Linda, I actually live in Kansas City, (Gladstone)MO. I work about 2 minutes from the airport. Talking about Independence, yes, I used to live in the Centropolis area, off of Truman Road. When I was young, my mother and I would go to Independence square and do our "shopping."
I don't know if you have ever heard/been to Branson, MO? Anyway, it is not to far from Springfield, MO. Actually we have a lake home right out of Branson, MO.
Yes, I know what you mean about the snow. Fortunately, it passed us (where I live) by. We only got ice, and that is enough for me.
The reason I say that is I broke my ankle on ice and they almost had to cut it off, it was so bad. So ice and I don't get along.
North Carolina is a long ways from Missouri. Did a job or otherwise that you that direction? Yes, talking about being warm, when it comes to cruising, I always head for the Caribbean.