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

Nina and Pinta Replicas Sail the Mississippi, Dock for Tours

Nina and Pinta Replicas Sail the Mississippi, Dock for Tours

We first wrote about the Nina and Pinta replicas in 2013, when we stumbled across the ships in Clinton, Iowa. The Nina and Pinta, replicas of two Columbus’ ships, offer tours to the public. A couple of weeks ago we visited Peoria, Illinois. As we walked down to the Illinois River to board the Spirit of Peoria for a moonlight cruise, we noticed the Nina and Pinta replicas docked there.  Checking the schedule, we found the ships were in Peoria through September 24, 2017. Their next stop was Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where they’ll be from September 29 through October 8. Read further for our original experience and descriptions of the Nina and Pinta replicas.  Read more

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

I’ve mentioned here before that if  I could have only one snack food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese popcorn. But not just any cheese popcorn. The supermarket stuff won’t do. It must be super cheesy, the kind you can only find in a gourmet popcorn shop. So every time I stumble upon a popcorn shop in my travels, I must go in and buy some.  Here are 11 Midwest popcorn shops I’ve come across in the past few years that offer rich gourmet cheese popcorn—and caramel corn in lots of flavors if you prefer your popcorn sweet. Read more

Three Midwest Shrines: Following the Passion of Christ

Three Midwest Shrines: Following the Passion of Christ

During Lent, the time from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter, Christians often retrace the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion by following the Stations of the Cross.  Stations of the Cross are a series of fourteen devotions that depict Christ’s last day. Stations of the Cross are commonly found in Catholic churches but can also be set in larger outdoor spaces, oftentimes at Shrines. Following the path of the Stations of the Cross is a prayerful and meditative experience. I have visited three Midwest shrines in the past few years that include outdoor Stations of the Cross and have written about them previously. Here is a summary and links to the original articles.

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Harley-Davidson Museum: Exploring an American Icon

Harley-Davidson Museum: Exploring an American Icon

I have been on a motorcycle exactly once in my entire lifetime—and that was as a passenger on a ride around the block. With that said, I still loved the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Harley-Davidson is an American icon with a rich history, a history that unfolds as you navigate through the museum exhibits. Read more

Chicago Travel and Adventure Show 2017

Chicago Travel and Adventure Show 2017

As Midwest winter winds blow and temperatures drop to single digits, 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 January 21 and 22. Read more

Milwaukee Public Market: Exploring Lunch Options

Milwaukee Public Market: Exploring Lunch Options

Seafood…paninis…salads…soup…sushi. So many choices. How to decide what to eat? Of the 18 vendors in the Milwaukee Public Market, nine of them offer lunch. Others sell baked goods, candies, coffee or wine. Read more

Discovery World: Fun Learning for Kids of All Ages

Discovery World: Fun Learning for Kids of All Ages

Continuous learning is a concept that I embrace. To keep my mind healthy and to keep up with the world, I like to constantly learn new things. One way to make learning fun for people of all ages is by visiting museums, especially those loaded with hands-on activities, like Discovery World in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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

Pfister Hotel: An Evening in Historic Elegance

Pfister Hotel: An Evening in Historic Elegance

Years ago we strolled through the lobby of Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel. I remember being awed by its opulence. That was before extensive renovations were completed. We recently had an opportunity to spend a night at the Pfister and once again were awestruck by the lavish décor of the century-old hotel. Read more