John Deere Classic – Great Golf in the Quad Cities

John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run is the largest sporting event in the Quad Cities. It is held annually since 1971 and is an official PGA tour event. Professional golfers from around the world visit the Quad Cities for top golf. Hundreds of volunteers help out for successful completion of the event and the golfing event also sponsors the Birdies for Charity fundraising.

TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL is a top golf course in the area to host the annual John Deere Classic. The premium event is a summer special which hosts professional golfers from around the world. The sporting event is a huge boost for local economy.

Hundreds of volunteers help organize the event. Local city leaders, school groups, employees of John Deere Manufacturing company, charities, and so on get together for this event. Birdies for Charity is one of the largest fundraising event that supports local charities during the John Deere Classic.

The prize money for the winner this year is $1 million. Some of the recent past winners include Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Brian Harman, and so on.

John Deere Classic is excited to host several local golfers who have roots back in the Quad Cities area. Organizations can sponsor the event by advance registration. Volunteer opportunities exist for different committees. Advance signup is recommended for volunteering. Volunteers can win special prizes and event freebies.

Birdies for charities is a fund raising for charities who meet certain specifications. Matching amount can be won from the earnings of the event. Official food vendors are assigned every year for concessions.

Spectators are expected to follow certain guidelines during the event. Sharp knifes and firearms are prohibited at the event. Having a course map handy is essential. Following a group or staying in your stand are two methods of watching the tournament. Autographs can be sought out at a pre-approved time early in the week. Security guards are present at the gates to maintain the safety. Emergency medical services are planned for any situations.

John Deere Classic allows some special provisions in some years and some years end up with a tie. Regardless of the outcome, the entire event is planned, organized, and implemented with top standards. The golf event is a festival time for Quad Cities and is a must see.

New Construction Quad Cities

Quad cities is the bursting market with opportunities. With booming development in between Chicago and Des Moines, QC is the top favorite for many. The lack of custom homes is a challenge in the area and the demand for new construction homes is rising rapidly. Realtors and builders are working along with property seekers to accomplish the new construction homes in Quad Cities. If you are a first time home builder, you are prone to many challenges. Here are some insights.

Quad Cities

Quad Cities may first look like typical MidWest area where nothing ever happens. 🙂 However, QC is developing rapidly and everyone is having hard time to cope up. John Deere, Alcoa,  and local school districts, are some of the major employers in the area. Greater Quad  Cities is also seeing  many new manufacturing, construction, highways, bridges, and small business developments.  Prospective home owners in the QC are seeing shortage of new homes. Some are surprised to find the cost of living in the Quad Cities same as cities such as Dallas, TX or Columbus, Ohio. Some big city home owners are amazed to see the quality of the homes we get in our area when compared to the price they put in the big cities.

New Construction

Home is one of the largest investments and many of us have a very careful approach for a new construction property. Buying an existing property with established facilities and landscaping is a popular choice. Due to the shortage in the Quad Cities, many opt for a new construction which turns out to quite daunting to some. 🙂

  1. Budgeting: Home owners must have a clear budget on the new construction based on the family income. Down payment, mortgage, property tax, HOA fees if any, and home improvement costs must be considered before starting out for a new home. Expect to cross the budget during the complete construction process. 🙂
  2. Area and Builder: Choosing the lot according to your preferences such as proximity to work and school districts is crucial. Next step is choosing a builder who can complete your dream home. Select a new construction builder or a general contractor who specialize in custom homes. It is better to choose the builder with appropriate permits and insurance. Some builders offer to take the construction loan for you or others may direct you to the banks that offer construction loans. Anyway, you end up paying the construction loan interest. 🙂
  3. Contract: A contract need to be signed after reviewing the estimations. You can choose to have a realtor based on the builder. Some avoid realtors to escape the cost of seven percent. Most builders in the QC charge a builder commission fee from ten to fifteen percent. Your negotiation skills may come in handy at this time. Other components are charged same by most builders depending upon who they subcontract. It may be essential to add change clauses and late delivery clauses.
  4. Design: Expect one or two months to finalize the design. Some initial idea is needed as how much square footage the home is going to be after leaving the required offsets. Type of vault, Room sizes, bathroom placements, media room, and any customized options need to be brainstormed at this time. Owners may not be surprised that the design keeps on changing as the construction progresses. 🙂
  5. Selections: Home owners are required to select many aspects of the house. The basics such as foundation or drywall material will be common in the area. Some external selections such as roofing or siding may be mandatory depending on the HOA or city rules. Crucial selections that have huge impact on the final cost include flooring, cabinets, electrical fixtures, landscaping, plumbing fixtures, appliances, paint colors, and so on. You can upgrade to advanced options or select the basic ones provided by the builder. It may seem confusing and daunting, but it is required to look up the options and check out the samples and reviews before finalizing. It will be like a selection marathon where as soon as you are done with selecting one item, you will be presented with more options to finalize another! 🙂 You will always skeptical about how the total cost is going to change if you choose a particular selection.
  6. Waiting: This is the most killing aspect of new construction homes. Expect delays as the new construction is extremely dependent on weather and labor. Rains are the show stoppers for all exterior work. Any high end work is dependent on the availability of the labor. If one of the subcontractors who committed has any emergency, that task will be delayed. This is true with big and small builders alike. Phased out tours are planned for big builders and small builders let you visit every day.
  7. Locking the mortgage rate: You are required to lock the mortgage rate before 30, 60, or 90 days of your closing. Banks and financial institutions do allow some time to lock and if any delays occur, you need to notify the bank so they can extend the rate lock for another 30 days for a charge. Banks also do require you to finalize a home insurance provider before processing the loan pre-approval. Skip this step if you are paying cash. 🙂
  8. Appraisal: Banks send for a neutral appraisal before processing the mortgage. The appraisal is a mandatory process which will decide how much that property can be valued for. The entire appraisal depends on many factors such as similar homes sold in the area during past six months or the facilities such as wood flooring or deck.
  9. Inspection: The property needs to pass several inspections from city and HOA. Those approvals are necessary and also assure that the property is being built in a safe and acceptable manner. Any recommendations must be completed before closing. An Occupancy Certificate will be issued if all the requirements are met. A Temporary Occupancy Certificate may be issued which must be corrected later.
  10. Closing: A final walk thru before closing is suggested with all the involved parties. Check every light, tap, door, and so on to note any discrepancies that need to be fixed. Your banker and realtor will prepare all the necessary documents required at the time of closing. All documents can be shared electronically and signed on the closing day. You are required to pay the down payment and closing charges at this time. If you have opted for a for-sale-by-owner, you both can hire individual lawyers who can take care of the paper work. It is your responsibility to check for the accuracy of the paperwork as the lawyers do tend to have mistakes in their forms.
  11. Post-moving checks: Once you move in your new home, keep checking the house interior and exterior for any issues. Within the one year warranty that is common in the Quad Cities, you can ask for any faults or bad installations. Note down the warranty period on the appliances and HVAC so you can seek out the fixes. Minor cracks in flooring, walls, paints, and so on can be fixed.

New construction homes are definitely a thrill to enjoy but do expect some out of pocket expenses every month. You will be tempted to make changes with the change in seasons. Peer pressure in terms of improvement and buyer remorse  when property bills arrive are common side effects. An extra fan, an upgrade in the doors, added landscaping, and so on will be needed in the first year or every year. 🙂 Let me know any other tips for new construction homes in the Quad Cities.

Lilly Singh a.k.a Superwoman

Lilly Singh also known as Superwoman on YouTube is one of the fastest growing YouTube star earning millions of dollars through her YouTube channels and shows. Once suffered with severe depression, Lilly Singh now is the hardest working female YouTuber to achieve stardom and fame. Superwoman won many awards such as People’s Choice awards and Teen Choice awards. She is also known for her philanthropic efforts and was recently chosen as the Global Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh was born in Canada and her roots trace back to India. She studied Psychology but choose YouTube videos as a career due to the popularity of her videos. Her perspective and opinions resounded with billions of viewers around the world and won millions of subscribers. Superwoman also is a writer, vlogger, actress, singer,  motivational speaker, and comedian. She plays the roles of her parents to represent the contrasting views of older generation. Her ethnic diversity also brings in immigrant perspective in to the videos.  She puts out her life so much in the videos and I think no one in her life can escape from the YouTube channels. 🙂

As the fame and earnings improved, Lilly Singh works harder to achieve more. Competency and talent made her collaborate with other YouTubers and celebrities. Lilly Singh’s encouraging speeches around the world tours are famous. Lilly Singh encourages people to break barriers and not limit due to fear of what other people will think.

Working Always Like a Superwoman

Planned events and non-stop work has contributed to Lilly Singh’s success. Being a female top earner through YouTube channel is a rare achievement.  She continues to work to maintain the excitement in her vlogs and channels. Breaking all the barriers in terms of gender, nationality, roots, opportunities, mental health issues, and ideas have led to more views and fame.

Lilly Singh’s book How to be a Bawse explains the tips to overcome difficulties in life to achieve success. Lilly Singh was also criticized for some of her work nevertheless she continues to work learning from the mistakes.  Social media such as the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on are also a part of the YouTuber’s success. Her smartphone app Unicorn Island helps connect with fans during tours.

Lilly Singh is a strong supporter of female empowerment and girl child education. Lilly Singh partnered with different organizations for fundraising. As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Lilly travels around the world to promote awareness and help solve issues.

As a successful business woman Lilly welcomes new ideas and challenges in the world of entertainment.  The recent Game of Thrones White Walker video is an example of Lilly’s hard work. You can reach out to Superwoman on YouTube if you want her to discuss any issue or topic. 🙂

 

 

The Death of Crypto Currency

Investors were all frenzy earlier this year with the enormous growth of the Crypto Currency such as the Bitcoin and Ethereum. Working on the blockchain methodology and peer-to-peer payment systems, the Crypto were attractive as an alternate currency. The lack of fees for local and international transactions proved to be a rebellious way of paying. However, the software fork updates this month has made the Crypto Currency loose billions of dollars.

Crypto Currency

Crypto Currency is a term widely used for digital currency or virtual currency which is independent of any bank or financial institutions or country. It is just a process of continuous verification of transactions through software and hardware code. For every verified piece or block of code, a unit of digital currency is issued. Some Crypto Currency such as the Bitcoin and Ethereum have become the official currencies in some parts of the world. Organizations and regular stores have started accepting the Crypto Currency as a means of payment. Individuals with appropriate technology set up are able to mine the Crypto Currency in their homes. Some opt for pool mining, some investors set money in exchanges, while some buy the stocks reserved for the Crypto.

Crypto Currency can be bought with real-time currency worldwide. Several exchanges such as GDAX and Coinbase have made buying the Crypto Currency easier. In some parts of the world, Crypto ATM’s are made available for users with which they can buy the digital currency. There are fees for the transactions on the exchanges. Anonymity of users and transactions are possible in the Crypto networks. High security of the software and hardware have led to billions of transactions. Users may see a delay between when the time of order and the processing of orders due to the continuous verification.

All exchanges follow minimum Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering policies. Since the network is driven by software and users themselves, the investments are not secure. Recent software glitches made users loose money due to the issues. The exchanges do not guarantee the money lost in the wallets. Also, during the software updates or forks, the money may be lost which cannot be recovered.

Investment

This year, the IRS has exempted transactions in Bitcoin up to $20, 000 in Coinbase. New regulations are being developed worldwide for regulating Crypto Currency. Billions of users are investing in the Crypto Currency due to the rapid growth. Bitcoin has risen from around $100 to up to $4000 since its inception in 2009. Similarly, Ether which is preferred by the organizations also seen a huge growth from about $8 to around $403 this year.  Early investors have seen growth up to 400 per cent. Short term investors have lost some amount due to the volatility of the Crypto Currency.

The network users and miners have started to have disagreements on how the transactions were processed. Some believe that the transaction processing can be outsourced to third parties for faster processing. Some say that all transaction processing must be within the network. Several updates of the software fork SegWit have been introduced in to the system. Investors do withdraw their money during the updates as the software may be unpredictable. In the past, users of MtGox, a popular exchange, lost all their money due to the difficulties in the exchange. All exchanges lock the withdrawals during the software updates.

With every update and the differences in the system, investors are suspicious about the Crypto Currency network. Some believe that after the network is stabilized, the Crypto will reign. Some are getting in to panic mode and avoiding Crypto altogether. Finally, the Crypto Currency has huge scope to grow as it fell rapidly this year. Users can invest while it is in low and hope it will rise again from death.  Let me know your experiences with the new found luck – Crypto Currency. 🙂

 

Why do Small Businesses Need a Website?

Yes, small businesses do need a website to promote their business. Many argue that the Facebook page they have will suffice to give out the basic information. But, that information may not always enough to convince your customers to choose your business. A complete website is required to improve the web presence of a business. A website will give customers a chance to know more information about your business, services, FAQs, and also about the owners. Even if you are the only provider in the area and the customer has no choice, they will have hard time trusting you. A website can improve the trust with the customer by giving complete information about your established products and services.

Small businesses are leveraging Information Technology to improve their sales. A website is a precious asset which can be used to market your services and products. A website can give detailed description about your processes, vision, mission, goals, social responsibility, and any other information. A website also can improve your business in the search engine crawling as there will be relevant tags such as location, hours, contact information highlighted in the Search Console of the Google while setting up a website.

If your business is a family owned business and is passed down from earlier generations, you can include all the information in the website. If one of your products or services is exclusive in your area, you can highlight that aspect. People who move new to your area, which is quite common, are less likely to know about your business. If they google your business, they might find only sample information from Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and so on. This will give a brief introduction about your business. However, if you own a website, new comers can get a complete picture about your business including your history, goals, and overall services or product information. The social media act as additional resources to know the latest happenings, coupons, promotions, and so on. If you want people to call you, you can make that happen with the website. If you wish more customers could walk in your store, you can make that happen. The opportunities are endless in terms of generating new sales using a website.

A website also can be treated as an asset which you can transfer any time when you sell or transfer your business. A website with proper SEO and content can show you first to the customers who are searching for similar products in the area. Another advantage of a website is that you can include marketing campaigns such as Adwords. A basic contact form can get you sales leads directly to your inbox. Another advantage of a website is that you can include your product/service gallery with images and videos. Small businesses can publish blogs relevant to their business and increase the customer retention. Every day, businesses are encountering unique opportunities and challenges which can be very well captured in the blogs. All this can be accomplished in Facebook or Twitter but those are limited. Moreover, if you have useful content on your blog, you can link this to the Social media accounts that you have. All the social media have widgets which you can showcase on your website as well.

If you decide to have a website, make sure you have a mobile friendly one. Google started penalizing the websites which are not responsive to multiple screen sizes. That means, even if you have a website, if it is not mobile friendly, google will not show your website on the top searches. The cost of owning a website is considerably become cheaper which I think is wonderful. The hosting providers are having mobile templates which you can customize according to your needs. If you do not like the monthly fees, you can buy hosting and develop a website according to your choices.

Contact the website experts at sales[at]kuulstuff[dot]com if you decide to set up a website for your small business. The investment proves to be a great asset for your business. We are experienced with multiple hosting providers and business domains. In addition, a website for small business can be seen as a first step towards integrating Information Technology to improve your business domain and stay ahead of the competition. 🙂

 

Contact Forms Comparison

Contact form is an integral part of any website. It provides a medium for the customer to connect directly with the users. Traditional html forms always work but Wufoo, Google Forms, WordPress Contact Form, and so on are the latest contact forms taking over the website world. They are equipped with inbuilt functionalities which otherwise require hours of programming.

HTML and PHP

Traditional HTML Contact forms involve creating forms with ids and capturing them via php and storing in database. The values from the MySQL database could be later retrieved in to a Excel sheet or a web page. This version works fine even now. The developer needs to take care of SQL injection, blank values, naming the fields in the database, and so on. With HTML 5,  the inbuilt validations come in handy for developers. A lot of code needed to store and retrieve values from database. Further, the out put where the values are displayed or stored must also be taken care of. Sending the form values to an email via the mailto function is the safest and simplest way to achieve the goal. Adding recaptcha is another safety measure for added security. In addition, blocking spam bots at server side is good for securing your website and contact forms.

Wufoo

Wufoo is another way of adding contact form to your website. However, the entire data and control is with them. Wufoo has four pricing options. The basic version of the form lets you add the fields and put the code on your website. The form also comes with captcha so you don’t have to worry about any additional coding. The data is stored on Wufoo site which can be accessed via your Wufoo login. Wufoo lets you create three forms and three reports in the basic package. The reports are awesome too and you can customize any way you want. The report can further be downloaded in to a Excel file or as a CSV file for further processing. Wufoo forms are great for basic requirements. But, if you want the paid versions you can buy Wufoo membership depending upon your requirements. The basic version also leaves the big message about ‘Form created with Wufoo’ message on your website. You can remove that with paid version. Wufoo also has surveys and emails which can be added later with paid packages.

WordPress ContactForm Plugin

Another gem is the WordPress ContactForm plugin, which you need to set up to be used on your website or blog. The ContactForm plugin is free and can be set up by downloading the plugin from the WordPress Plugins. You can have multiple forms with this plugin and can set up the colors and fields based on your client’s requirements. It comes with captcha for added security. But, ContactForm 7 needs to be updated for latest bug fixes and releases. You can send emails with contact forms in them using this plugin. However, you need to be aware of how to set it up otherwise you will end up with lot of errors. This has to be tested in multiple browsers and devices as the form throws an error if you give invalid input names that are reserved in this plugin. I think this ContactForm is great again and the data can be import or export data from the WordPress admin tools.

Google Forms

If you are a big fan of Google and use Google Apps for most of your web business and data management, Google Forms are a great way. With your google login you can create the form and get the code in your website. Once you submit the form, thank you message from Google Forms remains on the screen. You can edit the colors and fields and set up is easy. You can limit the number of responses, include surveys, send confirmation messages,  and so on. The plugins available for Chrome make the set up even more efficient. If you want to send an attachment with the confirmation message, you have to set a trigger for the function on the form submit. First, save the document to be sent in your google drive, then get the id of the document by opening it in a new window. Set up the Google script to send the mail with subject, body, and attachment to the email specified in the Google Contact Form. You may need to test it out multiple times before you can successfully send the attachment. Spend some time to get a hang of the Google script and related errors. Google Forms Example shows that the data can be saved in an excel sheet on your drive or you can specify the format required. The beauty of the Google Forms is that the Contact Form data sheet on your drive is instantly updated. Sending confirmation messages and sending mail to self is also simple. You can set to send you daily or weekly reports as well.

Let me know how you incorporated Contact form in your website and which you think is the best! Here is one so you can contact me. 🙂

 

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Quad Cities Summer Events 2016

Summer of 2016 brings record high temperatures to Quad cities along with annual events. Music, art, fair, carnivals, festivals, and so on make QC the greatest place to spend the summer again! Here are my top picks for summer 2016.

  1. Rock Island County Fair – July 19 to 23: Enjoy the unlimited rides and don’t miss the fair food and the demolition derby on Friday and Little Monster trucks on Saturday! See the farm animals and feed them.
  2. MVValley Fair – Aug 2 to 7: Take the fun stands pass to enjoy the entry for five days including the grand stands! Rascal Flatts and Alabama are in the line up this year
  3. Tug Fest – Aug 11 to 13: Don’t miss the fireworks on Friday and the great tug on Saturday. Cheer for your local teams and enjoy the action! Signup your kids for the kids tug to make it more interesting
  4. River Roots Live – Aug 26 to 27: If you like loud music and street food, this is the place for you. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music! Visit the many stages and enjoy all kinds of music
  5. Quad city balloon festival – Sep 23 to 27: Enjoy the hot air balloon ride over the QC and fly in the colorful balloons. Donate a canned or packed food item for free entry

Do visit the Putnam museum and Figge art museum during to check out their special exhibits. Say hello to the mummy in the museum and create art at the Figge art museum. Ride the channel cat water taxi to cross the river. Ride the river cruises and dinner cruises on the famous Celebration Belle. Go to the movie in the park or the movie marathon in the theaters early shows.

If you want to venture out new adventures in the Quad cities, try out the Scuba Adventures and get certified in the live water swimming. Don’t miss the Slide the city on August 6th which is sure a fun to do and watch as well. A must visit is the Bust out live escape rooms in Bettendorf which is a perfect team building activity for family, friends, or office. the Quad city sky diving is open for season and test your luck out there as well. 🙂

Participate in the marathons, races, triatholons, RAGBRAI, and so on in 2016. Or just enjoy the river walk. Let me know what you did this summer in the Quad cities! 🙂

New Pokemon Nintendo game

On November 18 the new Nintendo Pokemon game called Pokemon Sun and Moon will come out. The legendary Pokemon are called Solgaleo and Lunala. There is also a mythical Pokemon that looks like Diancie called Magearna which is said to be made by humans a long time ago. The starter Pokemon are called Litten the fire type, Popplio the ater type and Rowlet the grass type.

gallery-1464873431-solgaleo gallery-1464873635-lunala

image credit: digitalspy.com

1st picture: solgaleo

2nd picture:lunala

I am very excited to play this game.

First blog, yeah!

Walking: The Medicine for All Pains

With the onset of warmer weather in the Quad Cities, we started seeing more people walking, running, and biking. I think walking is the best medicine for all the pains. If you feel more pain in your back or knees, go out for a short walk. Similarly, if your mood is not feeling right, go for a walk. As simple as that. Your pains and moods will be immediately transformed in to another pain or mood! 🙂

Walking is good in the mornings, evenings, or late night. Doctors suggest morning walk is the best but I think walking is good any time of the day if you are able to do it. You can reduce your stress levels, blood sugar levels, and put the limbs into action. Walking lets you test your limits and increase the resistance to pain and workout. Your endurance levels will be higher if you take multiple short walks during the day. One mile is the optimum distance that you can walk or split it into two short walks.

Ask a friend or family member to join you for the walk so you can catch up on other things. That will be relaxing for both you and the walking buddy. Check out the neighborhood landscape or enjoy the warm weather.  Walking is the best alternative if you are unable to go for the high stress workouts. You can walk according to your own pace and no matter how fast you walk it is going to be ultimately beneficial. Add some music to your walk to make it more entertaining and relaxing. Experts suggest that brisk walking helps and also engaging your hands during the walk also helps. You might burn some additional calories if you walk twice a day and get back to fitness level by the Independence day vacation!

If you don’t workout on a regular basis, you might do just fine for your day to day activities. However, if you keep your body working out daily, you will be ready for any high adventure activities for the summer. Your limbs and body will be prepared for all the hiking and extra travel during the summer. In addition, your body will also ready for any hormone changes due to the aging. Do not just refrain from walking because you have that pain or this work. Keep the work out going on and keep walking!

Lake of the Ozarks: A man made attraction

Lake of the Ozarks was created 72 years ago to create hydro electricity from the Osage river by building the Bagnell dam. The Lake of the Ozarks covers 55,000 acres and has 1300 miles of shoreline and is close to Jefferson city and St. Louis. The man made attraction is popular for its water activities, two State parks, and the Osage Premium Outlet shopping!

Lake of the Ozarks is a perfect destination for spending quality family time. The Lake of the Ozark State Park and Ha Ha Tonka State Park (free admission) are near to the Lake of the Ozarks which offer natural attractions. Rent a log cabin in the woods for a natural living experience or camp out in the many campsites available. Parasailing is one of the popular activity in the Lake of the Ozarks. Dinner cruises and narrated cruises on the water are good for enjoying the nature. Boat rentals and jet boats can be taken for your personal use. Golfing, fishing, and camping are other fun activities.

Bridal cave is under the Thunder mountain park and is believed to be a place where native American couples got married. You can reserve a spot there for your wedding too. The Big Surf Water Park is famous for its water rides and beaches. If you are adventure enough, you can try the stand up paddle craft at the Super Daves paddle rafting. Kiddy kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats are also available there. Zippy’s ziplines are great for trying out their three creative zip lines and picnic areas!

Wineries are plenty in and around the Lake of the Ozarks where you can relax an try out different drinks. Visit the Willmore Lodge near the Bagnell bridge for a brief peak into the history of the area. Camden county museum, Miller county museum, and Morgan county museum are the other museums open for visitors. All the museums are free of charge! There is plenty of shopping along the shores and around the area for purchasing unique items in that area.

Lake of the Ozarks is great for enjoying the nature and spending quality time with family and friends. It is a popular destination from visitors all over the country. Visit Mark Twain museum and caves in Hannibal Missouri on the way to the Lake of the Ozarks if you are travelling from the Quad Cities area.