• Travel

    Where to go in Shawnee National Forest

    We had the most amazing trip to Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. The natural beauty is astounding and makes it a true tourist attraction. The other amenities that have popped up surrounding it make it a truly great vacation spot. So on that note, here are our suggestions on where to go in Shawnee National Forest.  The Garden of the Gods The Garden of the Gods has some lovely hikes and even better views.  The photos really speak for themselves. Don’t worry you won’t have to go rock climbing to see them, although you can for fun. Just make sure you have a better plan for getting back down…

  • Visiting the Oriental Institute Museum of Chicago #universityofchicago #OrientalInstitute #ancientartifacts #ancienthistory #chicagomuseum
    Travel

    Oriental Institute Museum

    I have always been obsessed with ancient Egypt and it’s history. I cannot get enough of mummies, pharaohs and hieroglyphs. Given this I cannot believe I went this long without having discovered the Oriental Institute Museum right here in Chicago.  Though it’s name is quite dated, it comes from the time in which the University had excavations from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo. I have visited Many of the larger more well known museums in various cities and none of them come close to the quantity, variety and size of the artifacts at the Oriental Institute from this area and period. I…

  • Tour Chicago's Gilded Age Mansion #chicagomansion #chicagotour #guildedage #guildedagemansion #tiffanylamps #chicagoarchitecture #chicagobuildings #chicagohistory
    Travel

    Gilded Age Chicago Mansion Tour

    Nestled among Chicago’s downtown skyscrapers is the little known Richard H. Driehaus Museum. The Museum building is the Nickerson Mansion built in the late 19th century and restored by Mr. Driehaus in the early 2000’s. The museum celebrates the gilded age architecture of the original home and art from that era. It is a step back in time into the lives of upper class Chicagoans. The Mansion has so many beautiful architectural features, signs of the era and the decadent lifestyle of the family who owned the home. I highly recommend paying the extra five dollars for a guided tour of the mansion. They point out and explain all these…

  • Exploring Wisconsin Ice Castles #lakegeneva #icacastles #wisconsinwinter #winterwonderland
    Travel

    Wisconsin Ice Castles

    Ice Castles are a unique frozen winter attraction built entirely of icicles and LED lights. You can visit in the day or the night for two unique viewing experiences. We visited their Lake Geneva location but they have six locations throughout North America so there may be one by you too. As we tend to want to hibernate until Spring it was fun to find something worth braving the cold to visit mid-winter. Full Disclosure: we received media passes that allowed free entry to this attraction. Family Fun Ice Castles is the perfect day out with kids. It puts my childhood igloos to shame. The kids there were having a…

  • Shawnee Wine Trail Winery Reviews #shawneewinetrail #shawneenationalforest #wineryreviews #southernilllinois #midwesttravel
    Travel

    Shawnee Wine Trail Winery Reviews

    As if the fantastic hiking and views of the Shawnee National Forest are not enough the area is also home to numerous wineries. Enough wineries that they have created an entire trail to encourage touring. On our trip we made a real effort to hit them all and will now share our Shawnee Wine Trail winery reviews. As taste in wine is so subjective we have stuck mostly to their offerings in general, venue and service. Feather Hill Vineyard and Winery Feather Hill has a recently updated name and ownership. They are a smaller location. and were our first stop on the tour. It was the perfect place to start…

  • Wisconsin Winter Activities #wisconsinwinter #winteractivities #indooractivities #travelwisconsin
    Travel

    Wisconsin Activities For Winter

    The House on the  Rock There was always something dark and mysterious about visiting the House on the Rock as a kid. Something about all the dark spaces, old mechanical artifacts and dolls just give you that feeling. It always felt in great contrast to walking back out into a bright sunny summer day. That’s why a winter visit is perfect. Imagine looking out on the edge of the infinity room into the snow dusted tree line; a beautiful wintry landscape. You can plan your visit through their website here. Lake Geneva Ice Castles Explore some breathtaking ice sculptures on the shores of Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva. Completely made…

  • Travel

    Where to see Animals in the Chicago Area

    As an animal lover, I am always looking for opportunities to get up close and personal with them. So I did my research, and traveled around to find all of the places you can visit them in the Chicago Area. I have compiled the ultimate master list categorized by location. Read on and find an animal excursion near you. In Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo Located on Chicago’s north side Lincoln Park Zoo enjoys a lovely skyline view of the city. It is also free to the public though parking will cost you. Lincoln Park Zoo is a great spot to see a variety of zoo animals. For a list of…

  • Authentic 1800's cabins for rent by Shawnee National Forest at the Olde Squat Inn , #petfriendly #cozy #rustic #quaint #historic #bedandbreakfast #fishingpond #cabinrentals #shawneenationalforest
    Camping,  Travel

    Authentic 1800s Cabin Rentals by Shawnee National Forest

    I had left it little last minute to plan our long weekend to Shawnee National Forest and was having a hard time finding a dog friendly cabin rental in the area. I had come out of some of my usual listings and done a straight google search when I found the Olde Squat Inn.  I am so glad now to have had the initial trouble because if not I might never had found the authentic 1800’s Cabin rentals that Olde Squat Inn offers within reasonable distance to all that the Shawnee National Forest area has to offer. Cozy Historic Cabins Inside the bedroom of the Gage Cabin Each Cabin at…

  • See Elk Near Chicago In Busse Woods #ElkPreserve #wildlife #cookcountypreserves #bussewoods #northsuburbs #hikingspots #fishingspots #elkencounter
    Travel

    See Elk Near Chicago in Busse Woods

    Located in the North Suburbs of Chicago is the Ned Brown Preserve. Also known as Busse Woods it is located in the aptly named Elk Grove Village, IL and is home to several Elk. We took advantage of all that the preserve has to offer which includes hiking and fishing in addition to the elk. Fishing Busse Lake Ned Brown Preserve is also home to Busse Lake a beautiful waterway with opportunities for kayaking and fishing. The designated fishing areas are concreted which is convenient for putting out your fishing gear but not convenient if your wife wants to lay out in the grass while you fish. Hiking Ryan and…

  • Door County Winery Review for Sweet Wine Lovers! #doorcountywinetasting #sweetwine #winetravel #doorcountywinery
    Travel

    Sweet Wine Lovers Door County Winery Reviews

    With us and wine  it’s the sweeter the better! If you are a sweet Wine lover too you will absolutely love Door County and it’s selection of wineries. Any wine lover will love Door County and it’s wineries. From our various visits to Door County we have  compile our sweet wine lovers Door County Winery reviews. Door Peninsula Winery Wine Tasting at Door Peninnsula I am starting off with our personal Favorite, Door Peninsula Winery. Door Peninsula has the greatest selection of wines and that includes a ton of sweet options. They even have an ice wine, which are very sweet and generally very expensive dessert wines. Their’s is delicious…