A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law asked us if the kids could come and stay with them for a few days in Cincinnati. The plan was to meet half way, and she would take the kids to her house for four days.

Well, since my husband and I get away by ourselves about once every 12 years or less, we decided to seize the opportunity to run like the wind in the opposite direction and watch movies and eat prime rib for four days in a row.

Since we settled on a date for the kid exchange, Kent and I have been spending every evening studying a map of the United States and searching the Internet for the best place to go for three nights somewhere between Chicago and Cincinnati.

My high school buddy and Main Street dragging co-pilot, Lynn, gave us the awesome idea to go to French Lick, Indiana. It’s perfect in many ways. Great location. Looks amazing and plenty of things to do.

But then we started admitting to ourselves that we didn’t plan a big family vacation this summer to save some money. So, maybe spending $250 a night at a resort wasn’t our best option. We also are meeting some family in southern Indiana only a few weeks later so we would be visiting many of the same destinations then.

We started looking at Plan B. We could drop off the kids around Lafayette, Indiana, and then drive straight north to the beachy towns of southern Michigan. We love going to St. Joseph, Michigan, in the summer, but haven’t explored the towns north of there. We could hang out on the beach, shop, and visit the fruit farms and chocolate shops.

Then we found out that we might need to drive the kids closer to Cincinnati than we first thought. So, the drive back north might be a little long.

Now, we’re looking into Plan C. Nashville.

I have always wanted to go to Nashville. It seems like we could find tons of fun places to visit. Our only hesitation is that it is about 8 hours total from Chicago, so a little farther than we had planned for our three-night, four-day getaway.

What would you do? Has anyone visited any of these places? Do you have strong feelings that one is SO worth the drive or the extra expense that we shouldn’t miss our chance to visit?

Or do you know of any other hot spots in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky or Tennessee (yes… Cincinnati is on the border of lots of states) that we should consider? The location has to be great for a girl whose mind runs at about 110 mph and wants to visit some interesting places, but whose body (due advanced maternal age) moves at about 2 mph.

I know you are probably busy planning your own summer get-aways, but I would love to hear any input!

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