Batesville Indiana Fun!

Batesville Indiana Fun!

Back in January, we had stopped in Batesville, IN for breakfast on our way to a brewery tour trip in Cincinnati, OH. From our short drive into town, it appeared to be a town we needed to revisit when we had more time. With a sudden free afternoon, we decided to head out and add it to the Explore Indiana Counties project! So Ripley County became the next one on our list. First, A Delicious Lunch As soon as you enter downtown Batesville, it’s hard to miss The Sherman. The original Sherman House was built in 1852. Through the years, it has expanded and it even went through an extensive remodel in 2016. However, it still portrays a lot of historic charm along with some magnificent German food. It’s winter in Indiana which means it’s cold, so a warm and hearty meal sounded delightful. It was a bit after the normal lunch hour so the restaurant wasn’t busy and we were seated right away. With plenty of dark wood, gleaming surfaces, and rustic charm, the inside of The Sherman is absolutely beautiful. We were seated in a cozy alcove and our server recommended several restaurant specialties. The food was amazing! The restaurant at The Sherman considers itself an American Bistro with some great German specialties, so my son was able to order a filet (with a side of German potato salad) and we both thought it was better than the much higher priced filet he had recently enjoyed at Disney. We also tried the bratwurst on pretzel bread with horseradish mustard, potato cakes, Bavarian Onion Soup and Bratkartoffeln. If...
Pies & Racetracks in Randolph County

Pies & Racetracks in Randolph County

On a VERY cold January day, my son and I decided a day trip was the thing to do. Cabin fever had set in and we needed to get out of the house. We were both in the mood for some comfort food, so we headed Northeast from Indy to check out Winchester in Randolph County as we had heard that was the place for pie. And was it ever! The Wick’s Pie factory is located just outside of Winchester, IN and they make thousands of pies each day. This family business has been making delectable pies since 1934 (the first few years the pies were sold out of a truck!). Now you can buy them all over or have them shipped straight to your home. We stopped in Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant for lunch, as it doesn’t only serve the famous Wick’s Pies, but also a full menu of delicious, homemade Indiana comfort food. After chowing down on a mushroom swiss and a pulled pork sandwich, we reviewed the menu to select the perfect pies. We learned from our server that the pies served in the restaurant are made fresh every day by one lady. She makes them each by hand, using fresh ingredients and ensuring that the quality is up to her standards. Talk about some delicious pie. I enjoyed the blackberry and it was bursting with berries. With a slightly tart, slightly sweet flavor and a delicate homemade crust, it was amazing. Exactly what a fruit pie should be. My son picked the apple crumble a la mode and licked his plate clean. Yum! After filling our...
Exploring Greenfield

Exploring Greenfield

Do you read poetry? I don’t read it often, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate good literature. My latest Explore Indiana adventure took me to the hometown of one of Indiana’s most famous poets – James Whitcomb Riley. Visiting Greenfield, IN in Hancock county definitely made me curious about this poet as I love learning while I’m exploring. He’s best known for his dialect and children’s poems. Once he began regularly selling his poems he also started traveling around the country (mainly the Midwest and East Coast) giving performances and lectures. These did quite well for him and he was able to enjoy some success during his life, unlike that of many other poets. His most famous poems include “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant Annie.” Just a few miles away from Fortville (remember all those delicious restaurants located there?), Greenfield is a typical Indiana town set up as a square around a beautiful courthouse. (I’ve seen so many gorgeous courthouses as a part of this challenge that I feel like I totally need to do a post just on them!). I was pleased to discover that Greenfield’s town square is one of the more vibrant areas I’ve discovered. It always makes me happy to see local downtown’s thriving. We visited Greenfield on a crazy, blustery day. In fact, it was so bitterly cold that we couldn’t stay outside long. Our first stop (to help alleviate the cold weather) was the local coffee shop. Thanks to my daughter’s search on Yelp, we discovered The Greenfield Grind. What a perfect place to sit down with a laptop and get...
2020 Travel Blog Goals

2020 Travel Blog Goals

How can it be 2020 already? Somehow it snuck up on us, so now is the time to decide how we want the new year to look like. That means setting my 2020 travel blog goals. Last year, I created a pretty lofty list of goals and I’m happy to report I completed most of them – I’ve updated the post with my final results, so if you are curious you can check the post out here. Now that I’ve been travel blogging for about a year and a half, I have a much better feel for what’s important to me and how I’d like this blog to grow. So, although I have fewer goals this year, I think they more focused (and probably overall more work). I’ve found that sharing my goals helps me to remember them AND to follow through, so here goes: Grow my email list to 1000. I’ve not had much success in the past growing my email list, so this is a BIG stretch for me, but I feel that it’s critical to take my blog to the next level.Grow pageviews to 30K per month. Another really big stretch goal, but I’d like to apply for Mediavine and so this one is a must. Hopefully, the first two goals here will go hand in hand.Visit 24 Indiana counties. As part of my Explore Indiana project, I need to keep exploring Indiana! I don’t foresee any issues with this once the weather warms up, but judging by this year, the winter months may be tough. And that’s it! Since my goals are so big (for...
Foodies Flock to Fortville

Foodies Flock to Fortville

Why do foodies flock to Fortville? Fortville is a small town east of Indianapolis located in Hancock county. The population is just over 4000 and there is only one main street. However, it’s fast becoming a foodie destination for the surrounding counties. What a great place to add to my Explore Indiana adventures! With half a dozen delicious restaurants in downtown Fortville, there is a yummy meal perfect for any tastebuds. We’ve recently had the opportunity to check out three of them. Interested in Italian Food? Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar – Since Italian food is my daughter’s favorite, it was a no brainer for the two of us to check our Cortona’s on a recent lunch date. We arrived at an odd time (3:oo PM) for lunch, but the server warmly greeted us and seated us at a comfortable table for two. I have to admit I was a little leery of this one as the Yelp reviews weren’t as high as I normally like, but in the interest of this blog post, we went for it. Luckily, we LOVED the food. The menu was full of typical Italian dishes but with a creative twist. For example, I enjoyed the Ravioli di Simone & Beth which was butternut squash ravioli with arugula, prosciutto (on the side for me) in a Madera cream sauce. Serious yum. My daughter opted for the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. The dish was full of fresh clams, mussels, calamari, and shrimp and sauteed in a white wine garlic sauce. It was light and flavorful. We split an order of Tiramisu for dessert. The service...
Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Visiting Marengo Cave is a perfect way to spend a cold Indiana day. Not only is it Indiana’s most visited natural attraction, but it’s also a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Located in Crawford County in Southern Indiana, it’s a bit of a drive from Indianapolis, but definitely worth the time, even just for a day. As the latest installment of my Explore Indiana project, it was a fun and unique experience! One of my favorite parts of visiting caves is that they are weather resistant. The cave stays at 52 degrees year-round. A hot summer day? Why not visit a cave? Too cold to be outside in the winter? A caving trip is a fun activity. The day I visited, it was pouring down rain. Although that did limit my photography options, it didn’t limit my fun in checking out the underground cave system. We started the day with a dash to the gift shop and to get acclimated to the location. The gift shop is extensive with plenty of options guaranteed to get your kids asking for souvenirs. There is also a small concession area next to it with tables and machines for sodas and snacks. We packed a lunch so food wasn’t an issue. After this short detour, it was on to the main event. There are two standard cave tours: Crystal Palace and the Dripstone Trail. You can do one or both. The Crystal Palace tour is about 40 minutes and the Dripstone Trail is an hour so it would be very possible to enjoy both in an afternoon. Insider Tip: The combined cave tour ticket...

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