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

North Dakota Road Trip Day 6: Dickinson to Medora

North Dakota Road Trip Day 6: Dickinson to Medora

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

Parke County Maple Syrup Fair Leads to Covered Bridges

Parke County Maple Syrup Fair Leads to Covered Bridges

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

Georgetown Walking Tour: Historic Underground Railroad Neighborhood

Georgetown Walking Tour: Historic Underground Railroad Neighborhood

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

West Baden Springs Hotel: Touring Historical Opulence

West Baden Springs Hotel: Touring Historical Opulence

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

2 Romantic Bed and Breakfasts along Indiana’s Ohio River

2 Romantic Bed and Breakfasts along Indiana’s Ohio River

We used to stay only at chain hotels when we traveled. Until, during a press trip in our early blogging days, our hosts booked us at a bed and breakfast. Our first B&B experience was so impressive that we now prefer to stay at bed and breakfasts, small inns, cottages and cabins. So we were thrilled when our itineraries for last fall’s road trip to southern Indiana included several such accommodations. Among the places we stayed were two romantic bed and breakfasts along the Ohio River:  Kintner House Inn in Corydon and Market Street Inn in Jeffersonville. 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

French Lick Springs Hotel: A Stay in Historical Luxury

French Lick Springs Hotel: A Stay in Historical Luxury

When the Monon Railroad built a line from Chicago to French Lick, Indiana, in the late 1800s, everyone who was anyone from Chicago began visiting French Lick. Well-to-do folks played golf on a championship course. They bathed in the healing mineral springs. And they stayed in the luxury French Lick Springs Hotel or the nearby equally luxurious West Baden Hotel. Read more

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

I’ve mentioned here before that if  I could have only one snack food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese popcorn. But not just any cheese popcorn. The supermarket stuff won’t do. It must be super cheesy, the kind you can only find in a gourmet popcorn shop. So every time I stumble upon a popcorn shop in my travels, I must go in and buy some.  Here are 11 Midwest popcorn shops I’ve come across in the past few years that offer rich gourmet cheese popcorn—and caramel corn in lots of flavors if you prefer your popcorn sweet. Read more