“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Everyone who has seen the movie, A Christmas Story, knows that line. And with the movie constantly in the top movie picks for the holiday season, who hasn’t seen it—at least once? The movie, released in 1983, is based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years in his hometown of Hammond, Indiana. Hammond is once again celebrating the movie during the Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center. The 2021 event runs from November 13 through January 2, 2022. Read more
From 1854 to 1929 about a quarter million orphaned or abandoned children, some as young as three years old, rode trains west from New York and other large cities to begin new lives. Put up for foster care in rural areas, some siblings never saw each other again. Today, the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kansas, documents this little-known part of American history and relates heart-felt personal stories of orphan train riders. Read more
If you’ve ever pulled over for a photo op of a Muffler Man or detoured to get a glimpse of the world’s largest steer, then you must plan a visit to Casey, Illinois. Fair warning: You won’t get away with just a quick stop in Casey. You’ll want to spend several hours there, maybe even all day. You see, Casey is home to the world’s largest wind chime, rocking chair, mailbox, and nine more sculptures that have made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Read more
It’s time for the Buffalo Roundup in South Dakota’s Customer State Park! And this year you can watch all the action online. This exciting annual event takes place on Friday, September 25, at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.
I had the privilege of being part of the Buffalo Roundup in 2014. Standing in the bed of a pickup truck, I rode alongside the cowboys and cowgirls as they cracked their whips. The ground shook as the thundering herd of 1,300 bison kicked up dust. I felt like I was in the midst of a western movie. The Buffalo Roundup is by far the most memorable experience as a travel writer.
Touring the Community Veterans Memorial in Munster, Indiana, is like winding your way through U.S. Military history. From sculptures to landscaping, the memorial takes you through 20th century wars. Read more
We’re excited that some tourism sites are reopening soon, including the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Like many of you, we’ve been cooped up in the house for the past two months. A weekly trip to the grocery store or a walk around the block is as much as we get out. Our only travel excitement has been taking the long way home after dropping mail in the box at the post office.
Now that the weather is finally warming up here in Illinois, we’re taking longer walks along park trails, and the itch to travel has hit us hard. Fortunately, states are beginning to reopen, some faster than others. While Illinois remains largely closed, Oklahoma is well on its way to reopening—with proper health safety precautions. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, one of our favorite Oklahoma museums, is scheduled to reopen the latter part of May. Read more