Some people enjoy old bottles and glassware. For others, the choice might be stamps or coins. Fred Ropkey collects tanks and armament.
At his Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Ind., about 75 miles east of Champaign-Urbana, the displays include rows of imposing tanks, howitzers, armored cars, Jeeps and other militaria.
Explain in one sentence what it is you do.
I am a professor of Japanese arts and culture and director of Japan House at the University of Illinois.
When we talk about our trip of a lifetime, people usually ask, "Why did you choose Peru?" The answer is more diverse than the country itself, which offers Pacific coastal wonders, Andes mountain ranges and rain forest jungle adventure; all with an ancient Inca presence.
My 17-year-old daughter and I chose a package with G.A.P. Tours out of San Francisco. The trip included airfare, lodging and a number of meals for $2,000 a person. What you paid up front in initial cost, you got back threefold with the exchange rate in Peru, which is 3 soles to $1.
I book-ended my summer with two visits to St. Joseph, Mich. Tourism literature refers to the scenic lakeside town as the Riviera of the Midwest. At only 177 miles from my driveway, it is a world away from the central Illinois prairie. My June visit marked a reunion milestone with high school friends. In August my daughters Allison and Meg made the trip with me.
The county beach, Silver Beach, is at the bottom of the bluff where the town sits. Parking is $8 a day. We chose to schlep our things down from the free, all-day parking lots above. Another beach, Tiscornia, is less populated, features $3 parking where we strolled down the long pier watching people fish and walked past St. Joseph's two automated lighthouses.
We chose to vacation this July in northern California for sentimental reasons; some of our favorite memories are of happy weekends exploring San Francisco or traipsing around the Napa and Sonoma wine valleys in the 1980s while we were stationed with the Navy at Mare Island, just south of Napa. Our wonderful week included wine tasting, hikes through redwood forests, drives along the dramatic rocky coast, and a Chinatown tour of San Francisco.
When planning our lodging, we looked for a small house for a good price in a good location for the whole week– we like to cook, wanted to drink the wine we bought in the vineyards, and wanted to shop for fresh seafood and produce in the local farmers' markets that were in one town or another in the area every day we were there.
Many cities and towns in Illinois have a story to share about Abraham Lincoln.
In the Coles County seat of Oakland, there's the tale of the Matson Slave Trial – one of Lincoln's legal defeats.
It had been a decade since I last visited Costa Rica, and I had been itching to return to its beautiful land.
Chaperoning Centennial High students to Latin America and throughout Europe is nothing new to me, but a trip that included an intensive language study was. This is why Samara Beach, Costa Rica, seemed so intriguing.
If you're looking for a vacation to please the whole family, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is the place to go. My family received a heapin', helpin' of southern hospitality on our recent visit to this charming and friendly area of the Great Smoky Mountains region in eastern Tennessee.
Pigeon Forge is home to Dolly Parton and her well-known theme park, Dollywood. The amusement park is nestled in the foothills and shade trees of the Smoky Mountains, but don't let the country charm fool you. They have their fair share of thrill rides to choose from.
To get ready for this trip to Greece and the Aegean Islands, I lost 10 pounds and used the treadmill for two months because I was told that there would be a lot of walking and climbing.
I should have added four months to my exercise program. There is noting handicapped accessible about the climbs that are needed to see the historic sites at the tops of the mountains.
For an interesting trip and an enjoyable place to stay, I recommend about a four-hour drive to southern Indiana and to the French Lick Resort there.
Having been blessed with two pilots in the family (a son and son-in-law) and having made many trips all over the world, mainly Europe and the Pacific Islands, my husband and I have reached the stage of life where we no longer care to take long airline trips anywhere. So in planning a 60th wedding anniversary and a reunion with all our family – six children and 18 grandchildren – we decided on French Lick, Ind., and were not at all disappointed.