I started going to Starved Rock State Park In Utica Illinois when I was little. My wife and took the kids here to hike when they were little. We have stayed in the Lodge and cabins several times and it is fantastic. A grand early 20th century lodge that is both elegant and rustic. Great food and just gorgeous. I’ll do a piece on it and review another time but just want you to get a taste.
As a proud Native American the park itself has a great significance (one nation starved another on the rock, hence the name) so for me it’s always a great hiking trip. Just a place I connect.
We also love going to nearby Utica to shop, eat and hit the wineries. Look for more pieces on that soon as well. For now I just want to give you a taste of the lodge and trails in the park from a recent trip my wife and I took. I’ll also post more links and info on the history then.
I love this town. Over the years I’ve been there many times. For business, wrestling tournaments/ teaching martial arts seminars and dance comps with my daughter. This was the first time we have just gone to chill and write about it. We will be back again and again.
From the cool native history along the Fox River that runs right through downtown to the many Underground railroad sites, there is a wealth historic sites to see. The Baker Hotel is anther great one and gorgeous. I plan to stay there next trip and write about it( a few pics of it here). Shops, pubs and fine dining all can be found in the gorgeous downtown. Old buildings, redone buildings and the classic Arcada Theater (caught Stephen Pearcy from Ratt live while we were there. Great place and got to hang out with one of my HS wrestling training partners .Sometimes our travels give us a chance to catch up). All this with beautiful Fox River roaring in view.
This trip we stayed at the Hilton Garden in that we have stayed at many times. Always great. Cool modern art look in the lobby. Decent pool and fitness and nice rooms. Nice quiet location and always a good experience. It has great conference space and great service. Nice quiet seating areas to relax, read and check your messages on wifi. We will go again(and again). Next time the Baker though just because we write about travel lol.
Take a look at the pictorial and see for yourself( a saddle shop right downtown!)
As you know, I love to do extra pieces from the places I travel that are just random pictures. It give you a feel for what a place really looks or feels like. I want you to have an idea of what a place really is, not just standard travel blog jargon and puff.
In the case of my recent extended trip to Nashville I took so many pictures that I will do the random walk in several posts( besides the feature pieces).Why so many pics? The Place is vast, diverse and amazing. Enjoy!
One of my favorite things about Las Vegas is all the gorgeous water features and fountains. You can just walk around and be mesmerized. I love to just walk around and absorb the sights and sounds. The visually stunning installations never cease to amaze me.
From The amazing Caesars and Forum Shops to the Lake of dreams at the Wynn, you can spend hours just having a drink and looking at them. Add the amazing fountain at Bellagio and the canals at Venetian and Palazzo and it is mind blowing. Take a look at some simple shots I took.
Vegas is so much more than many people think. Just walking around can be a world class experience. Open your eyes and look at the things around you.
The canal district in Indy is awesome. It can be a romantic walk, a place for a great run or an afternoon of kayaking. Loads of incredible museums, monuments and the gorgeous canal. Connecting to White River State Park, the area is a true gem just wander. A stunning 17ft waterfall, fountains and the awesome architecture of the museums (the Eiteljorg is stunning, but that’s another post).
I’m going to eventually make this a 3 or 4 part section of my Indy series as the museums, hotels and architecture need their own. Today is mostly showing you pictures of just walking part of it. OK, with a short stop in the Cole Porter Room at the Indiana Historical Society! You can rent paddle boats, kayaks or ride a gondola. You can also rent bikes,segways or even a Surrey. All this sitting at the edge of downtown. It is both serene and urban hip at the same time. A truly fantastic place for a romantic stroll. Hey I may be a torn old fighter, but I have a beautiful wife to keep happy! I know my romantic strolls.
During this stroll we had been all over so getting a bit tired, we stopped on the Stardust Terrace at Indiana Historical Society and had something to drink. I love terraces on water and this one is gorgeous. Even if you don’t go in the museum part, stop here and hang out. Definitely go inside to the Cole Porter Room. It looks like the bar in the Waldorf. Pictures and other things but most importantly, someone who sings his songs with an electronic grand piano!!! The lady when we went was phenomenal. OK, now for the pictures. Talk more after the jump.
If The canal district is a must see if you get to Indianapolis. No matter where you live but definitely if you are in the Midwest. Romantic,educational and just fun. Plus it can be very budget friendly for a short trip.
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I truly love just wandering around Caesar’s!!!! The hotel,the casino and the incredible Forum Shoppes. Even more entertaining and relaxing are the gorgeous grounds. Huuuuge! You can spend forever outside enjoying the Vegas sun and the manicured beauty. The place is a must when you are in town. Truly a wonder of the world.
In honor of today being the 50th anniversary of this awesome place I thought I’d toss on one of my weird random walk pictorial posts of this place. These are actually all from a my last trip there so hopefully you realize how much there is to see. These are just grounds and shops. It’s that big! Without further banter, here they are. Talk after the jump.
I hope you see how seriously awesome this place is. I am fortunate to have seen it multiple times. I do not care if you stay at whatever cheap motel is in town, go and see it. You will feel like a KING!!!
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I love Indianapolis! I’ve been there so many times. It’s only a couple of hours from me and years ago I worked there two days a week. It has changed a lot since then. One of the big changes is how cool downtown has become. From new life to rehabbed buildings while retaining that very cool history vibe. Great bars,restaurants and art. Plus shopping and sports. That makes for a fantastic area.
There are truly world class restaurants there and a few that are actually known worldwide. That level of city life and yet easy to get around relative to most urban areas. There are also simple diners and fast food. If you want it, it’s there! From unusual ethnic foods to chains.
It’s an area that my wife and I just love to go walk around. Eat, drink and wander. As you’ll see in this series it’s one of those places that can be romantic or family fun. Later in the series we will see the canal district and breakdown restaurants as well as the outer edges. Today’s is about Monument Circle and the area around Circle Center Mall.
The Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the circle was dedicated in 1902. It is gorgeous and just fun to wander around the circle and people watch. It also has a great museum in the basement. Just a great experience when you add in the city view and coffee shops you sit at. Circle Center Mall is also an oder rehabbed building, actually tied together set of buildings. Lots of shops, restaurants and even a brew pub. For me it’s interesting how they tied together a couple of very one hundred year old buildings and has the cool vibe it does. For me the best part is the glass dome atrium that soars over the street call the Arts Garden. Gorgeous place to sit and look at the city. They also have live music and various events there. And now what you really want, a ton of pictures so you get the feeling of the place. Enjoy and we will talk after the jump.
Hopefully the pictures inspired you to go enjoy this awesome area. I say pictures because i know im a bad writer lol. Expect more from here soon as i add to this series. It is truly a great city in the world, and if you live in the midwest it is so easy to get to.
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