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...
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...
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...
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...

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