Marble Falls LakeFest Drag Boat Races

Marble Falls Lakefest(c)MarbleFallsLakeFest

Feel the thunder at the 23rd annual Marble Falls LakeFest Drag Boat Races.  Be astounded as drag boats race a liquid quarter-mile “racetrack” and indulge in a crazy and wild three-day boat race party. This years event is taking place from August 8-10 in Marble Falls, Texas.

Drag boat fans will flock to Johnson Park on Friday night from 6p-9p for the chance to meet and greet the drivers and boats at Show & Shine. Fans will be able to purchase t-shirts and posters for autographs and take the opportunity to have photos take with their favorite drivers and boats. Of course, the best part of the evening happens at dusk when the boats “fire up” shooting flames form their exhaust pipes and splitting ear-drums in the park (NOTE: pack ear protection).

On Saturday the races start bright and early with the qualifying races starting at 8a. The gates for Johnson Park will open at 7a so that you can find the best shore side seating. Races will end between 5p and 8p depending on the number of boats, the weather and a number of other factors.

On Sunday the boats and drivers line up again to prove who is the fastest on the lake. The races begin at noon on Sunday and end anytime after 5p. The gates open at 7a on Sunday as well.

Marble Falls Lakefest(c)MarbleFallsLakeFest

MARBLE FALLS LAKEFEST KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • OK TO BRING: lawn chairs, blanket, max 9-quart cooler with only ice.
  • PROHIBITED: Outside food or drinks, umbrellas, pets, weapons, coolers larger than 9-quarts.
  • AVAILABLE AT THE VENUE: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food, souvenirs.
  • PARKING: Park along streets and in the lot at the corner of Main St. & Yett St. Obey all street signs and never park closer than 30 feet to a stop sign
  • TICKETS: Ticket prices start at $10 (Friday only) and go to $175 (Top Eliminator Club pass). Tickets can be purchased or picked up at the Main Gate at the corner or Main St and Buena Vista St.
  • TRAVEL HELP: Contact the Marble Falls Visitors Center at MarbleFalls.org or 800-759-8178

 

Adventures of South Bend, Indiana

SouthBend

University towns provide as much culture, entertainment and delicious food as any metropolitan city. South Bend, IN, home to Notre Dame, is no exception. The area is steeped in history, culture, and great food. Plan on spending at least a weekend in South Bend to explore all that there is to do.

Notre Dame Campus Tour

NOTRE DAME CAMPUS TOUR

Public group tours and private tours are available to escort you around the Notre Dame campus and tell you the history of the university and how it came to be. Started in 1842 and heavily steeped in the Catholic religion the university has a number of recognizable landmarks. During your tour you will learn about the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, the Grotto, and the Basilica. The Basilica is an amazing work of architecture and the grotto is a small replicate of a grotto in Lourdes, France.

Address: 100 Eck Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556 Phone: 574-631-6000
Website: http://mynotredame.nd.edu
Summer Free Public Tour Times: 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Parking: Free at the visitors center.

Studebaker Museum

STUDEBAKER NATIONAL MUSEUM

Studebaker automobiles, manufactured from 1902-1963 in South Bend, IN had a reputation for producing cars of quality and reliability. The Studebaker National Museum homes an amazing selection of the Studebaker cars. A 1950 Studebaker is open for visitors to sit in and makes for a great photo opportunity. In addition to Studebaker cars there are a number of presidential carriages on display including the fated carriage that took President Lincoln to the theater the night of his death. If you have a love affair for American automobiles this is a not to be missed museum.

Address: 895 Thomas Street, South Bend, IN 46601 Phone: (574) 235-9714
Website: http://www.studebakermuseum.org/
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission Adults $8, Students over age 6 $5

Foodie Trail, South Bend, IN

FOODIE TRAIL

Midwest Living magazine recently visited South Bend to find the best dining establishments in the area. After extensive research they compiled a list of 10 restaurants and designated it the South Bend Foodie Trail. Each restaurant offers unique flavors and menu options. You can find a complete list of the foodie trail here:https://asoft7168.accrisoft.com/sjchamber/clientuploads/PDFs/VSBM/2014/SB%20FOODIE%20TRAIL530.pdf

Enjoy your visit to South Bend!

Studebaker National Museum

Studebaker National Museum

The Studebaker National Museum located in South Bend, IN takes you through the history of one of the most iconic cars of its time. Manufactured in South Bend from 1902-1963 the Studebaker established itself as having a reputation for quality and reliability. Even though Studebaker is no longer manufactured you can admire this fabulous cars at the Studebaker National Museum.

Studebaker National Museum

In the Studebaker National Museum, located at the South Bend Museum Campus, there is a gleaming show floor that shows examples of  Studebaker automobiles. There is everything from carriages to sports cars are on display as well as placards telling the history of the vehicles.

Studebaker National Museum

Be sure to take the time to wander through the entire show floor. You will eventually find President Lincoln’s Barouche. This is the carriage that took President Lincoln to the theater where he was shot.  It is a pretty spectacular piece of history to see in person and worth the price of museum admission.

Studebaker National Museum

Of course, it’s the classic cars that people come to the Studebaker National Museum to see and the museum does not disappoint. The cars are simply gorgeous and I wanted to take the out for a little ride around the city. How much fun would it be to drive this around the city?

Studebaker National Museum

Studebaker was also responsible for sporty models. This displays rotates 360 so you can see all sides of the car. Sadly, you can’t get as close to this car as you can the others, but it’s a beautifully manufactured car. Now THAT is really the one I want to drive.

If you have a love affair for automobiles or can even appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into designing them you will really enjoy the Studebaker National Museum.

Address:  895 Thomas Street, South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: (574) 235-9714
Websitehttp://www.studebakermuseum.org/
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission Adults $8, Students over age 6 $5

Take A Jelly Belly Tour in Wisconsin

Jelly Belly Tour

Drive an hour north of Chicago and as soon as you cross into Wisconsin start watching for signs to take a Jelly Belly tour. The tour location is just a few minutes off the highway and well worth the stop. The Jelly Belly tour will share the history, how the treats are made, their use in contemporary art and more.

Jelly Belly Tour

When you arrive at Jelly Belly enter under the sign that says TOUR ENTRANCE. Once in line you’ll be given a paper hat that is required to wear while in the warehouse. It’s very fashionable :)

You’ll take a seat on small train and be asked to buckle up for the ride. Once everyone is ready to go, put away your cameras and cell phones (no photos allowed), sit back and enjoy the ride.

The train will take you around the perimeter of the warehouse stopping at large screen monitor stations along the way. The stations are fun and informative, yet keep it short in order to keep the attention of even the youngest tour attendees.

Jelly Belly Tour(c)JellyBelly.com

Be sure to look to the right after you leave your first stop to seethe wonderful works of art made out of jelly beans. During my tour one of the stops was a fashion sow and show couture dresses made from beans. It was amazing what those designers can do.

Jelly Belly Sample Bar

When the train pulls back into the “station” you’ll exit to the left of the train and receive a free bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans to thank you for taking the tour. You’ll exit into the Jelly Belly store where you’ll be able to try unlimited flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans, shop for your favorite jelly bean flavors, and even purchase belly flops (jelly beans that didn’t meet the Jelly Belly requirements) at a greatly reduced price.

Jelly Belly Tour

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

Parking and tours are FREE

Jelly Belly Tours
10100 Jelly Belly Lane
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Tours daily from 9am-4pm CST

Family Fun in Lake Erie Islands and Shores #LakeErieLove

Lake Erie
There is fun, food, and adventure waiting to be discovered in Lake Erie Islands and Shores. Comprised of Sandusky and the nearby Lake Erie Islands the area attracts almost 7 million visitors each year. There’s a reason the region is so popular. It’s the home to the best theme park in the U.S., has miles of sandy shores, islands, wine trails, good food, water parks, and more fun than you can pack into a weekend. The family is sure to have fun in Lake Erie Islands and Shores.

THINGS TO DO IN LAKE ERIE ISLANDS AND SHORES

 cedarpoint(c)CedarPoint.com

1. Cedar Point: Home to the fastest, tallest, and biggest adrenaline filled coasters. They have been voted the best Amusement Park in the WORLD for 13 consecutive years and it shows in the pride and attention to family fun that shines through at Cedar Point. There are 72 rides, 17 coasters, 8 theatrical shows, and over 35 places to grab a drink or bite to eat. There is something for everyone at Cedar Point. Even if you don’t like coasters you are sure to have a great time at Cedar Point (As a point of reference, my favorite ride is the Merry-Go-Round and I have a great time at Cedar Point).

 Crystal Cave

2.  Crystal Cave: Stand in the largest Geode in the world. All you need is the ability to walk down and then back up 45 steps to access the cave, but it’s well worth it. Crystal Cave is on Put In Bay which is a whole other adventure.

African Wildlife Safari

3. African Safari Wildlife Park: A drive through wild life park and walk through zoo. Fun for the entire family. Be sure to buy extra cups of food before driving through the park and save some for the giraffe at the end. He is a lot of fun to feed. Oh, you’ll want to check out the pig races during your visit as well.

Put in Bay, OH

4. South Bass Island (Put In Bay): Take Miller’s Ferry over to South Bass Island for a bit of island R&R. Rent a golf cart (the preferred mode of transportation), drive around the island, check out the downtown area, and don’t forget to take a trip to the top of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial for amazing views of the island. On a clear day you should be able to spot Canada.

Merry Go Round Museum

5. Merry-Go-Round Museum: Sure to be a hit with young and old alike. Take a ride on the indoor Merry-Go-Round and take time appreciating the antique carousel animals that now reside at the museum. Be sure to ask the docent which one is worth the most.

airboats

6. Air1 Airboats: This is a new attraction in the area and one I really want to try. I’ve rode airboats in Florida and had a blast so I can only imagine how fun it would be to ride them on Lake Erie.

great wolf(c)GreatWolf.com

7. Visit a water park: Sandusky is home to 5 water parks, 4 of which are indoor parks and can be enjoyed year round. Choose from Castaway Bay, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Rain and Soak City (seasonal).

You are going to need fuel to keep going during your stay in Lake Erie Islands and Shores and there are plenty of places to dine. You can find an extensive list of eats on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands site. If you are in Put In Bay I highly recommend Goat Soup & Whiskey, The Upper Deck and Old Forge Cafe & Creperie.

Having too much fun to go home? From personal experience I can recommend Castaway Bay and Sawmill Creek Resort. Castaway Bay is a water park hotel that provides many family friendly activities. Sawmill Creek Resort has a beautiful beach, nature trail, golf, and more.

Whatever you decide to do you are sure to have fun in Lake Erie Islands and Shores!

Where To Eat In Cadillac, MI

When I tell people that I’m from the Cadillac area the question that I’m asked again and again is “Where do you recommend to eat?” For ages it was a standing joke that I would tell people to stop by my house and I’d be happy to make them a meal.

Over the years my daughter has preferred eating at home versus going out. She tells me again and again that my cooking is much better than any place in town. Fortunately, things are changing and there are some good restaurants that I’m actually comfortable recommending. (Thank goodness because I have to tell you making 3 squares a day, 7 days a week gets exhausting.) Because it had been so long since we’d eaten out in Cadillac I’ve been doing a little research to make sure I bring you places that will provide good food and good service consistently.

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Road Trip Games

Everyone loves a good road trip. But if you are traveling with kids you know that the miles can stretch on forever. It’s not long before the words “Are we there yet?” and “I’m bored!” have been said a hundred times. Sure you can turn on the DVD player and let the kids get sucked into another cartoon; but there are also road trip games that will help your family survive the trip and still enjoy being together.

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Route 66 Drive In Theaters

route 66 drive in
Written by American Songwriter Bobby Troup in 1946, the classic R&B song has been covered by many artists through the years including Nat King Cole who first made it famous and then on through history with The Rolling Stones and even John Mayer. The song covers the cross country road trip that begins in Chicago and takes you all the way to LA.

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

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Summer Bucket List: Go to the Drive In Theater

drive in
What’s your first memory of going to a drive-in? Were you a small child that got to sit up on the hood of the station wagon, leaned up against the front window with a pillow behind you and a blanket under you? Did you watch the cartoon first flick from the roof of your car while your parents sat inside of the vehicle? Maybe you didn’t go to drive-ins as a child, but you and your friends had blankets and folding chairs out by the cars as you watched Airplane or Star Wars on the big concrete screen.

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10 Things To Do Along Route 66

HISTORIC ROUTE 66 IN PONTIAC, ILWall Murals in Pontiac, IL

There’s nothing quite like a road trip to bring a family together, help friends discover how deep their friendship really is or cement a new relationship. Spending time together on a roadtrip will stretch even the closest friendships but give you memories that will last forever.

There’s no more iconic road that travels across America than Route 66. If you are looking for the adventure of your life and want to see some of the most amazing sites the United States has to offer, then a trip across Route 66 is for you.

“It winds from chicago to la,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.”

10 things to see/do along Route 66

  1. Starting in Los Angeles, there are many of the typical touristy things to see and do. But take a minute to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery  where Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks and many more celebrities are buried.
  2. Tour the largest dry caverns in the world at the Grand Canyon Caverns. You can even book a room at the quietest underground suite in the world if you have the money to spend.
  3. Take time to explore the past at the Petrified Forest National Park 
  4. Visit the ancestral roots of the Pueblo culture in the Chaco Canyon
  5. Explore Palo Dura Canyon – the 2nd largest canyon in the world. Take the time to discover the cave dwellings and remains of a time gone by.
  6. Let the family relax at McLain Rogers public park in Clinton OK. Enjoy the history but let the family enjoy the pool.
  7. Tour the underground world of the Meremec CavernsExplore the caves or zip across the tours at this historic stopping spot along route 66.
  8. Get the highest view of the route 66 area by riding to the top of the St .Louis Gateway Arch. Though not technically on route 66, this is an icon you don’t want to miss on the way!
  9. Learn about Abraham Lincoln along Route 66 through the Springfield, Illinois area.
  10. See the reconstruction effort taking place at the Midwin Tallgrass Prairie 

Have you traveled along Route 66? What is your favorite part of the trip?