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...
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...
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...
Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn

Thanks to the Indiana sweet corn we picked up last week while searching for covered bridges in Rush County, we’ve been well-stocked for our current summer addiction – Mexican Street Corn. Every time we go somewhere that has Elotes (or as it’s often called Mexican Street Corn), we purchase it and gobble it up. Since we like to eat seasonally and sweet corn is delicious and plentiful during summer months in Indiana, this year we decided to figure out how to make one of our favorite dishes ourselves. Turns out it is SUPER simple. This recipe is a conglomeration of multiple Pinterest recipes we found and the simplicity and flavors are ideal for our family – and now hopefully yours! I’m 100% sure it’s not authentic, but it is delicious! Ingredients: Sweet corn – the fresher the better 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1-2 t. Chipotle Chili Powder grated parmesan or cotija to taste chopped up parsley or cilantro to taste Step one: The first step seems a little weird, but trust me, it works. Wrap your sweet corn (without husking it) in a paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes. If it’s good fresh corn, it will come out perfectly cooked. Step two: While your corn is cooking, mix the mayonnaise with the chili powder – add more or less chili powder according to your taste. Step three: Peel back the husk and coat the corn with the chili/mayo mixture. Step four: Sprinkle on cheese and cilantro and enjoy! Whatever mayo mixture you don’t use will stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of days or is also amazing...
Why Local Breweries are the Best

Why Local Breweries are the Best

If you’ve followed me for any length of time (especially on Instagram), it’s pretty apparent that I’m a huge fan of local breweries. What’s funny is that aside from sours, I really don’t like beer … So what’s up with that? I’m sharing my top 5 reasons as to why I love local breweries and see if I can’t convince the other non-beer lovers out there to check them out too: The food. In general, I’ve found the food at local breweries to be top-notch. Many of them have the same philosophy with food as they do with beer – keep it local when possible and make it tasty. When the brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, they often offer food trucks, and who doesn’t enjoy a good food truck? The atmosphere. Comfortable seating, friendly bartenders and servers, plenty of board games to play. A few of my favorites even offer outdoor games like cornhole or comfy sofa areas when you just want to enjoy a drink and relax. If you are lucky, they brew the beer on site and you might get a chance to check out the process or learn a bit about their philosophy. The fun. It seems like there is something going on most nights. Trivia, Bingo, Open Mic nights, even craft nights – we’ve enjoyed all of these at several of our local breweries. I’m a fan of not just going out to dinner but doing dinner WITH entertainment. A local brewery will have that covered. The drinks. I’ve only been to one local brewery that didn’t offer something for the non-beer drinker. Many times...

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