“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
We see a lot of outhouses in our travels—and even use them occasionally when we’re desperate. We’ve seen two-hole outhouses in living history museums (the family that poops together….?) But never before had we seen a two-story outhouse like the one in the central Illinois town of Gays. Read more
You can’t order a Whopper® at this Burger King. In fact, you won’t find a Whopper within 25 miles of the Mattoon, Illinois, restaurant. You see, the original Burger King is not related to the chain of the same name. So, while you won’t get that fake charcoal flavor the chain is known for, you can enjoy a tasty, diner-type burger with all the toppings.
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.