Easy Everyday Adventures

Easy Everyday Adventures

Everyone knows how much I love everyday adventures, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy and create one of your own.  Although you could go with the standard fancy dinner out, why not try something new this year – I bet you’ll remember it much longer than just another dinner at a restaurant. Looking for ideas? I’ve got you covered: Visit a winery. Enjoy a wine tasting and then a delicious glass of wine. You might even get lucky and stumble upon some live music. It’s fun to try different varieties and share what you think of each one. This is also a great choice if you are short on time or money. It would be very doable to sneak in a tasting and conversation on a busy school night for $20 or less. Local suggestions: My two current favorite local wineries are Urban Vines and Sugar Creek Winery. Urban Vines has delicious charcuterie platters and they also serve beer, cider, and even sparkling wine, so if your partner doesn’t like wine they have alternatives. Sugar Creek Winery doesn’t carry food, but you are welcome to bring in whatever you want, so why not put together your own cheese plate and enjoy it with a glass of their delicious wine. Urban Vines, 303 E 161st Street, Westfield, IN 317-763-0678; Sugar Creek Winery, 1111 West Main Street; Carmel, IN  Check out a museum.  Although most museums might be closed in the evening, perhaps you can meet for lunch and walk through your local art museum? Or present tickets as a gift with plans to visit on the weekend. It’s fun to look...
Chicago Travel & Adventure Show Experience

Chicago Travel & Adventure Show Experience

Last week I took a quick one-day trip to Chicago specifically to attend the Travel & Adventure Show. If you get my newsletter, yesterday I shared a few reasons why this is the time of the year to search out “shows” and some of my favorites – if you don’t get it, why not sign up right now so you don’t miss a thing? This was my first time attending this show and it didn’t disappoint! If you love to travel or just want ideas for new places to go, this is an event worth checking out. The Chicago show is over, but there are still a number of these events happening all over the country. If you plan on attending any shows this winter, why not make a whole day of it? That’s what we do! For this one, I arrived in the area around lunchtime, so opened my favorite travel app Yelp and looked for a place to get a bite to eat. Near the convention center were tons of chain restaurants, but I always prefer something local. ShortFuse Brewing seemed to fit the bill. Just a half mile from the convention center, this local brewery has been open for about a year and a half. With about a dozen beers on tap and a nice guest cider, it was pretty easy to find a drink I enjoyed. The menu was fantastic. It covered everything from interesting takes on typical bar appetizers and sandwiches to a wide variety of pizzas. Since it was the weekend, they also had a special brunch menu. After I had fueled up,...
Five Fun Things to do in the Winter Near Pokagon State Park

Five Fun Things to do in the Winter Near Pokagon State Park

Visiting Pokagon State Park in the winter to enjoy the tobogganing? It’s certainly a wonderful way to spend a few hours, but if you are anything like our family you’ll want to discover all the other things to do in the area! Here are five fun things to do in the winter near Pokagon State Park. Find a great local restaurant. There are a number of interesting and delicious sounding restaurants in the area, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that appeals to you. We arrived around lunchtime and decided to try out 6 Autumns. It did not disappoint. My daughter and I split the salmon meal which came with two sides (we picked the vegan squash soup and some AMAZING homemade mac & cheese), while my husband and son enjoyed the fish and chips. It came with two sides also (fries and a salad). The portions were large, we had plenty of food even with splitting meals. Their beer list was fantastic. There are about a dozen beers on tap (mostly local), and another large list of bottles and cans. Definitely something for everyone. Located right off the interstate, 6 Autumns is in a building attached to the Ramada Inn – but don’t let that scare you. We didn’t and I’m glad. Excellent choice. 6 Autumns; 3855 N State Rd. 127, Angola, IN (260) 624-3644 Visit a winery. Near the park are several lovely wineries. I could definitely see this as a great girls weekend combining shopping, hanging out at the Inn and visiting wineries. As we had our kids in tow, we decided to just visit...
An Overnight Adventure at Pokagon State Park

An Overnight Adventure at Pokagon State Park

As I mentioned last week, one of my goals for 2019 is to travel monthly – at least a weekend trip. With a two week break from school and work,  the beginning of January seemed like the perfect time to start meeting that goal! A few days after ringing in the New Year, we went on a quick overnight adventure to Pokagon State Park in Northern Indiana. Pokagon is one of seven State Parks in Indiana that has an Inn on site, and we were lucky enough to get a room for the night during a very busy week! The location of the Inn is perfect – it’s close to the toboggan run, sits on beautiful Lake James and is minutes from outlet shopping, wineries, restaurants, and downtown Angola, Indiana. We arrived at the Potawatomi Inn just after lunch and were pleasantly surprised to find our room was ready. We were thrilled to stay in one of the patio rooms with a gorgeous view of Lake James. In fact, I woke up early the next day to get some beautiful morning shots of the still water. The room was large with a small fridge and microwave oven. The beds were comfy and clean and it was the ideal lodging for our quick trip. Our room was right across the hallway from the game room which contained a variety of video games, ping pong, air hockey and a new family favorite, Boccerball. None of us had ever heard of it before but we spent quite a bit of time playing – watch the short video below and you’ll get why...
A Whole New Way to Look at Tea

A Whole New Way to Look at Tea

Recently I had the opportunity to check out a whole new way to enjoy tea. I’ve also found a great new alternative to the coffee shop when I need to get some work done! HoiTea ToiTea co-owner Alex is the self-proclaimed mad scientist of the tea game. And her store gives us something really different from the typical tea shop. Alex is a master at creating unique and delicious tea lattes and tea-infused cocktails. Yep, you heard that right, this tea shop serves cocktails! The store itself is lovely, comfortable and full of interesting and useful gift items in addition to the tea shop. Of course, you can also purchase your own teas to brew at home. The tea is all from Nelson’s Tea. Some of the tea blends are super interesting – rootbeer anyone? My visit was part of a local blog group trip, so we were lucky to have Alex share with us the history of the business, future plans and some of the fun classes offered. More on that in a minute. First, the food and drinks … We started the evening with a tea-infused beer and macaroon. Sadly, I couldn’t eat the macaroon (tree nut allergy) but I was assured it was amazing. For any beer lover out there, the beer was terrific. Still tasted like beer, just had a light extra flavor to it. Next up was what I thought would be my favorite by far. Sangria made with raspberry hibiscus tea, red wine, and mandarin oranges. So delicious. We enjoyed that yummy drink with lemon poppyseed scones made with lemon ginger tea served...
Visiting Purdue? Best Places to Eat

Visiting Purdue? Best Places to Eat

I love visiting college campuses and I also love to eat so I’m always looking for the best places to eat everywhere I go. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana is a favorite of mine – not just for the campus but also some of my favorite local restaurants. Growing up in West Lafayette, some of these are also quite nostalgic for me and I love that they are still around so many years later. Triple XXX. If you visit Purdue, you must visit Triple XXX. Everyone will tell you to do it and it’s worth it for the kitsch alone. Triple XXX has been in West Lafayette (on the hill but on the level) since 1929 and been serving the area’s best rootbeer since the beginning. Take time to sit on a round stool at the counter that winds around the entire restaurant and soak in the atmosphere while enjoying a frosty mug. Breakfast is great (and served all day long), but my favorite order is a mug of root beer, fries, and a Barney Burger. Triple XXX is well known for some of the more unique burger combinations named after famous locals such as the Duane Purvis (with peanut butter) and the Drew Brees. Guy Fieri has also visited, so if you are a fan, check out episode 44, Knockout Burger Joints. 2 N. Salisbury, West Lafayette, IN; (765) 743-5373 Parthenon. I think we visited the Parthenon once a month for most of my childhood. Four generations of family members have been using their families Greek recipes to ensure that the food is always delicious. The service is...

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