Fall Fun in Miami County, Indiana

Fall Fun in Miami County, Indiana

Sunday was the perfect fall day in Indiana. Crisp weather but plenty of sunshine! With nothing to do until late in the day, my daughter and I took off to see what type of fall fun we could find. We drove to nearby Miami County as part of my Explore Indiana series. Coffee, Music and the Circus Our first stop was of course for coffee. Both of us love coffee and we especially love local coffee shops. Aroma Coffee Shop in Peru, Indiana was the perfect start to our day. Thanks to decadent coffee drinks and delicious Apple Cider donuts (look at all those spices inside!), we thoroughly enjoyed our stop at this cozy shop. With a fresh coffee in hand, we took off walking around downtown Peru. I noticed a few stores, but overall the downtown was pretty empty. I always find this depressing as I love a vibrant downtown area and from the buildings can imagine how lovely it was years ago. Hopefully, the city will be successful in revitalizing in the coming years. The Miami County Museum is located right across from the courthouse, but it was closed. We checked out the large photos in the windows as well as a few window displays on woman’s suffrage. I’d like to get back someday soon as it looked quite interesting as we peeked in the windows! Just outside the square, we stumbled across a circus museum. Peru, Indiana has a unique annual event where local children train and perform in a summer circus. What a cool experience for them, I’m sure. The museum was closed, but we...
5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

As long time Disney lover’s, we have definite favorites at every park. Thanks to being annual passholders, I don’t feel the pressure to see “everything” each time we visit as I know we’ll be back. However, there are certain “Must-Do’s” at each park. Even if we miss everything else, if we enjoy these favorites, it was a successful park day! So, here are our top 5 Must-Do’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Top Must-Do Rides Kiliminjaro Safaris. How can you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and not enjoy the animals? Right? The safari is the best way to do this. I’ve always found the guides to be informative and great about sharing their love of the animals. It’s also wonderful that every safari ride is a little bit different. You’ll see different animals doing different things throughout the day. Sometimes you’ll even have to stop and wait for an antelope or ostrich to walk in front of you! This is definitely a ride you’ll want to fast pass as the wait can be pretty long. Insider Tip: Have your camera ready – you can get some really amazing pictures during this ride! Flight of Passage. Although all of Pandora is pretty amazing, the ride Flight of Passage is truly amazing. During this ride you’ll get to ride on the back of a banshee – and it truly feels like you are flying. The first time we rode Flight of Passage, we hadn’t even seen Avatar and still loved it! Definitely either get a fast pass or head to this ride as soon as the park opens. Expedition Everest. If you...
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 2

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 2

Are you ready to learn a few more super easy ways to make extra money? Remember last week I shared two of my all-time favorites, Swagbucks and Rakuten? Both of those I’ve been using for YEARS. This week I’m sharing two newer ones that I’ve been very impressed with so far. Sell your stuff to make extra $$ Remember the days of selling everything on eBay? I know I made a TON of money selling old baby clothes back in the day. A few weeks ago I decided to give it a go again to sell some of my son’s old soccer cleats. I sold two pairs, but it was very cumbersome and with the high fees I didn’t make as much as I’d hoped. Then, I found out about Mercari. Mercari is an app you download to your phone where you can easily sell and buy items from other sellers. It was so simple to list items right from my phone – I discovered it only takes me a few minutes to list something! I also love that it’s not an auction like eBay, so I set my price, and then if I want Mercari has a feature where they will lower the price every day or so until it hits a floor I’ve preset. One of the things that drove me crazy with eBay was figuring out shipping. Mercari makes it simple. You can either offer free shipping, or they will help you set a price based upon what you are selling. Once the item is sold, you just print out a prepaid shipping label, package the...
Summer 2020 Book Reviews

Summer 2020 Book Reviews

Hard to believe summer is coming to an end. How can it be September already? Although we didn’t take a big vacation this summer for the first time EVER, we did enjoy a LOT of day trips! And I definitely had fun exploring many areas of Indiana that I hadn’t visited before. So, overall it was still a win in my book! Speaking of books, ready for reviews of the BEST books to read now? Looking for fun in Indiana? Check out my Explore Indiana blog post where I round up ALL the counties I’ve visited – if you live near Indiana I guarantee you can find something fun to do near you! Best Non-Fiction Books Summer 2020 https://amzn.to/31wtI6Q The 12-Week Year by Brian Moran is the best goal setting/ business book I’ve read in a while. It’s not a new one, so I’m not sure how I missed it, but I am glad I picked it up! It’s exactly what I need right now to push myself to reach my goals. I’m in the midst of my first 12-Week Year and I can already feel the momentum and excitement. I can’t wait to reach my goals!!! Next, I plan on purchasing the 12-Week Year Field Guide to help me plan my next 12-Week Year! My rating 4.5 out of 5. Creating Your Best Life is another very timely book! September is often referred to as the “second New Year.” There is still time to complete your goals, and with kids going back to school, it just feels right to give yourself a fresh start too. One of the...
A Perfect Day in Henry County

A Perfect Day in Henry County

When searching for a fun activity to do for #avaiationday, I discovered that just an hour away is the birthplace of Wilbur Wright. Although I couldn’t make the trip on the actual date (you know, work), I did take off for an afternoon with my son to check it out. We visited the area on two separate days, but you could easily combine this itinerary for a perfect day in Henry County. It has been so wonderful being able to get back to finding new places for my Explore Indiana project! Wilbur Wright was born on April 16th, 1867 near Millville, Indiana. The Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum has a rebuilt version of the house that he lived in for three years, a full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and a wonderful little museum FULL of historical facts and personal anecdotes about the Wright Brothers. The museum even houses a replica of the camp Wilbur and Orville set up at Kitty Hawk. We found this part of the exhibit especially interesting. I was really impressed by how much information this museum held. It is out in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the drive if you have any interest in the Wright Brothers or the beginnings of flight. After browsing the museum, we headed into nearby New Castle for a quick bite to eat. As we were headed into town, we saw a large roadside stand called Weenee World. How could we not stop, right? Stop at the local hot dog stand My son ordered a coney dog and said it was delicious – a large dog with...
Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 1

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side – Part 1

Working on your travel funds? There are all kinds of easy ways to make extra money to put towards vacations. Today, I’m sharing two of my all-time favorite (and easy) ways to make a little extra cash! Neither of these requires a lot of work, and the money you make can add up quickly with minimal effort. Earn extra money for your next vacation! Not only am I sharing the best of my money making tips, but I’m also sharing how much I made off of each of them with one month of my normal use. An Easy Way to Make Extra Money by Searching the Internet Swagbucks – Although there are all kinds of ways to earn Swagbucks, I typically only use it as a search engine. Instead of opening up my normal web browser, I open up Swagbucks and do all my searches from there. A few times a week, I’ll randomly earn 4 – 20 Swagbucks. Every once in awhile I’ll watch a video, complete a survey, or purchase something through a shopping link (but only if the site isn’t on Rakuten). Swagbucks! I tracked my Swagbucks earnings for the month of July and I earned 52 Swagbucks simply by doing my internet searches through it. For the month of June, it was 45. May was 54. The only thing you need to remember is to open up Swagbucks when you log onto your computer each day and then go to that page for every search you do. You can also download a Pretty darn simple. Related Content: Save Money on Museum Visits Every 100 Swagbucks...
The BEST Way to Enjoy a Day at the Lake

The BEST Way to Enjoy a Day at the Lake

Until this summer, we’d forgotten how much we love spending time at the lake. Years ago, we lived on a lake so we definitely know the BEST way to enjoy a day at the lake! As one of our summer day trips, we headed over to Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana to spend some time in the water and sunshine. Start with a boat! When visiting a lake, the first order of business is to get yourself a boat. If you are lucky enough to be visiting lake friends, you may be covered. But, if not, there is typically at least one lakeside marina where you can rent a boat for the afternoon. Insider tip: call ahead of time to reserve your boat. Most marinas have a limited amount of rentals and you might not be able to get what you want if you just show up. We were able to rent a deck boat for the afternoon through Lake Shafer Boat Rentals which was perfect for a day of tubing and cruising. When we arrived, we were given instructions and a short lesson on how to drive the boat. We watched them disinfect it before we climbed aboard which was comforting. Lake Shafer Boat Rentals has life jackets, or if you have your own, you can just bring them along. You will need one jacket per person, so plan accordingly. Insider tip: think about what you want to do and how many people are with you when you decide which boat to rent. A pontoon boat is ideal for cocktail cruising and larger parties. A ski boat is...
Heading to Disney World for the First Time?

Heading to Disney World for the First Time?

Are you heading to Disney World for the first time? For many people, that first Disney trip is filled with anticipation and also a bit of trepidation. A Disney World vacation isn’t cheap, so you want to be sure to get the most out of it and enjoy every minute, right? Here are five tips on how to have the BEST first vacation to Walt Disney World. Want to save money on your Disney vacation? Who doesn’t, right? Get your FREE copy of 5 Ways to Save on Your Next Vacation. Ready for the tips? Don’t try to do too much. You will feel a lot of pressure to “do it all” and “see it all.” Especially if you don’t plan on going back to Disney anytime soon. Please, please, please resist that pressure. Yes, you want to experience everything Disney has to offer, but trying to do it all in one trip is a recipe for disaster. Plus, the wonderful thing about Disney is that many of the magical moments happen when you slow down and just enjoy being there. I promise, you won’t regret missing a ride or two or not spending ALL day at the parks, but you WILL regret losing your temper or having everyone leave the park feeling cranky because they are tired, overstimulated, or hangry. Drink lots of water. It’s so easy to get dehydrated in the Florida sun, and often when you (or your kiddos) start feeling bad, you really just need more water. It’s easy to get a free glass of water at any counter service location – just ask. If...
The Best Hidden Outdoor Adventure in Eastern Indiana

The Best Hidden Outdoor Adventure in Eastern Indiana

Well, it’s been the summer of outdoor adventures! This week, I’m sharing with you the best hidden outdoor adventure in Eastern Indiana. I’ve lived in Indiana most of my life and traveled it pretty extensively, but this summer I’m discovering there are some really amazing State Parks I didn’t know about! Whitewater Memorial State Park in Eastern Indiana is one of them. Covering 23,000 acres, Whitewater Memorial State Park was established as a memorial to local American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I and World War II. It’s one of Indiana’s 25 state parks, and definitely one of the largest. If you love hidden outdoor adventures, then visiting this State Park should be added to your list. It’s approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis, and only an hourish from Dayton, Ohio. The drive itself is lovely, with rolling hills, lots of trees and quaint small towns. Do you want to save money on your next vacation? After all, the more money you save, the more places you can go. Get your FREE copy of 5 Tips to Save Money on Your Next Vacation! Liberty, Indiana The nearest town is Liberty, Indiana which is the home of the Union County courthouse. What a beautiful building. Even though we were anxious to get to the park, we stopped in town to walk around the square. In addition to the lovely courthouse, the town square boasts the Templeton Log Cabin built in 1805. Liberty also has a few local restaurants (a must try once we feel comfortable eating out again), a bakery, and several antique type shops. Whitewater Memorial State...
Get Away in the Northwoods of Wisconsin

Get Away in the Northwoods of Wisconsin

This week I’m sharing a special treat for all my Midwest fans. My friend Tanya from Traveling Tanya is sharing a wonderful getaway in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. As Wisconsin is a state I’ve only visited a few times, I loved learning more about the area she travels to often. After this post, I’m definitely ready to plan a trip myself! Looking for more fun Midwest weekend getaways? Check out these 5 fun and unique weekend ideas in Indiana. From Tanya … Looking for a quiet retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Then look no further than the Northwoods of Wisconsin! My family has been vacationing in Sayner, Wisconsin for as long as I can remember. I can recall countless trips as a child when my grandparents took me and my brother to their cabin on Plum Lake for a week. While my grandparents have passed on, the legacy they started lives on. My parents now own the family cabin on the lake in Wisconsin. And my own children are creating special memories with their grandparents in the Northwoods. (You can learn how our family started enjoying this area of the Northwoods many decades ago in a guest post by my dad!) Sayner Located in Northern Wisconsin, many affectionately refer to this area as Up North.  If you haven’t heard of Sayner, and I’m guessing you haven’t, it is a tiny town of just 207 residents (as of the 2010 census). It covers just over 1.8 square miles at the very northernmost part of Wisconsin, about 20 miles from the Michigan border. Bet you didn’t know that...

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