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 By Richard C. Ross
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Travel Tips




I love living in the Illinois Fox Valley, but traveling outside of it is definitely one of my passions.  And, let's face it, sometimes you just have to get outta town!  On this page you will find a compilation of some of our travel adventures; these excursions originate right here in the Fox Valley.  Some are just day trips while others may take you across the country...  Maybe you'll get a great idea for your next trip or share one of your trips with us -- enjoy!


NOva project at Ash River, MN What is NOvA?
Not far from where I was staying is the Ash River. A turn off that road and onto Bright Star Road will take you deep into the woods… and bring you to a modern-looking but otherwise almost non-descript long and low structure behind a tall and gated chain-link fence.

Maker's Mark Lounge on 4th St in downtown Louisville

An Urban Bourbon Weekend
We arrived in the downtown area, where we would stay at the Seelbach Hotel and enjoy a cocktail at the Old Seelbach Bar -- supposedly where Al Capone had once also imbibed.  There was also an obligatory stop at the Maker's Mark Lounge in downtown Louisville...
A Day at the Museum
After what has admittedly been an incredibly long winter filled with more-than-abundant snow, ice and cold... the weather promised to cooperate this past weekend -- to some extent -- and my wife and I decided that a trip to Chicago was on the radar.  She had recently finished a masterfully-written and meticulously-researched true tale...
I Just Had to Go Back... to the Islands
Returning to the Fox Valley, I added to my resume various positions at another half-dozen or so venues before being offered and... turning down a position as Food and Beverage Director at a very high-end yacht club in the British Virgin Islands.
 Many have told me I was insane to have said no to the offer; my reasons are...
A Double Tribute
Part one of my plan consisted of a trip to Chicago. Yvonne and I took an early train to the city for lunch. (The train I recall from many, many years ago was a Christmas-time ride on the Kate-Shelly: it was an express train that stopped only in Geneva on its way to Chicago from Iowa.) Mom would take my sister and me downtown for some shopping at Marshall Field's...
City of New Orleans (Part 1)
The temperature was 75 degrees and still rising as we waited for the Metra train that would take us to Chicago on March 17th.  No, we were not headed to the City for St. Patrick's Day.  Our destination was a bit farther away.  We were headed for Union Station and the awaiting City of New Orleans train that would take us to...
A Weekend in Wisconsin
The destination is only about ninety miles from home in Batavia, and getting there was once a fairly easy undertaking. 
We had decided to head up on Friday and take advantage of one of the fish fries that Wisconsin is so adept at providing.
The atrium at Indian Lakes Resort A Weekend at Indian Lakes Resort
Erickson's original vision included eliminating "much of the stigma of conventional hotels with their stark, non-ending and uninteresting corridors and shoebox-like guestrooms".  The result was...
Shadow Divers and the U505 German Submarine
If you haven't toured the U505 since it was moved to it's new home inside the Museum of Science & Industry, maybe it's time to revisit...
Boston's Freedom Trail
Having never been to Boston was as good a reason as any for me, especially when I considered the seafood available there.  But a bigger reason was the existence in me of a burgeoning desire to know and understand more of... Read more
Dinner at Topolo and a Birthday Fiesta
Sometimes, there is nothing that can quite compare with the sheer joy of a little spontaneity. Such was the case just this past week when... Read more
The Seth Peterson Cottage on Mirror Lake
Our selected destination was a small, one-bedroom cottage located on a hilltop overlooking the placid waters of Mirror Lake, in a remote area of the... Read more
Studebaker in Amana, IA The Amana Colonies, Cedar Rock & Cedar Falls
The drive was an easy one with a surprisingly small quantity of traffic for a Friday morning and we were in Iowa City in just over... Read more
Tasting bourbon straight from the barrel

On the Bourbon Trail
There is so much more than just caves associated with the Bluegrass State.  In a long list of activities and attractions available in 9 different areas of the state, one could easily include such diverse interests as horses (Derby Festival, Louisville), Daniel Boone, the Civil War and even bourbon... The full list includes... Read more

Peoria River Front Aboard the Spirit of Peoria
e arrived in Peoria just after noon and easily found the waterfront where the Spirit of Peoria was docked.  Peoria is a great destination with plenty of positive attributes: it is a college town with plenty of dining opportunities and exciting things to do... Read more
The Capitol Building in Springfield, IL from the observation car The Lincoln Museum and Dana Thomas House
My parents were always of the opinion that our family should see our own country before we traveled outside of it to see the wonders of say, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or perhaps the Pyramids of Egypt.
On numerous occasions, they tried ... Read more
Inside the Grand Hall An Anniversary in St Louis by Rail
It all started because of an upcoming anniversary and we knew that we wouldn't have all that much time to go someplace far away.  I have been known to drive long distances for great dinners and other special affairs, but this time... Read more





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