June 27, 2009

Trip to Galena, IL

Recently Hubby and I went on a mini vacation to Galena, IL. We totally enjoyed our trip. Illinois' Northwestern area is one rolling hill after another, beautiful farmlands and a joy to travel through. This first photo is a distant one of the town of Galena.
This is a view of the downtown or business area. There is one little shop after another. There are many different types of shops there ranging from quaint little antique shops to shops that have the latest of apparel. I had three favorite shops there: Phat 1/4's (a wonderful quilt store), Fiber Wild (a good name for that store as I went a little wild with the different yarns there) and Galena Beads (I always wanted to learn how to make jewelry). I also found a little treasure in an antique shop. This post would be too long if I went into detail about the shops and what I bought, so I will save that for the next post. Oh, did I mention the many restaurants to choose from? Or about the chocolate shops and the popcorn shop? Yum!
Since Galena was founded as a mining town it is no surprise to see the houses built into the hill sides. What was interesting to me was the steps that lead from one street up to another. You may have to click on the next photo to get a good view of the steps that seem to go on forever and forever. One thing Hubby found interesting was the number of chimneys that the buildings had. So many fireplaces! I will admit I found looking at the trees, the number of church steeples and thinking about the next shop to wander into more interesting then the chimneys. I guess it is a girl thing huh?
I thought the steps were lovely to look at, but with a heat index of 100 degrees I had no desire to try to walk up them. Dear Hubby is much more adventurous then I am. He is also in much better physical shape then I am. He wanted to see what was at the top of the stairs. Here is a photo of what he saw looking down from the top of the stairs. See the little purple spec standing by the top of yet another flight of stairs? You may have to click on the photo to see it. That is me.
Okay, you may want to know what was at the top of the stairs. This house. Neat!
I did walk up and down some stairs while we were in Galena, but not to the extent of dear Hubby.

There was to be a Hot Air Balloon Festival that weekend and we were so looking forward to seeing the sights. The weather, however, did not cooperate. There were severe storm warnings on the evening that we were there. We figured they would have to cancel the event but we drove to the golf course/resort where the event was to be held anyway. Once we got there we found out that yes, the event was canceled. We were very disappointed but we decided to drive around a little to see what there was to see. Imagine our surprise when we rounded a corner and saw this waterfall. It wasn't a bunch of hot air balloons taking off into the air but it sure was beautiful!
There are many different things to see and do while in Galena and I am only touching on a few. I would be remiss if I forgot to tell you that while in Galena you can visit Grant's home and a few other old but beautiful mansions. There is a statue of Grant, a memorial to the soldiers of the Civil War from the Galena area and many cannons to view. I am sure I didn't get a chance to see everything there so I hope to return one day. If you get a chance to stop by for a visit to the Galena area I can tell you that you won't be disappointed!


Milah said...

Marilyn, I love visiting old towns like this! You will find me driving up and down all the side streets looking at all the old houses.
I often wonder what the landscape looked like before developement....you know....I would look at those hills and think, "now who thought this would be a good place to build a town?" I guess I have no vision especially on a hillside. I do that a lot down in Kentucky and Tennessee.
I couldn't handle those steps either, imagine the poor woman who had to carry her groceries and children up those.
If you ever organize a bus tour/shop hop to Galena let me know! I'd love to go there!

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

Thanks for the pictures! I remember passing through Galena lots of times as a child. I lived near Chicago and we would drive to Minnesota to visit relatives in the summers. We always drove through Galena and I remember seeing Ulysses S. Grant's home. I would love to visit the town again.

~Bren~ said...

I HAD to have went right past my house on your way there!
Galena is one of my favorite places to go. The mansions are wonderful and I love Grant's home...it is VERY SMALL. Also did you see the oldest log home in the midwest? It was moved there from another area close by to be preserved. It is smaller than a 1 car garage.
The shops are wonderful. How did I miss that waterfall???

~Bren~ said...

I meant YOU had to have went right past my house...you got me all excited!

Libby said...

What a wonderful place to visit . . . . something new and charming to see at every turn. (I would have skipped the steps, too *s*

julieQ said...

Love your pictures, DH and I love to explore old towns, looks like you had a wonderful time!

This is me... said...

We were just in Galena this afternoon. We took a motorcycle ride up thataway. I love it in posts when people mention places that I know. Yes the Phat1/4 shop is outstanding and so are the popcorn & chocolate shops. Our favorite place to eat downtown is Vinny Vannuchi's. Today we opted for quick though and just ate at Culvers.

Sara said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Glad you enjoyed it! Love the photos!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a great blog post about your trip to Galena and Jo Daviess County. It definitely looks like you have memories that will last quite awhile after this trip. For anyone that has never been here before or is looking to come back again, check out our website at galena.org for great information about the destination. Keep up your great blogs! We will be following. From your friendly hosts for visitor information, the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Teresa said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures. This looks like a wonderful place to visit - just wish I were closer and could come and explore.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love that house! Aren't towns like that just the most fun to visit? blessings, marlene

Quilters Mom said...

I am trying to see if my new email works this time. Love the pictures!