Monday, October 23, 2017

Indiana

Well, for all who were dying to know, the third state we checked off our Bucket List on our crazy roadtrip was Indiana. 
Obviously, we drove through several states on this trip (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois if you must know), but the only three we counted for our official goal to #SeeAll50 were Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. Remember, our parameter for this goal is to actually stop and do a specific activity unique to the state to be able to check it off the list. So in Indiana, we voluntarily spent the night in jail.
I kid you not. The Old Jail Inn served as Parke County, Indiana's jail and sheriff's office from 1879 to 1998 and was converted and opened as a Bed & Breakfast in 2010. The cells each have their own theme and we spent our night behind bars in the Bonnie and Clyde cell.
Not only is Parke County, Indiana home to the Old Jail Inn, it's the covered bridge capital of the world with a whopping 31 covered bridges so we spent the first day of October on a covered bridge scavenger hunt.
How sweet are these bridges?! We found 10 out of 31 and at our 10th covered bridge, we also visited the oldest continually operating sawmill west of the Alleghenies. They sell all sorts of yummy goods and I picked up a bag of fresh ground, whole grain pumpkin pancake mix.
These Parke County people know their market--we found the most adorable little antique shop called Lover's Lane Antiques. To get inside, you have to go through their own covered bridge. Come. On.
As fun as finding each lovely covered bridge was, my favorite part of our quest was driving down streets like this to find them:
Gravel roads, miles of undeveloped land, corn taller than my husband, windmills slowly turning in the sunset: I loved driving through Indiana.
And speaking of the drive, the real star of this insane 6-day, 2,800+ mile roadtrip was our Fit. This was the first big trip we took in our little car and we couldn't be prouder of our Honda. She handled the long days, gravel roads, and countless detours like a champ, and we're ready to take her back out whenever the travel bug bites us next.

Indiana : done.

5 down, 45 to go. And we even have our next trip planned out and ready to go. What are some things we can't miss as we visit the 45 remaining states on our list? Have you ever driven through a covered wooden bridge? Have you spent any memorable nights in jail, voluntarily or otherwise? Tell me all your stories.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"Yet it was in that vale that her sorrow had taken shape, and she did not love it as formerly. 
Beauty to her, as to all who have felt, lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized."

~from Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy~

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me!

In exactly one month, I'll be turning 30 years old. I haven't been too happy about that. In fact, if you know me, you know I stopped having birthdays at 25.
But a few weeks ago, I got a birthday e-mail from Compassion asking if I'd be interested in pledging my birthday to give a child clean water.

What?! Of course I want to do that! 

Did you know there are more than 660 million people who don't have access to clean water? 

Did you know that a mere $79 will buy a family a water filter so that they can have clean water for the rest of their lives? 

This year, I'm celebrating my birthday, and it would make my year if you'd celebrate with me. Cody and I love Compassion, and I'm so psyched to be able to partner with them on this important project. My goal is to raise $2,370: enough water filters for 30 families. 

So tell everyone that Hannah Hancock is turning 30! Don't be shy about it. I would be honored if you would donate to this cause. Every single dollar makes a difference. You don't have to donate $79 to make my day—$1 would do it.

For the link to my fundraising page: click here. And feel free to share it! Everyone is welcome at this party. 
"And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."
~Matthew 10:42~

Cheers!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Michigan

After shoving off the shore of Wisconsin and sailing for 4 hours across Lake Michigan, we landed in Michigan the evening of September 29th.
We had a super-fun time on board the SS Badger, the only coal-fired steamship in operation in the United States. This ferry was first launched in 1952 and has been designated a national historic landmark. Definitely a must-do on our Bucket List, and I would highly recommend it if you're ever up that way.
We stumbled around the deck (record-breaking winds made for a rockin' trip--bless all the seasick people), shopped, napped, read, and played Yahtzee. There were plenty of things to do on board including a theater room (they showed Roman Holiday and Sully on our trip), a video game room, a museum, a gift shop, and a cafe. Once we landed in Ludington, we checked into Nader's Motel for the night. Five stars for Nader's. We loved it and wished we could have stayed more than 1 night--especially when we woke up to freezing temps in the morning! 
In the morning, we hit up the House of Flavors for breakfast and free ice cream cones (we got vouchers from Nader's--I told you we loved it there!). This was the cutest little 50s-style diner you ever did see and as it turns out, they hold a Guinness World Record for the longest ice cream sundae! 
After breakfast, we headed into Ludington State Park and made the 2-mile hike out to Big Sable Point Lighthouse ("sable" rhymes with "gobble"). We climbed the 130 steps to the top of the tower for gorgeous views across Lake Michigan. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was a clear, beautiful day and I could have hung out on the beach climbing the sand dunes for hours. But we had an itinerary to stick to so we kept moving on....
...to an elk ranch. You guys. This was really fun. We took a wagon ride through 100+ acres of an elk ranch and fed these sweet creatures by hand. 
We bought some antlers (not the one pictured!) to bring home to Colonel and Major (they love to chew on an antler) and then hit the road again. We stopped at Grandpa's Cider Mill to watch apples being pressed and pick up some fresh cider donuts and then kept beating it south. 

Michigan : done.

To find out the third and final state we checked off our Bucket List on this trip, come back next Monday! Have you ever fed an elk or some other unusual animal? What's the best view you've ever taken in from the top of something tall? Have you been to Lake Michigan or any of the other Great Lakes?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Casual Fridays

Can you believe we're halfway through October already?! I can't. But this Kid Snippets video seemed like an appropriate way to kick off today's post. 

First item on the agenda for today: deodorant. I think it's about time I updated you on my deodorant saga. Since it's been about two and a half months since I started using the fancy expensive stuff I bought, I figured I can pretty accurately judge it now. And guess what: I'm converted. I went through the first stick and bought three more. Lest you think that's excessive, buying the 3-pack saved me $12. Which is the price of one bar on its own. Kindof a buy 2, get 1 deal. #worthit  Anyway, as far as a deodorant goes, it's definitely the most effective I've ever used. As far as an antiperspirant, I personally have found that it works just about as well as anything else I've ever tried so no complaints there. Cons: it is very thick and that takes some getting used to. Also, it will come off and show up on your clothing if you're not careful, BUT it doesn't stain your clothing so...lose/win. Overall, I'd recommend it. By the way, this is not a sponsored post but if anyone over at Native is reading and wants to send me a check, holla back at me! For the rest of you, if you're interested in trying it out, I can send you a referral code which will get you a free travel sized stick with any purchase. You're welcome.

Are you so over me talking about deodorant? I am. Here's a super-cute pic of my guys to awkwardly smoothly transition us to something else.
If you read my post on Monday, you know that Cody and I recently took a roadtrip of heroic proportions. We tried to hire a driver for our last leg home, but her mom was all, "Umm...that's not even legal." Whatever

I re-read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers last week. I kept trying to remember how long it's been since I read that one. And then I found this photo. It's been a solid 11 years. I feel real old. I wasn't planning to do a recap on this one, but if anyone's dying for one, shout it out in the comments and I'll do something about it. I'm currently working on a biography of Thomas Jefferson. I figure if I'm serious about reading through the presidents, I really should aim for at least two a year. 
Brasil ~ 2006
I've used my CrockPot twice this week. I use my CrockPot all year long, but we're getting to that time of year where it has a permanent spot on the counter. If you have any tried and true CrockPot recipes, please send them all.

My jam lately has been Portugal. The Man's "Feel It Still". The lyrics are wack but I cannot get this groove out of my head. Love it. 

And finally, a shout-out to my BFF Christina because today, she leaves her 20s behind! You're so old. Kidding. Please don't throw that back in my face in a few weeks. Love you, girl!
Circa Halloween 2011

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"Do I realize solemnly enough how utterly and irretrievably this little womanly thing is the creature of my good or bad faith and fortune? 
I think not. I think I could not, unless I were a woman myself. 
What I am in worldly estate, she is. 
What I become, she must become. What I cannot be, she cannot be. 
And shall I ever neglect her, or hurt her, or even forget to consider her? 
God forbid such a crime!"

~a groom speaking of his bride in Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy~

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wisconsin

Well, Cody and I have checked three more states off our Bucket List in our quest to #SeeAll50 starting with Wisconsin.
Sad to say, I married a Packers fan (#SteelersGirl4Life), and it has been a dream of his to watch his team play at historic Lambeau Field so when we started making our list of unique things to do in each state, a Packers game at Lambeau was a no-brainer for Wisconsin. On Wednesday, September 27th, we made the 22-hour drive from our house to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. That's right. We drove 22 hours straight. Because we're young and crazy. 
We went to the Thursday night game. Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears. This was a historic game because the Packers and Bears--one of the greatest sports rivalries of all time--went into it with a tied record: 94 wins for both teams and 6 ties. The Packers had the chance to take the lead for the first time since 1933.
And they delivered with a big win over the Bears, 35-14! This was my first ever NFL game and to be able to have that experience at Lambeau Field, the #1 stadium in all of the NFL, was pretty awesome. The fans were great and the atmosphere was fun. I'd love to do it again. Oh and hey, we even met Jordy Nelson!
Kidding. That's definitely a green screen.
The next morning, we hit up a dairy because Wisconsin, y'all. We watched an enormous amount of butter being churned, processed, and packaged, saw the 250+ varieties of cheese they have for sale there, and found that 25 cents can buy happiness. (I got a scoop of Mackinac Island Fudge and Cody got a double-scoop of Blueberry Cheesecake and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.) 
We stopped at the Courthouse Pub for the crispiest, airiest cheese curds I've ever had in my life before heading to the port to set sail across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger. 
Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin shoreline ~ 09/29/2017
All in all, we had a blast in Wisconsin, and if you're ever in Manitowoc, definitely stop by the Pine River Dairy for 25 cents of pure joy.
Wisconsin : done.

Tune in next week for our adventures in Michigan! Have you ever been to Wisconsin? Or visited a dairy? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?