There was every color of kilt one can imagine. Every Scottish tribe has a tartan, and most have work, dress, special occasion tartans with different patterns of the same or similar colors. Thick wood socks up to the knees, heavy shoes or boots, and layers of shirts and tartan jackets and capes round out the typical outfit.

In fact, we stopped in various pubs on the way to the fairgrounds to warm up with a mug of coffee, and to enter the pub was as if one was entering into a different century. Kilts lined the bar, and the jaunty Tam o’ Shanter cap bobbed all around as the crowd got denser throughout the afternoon, and the laughter and song broke out more frequently. The only indication of the 21st century was the ever present tele with the local football (soccer club) playing.

The memory of that first highland games will always be seared in my memory. Maybe it was Dunoon. Maybe it was the cool, misty morning. Maybe it was the intoxicating mix of the kilts and sound. But there we were, sitting on the hill and looking down on the playing field where the strongmen competed in events, the dancers pranced on tippy toes, and the bagpipe bands competed in sound and formation. The hills formed a natural stadium, and we looked out toward the ferry boats that bobbed in the harbor less than a half mile away. When the finale came, over fifty bagpipe bands gathered on the field and thousands of bagpipes played in unison. The sound was like nothing I had ever experienced. The reverberation of those pipes filled the entire valley and billowed out into the harbor, stopping everyone in their tracks. To look around, one could see open-mouthed awe on spectators, especially the first timers like myself. I have never heard anything like it before or since.

We sat there for several minutes after the last sounds. I wrapped my cashmere blue cape around me, watched the black Scottish terrier play next to me, enjoyed the chill on my cheeks, the mist and fog that dipped into hills and around rocks, and a bite of flap jack. It was a memory I would never forget.

The parade was a raucous affair all the way back to the harbor. The pipe bands had been scored on their military precision, and now they were dressed down and easygoing, playing modern tunes, and donning fun costumes like Elvis masks, and jester hats. The sweet dancers held their trophies high as they walked the cobblestone streets. It was a wonderful display of Scottish pride.

Love Scotland | Highland Games Kilts

There is not space here to talk of William Wallace, the clan defense of Culloden, Stirling castle, Loch Ness, Inverness, Edinburgh castle, the old course, and the green, green glens near Glasgow and Fort Montgomery. How about the heather on the hills in late summer, the crumbling monasteries once home to the monks who recorded history, the misty lakes, the thistle on the hills, the roaring fireplaces, the aged wood interiors of old, old castles set on secluded lakes? Those are tales for other times.

As for now, we pop into a pub before heading back to Glasgow and the mainland. A bit of bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, clapshot with honey whisky glaze, blackberry apple bramble, and sticky toffee pudding with brown sugar butter sauce should tide us over until our next Scottish adventure. The fire is roaring in the 15th century inn, coats and brollies all around, and the sound of laughter and good Scottish cheer surround us. In a strange and ancient way, it’s home.

Love Scotland | Scottish Cow

Magical Romantic Moments in the Loire Valley, France

On one wall of our luxurious French Riviera Suite hangs an average-sized, but rather stunning tapestry of the French castle of Chenonceau spanning the river Cher. If you look behind the tapestry you will find the description of this castle, and you will have effectively turned the first page of a history so extraordinary that it would have to be a fairy tale…but it’s not.

I have lived that story in a tour I organized a few years ago based on Ina Caro’s book, The Road from the Past: Traveling Through History in France. Our arrival in the Loire Valley and breakfast the next morning could have been the introduction to a fairy tale in and of itself except that we were in cars and not on horses.

Our little group of ten flew into Paris on a Friday evening, rented our vans, and traveled south for the beginning of our castle tour in Chinon. We arrived very late at the Manoir de L’Abbaye in Seuilly. Thierry, our host met us outside of the gate and escorted us through the fragrant garden to our stone tower. The marble steps of the spiral staircase were deeply worn from centuries of use. Wooden doors opened onto our rooms, complete with original floors, massive fireplaces, and a medieval canopied bed. The window near the bed was open, and though we were very sleepy, what we saw was not a dream. Across the misty valley and punctuating the pitch black night was a castle lit up to perfection. The turrets and towers were straight out of a fairy tale. It looked as if it were floating in space. Princesses a thousand years ago would have looked at that same sight. We felt like royalty that night.

After a restful night’s sleep, we woke and descended the tower for breakfast. The breakfast room was through a modern glass door at the bottom of the tower. There was a collective “wow,” when we opened the door. The fireplace was lit and warmed the room against the misty morning, and in the center of the table was a medieval candelabra with several candles lit. It was the first time I had ever had breakfast by candlelight. Together with a big bowl of café au lait, croissants, farm fresh butter, and homemade jams…it created one of those magical moments that I will never forget, and that forms a page of my fairy tale life.

After our first night, we went on to see Chinon, Chenonceau and many other castles of the Loire Valley in France. Each one of them is different, with histories that are incredible, but true. The castles are like “a thousand jewels in a Renaissance necklace.” It’s truly extraordinary to see and experience places that heretofore had only ever been in the imagination. These are the kind of magical moments I want to facilitate for guests at Woodstock Inn, and also for people that go on my tours. Join us as we create these magical moments for our guests!

See more of this extraordinary trip at http://www.kcmorgan.net/tours/

Scandinavia: A Journey Through Time

My first trip to Scandinavia almost didn’t happen. Before the borders came down in Europe, I was headed to Denmark from Amsterdam. After a long train trip, I arrived at passport control and was summarily rejected from entering the country. Turns out, I had left my passport in Amsterdam. It was a nightmare to get a new passport at the American Embassy, but I was determined I would not leave the fjords without seeing them for myself.

So, I returned shortly after renewing my passport and spent a few days in Denmark first. If you’ve never been to the cathedral at Roskilde where the Danish kings are buried, or seen the Viking museum, well I would say it is a rite of passage for Viking enthusiasts. The Viking museum holds five ships that were sunk in a line along the Roskilde fjord in order to keep enemies from raiding the tender inland. Legend held that Queen Margaret I who ruled over the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had the ships sunk blocking passage to Roskilde. The ships were raised in the 1900’s, and archeological diggings still take place around the cathedral, a treasure trove of details about the complicated history of the area.

When I arrived in Sweden (with my passport!), I was overloaded with history. Maybe that’s why it seemed a more peaceful place to me. I went to the nature park where many historical huts and houses are collected for visitors and countrymen to walk through time in a peaceful, country setting. The workers were dressed in the colorful costumes one associates with Sweden, full of flowers, embroidery, linen and lace, etc. There was a wedding in an old chapel, and I thought it was a great idea to have one’s wedding in the middle of the historical buildings of one’s country. The wedding pictures would have so much added interest. I’ve seen weddings pictures being taken near the Forum in Rome, and the bay of Naples. Great!

I will digress just for a moment… I must say that as a young backpacker the beauty of the people made a great impression on me. Who gets to be blond, blue-eyed, and tall…. AND tan? Not me. Ok, everyone goes for different looks, but I had to just sit and watch the people in this country. It was an amazing sight.

Now I am reduced to enjoying loganberry cookies and Swedish meatballs from IKEA, but I will not forget my trip to Sweden as a young backpacker.

But wait! There is one more country in Scandinavia, and perhaps the most important one to me. Norway. I have Norwegian heritage, and I will have to say that Norway has some of the most incredible sites. There is a fantastically preserved Viking ship, and the Kon Tiki raft that Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific ocean. In Vigiland’s park, the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland are jaw dropping. Then, you can hop on the train to Bergen for a “Norway in a Nutshell” view of the Fjords. Try some caviar at the fish market in Bergen, climb to the medieval Stave church, and enjoy the ancient forest. I have led two trips of students and colleagues back to Norway to see some of these incredible sites. To my students, perhaps starting the day off with a waffle bar breakfast complete with all the toppings was the best part. To me, it was just being in Norway…Scandinavia, for that matter because after all of the amazing sights I just listed perhaps the most amazing one was when I first stepped off the train in Copenhagen. I saw the people…tall and of a certain statue. Wow, I thought. These are my people! I looked just like them. That is an experience that Americans sometimes feel when they return to that ancient place from where their ancestors first emmigrated. It happened to me, and maybe it will happen to you someday.

We celebrate Sweden this month during our Dessert Club. You are welcome to come and get a taste of that old country, and maybe inspiration for your own journey back through time.