A Perfect Day in Spencer

A Perfect Day in Spencer

What a perfect day in Spencer, IN. Last week we spent a day exploring another county for my Explore Indiana project. This time, we headed southwest of Indianapolis to Owen County. Half the day was spent at McCormack’s Creek State Park and the other half in Spencer, IN. It was an ideal mix of invigorating and enjoyable things to do. The day was a lovely, crisp, clear fall day. Our 90-degree heat-wave had finally broken and we were treated to a perfect 65 and sunny day. As we headed south, the flat land and cornfields gave way to the rolling hills and treelines of southern Indiana. So beautiful! Indiana’s First State Park The first stop was McCormick’s Creek State Park. McCormick’s Creek is considered Indiana’s first state park. The land was dedicated as such on July 4th, 1916. The park is full of wonderful hikes, interesting landscapes, recreation, and a historic Inn. The Canyon Inn is a lovely historic building built on and around an 1880’s sanitarium that was marketed as a place for the wealthy to relax and rejuvenate. Sanitariums and mineral springs were all the rage during that time period. Canyon Inn has expanded and remodeled multiple times since then, but the inn is still located on the original sanitarium foundations. The inn has a rustic charm and houses a small gift shop, restaurant, several conference rooms and a comfortable lobby/ lounge area with a fireplace. We were able to check out one of the rooms, and although older, they appeared to be comfortable and clean. With such a gorgeous setting, I think this would be a...
5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas

5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas

Today I’m happy to share with you a wonderful guest post from Tanya at Traveling Tanya – she is going to share 5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trips. You won’t want to miss this when you are planning out your fall fun! I may be Traveling Tanya, but I also enjoy staying close to home. Especially in the fall. I think one of the thing best things about living in the Midwest is FALL!  Temperatures cool down. We break out our comfy sweatshirts and favorite jeans. Everything comes in a pumpkin-spiced variety. And there are tons of fun activities to enjoy before the inevitable hibernation of winter begins. Fall is the perfect time for a day trip in Indiana. Even if you don’t have a ton of time, you can still enjoy the short escape of a day trip. These are my top 5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas! Complete with my recommendations for where to experience some seasonal fun in Indiana. Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard Hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple cider, farm animals. Kids of all ages as well as adults will find plenty of fall fun at a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Check google, the local town newspaper, or your tourism board to find plenty of pumpkin patches or apple orchards that seem to have sprung up overnight. (Trust me, they have been working hard for several months as they look forward to their fall festivities!) Indiana Recommendation: Indiana has tons of pumpkin patches and orchards to choose from, but one of my favorites is Beasley’s Orchard in Danville. They sell...
A Day of Fun in Frankfort, IN

A Day of Fun in Frankfort, IN

My day of fun in Frankfort, IN started with getting lost while looking for a covered bridge and ended with peach sherbet. In between was a lot of fun exploring. Clinton County was the latest county I checked out for my Explore Indiana project and I had a lovely day checking out what the largest town in the county, Frankfort, has to offer. While searching on TripAdvisor for attractions in Clinton County, I stumbled across a beautifully restored covered bridge. As I love looking for covered bridges, I figured I’d start the day there as it was the furthest point from home and work my way back. Well, not only did I not find the bridge, but I also found myself on several gravel roads in the middle of cornfields. Welcome to rural Indiana I guess. With plenty of time left to explore Clinton County, I eventually gave up and headed back to Frankfort, IN. Things began to look up immediately. Frankfort has a zoo? Well, a petting zoo. Still, not something you find often in small Indiana towns. TPA Park includes a cute little petting zoo and aviary with llamas, pigs, peacocks, goats, and many other animals and birds. It is only open on the weekends once school starts, but I was still able to see the animals wandering around. Several locals were sitting on benches enjoying their lunch break and watching the animals as it was such a lovely day. TPA Park also has a fun playground, plenty of space to walk, and a very interesting log cabin. It was built in 1859 and was the original...
The BEST Travel Review Sites

The BEST Travel Review Sites

I get asked ALL the time how I find such great restaurants or fun things to do. I’ve shared some of my secrets before, but one of the key ones is that I take the time to check out a few travel review sites. In this post, I’ll narrow it down to which ones I think are the BEST travel review sites, and how you can get the most out of them. Things to do with TripAdvisor The site I ALWAYS start with is TripAdvisor. Although I do most of my TripAdvisor research on my computer, when I’m on the road, I’ll use the TripAdvisor app to help me with directions, ideas, etc. I open it up, type in the city where I’m interested in going and start digging. I’ll check out top attractions first which will give me a list of the top things to do in the area. Then I can click on the individual attractions that look interesting to me. It’s also easy to narrow down your search by selecting categories such as “Nature & Parks”, “Museums”, etc. We like a wide variety of activities, so I rarely go into specific categories, but if you were researching a very large city or for a specific type of event it would be very useful. Once I find things I’m interested in, I will tag them (click on the little heart on the picture), create a trip with the name of that city and add them to that group. Then, later when I’m ready to visit, I can just pull up that trip (click on trips on the...
Newburgh, A Darling Riverfront Town

Newburgh, A Darling Riverfront Town

Newburgh, Indiana is a darling riverfront town located in Warrick County in Southern Indiana. It’s set right alongside the Ohio River and is just minutes from Evansville. A recent soccer game took us down that direction so of course, we left early to explore the town! After all, it’s another Indiana County I had never visited before! When visiting Newburgh, starting at the Newburgh Museum is a fantastic way to get a little bit of history of the town. We learned that it was founded in 1803 and it was the first town north of the Mason Dixie line captured by the South during the Civil War. The museum is small but very well done. In addition to some fascinating exhibits on Newburgh, they often have a special exhibit. The one we enjoyed was called “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It was very interesting and the items on display were fun to check out. The museum is free but only open a few days a week, so check the website before you visit. The museum is a short walk from downtown, and since it was a lovely day, heading there on foot seemed appropriate. Downtown Newburgh is so pretty. There are a few cool boutiques and shops as well as some antique stores and yummy looking restaurants. It’s easy to while away a few hours browsing the main streets. The river itself is quite an attraction, so make sure to take time to walk down there and check it out. There are also some beautiful homes right on the water. Many are older and have been restored, but...
2019 Best of Epcot Food & Wine – Vegetarian Style

2019 Best of Epcot Food & Wine – Vegetarian Style

On a recent visit to the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I had a lot of fun scouting out the best vegetarian dishes. Thanks to our annual passes and super cheap flights on Southwest, it’s totally affordable to visit for just a short weekend. My daughter is technically a pescatarian, so I did eat quite a bit of seafood, but I also checked out many of the vegetarian options. Luckily for me, there were more great choices than I could indulge in! One of the things I love about the Food & Wine Festival is how easy Disney makes it to find dishes that fit your eating style. The booklet has little symbols next to every dish that is Gluten Free or Vegetarian. There are THIRTY options at the festival this year with the vegetarian symbol! You’ll also find a little symbol for “kid-friendly” dishes. It’s such a fun way to try lots of different things, and definitely a highlight of the year for foodies! I grabbed my booklet and started my adventure. This year, instead of starting in Mexico or Canada, I noticed there were a number of booths that appeared before the World Showcase. The first one I tried was at Earth Eats. Both of the dishes are vegetarian, although the Impossible Cottage pie contains Almond milk in the topping, so it was off our list (I have a severe tree nut allergy which makes this all a bit more challenging). It was a super humid day so I passed on the Impossible slider and opted for a flight of Kombucha. This was an excellent...
A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

It’s time for another Explore Indiana adventure. This time, I grabbed my son (he’s a great travel partner) and we took off for Hartford City. Hartford City is the largest city in Blackford County. I have to admit, this adventure made me a little nervous as I couldn’t find much on the area online. Would this be my first “fail” in proving there is something to do wherever you are? As we made our way to Blackford, we drove by numerous cornfields and farmhouses. It was an absolutely beautiful day – low 80’s, blue skies and no humidity. I couldn’t ask for better exploring weather. As we tend to do, our first stop was downtown. The courthouse in Hartford City was beautiful in a very different way than most of the ones I’ve recently seen. This one was built in 1893 – 1895. It’s called a Richardsonian Romanesque style. To get a feel for the size, the clock tower is 165 feet – so it definitely towered over the rest of downtown. Sadly, this downtown area was pretty deserted. There weren’t really any shops and only one local restaurant that we could see. Many boarded-up buildings. It’s really too bad as the architecture of the buildings was beautiful – I imagine it was a lovely downtown square at one time. Just a block from the square is a very interesting building that houses the Old Blackford County Jail and a speakeasy. Unfortunately, it was closed the day we visited. Supposedly it’s haunted! If I’m passing back through I’ll make a point to stop if it’s open as it looked...
Book Reviews – Summer 2019

Book Reviews – Summer 2019

It feels like forever since I’ve done a book reviews post and as I’ve read some terrific books lately, I felt compelled to share my favorites! Instead of my usual long list of holds at the library, I’m trying to get through some of the stacks of books I’ve had TBR at home. So, some of these titles are a bit older. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading – AND it means most will cost less or be easier to obtain at your library – seems like a good deal to me. Non-Fiction Book Reviews FutureBoards: Learn How to Create a Vision Board to Get Exactly the Life You Want #FutureBoards was sent to me as a review copy and I have to say I loved it! Most entrepreneurs have done or at least heard of vision boards before, but this book took it to the next level. I enjoyed the friendly tone as well as practical advice. I especially liked the step-by-step action items at the end of each chapter. Definitely, a fun way to dream and plan a little. My rating 4 out of 5. The BUILD Framework: A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth This was another book sent to me as a review and I thought it was quite helpful. It is a very quick read, but there is so much wisdom in it, that I’d recommend reading it twice! Most of the ideas and suggestions are common sense, but the “heart-based” philosophy made me feel a lot more excited about them. This is definitely worth adding to your business help books. My rating...
Fun Things To Do In Ohio

Fun Things To Do In Ohio

Seeing as how it’s right next door to Indiana, Ohio is a state we visit often. This great article by Dylan Thomson shares four fun adventures to be found – I’m adding all of them to my future travels! Read on and I’m sure you’ll want to add them to yours! Are there fun things to do in Ohio? You bet! Ohio sometimes gets a bad reputation among non-natives for being comprised of little more than cornfields and fans of mediocre sports teams. There is much more to the Buckeye State, however, and it can be a great place for a road trip if you’re looking to experience another part of the Midwest. Below are a few of our recommendations for the most exciting things to do in Ohio! Photo from Wikimedia That’s right, Ohio is home to its very own National Park! Although it’s not Yellowstone or Zion, Cuyahoga Valley is still a true gem of the Midwest, justifiably preserved among the country’s greatest natural wonders. Filled with waterfalls and trails accessible to anyone, this is a great place for any kind of traveler. You can take a historic train ride through the park, or commit to a day hiking through the forests. You can also kayak or canoe if you’d prefer to travel by water.  Photo from Wikimedia Cedar Point is one of the bigger tourists draws in Ohio, given its wide variety of extreme roller coasters. One of its most famous attractions is the Top Thrill Dragster, on which passengers are accelerated from a standstill to 120 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds. Another popular...
Boone County Adventures

Boone County Adventures

Boone county is full of adventures. It was my most recent “explore Indiana” adventure. Most people (including me) automatically think of Zionsville when they hear Boone county. I’m sure I’ll get back to Zionsville soon as it’s a wonderful town and a really fun place to visit, but for this trip, I wanted to see what else Boone county had to offer. Aside from Zionsville, Lebanon is the largest city in Boone County. With a population of around 16,000, it’s a large enough city to have a traditional downtown square with a gorgeous courthouse. On a beautiful sunny day, the best place to spend at least part of your visit is at Memorial Park. This well-maintained park is home to a cool little waterpark called Seashore Waterpark. Not only are there several slides, but it houses one of my all-time favorite waterpark attractions – a wave pool. So.much.fun! Outside the pool area, you’ll find playgrounds, shelters and a lovingly restored cabin called Herr Cabin. Herr Cabin was built in 1839 and was given to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1937 as a memorial to Abigail Herr. After a fun few hours in the sun, a food break is in order and although the downtown doesn’t have a lot in the way of shopping, there are several delicious dining choices. I suspect that based upon the amount of construction I saw going on that the downtown is in the midst of a revival – I hope so as I love shopping and dining in quaint downtowns! I enjoyed a yummy lunch at Greek’s pizza. Greek’s is an Indiana...

Pin It on Pinterest