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1 Road trip to romance

Now through the summer, we’ll be coming out with a series of road trip ideas with different themes. We’ll start it out hot and heavy with (queue the Barry White)…

The Road Trip to Romance
The Road Trip to Romance spans three busy cities and 200 miles. From theatrical performances, to carriage rides on the town to gorgeous wineries, this road trip makes for a series of memorable dates.

Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace
Drury Lane is one of the top venues in Chicagoland to catch live theatre. Shows are affordably priced and parking is free.

Where to stay: Oakbrook Terrace Hilton Suites
Where to eat: Redstone American Grill
Miles to/from Chicago: 25
Minutes to/from Chicago: 45

A reasonably quick trip down I-290 and you’ll arrive at the next romantic activity:

Magnificent Mile Carriage Ride, Chicago
Carriage rides are a unique way to tour Chicago and make for a perfect way to spend a mild summer evening.

Where to stay: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel
Where to eat: Geja’s Cafe
Miles to/from Oakbrook Terrace: 25
Minutes to/from Oakbrook Terrace: 45
Miles to/from Galena: 165
Minutes to/from Galena: 180

Three hours down I-90 and US-20 will take you to one of Illinois’ most romantic cities – Galena.

Galena Cellar Vineyard & Winery
Acres upon acres of rolling farmland are reasons Galena Cellars is a must-stop location for a romantic road trip. The others: 40 award-winning, nationally recognized varieties of wine right at your finger tips.

Where to stay: Galena Cellars Guest House
Where to eat: Fritz & Frites
Miles to/from Chicago: 165
Minutes to/from Chicago: 180

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the Road Trip to Romance. So, what do you think? What are some of your favorite romantic date spots?

2 Here come the VWs

Thousands of Volkswagens and their faithful owners will converge in Effingham, Illinois June 5th and 6th for the 12th annual Funfest for Air Cooled VW.

Mid America Motorworks hosts the annual event filled with road tours, seminars, burnout competitions and a Saturday night concert every year for their VW customers and fans.

Beetles, Dune Buggies, Buses, Custom VW’s and more abound at the show, along with their passionate owners. There is a $15.00 entry fee for the show for the weekend. Mid America Motorworks can be reached off of Exit 162 on I-57/I-70 in Effingham.

Here come the VW's......

– Ed Baumgarten

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3 summer bucket list

Belmont Music Fest, courtesy of Kevin Willison

Having recently moved to Chicago, I was slightly overwhelmed with the task of getting to know such a diverse and exciting city.  After just a few weeks, I came to realize how many (mostly free!) activities will be taking place here this summer.  I started a Summer Bucket List to make sure that I do a variety of awesome things this summer and to simultaneously help narrow down the crazy number of options here in Chicago.  I’m proud to say that I already have some items to check off of my list.
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4 looking for something to do

The Groupon Cat

Most people don’t know this, but social commerce pioneer Groupon started in Chicago less than 2 years ago. I had a chance to visit their HQ in the 600 West Chicago Ave building that also houses Japonais and the David Barton Gym. The space, which used to house the now-defunct Montgomery Ward offices, is beautiful.

I was visiting Groupon HQ to shoot a final project for school and I walked away from the experience with some mind-boggling information. Since its inception in November 2008, it now has 440,000 subscribers in Chicago alone, 4.4 million nationally. Groupon expanded internationally into Toronto and Vancouver earlier this year, with plans to be in the UK by 2011.

Groupon is at its most useful when you’re trying to find something good to do in Chicago, or 55 other metropolitan areas. Enthusiasts oftentimes check it when they know they will be traveling to another American city, because they trust Groupon’s finger on the pulse of what’s hot, new and fun.

Personally, I find it serves another practical, more psychological purpose. I struggle with my budget, going through boom and bust cycles—happiest when there’s lots of money in the accounts, depressed when I’m broke. With Groupon, that spare ramen in the back of the pantry is collecting dust—the next time I’m completely devoid of funds, find me at Café Laguardia, Karyn’s on Green, or The Drawing Room—the three I’ve purchased so far.

Poverty never tasted so good!

– Jeremie Rosley

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5 summer fun with your dog

Audrey taking a fun and safe road trip!

Summer is finally here! And just because you’re eager to get out, enjoy the weather and have some fun, doesn’t mean you need to leave your dog behind. Whether you’re a long time resident or planning on visiting Illinois this summer, there’s no reason why your dog needs to miss out on all the warm-weather excitement!

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