I didn't want to share these with you but my boss made me.

We all have those 'go-to' places when we need to get away from it all. If you travel,  maybe it's a destination you fly to. Me? I like to stay close to home and my kiddos but also like discovering little 'hidden treasures' within the Quad Cities. Some of these are in plain sight and quite obvious but still acts as a little sanctuary.

Sometimes I do some deep thinking or some good crying here. I really didn't feel like sharing these places because they are 'mine.' But then I thought about, how, part of the meaning of life is to share the beautiful things. Even though these are 'my' places where I find beauty, inspiration and sometimes answers, I hope you enjoy six of my secret places in chill in the QC.

1. Blackhawk State Park, Rock Island, IL.

I was just here over the weekend spending some one-on-time time with one of my children. We hiked, we picked wildflowers and sat along the river watching the wildlife. It's a great place to have a cup of coffee and take in all the nature around you. The history here is fascinating, also.

2. LeClaire Park, 4th Bench, Davenport, IA.

Specifically, yes, the fourth bench. Why? I don't know. It's the one I always go to. It's along the river. There's beautiful scenery and you can hear the river's waves smacking up against the wall. You're in public, true, but I have done some of my best thinking and crying here and still felt invisible to the rest of the world. You need that sometime. People are close but so far away at the same time.


3. Gazebo in the back yard at Ben Butterworth Center, Moline, IL.

Definitely a little 'secret garden,' hidden space. In the spring and summer, the fragrances of the roses and nearby flowers stir the senses. Have you ever heard the saying, 'Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery?' This does the trick. Every time.

4. Sunset Lookout at Sunset Marina, Rock Island, IL.

Ya, I'm a sucker for sunsets. It's also along the Mississippi River. It didn't earn it's name for no reason. Breathtaking sunsets can make time seem like it stops.   In our fast paced world, slowing down is a great way to actually catch up and go faster.


5. Village of East Davenport, IA. (the Park there)

Yes, I forgot the name, but it's not hard to find. It's right there. Grab a blanket and some food and have a picnic. The scenery over-looking this hillside park is gorgeous. The trees are amazing. A perfect place to enjoy a book. An actual, hold-in-your-hands book. The park is ahead on the street here and to your right.

6. Vanderveer Park, Davenport, IA.

Sometimes, little waddling creatures make me laugh. I actually go for the ducks. They make me smile. The flowers are gorgeous here and it's a great place to walk around, too, but truth be known, the ducks do it for me.


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