All in travel

Ruins in Lake Como

While hiking, I had the most beautiful, open conversation with Claudio, both of us struggling to converse in the other’s native tongues, but nevertheless trying our best. Between my broken Italian, his (fabulous imo) English, and both our expressive gestures, we talked about politics, life, future goals, and the environment. To this day I can’t quite remember every word that passed between us, but I can remember the fulfilling, entirely uplifting weight in my heart and soul. It was unlike any conversation I ever had, and probably will ever have. There was no way to try and bullshit each other; we didn’t have the ability to even try.

What I do also remember, though again more the feeling then the physical words, was learning about a site of ruins we came across on our hike. Hearing Claudio speak so deeply about the history of these hills, a place where he grew up as a young boy and later worked to bring supplies to other likeminded people, was an experience in and of itself. 

Going Home

Looking at posts and photos from a year ago, I was reminded of our wonderfully magical drive home form last summer’s road trip.

Road tripping is always a bittersweet thing; you start with so much hope and excitement for what is ahead of you and as the days progresses, that excitement never dwindles, but instead, your heart begins to long for home. 

By this point, even though I would've loved nothing more than to take a month and drive around, I think my body knew it was ready for home; for a familiar bed and familiar faces. As we left Conner Prairie, all that was between us and our driveway was a stretch of highway longer than we could see. Passing through central Indiana, we were blessed with the most beautiful and surreal sunset. If you look, you can see individual "fingers" stretch out as the sun bid us adieu.

A Family Outing: the Autumn Edition

Can you believe that October is just about done?! Neither can I. I swear I was just counting down the days until summer ended and now my favorite month is wrapping up. At the beginning of the season I was pursuing Pinterest looking for the perfect autumn to-do list. (I must have pinned at least three.)

We'd been planning a trip to a corn maze for the last few weeks, but our schedules are always all over the place. We finally had a day—not to hot, not to cold—where we could spend the afternoon at Skelly's, an incredibly well known farm market complete with not one, but two corn mazes!, a pumpkin patch, warm drinks, and absolutely scrumptious apple cider donuts.

In our last hurrah of the trip, we visited Conner Prairie, a historically preserved 1830's Indiana settlement. I wasn't quite sure what to expect before we got there but it was so much more than I could've hoped for! We started the tour by visiting an old farm site where breeds of sheep and goat that would have been originally farmed by locals ran free. Several very large ewe walked around the barn and we were free to sink our hands into their glorious wool.

What I loved the most was that these people (actors, historians, what have you) were dedicated to their craft. They were't twiddling around, but were actually creating art with their own hands. The blacksmith really twisted and morphed metal into practical work pieces; the woodworker sharpened his blades and went about building axe handles; the potter was on her wheel crafting a set of bowls. Each small detail allowed you to slip back into time, when life was far more difficult yet seemed that much simpler.

A Pinch of Classic Charm

No, I didn't find Orlando Bloom or Kirsten Dunst, but yes, I did fall a little bit in love with Elizabethtown, Kentucky. A short pitstop on our way to Mammoth Cave National Park, Elizabethtown is just about as quaint as you can get. We only spent about thirty minutes there, but the few blocks we did see were absolutely adorable in their charm.

The downtown portion where we had lunch, a law-themed dinner called Roxie's, was filled to the brim with brick buildings, pastel paints, and autumn wreaths dangling from nearly every door.

A (Sunflower) Field of Dreams

We've embarked on our summer road trip and as of today, have been through four states, about to hit our fifth. We started in Wisconsin; hit a bit of traffic in Chicago, Illinois; saw Lake Erie from Indiana; and finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Before we started I didn't hold very high standards for Ohio (I'm sorry Ohioans!!). I just kept picturing long stretches of corn fields like we have in Wisconsin; I wasn't ready for beautiful and wild forests and a skyline reaching to the sky. 

The first place we stayed was Avon, Ohio and I felt like this town was putting on a show to make us want to stay forever. We drove past our hotel to explore a little bit and were greeted with a gorgeous sunset over the lake complete with a family of deer strolling through the neighborhood.

We also spotted a gorgeous sunflower field which I vowed to come back at sunrise. Setting my alarm for 6:45 I came back and only a handful of us waited for the sun to rise. You could hear people gasp as the first light hit the fields. I'd like to take a quick moment to point out the amazing and heartbreaking story behind this field.