Why Fieldhouse was My Clear Lake Restaurant Choice

Why Fieldhouse was My Clear Lake Restaurant Choice

One evening during the Building Community Conference I attended earlier this month in Clear Lake, Iowa, we rode the Main Street Trolley to a restaurant of our choice. I chose Fieldhouse, not only because of its farm-to-table cuisine, but for another reason that’s near and dear to my heart. Read more

Exploring Palo Duro Canyon: Grand Canyon of Texas

Exploring Palo Duro Canyon: Grand Canyon of Texas

Driving through the flat Texas panhandle, you’d never guess that only 25 miles south of Amarillo the earth opens to the second largest canyon in North America. Palo Duron Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, stretches 120 miles long, ranges from 6 to 20 miles wide, and is more than 800 feet deep. However, unlike the Grand Canyon, where you can reach the canyon floor only by mule or foot, you can drive right down to the canyon floor in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Read more

Weekend Getaway: Galena, Illinois

Weekend Getaway: Galena, Illinois

Heading west on U.S. 20 in northern Illinois, the road that had been straight and flat begins to wind through gently rolling farm fields as you near Galena. When church steeples and orange brick buildings come into view, you know you’ve reached your destination.  A city with fewer than 3500 residents, Galena attracts over a million visitors every year. Visitors come for the history, the shopping, the dining or just to relax in an atmosphere that is like nowhere else in Illinois.  Read more

Indiana Bead Town Mural Aiming for World Record – And You Can Help

Indiana Bead Town Mural Aiming for World Record – And You Can Help

A world record is about to be broken. And the call is out for you to help. It’ll actually be two years before the record is official. That’s how long it’ll take to adhere nearly fifteen million recycled Mardi Gras beads in place. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is hosting the Bead Town project to create the world’s largest bead mosaic. Artist and Bead Town Executive Director Stephen Wanger designed the Bead Town: Along the South Shore mural and leads the project. During the next two years visitors to the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, Indiana, are invited to participate in the project by placing beads in the mural. Read more

12 Ways to Enjoy Wildlife Prairie Park

12 Ways to Enjoy Wildlife Prairie Park

If you’re familiar with Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City, Illinois (near Peoria), you most likely associate it with its herd of bison or gang of elk. (Yes, a group of elk is called a gang.) Perhaps you also know that the park is home to wolves, coyotes, and other animals. But did you know that Wildlife Prairie Park also includes mountain bike trails, a disc golf course, and is a concert venue? Or that you can spend the night in the park inside a caboose or a grain bin? During our visit to Wildlife Prairie Park last fall, Brien Davis, Community Development and Events Manager showed us around. We discovered there is so much more to this 2,000-acre park than we knew. Here are twelve ways to enjoy Wildlife Prairie Park. Read more

Conner Prairie: Fun Exploring 19th Century Life

Conner Prairie: Fun Exploring 19th Century Life

From a balloon ride that soars 350 feet above the ground to a Civil War area that uses extensive special effects, Conner Prairie living history museum is much more than we anticipated. On our last visit, over twenty years ago, Conner Prairie consisted of the William Conner House, the 1836 Prairietown, and not much more. Don’t get me wrong. We enjoyed it then. But on our return there last summer we were wowed with all of the additions. The museum covers over 1,000 acres and is one of the most visited outdoor living history museums in the United States. Here are some of the areas that we particularly enjoyed. Read more

Exploring Christmas Tree Pass and Grapevine Canyon

Exploring Christmas Tree Pass and Grapevine Canyon

Two years ago Skip and I spent several weeks in Laughlin, Nevada, on a winter getaway. Why Laughlin? Laughlin’s casino hotels are inexpensive but decent, and we found lots of ways to eat cheaply, too. We’re not huge gamblers, so we looked around for other things to do in the area. We founds lots of places to visit, but one thing we couldn’t do was explore Christmas Tree Pass, one of Laughlin’s top rated activities. We had a brand new car with us, and we had read that the twelve-mile drive was rugged.

So this year, when snow clouds filled the Midwest skies and the temperature dropped to single digits, we hightailed it back to Laughlin. This time we went prepared with our fourteen-year-old SUV with 275,000 miles on it. We were ready to explore Christmas Tree Pass and Grapevine Canyon, which is located along the pass. Read more

Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

We were warned: Eat lunch at the Wittmond Hotel in Brussels, Illinois, and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day. Little did we know the extensive relish tray alone at this restaurant would fill us up…and then came the entrees. Read more

Road Trip Severe Weather: Tips to Avoid a Disaster!

Road Trip Severe Weather: Tips to Avoid a Disaster!

Two years ago we were on a road trip headed home to the Midwest from Arizona. As we drove through Texas at dusk, ominous clouds darkened the sky, threatening severe weather. We got off the interstate and drove Route 66 instead to avoid heavy traffic. It wasn’t long before large rain drops pelted the windshield, followed by a downpour. At times we could barely see in front of us. Fortunately, there was no hail. We slowly made our way Elk City, Oklahoma, where we had reservations that night. We did have a NOAA weather radio with us, something we always road trip with, so we knew there were no tornadoes spotted. But it wasn’t a fun drive, having to take care that we didn’t drive into floods on unfamiliar dark roads. Read more

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Bucket lists have become a big thing. Or maybe it’s just the term du jour. People have always checked to-do’s off travel lists. Visit all 50 states. Take in a ballgame at every Major League Baseball stadium. I do the same even with smaller lists. Photograph every Seward Johnson sculpture in a city. Stop at every  shop on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail. So when I learned about the Indiana Foodways Alliance culinary trails, I was on board. Right away I decided I wanted to eat pie at every restaurant on the Indiana Foodways Alliance Hoosier Pie Trail. My attempt was a miserable failure. Read more