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I love to walk around any new locale, but I especially love to walk around Chicago – and apparently I am not alone! Despite its reputation for wind, rain and cold weather, locals and visitors alike venture outside to explore the Windy City. I am always struck by the beautiful combination of modern architecture and vast public green spaces. Walking around downtown in Millenium Park, the energy of the city is palpable. There’s 25 beautiful green acres right in the middle of the city complete with walkways, playgrounds, gardens, and the famous Bean. I must have a hundred pictures of this Bean! If you wanted to amp up the exercise a little more, you could go the Lakefront where runners, bikers, and walkers burn calories while taking in the breathtaking skyline view. That is if they are not checking out the creative sculptures just sitting along the lakefront. That’s something fun about the art in Chicago – it is so accessible, not just in a frame in a museum, but outside in the parks for all to see.
The water’s accessible too. You can take a walk to a beach along the Lakefront or step down along the Riverwalk, a beautiful waterfront along the Chicago River where you can eat, drink and play – perfect to listen to live music, take an evening stroll or have a margarita. There’s so much creative energy here!
With Mother’s and Father’s Day approaching, I thought I’d share a few comments from customers who have given Explore Local Box to their parents or who have received it themselves. We are so excited about the wonderful feedback:
“My mother waits until I visit so we can open the box together. I look forward to it too. There is a nice combination of edibles and products, plus we love the fun facts about the city.”
“My parents used to love to travel but have not been doing much of it lately. They were thrilled with their gift which allows them to travel without leaving home.”
Thank you. As always, we love hearing from you. Here’s a discount code, for 10% off, you can use for your next gift purchase SPRING2018
In the last newsletter, we asked “how do you like to travel” and we loved hearing your responses! When we travel, we try to experience the area like a local - getting off the beaten path, talking to people who live and work there and exploring like a local, checking out what makes the area unique. One reader said he has the same philosophy of travel, but “give me a nice hotel with a great shower and comfortable bed at the end of the day.” Sounds great – you can do almost anything, walk all day long exploring to your hearts content if you end the day like that! Everyone’s different – some adventurous folks said their first choice is to camp in good weather so they have more resources for experiences. One woman admitted to “spending more time researching and preparing than I do at the destination, but that’s part of the fun” and someone else said, “other than having a place to stay, I don’t plan a thing, just do what I feel like once I’m there.” There really is something for everyone!
Planning, this month’s box got me thinking of my first time visiting Savannah. It wasn’t planned; I happened to be in the area and had a little extra time so made the drive to Savannah and was so glad I did! Since it was spur of the moment, I did not do my usual research beforehand. Luckily I was able to jump into a walking tour of Savannah. The guide was lots of fun and his love for the city was contagious. As we walked the city streets, he regaled us with interesting stories about Savannah’s history. He then announced “let’s make like a lizard and find the sun!” We found one of those wonderful squares with huge moss-draped oak trees and a beautiful old fountain. We all sat on the warm bench in the beautiful Georgia sunshine. I got a great lunch after and then was on my way. I’ve returned to check it out further, but this is my favorite memory of the place – warm and welcoming.
I hope you enjoy exploring Savannah too!
From all of us at Explore Local Box, we wish you a Happy New Year and hope it is full of exciting adventures, delicious food and great times with family and friends! We are so thankful for all of you who are following us, exploring with us, and chatting with us about Explore Local Box. You have given us so many great ideas about interesting cities and fun products. We can’t wait to check everything out!
I am writing this on a plane heading home from my latest destination to explore – Montana. Watching all the travelers at the airport, I thought about the many different ways to travel: cruises, tour groups, international, camping, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, hostels, house rentals, timeshares, rural, urban, etc. These choices shape how we experience the destination. How do you like to travel? Let us know on Facebook/Instgram/Twitter @explorelocalbox
When I travel, I enjoy going at my own pace and exploring - checking out what makes that area unique and different. I get off the highway and explore the area like a local. I try to visit restaurants that are unique to that area and check out little shops to get a feeling of the local culture. By trying to experience the area like a local, I feel I get to see what daily life looks like in the community and experience a different side of the place. Plus, it is fun to interact with the people who live there.
I love finding craft markets and farmers markets because it’s another way to interact with locals from the area. I was lucky to come across a small craft market the first day I was in Montana. I met and talked to a few artisans there and purchase some unique items from them. One is a bricklayer from Arizona who spends summers in Montana now that he is retired. To make extra money, he carves wooden bowls from local trees. Another is a potter who makes clay items from Montana clay. Not only does purchasing souvenirs from them support the local economy and help the artisans make a living, but also it helps keep these communities thriving. These are the places that make each community unique. While chain stores play a role in the national economy, we all know that it is the small businesses that create the distinct character of a community. Plus, it is so much more interesting to interact with the artisans and small business owners and hear their stories.
After traveling to all 50 states, most of them multiple times, I love comparing areas and seeing how one place can be so similar to another – a place in Arkansas can remind me so much of Billings, MT. It is also fun to experience the great contrasts in this country from the white beach coasts to the red-rock deserts, to granite mountains and scenic farmland and see how the locals live. I started Explore Local Box because I love traveling and exploring local culture. I want to share my experience with others who get to “explore” the city with us and experience some wonderful, delicious products and learn about the interesting people who have created them. Tell us how you like or would like to travel - firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @explorelocalbox