Our Missouri Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 807 miles, and drove for 16 hours and 10 minutes during our week in Missouri while avoiding highways. Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Missouri over the past week.

Famous Person: Dred Scott

Famous Food: None

Roadside Attraction: World's Largest Fork

State Capitol/Museum: Jefferson City

National Park: Ozarks National Scenic Riverway

Historic Location: Titanic museum Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Can't miss attraction: Gateway Arch

Made in the USA tour: Anheiser-Busch

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $ 137.00


$ 1.96 gal. in Springfield, MO was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.03 gal. in Westerly, MO was highest price paid.

Groceries: $101.00

Walmart $ 90.00

Ogwalla Cheese $11.00 (a cute cheese shop we came across)


We need to try to schedule trips to Costco, and Aldi’s BEFORE we run out and have to buy items at Walmart.

Dining out $ 88.00

2 ice cream cones $ 4 (unbudgeted, but yummy)

French fries $ 5 (also unbudgeted, but yummy)

Ruby Tuesdays $33 (unbudgeted, all you can eat salad bar x2)

Country Buffet $33 (unbudgeted, but we were starving)

Gas Station Pizza $13 (unbudgeted, awful and we still regret it)


We budgeted for eating out once per week and still continue to exceed this amount. We still are actively working on this, and are making improvements.

Entertainment: $60.00

Gateway Arch x2 $20 (Budgeted)

Redbox $ 2 (Budgeted)

Titanic Museum x2 $38 (Budgeted)

Comments: We did great in this category!

Lodging: $ 0

We did great in this category again!

Miscellaneous: $25.00

Parking in St. Louis. $25 (Unbudgeted)

Comments: This expense was unavoidable as the Cardinals were having a home game.

Missouri Expenses Grand Total: $ 411.00

(Our expense list does not include reoccurring expenses such as insurance and Cellphone ect )

Is Missouri Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.

Economy: 3

Nate: 3

“There were few job opportunities outside of the Kansas City and St. Louis”

Lori: 3

“Corn farming appeared to make up the majority of their job market”

Economy score: 3

Cost of Living:

Nate: 4

“Gas prices were fairly constant throughout the entire state”

Lori: 6

“Food and housing prices seemed in line with other Midwestern states, but the corn was cheap”

Cost of living score: 5

Quality of life:

Nate: 3

“Tornado's scare the hell out of me, and there are lots of them in Missouri”

Lori: 5

“The temperature was comfortable and consistent throughout the state”

Quality of life score: 4


Nate: 3

“If church, family and corn farming is your thing, then Missouri is for you!”

Lori: 3

“Due to the states vast rural landscape, social outlets appear to be very limited”

Culture Score: 3


Nate: 2

“If you live outside the 2 major cities, your car better be reliable”

Lori: 3

“Outside of the 2 major cities, I did not see many flourishing business or bustling towns”

Environment Score 2.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Missouri was 3.5, and Missouri will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Virginia 6.6

Pennsylvania 6.5

West Virginia 6.0

Kentucky 4.9

Missouri 3.5