Category: Couples

X Marks the Spot Along the Ohio River

The story of the Ohio River has never been straight and clear. Like the waterway itself, the history of the river meanders and rolls, falls and loops about again. This is a river alive with the spirit of Native Americans; moving with the enterprise of frontier families, yet still learning to balance the demands of commerce with the fragility of nature.

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Be forewarned – there is a robbers’ lair tucked into the banks of the Ohio River. Named Cave-In-Rock by notorious pirate and murderer Samuel Mason, this once violent site is now a peaceful addition to the Illinois State Park system. Visitors often stay in  comfortable cabins while exploring the nearby iron furnace, or the Garden of the Gods.

Located in Clarksville, Indiana, the once impressive 26 foot drop in elevation along two and one half miles of the Ohio River is now an educational site where fossils more than 390 million years old are preserved. Due to the fluctuating water levels of the Ohio River, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is best visited in late summer and through early winter.

The public is invited to learn more about the Ohio River where it flows through Southeastern Indiana when independent filmmaker Dennis Neary presents his film, Take the River, at the Lawrenceburg Public Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:00PM.

A is for Athens

Well, the flavors of Athens -as in Athens, Greece. And what flavors they are!

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When planning your next visit to Harrison, Ohio, be sure to include a ravenous stop at The Big Greek Cafe. It’s a perfect choice for families, couples and even business meetings.

Dimitri Evangelou is that personable guy behind the counter. He also happens to be the owner, who describes his menu as ‘Greek comfort food’. Certainly there can be no doubt about that! Fragrant, delicious, and satisfying – it’s like hanging out in your mother’s kitchen just in time for dinner.

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As soon as you walk in the door, it’s obvious that you’ve come to a neighborhood place. Dimitri enjoys feeding people and has a knack for making them feel welcome. Whether picking up a carry-out lunch, or bringing family in for dinner, he knows many of his customers by name.


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For those folks new to the Big Greek Cafe, the menu is descriptive, but if that’s not enough information, the friendly people behind the counter are happy to answer questions about any entree, side dish or dessert.


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There’s always room for friends and family at The Big Greek Cafe – just come hungry!


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Good food made with love, heritage, and pride.

Sometimes it’s best just to admit it – no willpower can overpower the allure of that cake.



DH Athens GREEK Retail2And why not take a little bit of Athens home with you?



So come on in, have a seat, grab a fork, and close your eyes – your excursion to Athens is underway!


Y is for Yellow Springs

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Yellow Springs is located in Greene County, Ohio. It’s a small town bursting with events, history, activities and something new around every turn.

Grab some maps, a lot of information and a couple of post cards when you stop by the former Yellow Springs Depot, then spend at least a weekend exploring the area.

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The Glen Helen Raptor Center offers unusual opportunities to see birds of prey up close; to hear a variety of birds’ voices, and to feel the air move as an owl uses his powerful wings to fly.

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It’s a good idea to lace up some comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots when you visit the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. Everywhere you look, there is something beautiful – something special. Photographs simply cannot capture the peace of the place. There is an unexpected joy and a tranquil wisdom that permeates the rock walls and rushing streams.

When the day winds down, the town of Yellow Springs offers an abundance of restaurants so varied as to meet the gastronomical needs of everyone from vegans to beef aficionados.. As far as lodging, there are historic inns, chain hotels, and bed and breakfasts each waiting for your tuckered feet and sleepy head.

W is for Wagner’s

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Wagner’s Family Restaurant in Oldenburg, Indiana is a casual, comfortable local place where the piping hot fried chicken is served up with dish towels instead of napkins, and the sweet tea is fresh and cold.

Waitress and daytime bartender Betsy McCray grew up in Oldenburg. She knows most of the diners by name, and rarely has to offer a menu even to the newcomers since most folks come in for the Family Style Chicken Dinner.

The fragrance of the chicken frying in cast iron pans makes diners grow impatient with hunger, but when the generous portions arrive, it’s obviously worth the wait. Brian Larimore and his father Robert drive up from Lawrenceburg to enjoy the delicious food, and enthusiastically recommend the freshly fried chicken dinner.

Ray Jordan has been cooking that crispy, moist, amazing chicken, and all of the other menu choices, for a year. He deftly moves through the kitchen, loading plates with the sizzling delicacy. Betsy fills trays with bowls of tempting side items, soon making her way to eager tables.

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Creamy and just a little sweet, the coleslaw marries well with the peppery gravy made onsite from any extra fried chicken. The dinner rolls are the store-bought, in-a-plastic-bag kind – and are perfect with a generous spread of butter, or swished around a gravy-drenched plate.

The green beans come to the table with a dollop of butter and plenty of salt, while the mashed potatoes are a quiet backdrop to the flavorful chicken and bright gravy.

According to Betsy, there are desserts available, as well. Fruit cobblers, a variety of cheesecakes … it all sounds so good, but impossible to manage on this visit.

But Oldenburg is just a scenic drive away any day of the week …

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Romancing the Wedding Dress

During these still warm days of autumn, plan an Aurora, Indiana day-trip with your favorite groom-to-be, or with a group of happily single girlfriends. Just be sure to include a visit to Hillforest, an 1800s era stately home, impressively positioned atop quite a hill in the midst of this historic river town.

Intriguing portraits and delicate china, as well as period-appropriate furnishings, many having been owned by the Thomas Gaff family, fill the house, making it easy to imagine the comings and goings of this mostly female household.

Hillforest invites visitors to walk through the Italian Renaissance home, whose history is warmly interpreted by friendly guides.

Something special that guests of the home will discover is an exhibit of wedding dresses dating back to 1849. These very personal displays add yet another dimension to the aesthetic delights found inside. Please visit Creatzart,com to watch a slide show featuring some of these lovely dresses on loan from local families and area museums.

Beware the chill of late November, though, since that is when these ethereal wedding dresses return to their tissue-paper lined boxes to quietly dream of orange blossoms and champagne.

A Weekend Escape …

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On a wintry afternoon in November, I discovered a portal through time – or at least it felt like that as I walked through the Pioneer Village at the Governor Bebb Park in Butler County, Ohio.

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The sky was slate gray; the kind of sky that promised snow and hot cider and crackling fireplaces …

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… and the air was filled with the earthy fragrance of a blacksmith’s forge.

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I savored this escape into the 1800s. The wonderfully cold day was cheered by bright red ribbons and dark green garland. The fresh colors were in stark contrast to the rough wood that had been sawed and hewn, cut and planed hundreds of years earlier.

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As I walked through the village, I heard music playing on a dulcimer and couldn’t stop smiling.

What a lovely way to welcome the holidays.

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