Best Western Go Get Rewarded

Register now! Get a $10 Best Western Gift Card with every stay between November 28, 2016 and January 29, 2017.

Best Western Rewards® Members
Get a $10 Gift Card with EVERY Stay!
Register now! Get a $10 Best Western Gift Card with every stay between November 28, 2016 and January 29, 2017.
Best Western Rewards members must register prior to their first eligible stay.

How many $10 Travel Cards can a Best Western Rewards members earn during the promotion period?
Each Best Western Rewards member can earn unlimited $10 Travel Cards during the promotion period. Promotion is subject to cancellation or change without notice.

When does the $10 Travel Card expire?
Expiration dates will vary. Each $10 Travel Card will expire and must be used at a Best Western branded hotel a minimum of 120 days after fulfillment from Best Western International. Expiration date(s) will be stated on the delivered Gift Card(s).

Register here: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/offers/hotel-discounts/special-offer/winter.html?ssob=EMBWR0035G&cid=EMBWR0035G:email:destination:winter

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Priceless Experiences by IHG

 

Register and stay using a Mastercard® at any IHG® hotel from December 1, 2016 – February 15, 2017 and you could win the ultimate Chicago weekend getaway. Plus, stay twice with one stay being 2+ nights to get a Mastercard® Reward Card up to $100, dependent upon which brand you stay at. (Restrictions apply. See official rules.)

Register here: https://www.priceless.ihgrewardsclub.com/?promoCode=12432&offerId=PS432&cm_mmc=OSMAM-6C-US-EN-Default-LOY-Vanity-Priceless&cm_sp=MasterCard_DEFAULT

Register for the promotion, stay at a qualifying hotel, pay with a Mastercard  and stay twice in the promotion time period.  If one stay includes an InterContinental brand hotel . If a Participant has at least one (1) Qualified Hotel Stay at an InterContinental brand hotel, Participant will receive a one hundred dollar ($100)

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Hertz Home for the Holidays

Sign up for the Hertz Home for the Holidays promotion and receive 25 points just for registering. https://www.hertzholidaytravels.com/PA

Unwrap up to 4X Points

Register now to earn up to 4X Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® bonus points.

With qualifying rentals you make before 12/31/16, you will earn:

  • 2X points on your 1st rental
  • 3X points on your 2nd rental
  • 4X points on all remaining rentals

Remember to select Gold Plus Rewards points on your Profile and during each reservation to receive your bonus.

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Fair Trade Friday November 2016

Time again for my favorite Friday of the month!

Fairtrade Friday Nov 2016

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This was my package that came in the mail Thursday.

Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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One of the items was $25 to shop at krochet kids international. I get to choose my own item and they have a large selection!

Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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I LOVE this towel.  Considering buying several more for Christmas gifts.  Its colorful and so true!

Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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And a new fall necklace.  I love paper bead necklaces.

Fairtrade Friday Nov 2016

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And a global Advent calendar to remember all the groups that contribute to Fair Trade Friday.

Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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Fairtrade Fri Nov 2016

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My passion has become job creation for impoverished people. That’s the heart behind Fair Trade Friday. I have looked into the eyes of one too many women who have said, “We don’t want charity. We want a job.” – Kristen Welch

More information on Fair Trade Friday here: http://fairtradefriday.club/

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Club Carlson Double Points or Double Elite Nights Promotion

The decision is yours to make. From November 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, you can earn either Double Gold Points® on all Eligible Stays, or Double Elite Qualifying Nights on each Eligible Night.

Double Points will help you get one step closer to your next free Award Night, and Double Elite Qualifying Nights will get you closer to maintaining or achieving Elite status through 2017. Whichever choice you make, you’ll get to your goal twice as fast.

Which offer will you choose?

Register here: https://www.clubcarlson.com/secure/offers/12239083?int_cid=promotions:featured:yourchoice

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Be Irish for a Weekend

A couple of years ago we attended our first Michigan Irish Music Festival in Muskegon, Michigan and we were hooked.  This is one of the better run festivals we have attended and with the great music talent we have attended several years now.

Tickets are cheaper online and a weekend pass is the best deal.  The festival is Thursday night through Sunday.  Thursday is $5 at the gate, Friday and Sunday are $15 at the gate and Saturday is $20 at the gate.  Advance online tickets for Friday and Sunday are $10 and $15 for Saturday.  A weekend pass is $30.

On St. Patrick’s day they offered a buy one get on free weekend pass offer on their Facebook page.  We jumped on the offer to visit all weekend for $30 total for daughter and I.  In August they mailed us the two weekend passes.  Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/michiganirish/

(Graphic from Michigan Irish Music Festival)

Saturday at the festival they have the highland games.  You can watch camber tossing, hammer throwing, sheaf toss and more.  These usually start around 11 and end around 4pm.

All weekend they have music playing on 3 stages and two stages of cultural items like Irish dancing, beard contest and Irish music styles. Saturday afternoon is the Tionol on the main stage.  Hands down my favorite part of the festival.  You see a mix mash of many of the bands at the festival playing together.  They might match up members of Slide with Tupelo. One year there were 16 various players onstage with 4 violins, some banjos thrown in and a couple of drummers.  You never know who is going to group up or what they will play.  And you can tell the artists love it also!

The Michigan Irish Music Festival also has a kids area.  Last time we saw crowns and princess wands on all the kids.  They usually have some sort of craft and then a play area in addition to the existing playground equipment. Also there is story telling, kids music shows (Seamus Kennedy does a fun kids show that also leave the parents laughing.) and even a magic show. There is something for everyone!

(Graphic from Michigan Irish Music Festival)

Over the summer they will start to announce who the bands are for the upcoming festival.  Once we heard our favorite Tupelo was coming back from Ireland we were counting down the days.  They also have local favorites like Kennedy’s Kitchen, An Dro, Blackthorn, & Moxie Strings.

Michigan Irish Music Festival

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We made it a point to drive over Friday after work to see Tupelo and Ten Strings & a Goatskin.  School homecoming threw us a curve ball and we were unable to attend Saturday but then drove back over for Sunday’s events.

Mich Irish Music Fest

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Aside from great music there are two market place areas with kilts, pretzels, and other Celtic items for sale.  They have a tea area and a whiskey tasting area.  And several different food vendors.  From traditional boiled corn beef to ice cream and corn dogs.  The food is one of my favorite parts of the festival!

Parking is next door at the USS LST 393 museum for $5 cash.  Its a very short walk along sidewalk to the festival site or there are constantly running golf carts to transport you over for free.

Next years dates are September 14 – 17, 2017!

More information here: https://www.michiganirish.org/home

 

 

 

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Don’t be Irish Only on St. Patrick’s Day

A few years back a family member invited us to an Irish musical festival. Having no plans for the Saturday we took them up on the offer and found a new genre that we loved.  Usually for one weekend in September we transfer from being Dutch to finding our Irish side.  This year we expanded our Celtic side over Labor Day weekend also.

Michiana Celtic Fest

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Club Carlson had a triple points promotion on stays and the family had a desire to eat some seafood so we took a weekend over to the South Bend area.  The Country Inn and Suites is decent for a “mattress run” to earn some points and Red Lobster is about five minutes down North Main Street.

Sunday September 4th was the Michiana Celtic Festival in Howard Park. Downtown South Bend is about a fifteen minute drive from the Country Inn and Suites.  There was street parking and a large parking lot adjacent to Howard Park was half full when we arrived around 11:30.

Admission was $5 for adults or $10 for a family.  We paid $10 for our family of 3 for the day, the only extra costs were for drinks or food as parking was also free. Hours are 11 a.m to 6 p.m.

There were many family friendly activities for all ages. There was a face painter doing her artwork.  The balloon artist made fantastic swords for little kids who spent the afternoon sword fighting each other.

Michiana Celtic Fest

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There is one large tent set up with many tables to enjoy the bands.  We listened to local favorite Kennedy’s Kitchen for a while and we love An Dro.  The Caledonia Kilty Pipe Band did a great presentation with the pipes and drums!

We watched the Bryan Verkler Invitational Highland Athletics Competition for several events like hammer throw and sheaf toss. The caber toss is a family favorite.

Michiana Celtic Fest

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They also offered a chance to try our hand at axe throwing.  Where do you get to do that?  We all took a try and I was happy to say we all stuck our axes in the target after a little instruction.

Learning to throw an axe.

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She hit the target.

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Another crowd favorite was the Border Collie demonstration with sheep.  With whistles or a few verbal commands the dog works the sheep through gates or a pattern. Very impressive and extra fun when one sheep made a break for it and escaped the fenced in area.  You could almost see the dog smiling as he gave chase through the highland game field herding the wayward sheep around.  Even funnier was the adult men trying to help corral that little guy.  After a few minutes the sheep returned through an opened gate back to his flock.

Michiana Celtic Fest

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We spent around four hours at the Celtic Festival.  They had a small market set up with items for sale and great food by Fiddler’s Hearth. The festival is put on by the Michiana Celtic Society each year.

More information here: http://www.michianacelticsociety.org/index.html

 

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Cops & Doughnuts

 

We arrived in South Bend with a plan to get a cupcake at Yummy Cupcakes but they have closed since our last visit.  Plan B!  I had heard there was a new doughnut place called Cops & Doughnuts nearby.  We found it near the corner of Michigan and Wayne.

Cops & Douhhnuts Southbend

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This is bakery heaven!  They had everything and then some.  I asked for a Long John and was told they have 7 types.  These glazed doughnuts on the bottom right have glow in the dark vampire teeth for kids.

Cops & Dpughnuts

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Daughter picked out a chocolate iced cookie that was ginormous.  She only ate half of it that day and finished the other half the next day.

Cops & Doughnuts

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They also have a cooler full of drink items to wash down your doughnut or to add to your sugar rush.

More information here:https://copsdoughnuts.com/

231 S Michigan St, South Bend, IN 46601, USA

The World Famous Cops & Doughnuts from Clare, Michigan have purchased the Historic Dainty Maid Bake Shop. Starting in late August 2016 you can enjoy some of the old time Dainty Maid favorites and Would Famous Doughnuts.   Phone: (574) 232-8219

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Visiting the Studebaker National Museum

Part of our combo ticket to the History Museum in South Bend included admission to the Studebaker National Museum next door.  General admission to this museum alone is $8 or you can purchase a combo ticket for both museums for $12 for adults.  Seniors over 60 pay only $10 for a combo ticket.

Studebaker

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We took maybe an hour to tour all three floors of the museum. They do offer an elevator.

Daughters favorite exhibit was the carriages of the presidents. They exhibit the carriages of Lincoln, Grant, McKinley and Harrision.

Studebaker

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The history covers wagons, sleighs, hearses, cars, and military equipment.  They have something for everyone.

Studebaker

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Studebaker

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Hours are Monday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5.

Studebaker

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They had a little snack counter for a little pick up before your tour.  They also had a cute kids station where they could pretend to service a car.

The docents here were very friendly and actually told us more information about the attached History Museum and its tours.  They are lucky to have such helpful staff.

More information can be found here: https://studebakermuseum.org/

 

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Oliver Mansion Copshaholm in South Bend

Included with our Dressing Downton exhibit tickets was a tour of the Oliver Mansion called  Copshaholm.  The 38 room stately home sits on West Washington street just up the road a block from the Oliver Inn B & B and the Tippicanoe Place Restaurant.  In a previous visit we stayed at the Oliver Inn and dined at Tippicanoe, it makes for a fabulous weekend visit.

Here is a link to the Oliver Inn visit we took for a girls weekend.  https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/oliver-inn-south-bend-girls-weekend/

Copshaholm Oliver Mansion

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Your tour of the mansion begins in the History Museum.  Sign up for the tour at the front desk of the museum. House tours are offered Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Our tour with the short movie took about an hour and forty five minutes total.

Oliver mansion

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The mansion was completed and the family moved in January of 1897.  The family owned the house until it was donated so all the original furnishing are inside.  It was amazing to see the family photographs and personal effects.

Oliver Mansion

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The house did have electric and indoor plumbing when it was built.  Quite advanced for the time to have indoor plumbing.

This is a Tiffany dome that sits above the staircase in the rear of the home.

Oliver Mansion

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While Dressing Downton is on exhibit in the museum they are showcasing the family clothing inside the mansion.

Oliver Mansion

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Even though its fall the gardens are still pretty. I bet they are beautiful in the summer.

Oliver Mansion

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Oliver Mansion

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We were told the house is lavishly decorated for Christmas so we are considering making the trip again in the winter to see the Christmas decor.

More information can be found here: http://historymuseumsb.org/see-do/historic-house/

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