Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tips for Travelling with a Baby on a Road Trip

Preparation is the Key to a Successful Road Trip with a Baby

I have raised 3 children of my own and am now a grandmother so I've learned a few things about travelling with a baby on a long road trip. It is not something you jump into without preparation unless you enjoy misery. Travelling with my own kids by car has taught me valuable lessons that are now second nature to me as a grandmother. I'd like to share a little of what I've learned.


It is the law that children travelling in cars be secured in car seats suited to their age and size. Make sure your car seat is in good condition before undertaking a long road trip with a baby. Read More

Southern Illinois’ Parks and Trails

Whether you enjoy the beauty of nature, the challenge of the hike or just seeing new places, the Shawnee National Forest which makes its home in southern Illinois has a wide variety of parks and trails for hikers to explore.

Fort Massac State Park – Metropolis

Fort Massac, the first state park in Illinois is nestled in a corner of Metropolis, the home of Superman, along the banks of the Ohio River. The fort, a replica, has passed through the hands of four different cultures over the course of its lifetime. In addition to being the focal point of the park, it plays host living histories and reenactments throughout the year. Situated on 24 acres, the park has two trails for beginner level hikers and up. Designated as a Tree Identification Trail, the first is creates a 1-mile loop which starts and stops near the fort. Guide brochures are available in the visitors’ center for this trail. A longer trail, The Hickory Nut Trail, encompasses 2.5 miles of beautiful scenic river views.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Illinois' Wondrous Wetlands: The Cache River State Natural Area

I have lived in Illinois for all but one of my 48 years and never knew that it was home to a swamp until I visited The Cache River State Natural Area. A natural wonder, The Cache River Wetlands brings together four unique ecological regions which I recently had the pleasure of exploring with friends. There is more to see than can be taken in during a single visit.

Makeup of the Preserve

The wetlands, commonly called swamps, are inhabited by bald cypress and tupelo trees, ancient looking beings that look as though they came from another time and indeed they have as many of them reach 1000 years of age. The Cache River which feed the wetlands flows in the bed of what used to be the Ohio River before the ice age pushed it further south.

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Legoland Discovery Center in the Chicago Area Awakens Imaginations to the Possibilities

On a recent trip to Chicago, my family visited several familiar landmarks and tourist spots but one of the most unexpected pleasures was the time we spent at Legoland Discovery Center. This is no small feat considering my kids are 12, 17 and 25 and we all found something to enjoy at Legoland. From rides to workshops and countless displays, Legoland kept us entertained for several hours.

All of my kids have been Lego building block fans as kids and I have a 20 year collection of the connectible cubes to prove it. So it was a no-brainer that when we planned our weekend getaway to Chicago, Legoland would be among our stops. What was surprising about it was how much they crammed into that relatively small space and how inspiring it can be to creative imaginations.

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