Serenity Springs: Amazing Romantic Getaway

Serenity Springs: Amazing Romantic Getaway

When was the last time you were shown to your room via horse and carriage? That’s what we experienced when we checked into Serenity Springs, the resort that specializes in romantic getaways for couples. After our driver loaded our luggage onto the carriage and we stepped aboard, Isabella, a rescued Belgian, led us through the 85 acre wooded Michigan City resort to our cabin. Read more

Shop ‘Made in Iowa’ for Unique Gift Ideas

Shop ‘Made in Iowa’ for Unique Gift Ideas

When it comes to gift giving, some people are just plain impossible to buy for. When you ask for a wish list, they tell you they don’t need a thing. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking for a wish list. We have someone like that in our family. For a while we were exchanging gift cards, which seemed silly. Then one year as we were traveling in early December, browsing through gift shops, I had an idea. Why not fill a basket with goodies produced in the state we were visiting? So that year we gave this person a basket filled with locally-made wines, cheeses, honey and other edible treats. It was a big hit. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for unique gift ideas whenever I travel. Read more

Illinois Bicentennial Year Kicks Off with Flag Raising Ceremonies

Illinois Bicentennial Year Kicks Off with Flag Raising Ceremonies

At noon on December 4 municipalities across Illinois conducted flag raising ceremonies to mark the beginning of the state’s bicentennial year. What better place to witness the beginning of the state’s 200th anniversary year than in the state capital? So we hopped in the car and made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Springfield, where the Illinois Bicentennial flag was to be raised atop the Old State Capitol. Read more

Touring the Pettengill-Morron House

Touring the Pettengill-Morron House

In our travels we often tour historic homes that were originally owned by prominent local residents. Those homes are usually furnished with very few of the original owner’s belongings. Instead, they’re filled mostly with period furniture obtained elsewhere. Not so with the Pettengill-Morron House in Peoria, Illinois. The last Pettengill-Morron House owner, Jean Morron, left the home to the Peoria Historical Society with all of her possessions intact. Entering the home, you feel like you’re stepping into somebody’s current residence. Read more

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

You don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Here are 12 events throughout the Midwest that won’t break the budget before the New Year even begins. (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2017.) Read more

Where to Eat in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana

Where to Eat in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana

You can bet a college town is going to have great places to eat. Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University, is no exception. Here are six Lafayette-West Lafayette restaurants where we dined during our weekend visit. Read more

Indiana Welcome Center Celebrates ‘A Christmas Story’

Indiana Welcome Center Celebrates ‘A Christmas Story’

You’ll shoot your eye out!” cries everyone with whom little Ralphie Parker shares his dream of Santa bringing him “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two hundred shot range model air rifle.” A Christmas Story, released in 1983 and based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years, has become an American holiday movie classic. Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana, the model city for the movie’s fictitious town of Hohman. Hammond celebrates the movie every Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center with fun displays and special events. The 2017 event runs from November 11 through January 7, 2018. Read more

Exploring Washington Square: Side Trip from Peoria

Exploring Washington Square: Side Trip from Peoria

Washington’s square was once the bustling hub of this Illinois city’s commerce. However, as Washington grew, its services and main shopping areas moved elsewhere. Although no longer the city center, Washington Square thrives today with antiques and specialty shops, restaurants, and a newly renovated seven-room inn. Read more

Holiday Lights in Illinois 2017

Holiday Lights in Illinois 2017

Twinkling lights add a bit of magic to the holiday season. Infants to elderly are fascinated by dazzling lights displays. Whether you prefer to enjoy holiday lights on foot, in the warm comfort of your car, or even from a helicopter, you’ll find many impressive and unique holiday lights displays throughout Illinois. Read more

Menno-Hof: Learn the Facts of Amish History

Menno-Hof: Learn the Facts of Amish History

America’s fascination with Amish culture lures nearly 2 million visitors to Shipshewana, Indiana, each year. Shipshewana is located in LaGrange County, which is the home to over 45,000 Amish. But who exactly are these people who travel by horse and buggy and don’t use electricity, whose women wear long dresses and prayer caps and men wear pants with no outside pockets? What are their roots? Anyone who visits Shipshewana should begin their trip at Menno-Hof. Menno-Hof tells the story of Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites, three groups who stem from the 16th century Anabaptist movement.
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