Going Solo: Road Trips Suitable for Time Alone

I’m sick of being connected. Between emails, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, I need a little peace and quiet from the constant conversation of the world.

I have been trying to turn off my phone and log off of my social networks periodically throughout the day. After all, no one will die if I don’t text them back instantly. Is my opinion really that valuable? Does everyone need to know where I am, what I am doing and what I am eating every moment of the day?

I used to travel a lot for work and enjoyed the serenity of being alone with myself and my thoughts. Now that I work from home, one would think I am surrounded with quiet moments, but my 3 and 5 year-old children are anything but quiet.

So why not take a road trip by myself?
Students at Kripalu
In the near future I would love to do a little personal transformation at Kripalu in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. A center for yoga and health, I anticipate leafing through Kripalu’s catalog of classes and workshops like no other publication.

Each visitor attends Kripalu for the same reason – to be inspired and supported in their personal quest for healthy living. Until I feel comfortable leaving my small children for longer than a day, my visit to Kripalu will have to wait.

However, I am fortunate to live in the Midwest where places of interest abound! And since getting lost is nearly impossible now, I can safely throw my map in the back seat of my car, fire up my GPS and hit the road with confidence.

Itching for some pie and a little American history on the side?

Beth Howard of The Pitchfork Pie Stand

The Pitchfork Pie stand (open Saturdays and Sundays) has been on my list of yummy places to visit ever since I read about owner and American Gothic house resident, Beth Howard, in April’s edition of MidWest Living Magazine. A public visitors center and museum located next door to the historic home is open daily, offering info about the artist, Grant Wood, and free photos for visitors who would like to take a traditional pitchfork photo, costumes included!

Among my ever growing list of books to read are Beth Howard’s upcoming book, Making Piece: Love, Loss, and the Healing Power of Pie (due out in April 2012) and Nancy Horan’s historic novel, Loving Frank, the part fact/part fiction tale of the love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

I regret not taking advantage of the Oak Park studio and residence tour when I lived in OP, but the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust offers many opportunities for visitors to tour Frank’s local architectural beauties in 2011. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Taliesin, the Spring Green, Wisconsin residence of Frank Lloyd Wright which is one setting featured in Loving Frank. For more information about coming events, visit gowright.org.

Just two hours north of Chicago, lies Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. I am especially fond of the Milwaukee Public Market where merchants sell coffee, chocolate, sausage and cheese. You can even get a little sushi while you shop for fresh flowers and bread!

After you stock up on edible goodies, head on over to Lela, a fun boutique chocked full of vintage and designer styles. And don’t stop there! Unique boutiques are oozing in the Third Ward...

But what about the other Midwest states?

What kind of day trip-worthy places would you like to share?

Let us know your favorites!

Thank you to Beth Howard, Kimberly Allen, and Adam Ross for providing images for the ‘Going Solo’ post. Frank Lloyd Wright photo: Don Kalec


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  • I want to go to Kripalu so bad. It is expensive and I'm not sure who would watch my kids, but it is a definite someday.

    I also want to take a road trip to Starved Rock.

  • I love Kripalu and can't wait for the day I can spend two weeks there! One day... Starved Rock is beautiful!

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