The weekend was so fabulous, it will take more than one post to get it all down! But there is so much goodness to share, that I want to be able to share it all with you!!!
This weekend was made possible by The Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB. They were gracious enough to sponsor this trip for myself and 7 other bloggers in the area!
I woke up very early Saturday morning, quickly got ready then hit the road on my way to Galena, IL. (Rumor has it that Amtrak may be extended service to Galena from Chicago - which if they did, I would train it instead of driving because I LOVE taking the train!) For me, the drive wasn't too bad - just over 2 1/2 hours. I passed the time by singing along loudly (and badly) to Wicked!
We met up at the Visitors Information Center. Here I got to meet the other bloggers (I only knew 1 of them before hand) and also our guides for the weekend - Dorian and Celestino.
top row: Mike (interim director of the CVB), Val, Kris, me, Lisa, Celestino
Bottom row: Kim, Barb, Michelle, Tracey
Bottom row: Kim, Barb, Michelle, Tracey
Now, if you had been a fly on the wall, you would have never have guessed most of us had just met. Before I left, my 10yo asked if I would come home with some new best friends - well, yeah, I did! All of these women are fabulous and wonderful and we had such an amazing time together. Okay, moving on from the love fest ....
After getting to know each other, we moved on to Grant's House. (Here's where I pipe in to mention that Galena has a lot of history in it - and I love history, so it was amazing get to see some of the historical things. We do similar things around our house and seriously, my girls were jealous of this part of the trip too!).
This is the parlor. The little rocking chair was the women's chair - our guide said that the women would sit in there and knit or embroider. I wish we could have tried it out, because you know me - I had knitting in my purse and I would have loved to try it out! Mostly because (and I'm not sure if the picture does it justice) all the furniture seems so little - almost like children's furniture. So interesting.
The dining room with the table all set like that - I would die for a table like that! And the china - it was a replica of the Grant's china and just gorgeous. I don't own any china at this point, so I'm always dreaming about it - and this china had a bit of pink in it and I just really fell in love with it. (yes, these are the sorts of things I think about when I am touring homes!!)
When you come out of the house you can go to a patio area - and it has an amazing view of the town. It really was just so gorgeous!
After that it was time to walk down into the valley you can see in the photograph above! It wasn't actually that bad - probably because we were going downhill! We passed a gorgeous park and got to walk a footbridge across the Galena River. Then we walked into downtown.
As we walking we passed The Olde Blacksmith Shop. Here is where I get to gush some more about awesome people. This shop was closed. But as we were walking by (and a few peeked in) the people working on getting it ready to go very kindly opened the door and let us in. They didn't know we were the mom bloggers in town over the weekend. And they so very kindly let us in - and truly lots of the people in Galena were so nice and welcoming to us. Just amazing!
So, anyway, back to the blacksmith - seeing him work was just beyond cool. The blacksmiths are all volunteers and have learned this since the shop was opened. I could have stayed and watched for hours - it's all so fascinating to me!
My kids take after me - they looked at my pictures and asked when I would take them. I told them I had heard that if it's slow sometimes they'll let the kids come back and help make things. Umm yeah, they were ready to head down there right that minute! But seriously, that would be so cool (to get to help make something!).
After our time with the blacksmith, it was time for lunch. We headed off to Cannova's Pizzeria (right on Main Street). Before we ordered some reenactors passed by and so we all went out to see them!
I love the dresses of the civil war era. Someday I want to own one myself (but who knows when I'll have to whip up something like that). So until then, I'll admire others. I asked the woman if she had made her costume - she hadn't, but she did have to make lots of alterations to it. To my surprise, two of the men said they made their coats - I just think that is so neat! Also, it gives me hope that my husband might someday want to sit and sew with me =)
Lunch was very yummy and tasty - and a nice time to sit and rest my feet! And get to chat more with the lovely ladies.
I think I'll give you a chance to rest too! Tomorrow, I will write more about my fabulous trip thanks to the Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB!
Part 2 is here
Part 3 is here