Gourmet Dining at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille

November-Gourmet Dining at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille in Door County Wisconsin-Jan Ross2I tried escargot for the first time on a river cruise in Europe and, although it was with some trepidation that I took my first bite, I loved it. Similar to a mushroom, it had been drenched in butter and garlic so it was quite tasty. The second time I had escargot was just recently at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille on the charming peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin. This time the escargot were tucked neatly away under a delicious and flaky crust but again were delicious. You may think a small restaurant in Wisconsin is an unlikely place to find escargot and you are right, but this charming restaurant in a historic building on the main street of Bailey’s Harbor features amazing gourmet dining, along with a fantastic view of the bay complete with outside dining.

The large building in which the restaurant is located was added to a smaller building in 1908, which was originally used as an ice cream parlor and later a tavern. The larger building was used as a tavern and dance hall where whole families would come to dance; the children were put to bed upstairs while the adults continued dancing. In the ice cream parlor, cones were only five cents, later on in the ’40s and ’50s, movies were shown, and there was roller skating on the hardwood floors on Sundays. The building went through a few owners until 1997 when it was bought by restaurateurs Carl and Karen Berndt; our family was thrilled to pay them a visit on a recent visit to Door County.

Read the rest of this article on Luxe Beat Magazine HERE.

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Kringle Capitol of the World: Racine, Wisconsin

February-The-Kringle-Capitol-of-the-World-Racine-Wisconsin-Jan-Ross2                                                                                                                                                                          A Kringle!

A Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry, a sort of Nordic pretzel, which can be filled with a variety of sweet options. From strawberry cheesecake to apple to pecan, this pastry is available in just about every flavor. Hand rolled from Danish pastry dough which has rested overnight, the sheets of flaky dough are layered, then shaped into an oval, filled with fruit or nuts, and then baked and iced. A typical Kringle is a large, flat oval measuring approximately 14 inches by 10 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Wisconsin has historically been a center of Danish-American culture, so it makes sense that the Kringle was designated the Official State Pastry in 2013. Racine, a charming small town located on the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan has long been a location to seek out this delicious treat. The pastry was first introduced to Racine in the late 1800s by immigrant Danish bakers, and as the town was home to more Danes than anywhere else in the country, there are more Kringle bakeries in Racine than you will find anywhere else. Unofficially designated the Kringle Capitol of the World, Racine today has five bakeries offering different varieties of Kringle, so you can sample until you find the perfect combination.

My family recently paid a visit to Racine to enjoy the lovely beaches, parks, and trails; Frank Lloyd Wright architecture; an amazing art museum and zoo; and the historic Wind Point Lighthouse. The lake provided area residents and tourists with plenty of opportunities for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and other watersports, and area restaurants provide any international delicacy you can imagine.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

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Let These Children’s Books Inspire Your Next Family Trip

Beach PicSharing books with children is a great way to step into other worlds, have amazing adventures, hear about other cultures, and learn to empathize with characters. It’s also a very special way to spend time together as a family and a great bonding experience for family members of all ages.

An extension of these wonderful experiences is to actually visit as a family the destinations where some of your favorite books take place. Here are a few classic children’s books with accompanying locations to get you started.

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – Prince Edward Island: Those who love this book will find Anne-related attractions all over this lovely and remote island, including Avonlea Village, Green Gables Heritage Place, and the author’s family home where her descendants still live.Kindred Spirits Country Inn and Cottages is the perfect family-friendly location to stay when visiting, offering cottages complete with kitchenettes, a heated swimming pool, and bike rentals.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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Five Most Family-Friendly Airport Hotels

Hotel PicIf you are flying into a city for a big family getaway, it’s often easier and more convenient to stay at a hotel near the airport, especially if you have a very early flight or a late evening arrival.

We have handpicked these family-friendly airport hotel recommendations for their great amenities like swimming pools, on-site restaurants with kids’ menus, room service, on-site laundries, complimentary breakfast, free airport shuttles and more.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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Indianapolis, Indiana: A Luxury Getaway to the Crossroads of America

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Downtown Indy

My husband and I have passed by Indianapolis numerous times over the years as we traveled north from Lexington, Kentucky to ski resorts in Michigan or getaways to Chicago. We often remarked how we were passing a city that looked very intriguing, was only three hours away from our home, and that we should make time to visit the city affectionately known as the Crossroad of American because it is the hub for several major interstate highways which crisscross the state. We finally made plans to visit on our way back home from a trip to Wisconsin in the summer.

Not taking into account the astonishing snarl of traffic that is Chicago, we left Green Bay, Wisconsin late in the afternoon after a tour of Lambeau Field, and ran into that frustrating traffic which put us into Indy late at night. This meant that we were not able to fully appreciate the city until the next day when we arose to the beauty that is downtown Indianapolis.

Read the rest of this article here.

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Fall in Cincy

Books statue at the Library

Books statue at the Library

When you begin planning a getaway to Cincinnati, one of the first things you will learn is that there are a lot of bridges. A lot of bridges. Cincinnati sprawls across the Ohio River with a population of almost 300,000, making it the third largest city in Ohio. The city is home to two major sports teams; the Cincinnati Reds, a popular baseball team, and the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League.

Embassy Suites

Embassy Suites by Hilton Cincinnati RiverCenter

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Going Skiing Medical Tips

Going Skiing? Follow These Four Medical Tips

Are you heading off on a ski trip in the coming weeks or months and worried about staying safe? It’s understandable to have concerns over your medical wellbeing, with the price of treatment reaching excessive levels in a lot of cases.

In the Bavarian Alps – a spot which is particularly popular for skiers – the cost of an air ambulance is a staggering $120,000. Needless to say, this is an expense you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

Today, let’s explore four medical tips which you need to adhere to when you next go skiing. Follow these closely and you won’t find yourself in much bother.

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 1. Stick to your level

Don’t push yourself too hard when it comes to a ski trip. When you arrive at a new location you’ll find there are different slopes which offer a varying level of difficulty. Don’t opt for the one which sounds the most fun or makes you look brave – choose a trail which matches your abilities.

The FIS (International Ski Federation) has developed a “Rules of Conduct” which explicitly states people should stick to their own level when it comes to skiing – as well as providing a general code of conduct for ensuring safety on the slopes at all times. This will make the chances of avoiding collisions much higher.

2. Watch out for the sun

It might sound paradoxical, but you should be incredibly wary of getting damaged by sunlight during a trip to any mountainous region. Fields of snow don’t necessarily equate to a lack of sun – in reality, it’s an area where you’re insanely at risk.

Owing to the lack of particles which serve as prevention methods for UV rays at higher altitudes, people are four to five percent more likely to suffer overexposure to the sun when they’re skiing in the mountains. Ice and snow also act as a very reflective surface, so make sure to wear as much protection as possible.

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3. Wear appropriate gear

It’s important to get the right gear sorted before you head out. Having items of clothing which are too large or small for you could cause you to have an accident. The skis themselves are usually the main culprit of this.

The larger a ski is, the faster and harder to control it’ll be. Make sure to get ones fitted which are in accordance to your skill levels and abilities. Other important pieces of equipment which need to be the right size include:

*Boots

*Gloves

*Helmets

4. Ski with a friend

If you follow the above steps, you’ll go a long way to avoiding getting yourself in a mischief. However, it’s literally impossible to guarantee it will never happen. By skiing with a friend, you ensure that even if the worst does occur you’ll have someone who can instantly get in touch with medical services.

The last thing you’ll want is to experience a head injury and be stranded all by yourself with nobody having any idea where you are. Always take a buddy with you to prevent this from happening.

If you follow these expert medical tips you’ll find yourself staying out of danger when you hit the slopes on your next skiing trip.

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The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake

We were lucky enough to experience a beautiful, crisp fall day when we arrived at the Lodge at Geneva on the Lake. With breathtaking views of the southern shores of Lake Erie near Geneva State Park in the heart of the beautiful Ohio Wine Country, what began as the Buckeye State’s first summer resort town is now a very popular, four season star among vacation destinations, Geneva-on-the-Lake is set in Northeast Ohio’s most attractive countryside. The Lodge has plenty to offer families, from romantic escapes, family fun, celebrations, and much more.

Whether you enjoy skiing the lakefront trail, savoring the flavors of wine country or exploring Geneva State Park – The Lodge at Geneva serves signature experiences all year long.

There are plenty of ducks for the duck lovers in your family.
Ducks on Water
 It was quiet, with not many guests checked in during our off season fall visit. With plenty of activities, the resort is much busier during the warm spring and summer months.

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Punderson Manor State Park Lodge

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Gorgeous lake in front of the lodge.

We continued on our epic winter adventure last year to the state park lodge called Punderson Manor State Park Lodge. Hidden away beside a 150 acre glacial lake only 30 minutes East of Cleveland, Ohio, this park lodge has plenty to offer visitors who want to play golf on their 18-hole championship golf course, take a swim in their beautiful pool, or just have a relaxing visit complete with hiking. In addition, there is fishing or you can borrow their canoes or other water equipment and spend an afternoon lazily exploring the lake. First, take a little time to explore the lodge itself which has plenty of touches from Medieval times.

Suit of Armor

Suit of Armor

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Tap-Tap-Tap. Hello? Are you still there?

I took a deep breath and swallowed easily. What a lovely feeling! I couldn’t imagine how long it had been since I  had been swallowing so easily but I had a feeling it had been quite a while. I sat up and noticed my husband dozing in the chair beside my hospital bed and love for him filled me up until it forced some tears out of my eyes. I wondered how long he had been sitting there while I was lying in bed.

I didn’t find out until much later that he had been with me the entire time I had spent in that bed and in the hospital. He had called the front desk at the hotel when I passed out, drove to the hospital after loading up the truck with all our stuff, waited while they worked on me, then spent the next few months waiting for me to recover. Days, weeks, months, he waited patiently for me to finally wake up, remember where I was and what was going on, and then gingerly took me home after I finally remembered everything up to the point where I passed out.

I was shocked that so much time had passed – 5 months had slipped by in the blink of an eye – and I  had lost a ton of weight. Not the best way to lose weight though. I was down to what I had weighed right before I got pregnant and that was years ago! I didn’t remember anything about the time I was out of it. Who had come to see me, getting up out of bed to walk and get exercise, every little thing that happened every day.

I looked at the pictures Tom had taken and had no memory of any of those events. My wonderful family, my children, and friends had been to vist numerous times, brought me presents, stayed to visit and talk, and then returned to visit again and again. I had no memory of any of their visits but I appreciate every one. How could I not?

They actually loved me and appreciated me so much that they came to the hospital again and again while I was in there to let me know how much they appreciated me and were waiting for me to get better and come home. Once I was actually home and comfortable, they came to visit, to bring me treats, to talk and visit, and to just enjoy being together. It was the best part of coming home.

Having all my family and friends excited about me being there.

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