So I’ve noticed a trend in the Midwest, lots of people head south for the winter because it gets so. damn. COLD! I found flights from Chicago to Miami for $130 return and treated myself to a weekend in the sun for my birthday. Yes, it was time to tick the Florida Keys off my bucket list and I headed down to Key West in December!
Visiting the Christkindlmarket in Chicago IL, has been on my bucket list for a while now and finally I managed to tick it off when I visited for my 30th birthday! For those that haven’t heard of the Christkindlmarket, it’s a German Christmas Market, similar to the Christmas markets that are popular in Europe! It runs from the middle of November until Christmas Eve and is held in Daley Plaza in the Loop District of Downtown Chicago! 2018 was Christkindlmarket Chicago’s 23rd year!
For those that may remember, last year I wrote a 30 before 30 bucket list, 30 things that I had to do in my 29th year. One thing that I had wanted to complete was an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. Years and years ago when I was a kid, me, my mum and sister had put one together and when I discovered that they also do it in the USA too, I thought it’d be nice to do something for someone else!
So you’re in Chicago, yay! What better way to see the city than from a bird’s eye view from up one of the two observation decks!? (If you’ve flown into Chicago O’Hare over Lake Michigan, you’ll probably agree it’s a pretty impressive approach!) You may be a little pushed for time and only want to go up one, but which observation deck is better? Skydeck or 360 Chicago? I’ve now been to both and hopefully can provide you with a little insight which may help you in your decision making!
I’m not going to lie, London itineraries have been done to the death. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace will always appear on them and don’t get me wrong, for good reason. But I’ve come up with an alternative itinerary for 4 days in London, aimed at people that may have already seen all the icons. My itinerary has been INSPIRED by Harry Potter but with a difference, it’s not necessarily a guide to all the Harry Potter movie locations, it’s more a mash up between a classic sightseeing itinerary and a Harry Potter guide…using some of the Harry Potter locations to showcase some of the different AREAS of London that I believe are worth visiting!
For me Sydney Australia was THE bucket list destination. A family friend had climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and as a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I knew I had to do it too! Well what I thought was going to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip, has since turned into THREE trips to Australia and I still get excited every time I see Sydney Harbour! On my last visit, it rained nearly EVERY day I was in Sydney, so I’ve come up with 2 different Sydney Itineraries, a 3 day itinerary for sunny weather and one for rainy day activities!
As an expat, there’s not many typical American ‘holidays’ that I celebrate, we don’t have Thanksgiving or the 4th of July in England and Halloween is no where near on the same scale that it is here! HOWEVER, I have spent my whole life celebrating Christmas! So here are some Dubuque Christmas events in East Iowa that you should check out this year!
Since living in the Midwest, I’ve discovered the joy of State Parks. Think of National Parks (such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone etc) only on a much smaller scale and they are usually free to enter! The state DNR (Department of Natural Resources) are in charge of maintaining the state parks and their websites will have handy information about visiting and any current park closures etc. Some may have a bit of a lakefront, a camp ground, walking trails or just simply be a woodland area that offers a means to escape and find some people. I’ve come across some state parks though that have had something a little extra about them, making them a little more unique compared to some of the others! So in this post I share my top Midwest State Parks that are perfect for adventurous travellers!