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...
The Best Vacation Grocery List & Meal Plan

The Best Vacation Grocery List & Meal Plan

Part of the fun of traveling is trying new restaurants and food, right? However, eating out for an entire week can get quite pricey. That’s why I’ve created the best vacation grocery list & meal plan to help cut those costs. Why you should plan meals ahead With this vacation grocery list, you’ll still get to eat out a few times (or enjoy carry-out), but you won’t have to rely on restaurants for all of your meals. You’ll eat better, spend less, and save time too! Who doesn’t want all of those benefits while traveling? Plus, if you have little ones on your trip, I’m sure you know that sometimes it’s MORE work to eat every meal at a restaurant. If you love saving money when traveling, be sure to get my FREE 5 Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Vacation. You’ll find more great money-saving tips! This menu plan works best if you are staying in a condo or rental with a full kitchen. If you are in a hotel room with a fridge and microwave you can still manage some of the meals, but it does cut down dramatically on how much you can prepare in your room. You only need a fridge for this easy vacation lunch What I love about this vacation menu plan is that all of the ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store (or use Shipt to make life even easier), simple to prepare, and delicious for even picky eaters. The Vacation Meals Menu Plan Let’s start with the menu plan. Although this meal plan printable shows a typical...
Waterfalls and Windmills in Indiana

Waterfalls and Windmills in Indiana

Our recent Explore Indiana day trip included both waterfalls and windmills! If exploring waterfalls is something your family loves, this short Indiana waterfalls road trip to Warren County in Northwestern Indiana should be added to your summer fun! Add a short stop in Benton County to check out the windmill farms and you’ve got a full day of adventure and education. Williamsport, Indiana (a little less than a two-hour drive from Indianapolis). is home to not one, but two gorgeous waterfalls to explore. Although very different experiences, both are entertaining ways to get wet and enjoy the beauty of the state. Waterfalls at a Nature Preserve We started our trip at Fall Creek Gorge Nature Preserve. This lovely preserve is truly one of the most beautiful areas of Indiana I’ve discovered. Don’t worry when the GPS takes you a mile and a half down a gravel road – the hidden gem you’ll discover at the end is well worth the drive. Insider tip: there aren’t any picnic grounds and the parking area is quite small, so plan accordingly – either enjoy lunch elsewhere or plan on eating in your car. Once you arrive, follow a short trail down to the water. This first section contains a fairly large water area along with a series of small waterfalls. After a bit of splashing around, head up the stairs and hike a bit further upstream. The trail is narrow and high, so be careful. We exited the second section and decided to walk the stream back to the entrance. There are several deep sections, and numerous potholes, so watch where you...
Fun Things to Do for the 4th of July!

Fun Things to Do for the 4th of July!

It may not be a typical Fourth of July, but that is no reason you can’t enjoy it to the fullest! Here are four fun things to do for the 4th of July that are perfect for 2020 (even with COVID concerns) as well as any other year! Enjoy a Backyard Bash This might not be the year you have a huge backyard party, but a great 4th of July idea for adults or the kids is to throw yourself a backyard bash. Invite a few friends, or just enjoy the day with your immediate family. Create some yummy snacks and a delicious dinner on the grill (be sure to add this tasty Mexican Street Corn to the menu). Play fun yard games such as cornhole, life-sized Jenga, or even just throwing a frisbee around. If you have a fire pit, roast marshmallows for s’mores. End the evening with some of your own fireworks. Kids of all ages love to set off fireworks and there are so many great ones available these days. Insider tip: Be careful when setting off fireworks, they can be dangerous. We also always keep a bucket of water handy and once the firework has cooled off, we throw it in the water – that way we’ve cleaned up our mess and don’t have to worry about something catching on fire later. Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt or Themed Trivia Game Make a 4th of July themed scavenger hunt a fun family event by dividing your group into two teams and seeing who can check off the items on the list first. Looking for a...
A Day Trip on the Garfield Trail

A Day Trip on the Garfield Trail

Exploring while social distancing? Yes, it’s possible. Last week we enjoyed a unique day trip on the Garfield Trail in Grant County, Indiana searching for 14 Garfield statues as well as enjoying the charm of several small towns. What is the Garfield Trail? Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis’s hometown is Fairmont, Indiana, so the county Fairmount is in, Grant, created a Garfield Trail. There are 14 Garfield statues all over Grant county, in towns such as Marion, Gas City, and of course, Fairmount. The weather was lovely, so we had a fun time hopping in the car and seeing how many we could find. Do you want to save money on your trips? So you have more to spend on your vacation? Get your FREE copy of 5 Tips to Save On Your Next Vacation! To participate, download the map from the visitor’s site. In addition to a map of the locations of all the statues, the addresses and a short description are mentioned – it made it very easy to find each Garfield. Each sign also has a handy phone number to call to learn a little more about the statue as well as the location. Pretty cool! Insider Tip: Be sure to call or text the number listed on the map ahead of time so you can learn which statues are currently out for renovation – you don’t want to drive all the way to a location and find out the statue isn’t there. Talk about frustrating! Garfield Statues in Marion, Indiana We started our day in Marion as it was the furthest city North of Indy and...

Have a Magical Day

Who doesn’t want to Have a Magical Day? I know I do, so I was very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Wendell Miracle’s new book Have a Magical Day: 7 Keys to Living Happy Every Day. “Living your best life isn’t about the absence of problems, it’s about the presence of God’s power in the midst of those problems,” says happiness coach and best-selling author, Wendell Miracle. “It’s about how we respond to those issues that determine how long we have to endure them. You can control the condition of your heart and mind during turbulent periods. By looking for the good in every situation, the situation must change in your favor.” In Have a Magical Day: 7 Keys to Living Happy Every Day (February 20, 2020), Miracle reminds us that problems are temporary, brighter days are ahead, and that it’s possible to find the light in even the darkest of days. This short read is filled with inspiration and tips that can be easily integrated into your daily life and immediately improve your journey.Have a Magical Day guides you on:• Manifesting your desires• Finding happiness in your daily routine• Letting go of the past• Loving yourself With all the uncertainty in our lives right now, I believe it’s the perfect time to focus on the positive and work towards living happy every day. The 7 keys that Wendell outlines are doable and make sense. I know I plan on seeing how working towards them will change my life, and if you decide to get a copy of the book, I’d love to hear...
5 Unique Weekend Getaway Ideas

5 Unique Weekend Getaway Ideas

Are you looking for Midwest weekend getaway ideas? Have you found yourself asking “Where should I go for a weekend getaway?” If you live near Indianapolis (or anywhere in the Midwest), then I’ve got 5 unique, fun, and cheap weekend getaway ideas perfect for families or couples. Ready for the fun? Fun in Franklin, IN Franklin, Indiana is a short drive from Indianapolis, so it’s the perfect weekend getaway if you hate to drive! Franklin has delicious local restaurants (love Richard’s Brick Oven), lots of fun family activities, and an adorable downtown. Make sure to arrive on a night that the Artcraft is showing a movie – you don’t want to miss this local treasure. If you have kids who love to swim, the Franklin Family Aquatic Center has plenty to keep them entertained. On your way out of town, take the time to stop at the Hoosier Cupboard Candy store for homemade ice cream and treats for the short drive home. For more details on all the great things to do in Franklin, check out this series of blog posts: Friday Night Fun in Franklin, Farm Animal Yoga and Downtown Dining and Exploring and Enjoying Franklin, IN Bumming around Batesville, IN There is so much to do in Batesville, IN that a weekend may not be enough time to do it all! You’ll want to start your weekend getaway by checking into The Sherman – I don’t think you’ll find a hotel quite like it anywhere else in Indiana. In addition to the hotel, you’ll want to find time to visit the Biergarten as well as enjoying at...

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