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
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
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
At least 23 reported tornadoes ripped through the Midwest on the last day in February this year, killing four people. Homes were destroyed, massive trees uprooted, and cars tossed around like toys. Tornadoes are rare in the Midwest in February, but they do happen. In fact, although tornadoes are most common from early spring through summer, they can occur any time of year. Before you head out on your next road trip, prepare for tornado safety. Read more
On Day 6, the last “official” day of our North Dakota road trip, we drove from Dickinson to Medora. We toured historical and cultural attractions during the day and ended the evening with a delightful outdoor musical performance, complete with a fireworks finale. Read more
This weekend we took a road trip to west central Indiana, to the annual Parke County Maple Syrup Fair. Parke County is home to four maple syrup camps. However, the county is better known for its covered bridges. In fact, there are more covered bridges in Parke County, Indiana, than in any other county in the United States. So we combined our day trip to include both the Maple Syrup Fair and a self-guided covered bridge tour. Read more
We visited the National Civil War Museum last summer during our visit to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The museum tells the story of both the Union and the Confederacy, emphasizing personal human elements through stories, artifacts and dioramas.
Tension had been brewing between the North and the South for decades over slavery. Slavery was dominant in southern states. It was the backbone of South’s agrarian economy. Conversely, northern “abolitionists” felt slavery was wrong. They wanted to do away with slavery. Abraham Lincoln, who ran on a strong anti-slavery platform, won the 1860 presidential election. A month later, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Ten more southern states followed suit. Less than four months later, the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
African Americans settled in Georgetown as early as the 1820s. Georgetown, a neighborhood in Madison, Indiana, is located on the banks of the Ohio River. During the times of slavery, Indiana was a free state. Kentucky, across the river, was a slave state. Putting their own lives at risk, many Georgetown abolitionists helped slaves escape and travel north to freedom. They hid escaped slaves in their homes and other buildings as the slaves traveled the Underground Railroad route. During our visit to Madison, we took the self-guided Georgetown Walking Tour and saw some of the Georgetown buildings that still exist. Read more
Lee W. Sinclair dubbed his dream hotel “the eighth wonder of the world” when he built it in 1901. The opulent West Baden Springs Hotel’s centerpiece was the dome-topped 200-foot diameter atrium. The rest of the hotel and the surrounding grounds were grandiose, as well. The West Baden Springs Hotel, along with neighboring French Lick Springs Hotel, was the wealthy’s place to go. West Baden Springs was more than a hotel; it was a full resort. The resort included a casino, a velodrome, and a baseball field that professional teams used for spring training. However, West Baden Springs was best known for its mineral springs that had healing powers. We toured the West Baden Hotel during our recent French Lick, Indiana, visit and learned of the hotel’s rise, decline and restoration. Read more
Milton S. Hershey built the entire town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, over a hundred years ago to serve his Hershey Chocolate factory and the factory employees. Today, not everyone who lives in Hershey works for the chocolate company or its affiliated enterprises. However, Hershey attractions still dominate. According to TripAdvisor, four of the top seven Hershey attractions are Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story (The Museum on Chocolate Avenue) and Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey’s Chocolate World itself includes five separate activities. Read more