Thursday, July 29, 2021

On Our Way Home ~Last Leg of our Journey ~Taking Time to Enjoy our Neighboring States

We spent several hours exploring the charming town
of Galena and then got back in our vehicle, deciding to get
a ways down the road before stopping for a late lunch.

On our trip, while hubby was driving, I searched online
for a place to take a break and a have bite to eat. I found the
restaurant reviews to be pretty entertaining!

For the entire trip, a total of nine days on the road,
Siri did a pretty good job of helping me out.
Only once, we questioned her judgement.

 
But this day, Siri did not disappoint.
Right there, on the banks of the Mississippi River,
we stopped at Catfish Charlies.

When at Catfish Charlies,
one needs to order the Catfish Fingers.

Of course, Hubby uses technology,
Garmin or Google Maps or both, to help us find our way.
Call me Old-Fashioned, but I also like to
look at the vintage Atlas to check our whereabouts.

“Honey, Look! We are going to drive within a mile
of the site where they filmed the movie, Field of Dreams”
 
Since Hubby is a huge fan of baseball, he didn’t hesitate,
we took the detour from our route to take a look.
There were lots of families there…
lots of youth in their Little League Baseball Uniforms,
batting and playing catch out on the field.

There’s the familiar looking House,
and the barn that has been renovated, to include
an Information Center and Gift Shop.

We enjoyed the chance to get out of the
vehicle and stretch our legs!
We could see, in a distance, the large stadium that
is under construction on the grounds.

Did you know? There is a MLB Game planned
for that very site on August 12, 2021.
The Chicago White Sox vs The New York Yankees.

“If you build it, they will come”

Back in the vehicle, the rest of Iowa looked like this.

Our last night in a hotel. Who would have thought
I’d tire of having a service to clean our bathroom and make our bed.
But I felt ready to be home and return to our everyday routine. 

This is a typical stop for us on the way home from the cities.
It’s a little park in Appleton, MN.
We can take a little walk along a creek there.

We got home in time to pick up our Lizzie.
She had stayed with Great Grandma for four weeks.
They got along famously!

I was also tired of eating restaurant food.
Our first home cooked meal was Grilled Salmon,
Corn on the Cob, and a Green Salad.

“There’s No Place Like Home”

Take care,
~Natalie

Monday, July 26, 2021

On Our Way Home ~Galena, IL ~Featured as one of the Best Small Towns to Visit in America ~Another Charming Vacation Destination

 
Galena, Illinois. Hubby read an article about this little gem,
listing it as one of the best small towns in America.

We drove through some rain, arrived late in the afternoon,
and checked into our hotel.
Then, we ventured downtown to check what time the shops open
in the morning, and find a bite to eat.

We stopped in the Galena Brewing Company for a refreshment,
and to get out of the rain.

We shared this appetizer there.

And this is what you’ll see if you look for their restroom.

Our next stop was the Frank O’Dowd’s Irish Pub.

Again, we ordered off the Appetizer Menu.
Hubby had the Mussels with Fresh Herbs,
Garlic and Perry Cider, served with Irish Soda Bread.

I enjoyed the Fried Panko dusted Brussels Sprouts,
with Crisp Prosciutto, Apple and Curry Cream.

The next morning we got an early start downtown.
Main Street is lined with coffee shops, boutiques,
gift shops, specialty stores, and restaurants.

The first place we went in had everything you
could possibly need (or want) for your cat or dog.
Second stop was in Pasta Perfetta. Who knew that there
were sooo many different shapes, sizes, and colors of pasta?!

Of course our first two purchases were souvenirs for our Lizzie
and for our Dinosaur Loving Grandsons.

Then we stopped at this amazing bakery.

This was the window display that drew us in.
That…and the aroma that was wafting out to the sidewalk.

Like most other retired empty nesters, we don’t need more stuff.
So all of our souvenirs were consumable.
From the Galena Canning Company, we purchased Corn Salsa,
Blackberry Jam, and Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam.
From the Galena Roasters Shop, we purchased their
best selling blend of coffee beans. And from that Pasta Shop,
we chose this Italian Pesto Blend. There was an entire wall of Flavored Pastas,
so all you need is a drizzle of Olive Oil and maybe some Parmesan Cheese.

Galena is located in NW Illinois. It has a population of 3,400
and was the home of Ulysses S. Grant.
It is a quaint little community with well-preserved 19th Century Buildings.
85% of of the town is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another great place to visit if you are looking for a weekend get-away.
Imagine how beautiful it looks when it is all decorated for Christmas!

Plan your next road trip through Galena, Illinois.

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, July 23, 2021

On Our Way Home ~The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ~A Music Lover’s Vacation Destination

 

When planning our trip home, Hubby made sure
our route took us through Cleveland, Ohio, and
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As promised, here are some of the photos we took on that stop.

We purchased our tickets on their website,
selecting a window of time for our arrival.
We allowed sufficient time for possible traffic, parking, and walking.
It was easy access from the Ohio Turnpike with a convenient parking lot,
so we enjoyed our extra time out on the grounds.

It felt good to get out of the hot sun
and into the AC. One needs to pause and
take in this impressive lobby with
a refreshment from the concession stand.

You perhaps noticed there are 5 Levels?
Actually, it’s 6. Visitors are directed to start downstairs,
on the Zero Level. One needs to allow plenty
of time to take in all of the history on display there.

I’ll share just a few of our photos.
Who else remembers watching the Ed Sullivan Show,
when the Beatles performed there for the very first time?

Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll.

A large display is devoted to his influence on music.

Michael Jackson’s display wouldn’t be complete
without his famous glove.

Likewise, Prince and his famous guitar.

The Doobie Brothers Concert was perhaps the
the first live concert I attended in the 70s.

Cher, The Goddess of Pop.
In addition to her powerful voice, her fashions are quite impressive.

It’s no secret that I’m in love with Bon Jovi.

However, my favorite was this section.
The Supper Bowl Halftime Show…The Biggest Show on Turf.
The videos and photos were dedicated to the 55 Years
of dynamic Super Bowl Half Time Concerts.

Whether you are a Football Fan, or not,
you have probably stopped what you are doing to watch this event.
We all remember watching Prince play Purple Rain in
the Pouring Rain, on that famous Guitar.

We could not resist the temptation to take a selfie
with this backdrop from The Weekend’s 2021 Halftime Show.

Our visit to the National Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a
highlight of our trip home…certainly time well spent.

We recommend it.
In fact, we suggest planning your next road trip
through Ohio to include Cleveland.

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Visiting Family ~Time to Say Goodbye ~How We Made it Home ~Day One

 
We celebrated America’s Birthday.
We celebrated Jake’s Birthday.
We ended our Holiday
with a little late-night mending!

I had plenty of help…Papa needed a button
reattached to shorts that he wanted for the trip home.

The trip home…our family came outside early,
in their pajamas, to see us off.

We said Good-bye to our daughters, sons-in-law,
our grandsons, and to the State of Massachusetts.
Here we are, leaving the state, driving through the Berkshires.

Thanks to Jessica for the Sparkling Water for my Road Trip.

Thanks to Emily for a new stash of Magazines
to page through while Hubby drives.

It was Hot and Humid, but we found a few places to stop,
and stretch our legs as we made our way home.

Our first overnight stop was in Erie, Pennsylvania.
After securing a place to sleep,
we found a place to share an appetizer.

Hooch and Blotto did not disappoint.
We didn’t bowl, as it appeared to be a league night…
plus we were wearily from traveling.
But we enjoyed some tasty eats.

This was our next destination. Stay tuned for those highlights!

Take care,
~Natalie

Where the Weekend Went ~Good Food, Great Music, and Special Friends ~A Sweet Reunion, Indeed

It was a Saturday to cure our Winter Doldrums. There’s nothing better than spending an evening with good friends. …and there’s not much bett...