Welcome, and thanks for visiting our blog. Follow us as we explore this beautiful country and enjoy life's simple pleasures.


Part Three: Galena, car show, breakfast with friends, and rest of the week

Labor Day Monday 9/3/2012

Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park

Lena, Il


“Part Three of this week’s recap”

On Wednesday, 8/29, Terri and I took a road trip. First we headed to Apple River Canyon State Park. It’s been around 40 years since I’ve been there.  I camped there with my parents a few times and wanted to confirm my suspicions that we couldn’t get our rig into that campground. Well, big rig friendly it is not! There were two or three sites that we maybe, barely, could fit the rig into. We decided that wouldn't be a good idea. Next we headed up to Apple River, IL. It’s a small, quaint railroad village right on the Illinois/Wisconsin state line. We actually did cross over into Wisconsin just momentarily while driving around the village.

Next we headed southwest to our main destination of the day, Galena, IL. Both of us have been to Galena a few times through the years. We hadn’t really considered visiting this great little town until last year when our friends Jim and Dee stopped there for a few days and we realized that we wanted to go back and check it out someday.  Well, today was the day. 

First stop was President Ulysses S. Grant’s home. Grant was the 18th President of the United States and lived in Galena periodically for many years. I toured Grant’s home many years ago. We started to enter the home when I saw this sign…
and this notice.
So we stood on the porch and waited. I took this picture of the park and statue that we would view “after touring the home.”
This is another view from the porch.  Notice the three church steeples in the photo.
That gives some perspective of how high on the hill we were at this location. Soon we were greeted by the tour guide, and in we went. First was the library. That’s a 15-pound Bible on the table!
Next was the parlor. Grant’s favorite chair was the green one.
All the furniture, except for the piano, is original. The original piano was “lost” at the White House. Most of the furniture has been recovered with fabric typical of that era. Each year the women would separate the carpet panels and take them outside to clean them. Then they would bring them back inside and sew all the panels back together. The Grants didn’t have servants. Some of the local citizens would volunteer to come in and clean for them. The next room was the dining room.
Then we went upstairs to view the four bedrooms and the “Dressing Room” for Grant and his wife. The house has front and back staircases, and they are very steep!
The kitchen was “modern” and well stocked.
The room beyond the kitchen has a bathtub. The bath water was shared. The order in which baths were taken was determined by age, with the oldest person going in first and the youngest last!
This is the supply room behind the kitchen.
Out back behind the house was another building which displayed china dishes, photographs, and other items. “Soda and water” were available and were sold utilizing the “honor system” for payment. You sure don’t see that much anymore.Smile
This is a view of the house and street behind Grant’s home showing how high up on this hill Grant’s home is located. Galena is a VERY hilly town sitting on small bluffs overlooking the Galena River.
Next we walked out to the park and statue. The park wasn’t much to look at. It appears they’re still developing it. The statue is of Grant’s wife, Julia Dent Grant.
This is a view of Grant’s home from the “park” near the statue.
The tour of Grant’s home was very interesting, and we would recommend it if you’re in the area.

Next stop was downtown Galena. This is a very picturesque town. Main Street is not straight. It, as well as other parallel streets, curves with the Galena River. The Galena Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eighty-five percent of the structures in Galena are located in the “Historic District”. Here are some interesting views of downtown Galena’s Main Street area.
Many of the shops and restaurants had interesting signs or items in the windows.  (click on the pictures to enlarge)
This is an example of the original street surface, and yes it’s rough and very steep!
This guy had a great deal on a HOT day!
Terri and I like free, but we decided to keep moving.  We went into one store…
and like many of the buildings, it had interesting décor.
As I wandered aimlessly around this particular store I came across this “room” upstairs.
This room had checkers and darts,
cable TV, drinks, and stadium seating!
There was also a nice view of Main Street!
I didn’t stay long… I decided if I would stay too long, I may never leave.  This is an excellent idea, and more shops/stores need to do this for men and/or women, depending on the store.Open-mouthed smile

Later in the day, after we had returned from Galena, we went to a weekly Summer cruise-in at Wendy’s in Freeport.
(This is my first attempt at posting collages.)
Wendys Cruise In 08292012
We spent about an hour looking at all the great cars on display.  The weather was great, and it was a nice way to spend the evening.

Thursday, 8/30, we headed back to Freeport to meet three of Terri’s friends and former co-workers for breakfast at the Country Junction restaurant.  They all worked at a local bank together more than 25 years ago!  It was really nice seeing all of them, and we hope we can all get together again the next time Terri and I are in the area.
Betty, Terri, Dottie, and Roberta

After breakfast, we headed east to Rockford for lunch and a meeting with our financial advisor… looks like we’ll be able to keep doing this fulltime RVing thing for a while longer yet.Rolling on the floor laughing


  1. Hmmm, will have to put this on the list for sometime. I'm supposedly related to Ulysses S Grant!
    I've always though that Lowe's or Home Depot should have a spa area for women who are waiting on men to shop there :)

  2. Well that last line is certainly good news. Great newsy post Mike. I just love the Go Braless sign. Wonder if it works???

  3. I thought time outs were supposed to be punishment for being bad. That looked so comfy, I'd probably never be good again!

    Nice collection of cars, you done good. :c0

  4. Well the last line was excellent news and the picture just before it shows how many years you might have left...MANY!!! Terri looks like a youngster :)

  5. Good post. I like the collages. You'll have to show Dee and me how to do that when we see you in Oct. Jim

  6. What a beautiful house! I love going to see stuff like that.
    AND you did a great job on the collage :o)