anticipation & preparation: southern illinois & cincinnati, ohio

To prepare for my ten-day “Midwestern Triangle” road trip to southern Illinois, Cincinnati, OH, and Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky (I’ll write about Kentucky in another post), I started by looking through several guidebooks:

  1. Off the Beaten Path Illinois: A Guide to Unique Places by Lyndee Jobe Henderson
  2. 100 Things To Do in Cincinnati Before You Die by Rick Pender ****
  3. Walking Cincinnati by Danny Korman and Katie Meyer ****

I found some novels and memoirs set in Illinois and Ohio, some of which I’m currently reading.  If I’ve already read them, they have a link and star ratings:

Illinois (outside of Chicago):

  1. Barn Blind by Jane Smiley ****
  2. The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg ****
  3. Anything is Possible (stories) by Elizabeth Strout *****
  4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  5. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
  6. The Nix by Nathan Hill
  7. Dandelion Wine by Rad Bradbury
  8. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

Ohio (southern):

  1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (Middletown) ****
  2. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Ohio and Kentucky)
  3. House Under Snow by Jill Bialosky
  4. The Truth of the Matter by Robb Forman Dew
  5. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  6. Cincinnati
    1. Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler ****
    2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield ***

Books set in Illinois & Ohio

I also found some movies set in Illinois and Ohio as follows:


  1. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
  2. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
  3. Ordinary People (1980)
  4. The Breakfast Club (1985)
  5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  6. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) ****
  7. Home Alone (1990) ****
  8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  9. Inventing the Abbotts (1997)
  10. Mean Girls (2004)
  11. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  12. Man of Steel (2013)
  13. The Accountant (2016)

Cincinnati, Ohio:

  1. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  2. WKRP in Cincinnati (TV series 1978-1982)
  3. Rain Man (1988) ****
  4. Fresh Horses (1988)
  5. Little Man Tate (1991)
  6. The Mighty (1998)
  7. Traffic (2000)
  8. The Ides of March (2011)
  9. The Avengers (2012)
  10. Miles Ahead (2015)
  11. Carol (2015) ***
  12. Marauders (2016)
  13. Inconceivable (2017)

Itinerary (I’ll write about Kentucky in next month’s post)

Day 1 – Sunday, Feb 24:  Drive to Lincoln City, Indiana (10 hours) – Spend night in Lincoln City

DAY 2 – Monday, Feb 25: In Lincoln City, Indiana, assuming the government is open by then (!), visit:

  1. Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, Lincoln City
  2. George Rogers Clark National Historic Park, Vincennes, IN (1 hour 20 min)
  3. Salem, Illinois (1 hour 30 minutes) – Richard Pollard’s Yard Art – just north of town on highway 37
  4. Arrive in Murphysboro, Illinois to visit my sister. (1 hour 25 minutes)

DAY 3 – Tuesday, Feb 26: Murphysboro, Illinois

DAY 4: Wednesday, February 27: Murphysboro, IL: to visit my sister.

  1. Hang out and explore Carbondale and surrounding area with Steph.


    Southern Illinois

DAY 5: Thursday, February 28: Murphysboro, IL to Louisville, KY (3 hours 40 minutes)

  1. Stop on the way at Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest, IL (1 hour 50 minutes)

DAY 6: Friday, March 1: Louisville, KY

DAY 7: Saturday, March 2: Cincinnati, OH (1 hour 40 minutes)

  1. Take walk #1: Ohio River: Bridges, Parks and Three Cities (including Covington, KY)  (4.2 miles)
    1. Ohio River
    2. Covington, KY
    3. Roebling Suspension Bridge
    4. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  2. Take walk #3: Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton: Urban Italianate Architecture Haven (2.4 miles)
    1. Findlay Market
    2. Enjoy whole area on the National Register of Historic Places

DAY 8: Sunday, March 3: Cincinnati, OH

  1. Pick up Mike from his friend’s house in Centerville, OH (1 hour each way)
  2. Take walk #2: Downtown: Resurgent Economic and Transit Hub (3 miles)
    1. Booksellers on Fountain Square
    2. Carew Tower
    3. Contemporary Arts Center
    4. Taft Museum of Art
  3. Take other walks as we desire; explore whatever we haven’t yet seen.

DAY 9: Monday, March 4: Cincinnati, OH

  1. Take more walks around Cincinnati.
  2. Consider the “Nati in a Nutshell” Tour by Urban Adventures
  3. Explore Covington, KY.  See walks #17-21 in Walking Cincinnati.

Cincinnati, OH

DAY 10: Tuesday, March 5: Lexington, KY (1 hour 30 minutes)

DAY 11: Wednesday, March 6: Drive home with Mike from Lexington, KY (8 hours 5 minutes)


Here are my intentions for this trip:


Illinois & Cincinnati, Ohio Intentions

To see books set in the U.S.A., please visit books | u.s.a. |


“ANTICIPATION & PREPARATION” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about anticipation & preparation for a particular destination (not journeys in general). If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments. Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, February 21 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this invitation on Friday, February 22, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the 4th Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂  If you’d like to read more about the topic, see: journeys: anticipation & preparation.

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read posts from our wandering community. I promise, you’ll be inspired!

Thanks to all of you who wrote posts about anticipation and preparation. 🙂