Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Czech & Slovak Museum; Czech Village

There is a really nice museum in Cedar Rapids – The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. I don’t have Czech or Slovak ancestry, but I’ve been to Czech Republic several times and have been to Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) and LOVE that part of the world.

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I don’t have any pictures inside the building…they have different exhibits throughout the year and a fantastic gift shop. Website: http://www.ncsml.org

Nearby is Czech Village. It’s a street with several antique shops and restaurants. It’s a nice place for an afternoon stroll and some shopping.

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Saw this in one of the antique shops:

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Ellijay, Georgia: Ellijay River Vineyards

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Ellijay River Vineyards is a place that can be described as truly delightful. The vineyards and surroundings are just perfect. On one side you have a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the vineyards below and on the other side, the Ellijay River. There are a few tables out for you to relax and enjoy some wine. You can bring your lunch or some snacks and have a little picnic if you want to! It is a truly beautiful place. If you’re in that area, I very highly recommend checking it out.

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One of the wines they have for sale is called “Quittin’ Time.” That was a pretty big hit with everyone. It makes a really good white-wine sangria because of its sweetness (no need to add syrup…just add the fruit!).

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Here are some more pictures. I will definitely be back!

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My husband, family, and I stayed in a cabin near Ellijay. If you want a great get-away-from-it-all vacation, google cabins in Blue Ridge Mountains or North Georgia. Several companies offer cabin rentals. There is a lot to do in that area. White water rafting, hiking, wineries, shopping, etc. Or, you can grab some groceries, head to your cabin, and enjoy the seclusion and solitude for a couple of days. Ellijay is a cute little town with several antique shops. It’s wonderful! It’s also close to Blue Ridge, which has a lot of shops and restaurants. That area is one of my favorite places…so when I go back I’ll highlight some other places. Here are a couple of pictures from the cabin.

THIS is where we stayed:

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View from the back porch. Breathtaking!

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Paris, Mississippi: Paris Village Antiques

I found the absolute cutest and most charming antique store in tiny Paris, Mississippi. It’s only open a couple of weekends a month, so check their FaceBook page if you find yourself in that neck of the woods! You can also find out how to get there on their page as there is a map with an option for directions.

There was so much to look at. Once inside, it was surprising how many rooms there were. I kept finding rooms I hadn’t noticed before and I must have walked right by them a few times! They had so many nice items.

We got some great finds. A couple of original paintings among them. And they were very reasonably priced! They have a spinning wheel there (estimated to be from 1890’s possibly earlier) THAT I WANT! Maybe for Christmas if someone else doesn’t buy it before then!

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Mansfield, Missouri: Last Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder & Where She Wrote the Little House Series

I know many of you ladies remember reading the Little House series! What wonderful books. Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her final years in Mansfield, MO, and lived in the home pictured above. And that home is where she wrote the Little House series! After visiting her last home in Mansfield, I may just dust off those books and read them again!

Here is the website if you’re interested in learning more:

http://www.lauraingallswilderhome.com/

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Travel! With Ally & Jules

I am going to share information about various travels to various places. From small towns to big cities. My friend, Jules, is going to post, too! Who knows where we will end up. Hopefully, we will inspire you to check out some hidden (and some not-so-hidden) gems in America the Beautiful.

Use the drop-down menu to choose by state (or now country as I’ve just added some international destinations) (just hover the arrow over “Travel! With Ally & Jules” on the menu). If you’d like to submit some positive information on a place, please comment!

*As a disclaimer, I am not affiliated with any of the places I highlight on the travel section. Everything is just my personal opinion.