". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Galena Getaway

Last week our family had the golden opportunity to spend some vacation time in Galena, Illinois. This historic small town (pop. 3500) in the northwest corner of Illinois (right across the border from Dubuque, Iowa) boasts a beautifully scenic and peaceful setting (see below) as well as a variety of enjoyable recreational activities.

Due to the generosity of dear friends who offered us use of their vacation home, we were able to pamper ourselves at the Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort right outside of town.

Our accommodations for the week were staggeringly luxurious. We stayed in a 3-bedroom, 3-bath 2-story home with full kitchen, living, dining & office as well as jacuzzi, television, sound system, washer/dryer, and internet capability. We spent a lot of our week simply enjoying this beautiful home and reading, watching movies, and playing family games.

Of course, when you're surrounded by such beautiful countryside, you want to bask in it. So my husband took the two older children on a couple of long hikes, and we also took a few shorter nature walks with our youngest.

Vacation would not be complete without a couple of dips in the pool. The resort clubhouse had a nice one free of charge. In our several excursions there, we confirmed our long held suspicion that the child pictured below has no fear and must be vigilantly watched when around water.

In addition to the pool, the clubhouse also had a fitness room available for a nominal fee and a game room complete with arcade, board games, ping-pong, pool, and foosball. For the latter, we divided into teams: Mom & Trevor v. Dad & Caitlin. It was very close, but in the end Dad's prowess paid off and father & daughter won.

The Galena area offers many more opportunities for recreation than we were able to take advantage of due to either budgetary or time constraints, including historic tours, museums, boat rides, horseback riding, shopping and restaurants. But we did manage a trip into town for some gelato (Italian ice cream) and specialty chocolates.

We capped our visit with a trip to see old friends in DeWitt, Iowa. Meet the D. family! (Left to right are Michelle, Matthew, Troy, & Jacob.) Thank you all for the wonderful meal and fellowship. (Evan was so thrilled to have boys his own size to play with.)On our final day of vacation, I was the first to awaken. I stepped outside with my camera to enjoy the morning and take a picture of the house. To my amazement, at that very instant a doe and her fawn stepped out of the woods to the left of the house. As I fumbled with the camera they remained still, not seeming that afraid of me. I managed to snap these two pictures before they disappeared.

To our dear friends Tom and Elaine, thank you for making this week possible for us. You will never know what a blessing it was.


elephantschild said...

If that's your EuroVan, I'll love you forever! (Because we've wanted one forever!)

Cheryl said...

Wow, you recognized the Eurovan! And yes, it is ours. It is a 2002 model, purchased used in 2003. We love it. As you probably know, there aren't that many on the road. But every once in a while we run into another Eurovan devotee and in every case so far the story is the same--Eurovan owners are crazy about their vehicles.

I'll take you for a ride in it next month if you like! (Uh-oh, that means I have to clean it. Maybe I spoke too soon.)