Chicago Travel and Adventure Show 2020

Chicago Travel and Adventure Show 2020

As Midwest winter winds blow and temperatures drop, we dream about warm weather and sunshine. Turn those dreams into reality by starting your planning at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show. The popular travel show returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on February 8 and 9, 2020. Read more

2018 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

2018 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

What a busy year! As we look back on our photos, it’s hard to believe we packed so much into 2018. Besides two month-long trips west, we spent a lot of time touring the Midwest. We traveled the Great River Road from the Mississippi River headwaters near Bemidji, Minnesota, down to the Quad Cities. We also visited southwest Kansas for the first time, with stops in Liberal and Dodge City. As we look at our year in review, we’re sharing a few photo highlights from our 2018 travels, which perhaps will give you inspiration for your 2019 travel plans.
Read more

Exploring Byways and Trails

Exploring Byways and Trails

In this podcast, we chat about exploring byways and trails. If you’re a regular Midwest Wanderer reader, you know we do a lot of road trips. Some of our favorite trips are along scenic or historic byways. And then there are trails. What’s the difference? You’ll find out in this podcast. Read more

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

One fun part of travel is learning interesting facts about the places you visit. Following are bits of trivia I’ve picked up about each of the Midwest states: Read more

Discover the Romance of Yesteryear’s Carousels at Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum

Discover the Romance of Yesteryear’s Carousels at Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum

One of the first amusement park rides you ever rode as a child was most likely the carousel. You chose the most colorful and bejeweled horse. Your tiny legs sprawled across the saddle, not nearly long enough to reach the stirrups. You squeezed the brass pole, one sweaty hand above the other, excited and nervous at the same time. Mom or dad stood next to you, holding you, reassuring you’d be safe. As the calliope music began and the carousel started to turn, your horse inched forward and at the same time began to rise and glide down again, over and over. The ride picked up the pace until you reached a smooth gallop on the twirling carousel, the world around you passing by in a blur. Read more

Photographing Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Photographing Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

When at an amusement park, I’m usually not thinking about taking artistic photographs. I don’t carry my DSLR camera, since I’m there to enjoy the park. I recently attended a conference at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the country’s second oldest amusement park. I didn’t have much time in the park itself, but on the evening I spent there I snapped a few quick photographs using my smart phone just to document the trip. However, as part of the conference, I also went on the optional sunrise photo walk. What a difference it made.

Don’t miss a Midwest Wanderer post.  For a FREE subscription, enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe2 box to the left and click Subscribe.

My camera phone photos are so-so, good enough for trip keepsakes. I took a shot of Johnny Rockets, a full diner inside the park, where they provided service with a smile.

Johnny Rockets

Fries and onion rings

I photographed Lake Erie at dusk from the Sky Ride.

From the sky ride at dusk

Since Cedar Point is known as the roller coaster capital of America, I snapped a shot of the Magnum XL-200, the first coaster ever to top 200 feet.

Roller Coaster

Cedar Point was celebrating the first weekend of HalloWeekends, so Halloween decorations were everywhere.


Sgt Peppers

Kiddy Kingdom

Zombies lurked in the gardens and in the Dead Ride Cemetery.


Dead ride cemetery

The sunrise photo walk the next morning, led by Fashion by Mayhem blogger Angie Keiser and Cedar Point Public Relations Manager, Bryan Edwards, was a completely different photography experience. The walk highlighted popular photo subjects, starting with sunrise on Lake Erie.

Seagull at sunrise

Sunrise over Lake Erie

At 136 feet, the Ferris wheel is one of the largest in North America.

Ferris Wheel

I can’t stop myself from taking photos of pretty flower beds …


… and birds, especially with wings widespread.

Seagull in flight

I liked the effect of the color against clouds on this one.

In Cedar Point at dawn

It’s amazing how pieces of roller coasters can look like art.

Roller Coaster 2

I’m not a professional photographer by a longshot, but the right light, a decent camera, interesting subjects and helpful hints from others make learning fun, and definitely improve my photos.

Cedar Point, located on the shore of Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, is open late spring through summer and weekends through Halloween. Check the web site for exact schedule and directions.

Disclosure: My ticket to Bloggy Con included a free pass to Cedar Point , but any opinions expressed in this post are my own.