Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

We were warned: Eat lunch at the Wittmond Hotel in Brussels, Illinois, and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day. Little did we know the extensive relish tray alone at this restaurant would fill us up…and then came the entrees. Read more

Road Trip Severe Weather: Tips to Avoid a Disaster!

Road Trip Severe Weather: Tips to Avoid a Disaster!

Two years ago we were on a road trip headed home to the Midwest from Arizona. As we drove through Texas at dusk, ominous clouds darkened the sky, threatening severe weather. We got off the interstate and drove Route 66 instead to avoid heavy traffic. It wasn’t long before large rain drops pelted the windshield, followed by a downpour. At times we could barely see in front of us. Fortunately, there was no hail. We slowly made our way Elk City, Oklahoma, where we had reservations that night. We did have a NOAA weather radio with us, something we always road trip with, so we knew there were no tornadoes spotted. But it wasn’t a fun drive, having to take care that we didn’t drive into floods on unfamiliar dark roads. Read more

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Bucket lists have become a big thing. Or maybe it’s just the term du jour. People have always checked to-do’s off travel lists. Visit all 50 states. Take in a ballgame at every Major League Baseball stadium. I do the same even with smaller lists. Photograph every Seward Johnson sculpture in a city. Stop at every  shop on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail. So when I learned about the Indiana Foodways Alliance culinary trails, I was on board. Right away I decided I wanted to eat pie at every restaurant on the Indiana Foodways Alliance Hoosier Pie Trail. My attempt was a miserable failure. Read more

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site: Underground Railroad Station

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site: Underground Railroad Station

Indiana’s fourth grade students study the state’s history, as we found out first-hand when we visited the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site in Fountain City. Over a hundred students were visiting on a field trip that day. Apparently that’s common during spring field trip season. I can understand why, since Levi and Catherine Coffin were instrumental in helping over 2,000 runaway slaves, or freedom seekers as they were called, escape to Canada over a twenty-year period. Between student groups, site director Joanna Hahn gave us a tour as she told the fascinating story of this couple whose lives were devoted to helping freedom seekers along the path to a free life. Read more

Where to Eat in Morgan County, Indiana

Where to Eat in Morgan County, Indiana

During a Midwest Travel Bloggers Twitter chat I won several gift certificates to Morgan County, Indiana, restaurants. Skip and I had already eaten at a few Morgan County restaurants that we loved and were excited to taste more of the area’s cuisine. So last summer we scheduled a trip to Morgan County mainly for the culinary experiences. While the atmosphere at all of the restaurants we tried is casual, each has its own unique cuisine. Read more

Exploring Five Abraham Lincoln Home Sites

Exploring Five Abraham Lincoln Home Sites

Most Americans know that Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s sixteenth president, lived a modest childhood. He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky and moved with his family to other cabins in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois until striking out on his own when he was 22 years old. Over the past few years, we’ve visited five Lincoln home sites, all of which are designated state or national historic sites. Read more

Book Review: Detour Nebraska

Book Review: Detour Nebraska

If you love history and enjoy traveling the Midwest, be sure to read Detour Nebraska (The History Press, 2017). Part history lesson and part historic attraction guide, author Gretchen M. Garrison guides you through Nebraska region by region. She explains the history of a city or attraction and shares details of what the attraction offers today. Read more

Where to Eat in Alton, Illinois

Where to Eat in Alton, Illinois

Over the past few years we’ve eaten in several Alton restaurants. It seems every time we visit Alton, Illinois, new great eating establishments have opened, while iconic restaurants continue to thrive. Here are some of the restaurants we’ve enjoyed during our Alton visits. Read more

Why Alton is Perfect for Eagle Watching

Why Alton is Perfect for Eagle Watching

As the weather turns cold, American Bald Eagles migrate from Canada south, down the Mississippi Flyway. They winter near open water, in search of fresh food. Humans, in turn, flock to where the eagles are, hoping to get a glimpse—or a great camera shot—of the majestic U.S. national bird. Alton, Illinois, is the perfect place for eagle watching. Here’s why: Read more

11 Delectable Midwest Chocolate Treats

11 Delectable Midwest Chocolate Treats

Dark chocolate—it’s one treat I can’t pass up. A few years ago on a press trip we were tasting chocolate at a chocolate shop.  I was skipping the milk chocolate and going right for the dark. One of my fellow travel writers said, “Even if I never meet you again, I will always connect you with dark chocolate.” Yep, that’s me.  I’ve tasted a lot of Midwest chocolate over the past few years, and am sharing with you 11 of my favorites, in no particular order, plus two from beyond the Midwest. Read more