Hershey’s Chocolate World: Chocolate Fun 5 Ways

Hershey’s Chocolate World: Chocolate Fun 5 Ways

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

North Dakota Road Trip Day 5: Bismarck to Dickinson

North Dakota Road Trip Day 5: Bismarck to Dickinson

On the fifth day of our summer road trip across North Dakota, we took a road trip inside a road trip inside a road trip. Starting at Bismarck, we drove to Mandan. We left the interstate at Mandan and continued west on the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway. At Gladstone we detoured south onto the Enchanted Highway, then headed back north to continue on the Old Red Old Ten to its end at Dickinson. Read more

RV-MH Hall of Fame Exhibits Campers of Yesteryear

RV-MH Hall of Fame Exhibits Campers of Yesteryear

It wasn’t long after automobiles became the mainstay of American society that people began converting them into recreational vehicles or pulling camping trailers behind them.  Both the first motorhome and the first travel trailers made their debuts in 1910. Last summer we visited the RV-MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, where campers dating as far back as the 1916 are on display in the museum, including some once owned by well-known people. Read more

Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence Teaching January Painting Workshops

Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence Teaching January Painting Workshops

I had never touched watercolors in my life—besides the eight-color Crayola® trays that I used in kindergarten. Yet, in only two hours, I created a watercolor painting that I was proud of, during the inaugural session of the Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence program. The luxury bed-and-breakfast Goldmoor Inn, located in Galena, Illinois, is sponsoring the program for four consecutive weeks during January. Award-winning Chicago watercolor painter Carol Luc taught me and several others basic watercolor techniques during this past weekend’s session. Read more

Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 Posts

Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 Posts

At Midwest Wanderer we write about a variety of article topics. We like to include a mix of restaurants, attractions, festivals, and accommodations. So I was pleasantly surprised when I ran the list of the Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 (most viewed) posts and the top four were a bakery, an attraction, a hotel, and a festival. Apparently you, our readers, like a variety of topics, too. Here is the list of Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 posts: Read more

Monastery Immaculate Conception: Touring the Castle on the Hill

Monastery Immaculate Conception: Touring the Castle on the Hill

In 1867 four Sisters of St. Benedict arrived in Ferdinand, Indiana, from a monastery in Kentucky to teach in the parish school. By the 1870s, with over 70 sisters working at a boarding school they had started for girls in Ferdinand, the group became independent of the Kentucky monastery.  Today the Monastery Immaculate Conception is one of the largest communities of Benedictine sisters in the United States, and the Romanesque-style domed monastery they live in is celebrating its 150th anniversary. We recently visited the Monastery Immaculate Conception, where Sister Christine gave us a brief history of the monastery and took us on a tour of what some call the “castle on the hill.” Read more

Elwood Haynes Museum: Automotive Pioneer Invented World’s Strongest Metal Alloy

Elwood Haynes Museum: Automotive Pioneer Invented World’s Strongest Metal Alloy

As field superintendent in Indiana’s new natural gas industry, Elwood Haynes needed a way to get from gas field to gas field. So he invented a horseless carriage. There were several automobiles being developed around the country at the same time, but Haynes called his vehicle “America’s first,” and the title stuck. Haynes also invented Stellite in the early 1900s. Stellite was world’s strongest known metal alloy. The Elwood Haynes Museum in Kokomo, Indiana, tells the story of Haynes, his inventions and his contribution to history. Read more

North Dakota Day 4: Bottineau to Bismarck

North Dakota Day 4: Bottineau to Bismarck

Leaving Bottineau on the fourth day of our summer road trip across North Dakota, we headed south on U.S. Route 83 to Bismarck. Along the way, we visited heritage and historical sites, ending the evening with a riverboat cruise on the Missouri River. Read more

Touring Southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave

Touring Southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave

If you’ve ever toured a cave, you’re likely familiar with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, soda straws, and flowstone. Maybe even draperies and cave bacon. But have you ever heard of a calcite flower? Or seen a pool of water so reflective that you mistake the reflection for a deep recess of the cave? Every cave offers something special. A calcite flower and the reflective water are just two unique attributes  in southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave, arguably the most decorated cave in the Interior Lowlands of the United States. Read more

Schimpff’s Confectionery: Peppermint Candy Made before Your Eyes

Schimpff’s Confectionery: Peppermint Candy Made before Your Eyes

The sugar mixture boiling in the copper kettle was not quite 325 degrees when we arrived at Schimpff’s Confectionery. As soon as it reached is “magic temperature,” we would watch Warren Schimpff make peppermint candy with same equipment his great-grandfather used over a hundred years ago in this Jeffersonville, Indiana, candy shop. Read more