Showing posts from 2019

Tours at Blaum Brothers Distilling Co.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Company in Galena opened just over five years ago and a tour is a must-do if you're visiting this charming historic area in Western Illinois.

On a recent visit I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Blaum and hear a little about how he and his brother, Mike, got started and how the distillery has grown.

"When we started, we didn't do it to make vodka or gin," he said. "We were whiskey nerds who wanted to make whiskey."

Blaum said some distilleries try to speed up the process by using smaller barrels, "but people who drink whiskey can tell the difference," he said. They're using big barrels and aging their whiskey for a long time - the old fashioned way. It takes a lot of patience.  He noted that they could rush through making something easier to sell to tourists, like a flavored moonshine, but that they're more interested in making a reputable product.

It seems to be working for them. Last year they sold the maximum…

Story, Indiana: Population 3 Humans, 4 Dogs

In the spring of 2018, I took a trip down to Indianapolis for the Indiana Media Marketplace and the opening of a new outdoor sports exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. I decided to tack on one more night to the trip and head toward Nashville, Indiana since I'd heard so much about it. In researching Brown County, I stumbled upon the story of Story, Indiana. It seemed the this little town had a fabulous farm-to-table restaurant. So, I worked in dinner at the Story Inn to my itinerary.

It was a long out-of-the-way drive to get there, but that's what I love most about it. There's one road going into town that dead ends just past town. It's isolated and peaceful and historic and tranquil. The entire town is an inn. Fourteen structures exist in Story. There's a former general store that houses a restaurant, tavern and has rooms on the second floor and there are also several rental cottages and a century-plus old barn that is a setting for weddings.

The co…

A Wisconsin Road Trip with Betty the Mazda6

We are in the season of restaurant weeks, where many cities and counties are holding events with special menus and pricing to draw in customers during a slow time of the year and introduce them to dishes they may not have tried before.

I was invited up to Kenosha, Wisconsin to preview some restaurants that were participating in their restaurant week. We planned to be there for two days and visit six eateries, So, yeah, a trip to do nothing but eat. How could I pass that up?

For the trip, Mazda provided a 2018 Madza6 Signature for me to use for the trip. We've had a lot of snow or really cold temps and despite the slick roads, Betty made it through like a champ. Yes, I called her Betty. I've decided that when I get a car to drive, it must have a name. This car was the epitome of cool and Betty White came to mind when I looked at it because - who wouldn't want to be as cool as her? Another really nice feature of driving Betty in the winter is that she had heated seats AND a he…

No One Celebrates Groundhog Day Like Woodstock, IL

Groundhog Day is here and outside of Punxsutawney, PA, there's another place where this ritual is a really big deal. Woodstock, Illinois is where much of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray was filmed. They go all out with a four-day festival dedicated to this furry rodent, his weather prediction and the movie that has become a classic and is still well-loved more than 25 years after its release.

Throughout Woodstock, there are many filming sites that are marked letting you know that they are the spots where scenes took place, including a sidewalk marker showing the scene where Murray repeatedly schleps through slushy snow. During the festival guided tours take visitors through many of those filming spots.

On a media visit I took last year with the county's convention and visitor bureau, we got to see some of those sites - including the town square which served as Gobbler's Knob in the movie and the Public House where the toast to world peace took place. I als…

From the inbox: Wilderness Resort adds new attractions and activities

This year I wanted to bring back my "From the Inbox" series of posts on here and on my food blog,

I get so much great information in my inbox, but don't have time to write about it all. Each week, I'll share something from my inbox and let you get a peek at a press release about something really cool and exciting. Here's the first one for the year. It's been quite a while since we've been to Wisconsin Dells, but it's definitely been one of our favorite destinations that we have visited as a family. We have stayed at Wilderness Resort before and they're adding more fun this year. Read on..

Experience New Attractions and Activities
This Winter at the Wilderness Resort

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. — Waterpark enthusiasts looking for a break from winter and a chance to try some new things need to head to Wilderness Resort, America’s Largest Waterpark Resort located in Wisconsin Dells. During the week of January 21 the resort will be add…

Travel & Adventure Show Coming to Chicago January 12 & 13

Where you do start when you want to plan a trip? You probably take to the Internet hoping to find some of the information you're looking for. But nothing beats face to face conversation from experts that have been there are represent exciting destinations. That's what is so great about the Travel & Adventure Show. It returns this month to Chicago for the 15th time! Chicago is one of nine cities that will host this exciting show.

The two-day show features domestic and international locations with over 350 exhibitors ready to share travel tips, answer questions and help you get started on planning a dream vacation - whether it be through the Great Lakes states, the Western U.S., Europe or Taiwan. If you're looking for a fun hiking adventure, a luxurious cruise or a getaway to a tropical place, there's plenty of info to get you thinking about places you may not have ever thought about putting on your travel bucket list.

Throughout the weekend there will be cultural ente…