Showing posts from 2017

Pipe Organ Music Comes with Dinner at Beggar's Pizza in Lansing

Since I am a foodie who also writes a food blog, restaurants are destinations for me - whether I'm on the road or close to home. I love when I can find a restaurant that is more than a place that serves food. Beggar's Pizza in Lansing would be one of those.

Known for their hearty pizza with toppings piled high, the Beggar's Pizza chain has close to two dozen locations in and around Chicago and into Northwest Indiana. The Lansing location is my favorite. Decades ago it was a movie theatre before becoming Pipes and Pizza, a pizzeria that features a pipe organ. When Beggar's took over the building, the owners continued the tradition of live organ music and you can still visit on a Tuesday or Friday night to hear the big pipe organ played.

On a visit you'll hear a lot of Disney songs along with other movie and television themes and nostalgic tunes. And sometimes you'll hear a top 40 song you might not expect. On our most recent visit as I was trying to identify a so…

Shawnee Lodge in Shawnee State Park, West Portsmouth, Ohio

On a recent visit to south-central Ohio, I needed to find lodging for just one night. We were headed to a college campus for a visit and tour with my son and would be out the door early in the morning. I have loved staying at lodges in state parks. The setting is so much more serene and peaceful than a Best Western situated next to an expressway exit.

Unfortunately our drive to Ohio lasted all day and got us there well after dark, so we didn't get much of a change to see the grounds. I'd love to visit again to spend more time in this beautiful park when the weather is warmer, the days are longer and there's time to explore.

The lodge was renovated in 2012 and has the amenities you'd expect at a family lodge and some that would definitely be absent at a roadside express hotel. The grounds include a restaurant and bar, indoor and outdoor pools, game room, fishing, canoe and paddleboat rentals, tennis, volleyball, basketball and other fun activities.

Originally our trip w…

Carew Tower Observation Deck in Cincinnati

I've always been one who enjoys getting a birds eve view whenever I can. I love seeing Chicago from the top of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower to longtime Chicagoans) or the John Hancock Center or the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. I loved flying over Niagra Falls in a helicopter. I enjoyed dining at Nick and Nino's in Springfield from the 30th floor. If there's a tourist destination somewhere up in the sky that gives me a great view, I'm all over it.

So, when I was traveling through Ohio last month and decided to spend a couple days in Cincinnati, I was excited to see that there was an observation deck at the top of the Carew Tower where I could look out at the Cincinnati skyline, the many bridges that cross over the Ohio River and the river towns in Kentucky.
Construction on the building began in January, 1930 and they set a record by setting 15,000 tons of steel framework in only 61 days. The building has beautiful art deco accents, including 23 elevators that shuttle visi…

Portsmouth, Ohio

I took a recent road trip with two of my boys to Ohio. My 17-year-old will be graduating from high school this spring and was interested visiting Shawnee State University's campus in Portsmouth, Ohio. So, we were there for just a day and spent most of that time touring the campus, but should it be where he ends up going to school the next four years, it's an area I'd love to explore more.
Portsmouth (which I understand is pronounced Portsmith by locals) is situated in the Ohio River Valley in Scioto County in south-central Ohio. The campus sits just along the Ohio River with a pretty view of the Kentucky mountains on the other side. The U.S. Grant Bridge is a beautiful structure that can be seen as you make your way around the downtown area.
The town's Historic Boneyfiddle District is known for its antique shops and dining. The flood wall murals artistically portray the history of Portsmouth and was declared the largest continual work of art by a single artist.
We als…

Mark your calendars for the Three Oaks Flag Day Celebration

For several years we have been visiting Three Oaks, Michigan in June for their annual Flag Day Parade. The weekend is full of festivities culminating with a long parade on Flag Day that is really just small town Americana at its best. The parade is about two hours of patriotic veterans groups, marching bands and floats with royalty from little towns in Southwest Michigan. As I tuned in to the Inaugural events on Friday, I noticed the Mid-America cowgirls were participating. They are always part of the Three Oaks Flag Day parade, so it reminded me that I now have a 2017 calendar going and its time to add this favorite annual event.

Three Oaks is one of our favorite places for a summer day trip from the Chicago area. With a downtown area full of artsy shops, cute cafes, a local history museum, a distillery, art galleries, a live theater and a theatre that features independent and foreign films, there's plenty to do do and see within just a couple blocks on the main street. Add in s…

Travel and Adventure Show

If you're in the Chicago area or not too far from it, you may want to consider paying a visit to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center where the Travel and Adventure Show continues tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn about hundreds of vacation destinations across the country, across the globe or in your own back yard - from Belize to Taiwan to Italy to South Dakota, Florida, Arizona and places as close as Michigan's coastline, Springfield and Milwaukee.

Kids age 16 and under are free, so it's an economical way to have some family fun as you dream together about your next travel adventure. Some of the hand-on fun includes scuba diving, riding a camel and trying out a segway.

On the several stages are speakers and demonstrations, including travel celebrities Rick Steves and Samantha Brown, experts on travel adventures brought to you by AAA and chefs and local food celebs. Take in the Culinary Fight Club at the Taste of Travel Theater at 1:30

If one of your resolutions th…