Who takes a trip in December in the midst of Christmas preparations and in our case, chilly, weather? Well, we do, I guess. We signed up for a three day bus trip to Galena, Illinois, a town where 90% of the buildings are on the National Historic Register and where President Ulysses S. Grant had a home.
We stayed at the lovely Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa which was all decorated for Christmas. This lovely, huge tree filled with owls and rustic items of all descriptions, sat in the lobby. Glowing in turquoise, silver and white, it was a real showstopper.
We were disappointed to find that the Galena home of U.S. Grant was closed on the day we were there, but the Visitors' Center held many items of Grant memorabilia to peruse. The generous merchants of Galena provided goody bags for all of us, filled with merchandise and coupons for our shopping pleasure.
The little shops were unique, nicely kept and held the friendliest of people. Because we are interested in history, we especially enjoyed a quick step into the DeSoto Hotel, Grant's Presidential Headquarters when he came home
Despite all the shopping opportunities, we chose to take a side trip into Dubuque, Iowa, across the Mississippi River. With a stop at the historic Julien Dubuque memorial and tomb, we learned some of the history of the city.
Then it was back to Galena for lunch at Durty Gurty's.
In the evening we took the ghost tour of Galena, including the city cemetery, which seemed to be full of spirits, mostly unfriendly, it seemed. The last stop was at the Ryan Mansion where our guide tried to arouse some spirits to communicate with us.
Our evening meals were taken in the ballroom at the Eagle Ridge Resort and they were excellent, beautifully prepared and presented.
We couldn't have asked for a better, quick getaway amidst the busyness of the season. Thanks, Land Cruise!