Sierra Mountain Area

Murphys hotel

We were on the way from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. To get there, we took a break from the long drive from San Francisco with a few stops along the way to some beautiful mountain towns, Murphys California Murphys California is a pretty, historic, gold mining town. Many of its business district buildings [Read more …]

Mendocino and Fort Bragg California

Mendocino shore line

We recently spent a few nights in Mendocino California. We always enjoy the town’s 19th-century town’s character, its water towers, gardens and lovely residential streets. While we rarely visit most of the touristy stores, we never seem to tire of strolling through the headlands or the town’s streets. And as a bonus, during our stroll [Read more …]

Chicago Restaurants

We always come to Chicago with a full schedule of restaurant plans, combining explorations of places opened since our previous visits with returns to some of our old favorites. Our 2019 trip was no exception. This trip combined an exploration of new restaurants (new, at least to us, from the three years since [Read more …]

Chicago Architecture

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Changing Face of Chicago Architecture Every time we return to Chicago we are amazed by the amount of new high-rise construction and the beauty of many of its buildings. On one hand, this is not surprising. Chicago, after all, has been at the forefront of American architecture since 1884, when William Le Baron Jenney built [Read more …]

Chicago Blues

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Sweet Blues Chicago Chicago has long been one of the country’s premier Blues Venues. Our plan was to spend a number of hours reveling in its musical history at the city’s premier annual Blues Celebration: Chicago Blues Festival Every year Chicago holds a blues festival.  In 2019, it held its 36th [Read more …]

Chicago Illinois Art Fairs and Museums

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We lived in Chicago for 5 years a long time ago and always loved going to Chicago’s summertime art fairs, and visiting museums and galleries. We recently had a return trip to Chicago. Chicago Art Fairs We arranged our trip largely to accommodate two of the city’s oldest and best juried art fairs plus a [Read more …]

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore


We have visited many dunes areas: from Cape Cod and the Indiana and Michigan dunes, to the desserts of Northern Africa and the Middle East. However, we never got a complete explanation of how dunes were created and how they evolve. That changed when we stopped at the Indiana Dunes. We explored a small segment [Read more …]

Saugatuck and Douglas Michigan

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Saugatuck Michigan Saugatuck Michigan is a small, neighboring resort town scenically sited on a harbor off Lake Michigan. It is the center of what is called the Art Coast. While the town is supposed to be the center for many of the area’s galleries, we found that clothing stores outnumbered galleries by about 10:1 and [Read more …]

Holland Michigan

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Holland Michigan is pretty little town. It has a  number of mid-to-late, 19th-century Victorian buildings in the city’s downtown and Washington Boulevard neighborhoods and Dutch-influenced buildings on the Hope College campus. Centennial Park, meanwhile, is currently building a tribute to part-time inhabitant Frank Baum, who wrote the Wizard of Oz. The [Read more …]

Garden Michigan


Continuing our trip on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we made a stop in the tiny, roughly 200-person town; a visit to Fayette Historic State Park in Garden Michigan. Fayette Historic State Park The Fayette Historic State Park is a former factory surrounding Snail Shell Harbor and contains over 20 historic buildings. Jackson Iron Company built it [Read more …]