If you visit Shipshewana, Indiana, chances are you’ll eat at least one Amish-style meal at the Blue Gate Restaurant, enjoy a show at the Blue Gate Threatre, or treat yourself to some goodies at the Blue Gate Bakery. We doubled-down during our Shipshewana visit, eating two meals and taking in two plays at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre. Read more
The weather was unseasonably warm. Even in the Missouri Ozarks, 90-degree days are uncommon in late September. I’m usually not thrilled with such hot weather. However, considering I got completely wet during our five-mile Ruby’s Landing River Resort kayak trip, the heat was welcome. Read more
One of the things I love about travel writing is that we constantly experience new adventures. Sailing is one of those things we never did before—until our private sailboat cruise with Sail Peoria. Read more
You’ve heard of Daniel Boone, the early American frontiersman. Chances are, however, you’ve never heard of Squire Boone. Squire was Daniel’s younger brother, ten years his junior. Just as daring as his older brother, Squire explored territories that would become the states of Kentucky and Indiana. He discovered what is now known as Squire Boone Caverns and lived the last part of his life there. Squire Boone built a grist mill and village near the caverns, which are located near Indiana’s first capital, Corydon. At his request, when he died, Squire’s remains were placed in the caverns. Today, a tour of the cavern takes you past not only gorgeous formations, but also a casket that contains Squires remains. Read more
1843 was a big year for Delphi, Indiana. That was the year the Wabash and Erie Canal reached the Lafayette and Delphi settlements. They could now export products they produced—mostly agricultural products— to the east within a couple of weeks. They could also import needed tools, supplies, and cultural products like pianos. Within a few decades, however, the railroads came through. Faster than donkeys could tow a boat and able to run year-round, trains took over the transportation industry. Canal boats became obsolete.
Today the Wabash and Erie Canal is active again in Delphi, albeit for just the distance it takes for visitors to experience a short replica canal boat ride. In addition to the boat ride, an interpretive center filled with hands-on exhibits, a reconstructed 1850s village, and walking trails add to the canal experience. Read more
We aren’t usually lucky. A day late and a dollar short. Murphy’s Law. However, you want to phrase it, that’s us. But not this time. We happened to be in Pulaski County, Missouri, on the day the Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoyed through on Route 66. Better yet, the convoy stopped for the evening at Fort Leonard Wood, located in Pulaski County. Fort Leonard Wood opened the event to the public, and our itinerary was flexible. So off we went to Fort Leonard Wood to see the 42 vehicles that made up this antique military vehicle convoy. Read more
The year is 1859. Experienced balloonist John Wise attempts to deliver airmail for the first time in U.S. history. He plans to fly his balloon from Lafayette, Indiana, to New York City with a bag of 123 letters. Unfortunately, the wind blows in the wrong direction. Instead of flying northeast, the balloon flies southward. He gives up after 30 miles and lands in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Fast forward to 2017 and the Conner Prairie living history museum where one of the attractions, the 1859 Balloon Voyage, represents Wise’s airmail attempt.
I was excited to ride in the Conner Prairie 1859 Balloon Voyage because despite my fear of heights, a ride in a hot-air balloon is on my bucket list. The 1859 Balloon Voyage isn’t quite the same as a hot-air balloon ride, but it’s a step towards it. Read more
From the mid-1930s through the 1960s International Friendship Gardens was a popular tourist destination. The gardens in Michigan City, Indiana, represented countries around the world. The venue also hosted musical and theatrical entertainment. The gardens lost popularity from the 1970s to the early 2000s, but have now sprung back. Today people visit the newly named Friendship Botanic Gardens to stroll through rejuvenated gardens, hike forest paths, and even get married. Read more
Did you know there are fossil beds in Indiana? They’re some of the the largest, naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world! Last autumn we visited Falls of the Ohio State Park, where the fossil beds are located. Luckily, it was the river’s low time of the year, and it happened to be lower than in most years. That meant more fossils were exposed than usual. Read more
When visiting someplace I haven’t been before, I often tour a historical museum to learn the history and culture of the area. While the general history of an area is interesting, what I find most intriguing are stories of individuals. Hearing stories of real people, especially everyday people, makes the history of a place come alive for me. I was fascinated by several of those stories when I visited the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Read more