6 Small Midwest Zoos Great for a Short Visit

6 Small Midwest Zoos Great for a Short Visit

Large zoos are a fun all-day adventure. But there are times that you don’t have all day. Or perhaps you have little ones in tow who can’t yet handle a full day outing. You hate to pay the full price for a major zoo, deal with the hassle of a large parking lot, and leave after a few hours. Here are six Midwest zoos that are great for short visits. Read more

Triple XXX Family Restaurant: A West Lafayette Icon

Triple XXX Family Restaurant: A West Lafayette Icon

Steakburgers made from 100% sirloin ground fresh daily…and root beer with old-fashioned flavor—served in a thick glass mug, of course. I’d heard about the Triple XXX Family Restaurant for the past few years and was anxious to eat there during our recent visit to Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana. The food, the root beer and the nostalgic ambiance of this counter-service-only diner take you to a time long past. Read more

Driving through Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Driving through Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. President from 1901 to 1909, is known as the “conservation president.” He created the U.S. Forest Service and also established numerous national forests, bird reserves, game preserves, national parks, and national monuments. It’s fitting that North Dakota’s national park, an area where Roosevelt hunted, ranched, and grieved the passing of both his wife and his mother, is named after him. A drive through Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in the North Dakota Badlands, was a highlight of our week-long road trip through North Dakota last summer. Read more

Ohio River Scenic Byway: A Day in Historic Newburgh

Ohio River Scenic Byway: A Day in Historic Newburgh

In the mid-1800s Newburgh, Indiana, flourished. Steamboat traffic and coal mining were big industries. Warehouses lined Water Street. Mills and small factories contributed to the town’s success. Today, the steamboats, mills and warehouses are gone. A walking trail parallels the Ohio River, with benches on which you can sit for a while and watch barges that still ply the glistening waters. Restaurants and shops attract visitors. The atmosphere is casual, resort-like. However, the town embraces its historic roots, combining the old with the new, as we discovered during our visit to Newburgh during our road trip last fall along Indiana’s Ohio River Scenic Byway. Read more

Relaxing Weekend at Iconic Pheasant Run Resort

Relaxing Weekend at Iconic Pheasant Run Resort

Located on a former farm on the outskirts of St. Charles, a little more than an hour from Chicago, Pheasant Run was the place to go in the 1960s. Folks from all over the Chicago area visited the 250-acre resort for a weekend of golf, dinner theater entertainment, and relaxation. Oddly, neither my husband nor I experienced Pheasant Run until a couple of weeks ago. We discovered that more than 50 years after it first opened, Pheasant Run Resort is still a fun destination, whether you visit as a couple, a family, or a group. Read more

Following the Trail of Faith in Southern Indiana

Following the Trail of Faith in Southern Indiana

When we travel, we often visit area churches. We especially enjoy architecturally and/or historically significant churches, whether attending Sunday Mass or just touring. So when we were in South Indiana’s Dubois County, we were anxious to follow some of the Trail of Faith. Read more

Following the Amish Country Heritage Trail Driving Tour

Following the Amish Country Heritage Trail Driving Tour

Last summer we headed to Elkhart County in northern Indiana to travel the world’s only quilt gardens driving tour. The quilt gardens are intertwined with the area’s Heritage Trail, so we essentially took two driving tours simultaneously. The drive takes you along city streets and country roads in both Elkhart and LaGrange Counties, passing through seven cities and towns, including Nappanee and Shipshewana, the heart of Amish Country. Read more

Blaum Bros Distilling Co: Top Galena Attraction

Blaum Bros Distilling Co: Top Galena Attraction

Since the first year Matt and Mike Blaum opened Blaum Bros Distilling Co, it’s been Galena’s top attraction, according to Trip Advisor. The craft distillery is so popular that just three years after opening their doors in 2014, they are having to expand. Although it was quiet on the single-digit day we toured the distillery this winter, Matt told us, “During the summer and fall months it’s just shoulder-to-shoulder in here.” Read more

Mayberry in the Midwest Festival Takes You Back to Simpler Times

Mayberry in the Midwest Festival Takes You Back to Simpler Times

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know by now that I end up behind jail bars several times a year. Last summer, it wasn’t just me… but everybody in our pub crawl group. The “authorities” put us women in one cell and the men in another. It certainly wasn’t a pleasant place to be. Good thing it was, as usual, just pretend. My jail time was part of the Mayberry After Dark event during the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival in Danville, Indiana. Read more

Goldmoor Inn: Romantic Galena Getaway

Goldmoor Inn: Romantic Galena Getaway

Historic Galena, tucked away in the northwest Illinois rolling hills, is the quintessential romantic getaway. During the day, guests visit historic sites or browse small shops housed in Main Street’s nineteenth century buildings.  In the evening, after dining in one of Galena’s trendy restaurants, they retreat to romantic B&Bs and inns. We were recently invited to the Goldmoor Inn, located just minutes from downtown, to experience the inn’s first Artists in Residents program. One look at the inn, and I fell in love. Read more