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Where Did the Summer Go?

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

My husband, Dan and niece, Ana having fun at Oink’s.


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  1. Sounds glorious. The horse might have been a good idea on the wine trail though – safer than a car!
    I have to confess, each September for the last (X) years, I breathed a sigh of relief that I was no longer teaching (even though we no longer live in a country where September marks the beginning of the school year). Best of luck!

    1. How true. We had a cool summer until school began. Last week it ranged from 94 to 102F in our classrooms. No air, brick buildings. Our poor kids. But a cool front has now come through. Thanks for stopping by.

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Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, a holiday novella received the 2016 Golden Quill award and was a 2016 Maggie finalist.
Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served for the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” will launch in 2017 with Rolf’s Quest.

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