As August rolls to an end, I marvel at how quickly the summer flew by. So many adventures, so little time. Let me give you the short version of the my busy vacation.
In June, I loaded up my horse, Handsome Jack, and headed to Shawnee National Forest. A group of old friends and I camped out in the beautiful southern Illinois state park. This is some of the best trail riding in the country and I recommend this trip to anyone who loves horses and nature. Garden of the Gods, Indian Kitchen, the Little Grand Canyon, One Horse Gap are all breathtaking places to see. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the beauty. It was hot but worth every drop of sweat.
July turned into a whirlwind of family fun. Living close to Lake Michigan, my sisters and the kids joined my husband Dan and I for a week at the beach. Harbor County is just over the Michigan state line and is less than two hours from Chicago. Take a drive along Red Arrow Highway and enjoy the numerous shops, restaurants, fruit stands and, of course, the famous Wine Trail. (I did not take my horses on this trail.)
This scenic journey begins in New Buffalo which boasts a gorgeous harbor dotted with yachts and sailboats. The public beach gets a little crowded but most rental properties in the area offer an alternative smaller but less crowded stretch of sand. Don’t miss Oink’s, a New Buffalo tradition, just off the main strip. It has the best ice cream in the area. Don’t worry about the long lines, the staff is friendly and efficient.
Farther down Red Arrow is the historic town of St Joseph. Besides a fab beach that includes a park and a splash pad, the old-fashioned carousel and museum still brings a smile to kids and adults alike. The music always takes me back to my childhood and the traveling carnivals. My fellow authors at Coffee Talk came along with me through the Vacation Crashers Contest. Valerie Twombly, Renea Mason and Cait Jarrod all posed in front of the Carousel and a refreshing fountain in the local park.
Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the local tastings. St. Julian’s is my personal favorite but don’t take my word for it, try them all.
This trip stripped me of all tension and gave me the rest I so needed after a long school year. And then we headed for the East Coast in our new camper. But that’s another story…
Aubrey Wynne, Historical Romance http://wp.me/p3aWxC-1u
My husband, Dan and niece, Ana having fun at Oink’s.