Things I Learned This Week: April 15

Breaking routine:

  1. Traveling truly renews the spirit. And a little sunshine goes a long way. I was in Southwest Florida for work a few days this week. As most of you know, I have a lingering case of mono and it’s been flaring up a lot recently, especially during this trip, with additional symptoms. You’d think that it wouldn’t last this long but recent tests revealed that the virus is still actively present. As exhausting as this week was, I think getting out of my normal routine helped tremendously. Being sick for this long really takes a toll on you mentally, which is even worse than the incessant exhaustion.
  2. Online communication is great but there’s nothing better than seeing people IRL.
  3. I met some incredibly inspiring people this week. It’s amazing how a few good conversations can change your entire outlook.
  4. Pin of the week: …

The Best View of Chicago

Chicago is a diverse and exciting city. There are a million spots that are great to photograph but my favorite view is of the skyline from the hill just in front of Adler Planetarium.

Here are some photos I shot last week from this spot:

Chicago from Museum Campus


I like vintage postcards. Not just for their images but for the stories they tell. And I believe that postcard writing is truly and art form. A lost art at that.

Sheri, a twitter friend, tweeted The lost art of postcard writing earlier this month and we began talking about postcards over twitter. She set up a PO Box so her Facebook friends could send postcards to her kids and I thought that was a wonderful idea!

I asked her for her PO Box address so I could also send them one. Well suburbia isn’t the easiest place to pick up a postcard so it took me a few weeks to find postcards. But I finally found some at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, IN. By the way, if you’re looking for The Christmas Story memorabilia, go to their gift shop.

The plan is to regularly mail postcards to Sheri’s kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to travel more so the postcards won’t all be of Indiana or Chicago but I stocked up at the Welcome Center just in case. If you’re interested in sending them a postcard, please message me for their address.…

3 things you must do before summer ends

The days are getting shorter, kids are going back to school and some trees are beginning to drop leaves…summer is definitely on the way out. Take time in the next few weekends to celebrate the end of summer by doing what we do best – traveling! 1. Be a tourist in your town: We live…

How to be “social” at ILGC

I’m attending the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism next week and, like with any event, will be using social media throughout it. Feel free to join in!


If you have a twitter account, follow the #ilgc hashtag to see the twitter conversation revolving around the conference.

What’s a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase following a # sign in twitter. When you click on it, you’ll be taken to a list of all tweets that include the hashtag. It’s an easy way to follow any conversation. Whether you’re using, tweetdeck, hootsuite or a mobile device to tweet, set up a search for the #ilgc hashtag and save it as a column for easy access. If you’ll be tweeting from your laptop, I still recommend using tweetdeck or hootsuite if that’s what you’re familiar with but another great option is tweetchat. Head to the #ilgc tweetchat room and login with your twitter account. It’ll add the #ilgc hashtag to all of your tweets.…

Best Practices: Destination Blogging

The Feb 3 #tourismchat focused on Blogging for Destinations (transcript). You can also download the transcript as a PDF. Here are my chat highlights: WordPress seemed to be the favored platform among chat participants. Tumblr and Blogger were also mentioned. When it came to in-house blogging vs. using outside bloggers, many of the chat participants…


I’m fascinated with antique postcards. Not so much for the image on the front, although most of them are pretty nice, but more so for the conversation written on the back. A few months ago I started my collection and even though it’s taken a while, it has now doubled in size…to 5 total postcards.

I went to the Harbert Antique Mall on the Red Arrow Highway in Harbert, Michigan today. I was here last November so this was my second time shopping at this store. They have a good amount of antiques and their prices seem fairly reasonable. They still had the china cabinet of my dreams but since I first saw it, I bought a nice vintage piece at a local resale shop for much less.

Today’s purchase of three vintage postcards totaled $9. You can see more more images of these cards in my Flickr set. The first card was postmarked Oct 13, 1908, and features a sunset on Lake Mitchell in Cadillac, Mich.…

Find Them on Facebook

You’ve seen it in TV commercials. You’ve probably even heard it on the radio. Companies are using traditional media to point consumers to their Facebook page, a free platform that they have absolutely no control over but are spending a substantial amount of money creating custom tabs, buying ads and promoting in other forms of marketing.


I picked up one of the few remaining bags of Tostitos at the grocery store Sunday afternoon and guess what…yep, it’s there too.

So I asked a few tourism friends to send me photos of how they’re using print to advertise their social media accounts.…

Past Travels

I remember coming home from school and watching The Donna Reed Show on Nick at Nite in the 80s. I so wanted to grow up and be just like her. Well the life of a 1950’s housewife is no longer in my future but I am still fascinated with all things retro and antique.

Luckily my parents have great saving habits so I’ve acquired a few antique items that used to belong to my grandma but I have only recently discovered the delightful experience of antiquing. Thanks to Dave Woodson‘s recommendation, I went antiquing in La Porte, IN this past weekend and came back with three great items.

My first find was a pair of gently used ice skates with a red & black houndstooth lining. It’s going to be a perfect Christmas decoration and it only cost $5. How could I pass that up?

My other two items are vintage postcards. I just loved thumbing through stacks of postcards, reading all of their messages and reliving their trips from decades ago. There’s something special about getting in the car and driving across the country. It’s the only way to experience a real road trip. …