Man, I have been nursing this summer cold the last few days… Its frigg’n killing my drive this week. I just want to go to bed early!
I got off early on Friday last week. We blazed a trail to Galena via the scenic river drive from Savannah on up. Very cool. I totally enjoyed seeing parts of Illinois (And Iowa across the way) that I have never seen before. Its completely different from this flatland that we get used to around here. Especially when I think about Fairbury.
Ang and I talked about this fact. Rocky slopes and rolling forests make it hard to clear everything out to plant corn or beans. You get so used to seeing fields where we live, that you almost think its a waste of land not to be using it for some sort of crop! Ahhhhhh, 35 years of being a hick!
Back to the trip! We stopped at a Dam north of Hennepin for the kids to stretch their legs… Then proceeded to a covered bridge from the 1860’s somewhere. (Its a historic marker on the map, I just dont remember where it was!) The kids where starting to freak out about food so we new that finding lodging as soon as we got to town was a priority. (Yeah, we don’t make reservations on a road-trip!) The first hotel into town, and I mean FIRST, was the Irish Cottage. I went “Oooooh”, and passed it by. Ang knew that I would not be satisfied until we checked the Cottage out. So, we turned around and checked occupancy. While she was doing that, I was checking out the faux Obliques in the front yard of the hotel. Yeah, its a theme hotel with lots of cheesy things that refer to Ireland… But I always wanted to go there, so it worked!
We had the front desk clerk show us the pool before we bought the room. The kids were hooked! Big indoor pool, and nobody in it!
We did family swim time, went to the “Authentic Irish Pub” for dinner and were entertained by a troop of Irish dancers and an Irish folk singer. (The only song he played that I knew was King of the Road).
The next day:
More swimming in the AM. A big Irish breakfast. Checked out…. Oh, the kids were crying when we checked out! They loved the place!
We headed to a giant cart slide at a local ski slope. They charge 5 bucks a ride down the slopes on these sleds during the non-snow months, but its worth it. (I have pictures, I just forgot my memory stick reader at work) We opted for a second ride. Ang was ready to stay at this lodge for the rest of the day… I had to be the bad Dad and say no!
After that, it was all downtown Galena. Shops, Park, Shops, Jewelry, Park again, candy kitchens…. You name it. Aiden was dragging but suddenly perked up when he heard a train whistle. The local train route goes right through the park, and under a foot bridge! He ran like his little legs have never run before. We got there just in time to see the engines go underneath us. 5 Engines! You know what that means? A SERIOUSLY LONG TRAIN!!! We waited and waited… And waited… And waited for him to let us leave, but he stayed until the last freight car passed underneath.
After that, we headed North to the highest spot in Illinois. It was not easy to fine, its not like they have a marker… I think we found it! It was pretty tall, and right on the Wisconsin border. We went to Wisconsin for gas thinking it was be cheaper… No luck… Should have stayed in Illinois. Then headed to the town of Elizabeth IL. Checked out a real working fort, Fort Apple to be exact. We left there just before a gale came in. I felt sorry for those people where their thatched roof’s and candles… But I am sure they are prepared for worse. We then checked out a local artists pottery shop and headed out of town.
Tomi and Jeff called to say that if we did not see them this weekend, we would not see them for a month, so, we headed home for a late night with them.
Lets just say the kids were tired on Sunday! So were the adults.
And that is the my Birthday weekend! Good night!