Friday, September 12, 2014


I said it last year and I'll say it again; James is good at  planning vacations to get away from the pressures of full-time ministry and just spend time together.  This year, thanks to groupon, we went to the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, IL about 4 hours away from home. 

Hitch-hiking a ride into the resort.

The view from our room.

Eating supper at the resort

Tuesday we drove into Dubuque, Iowa to go to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and take a steamboat ride down the Mississippi River.

Lots and lots of Mark Twain stuff

Feeling the pelts of a coyote, wolf, and red fox.

The aquarium guy showing us a crayfish.

Hudson's reaction to the crayfish.  Hahaha

Waiting to catch and pet a Sturgeon fish.

Dressed in Civil War era clothing.

On the Miss Dubuque Steamboat

Those eyelashes....


Tuesday evening we headed into downtown Galena to eat supper and walk around downtown.  Galena is a lot like a midwestern version of Gatlinburg.

Dancing in the lobby of Vinny Vanucchi's Italian Restaurant

At the Galena Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory

Wednesday we drove Kenosha, WI to see our friends Lenny and Angela and their two sweet boys.  Somehow I managed to not take even one picture. Sigh.  Afterwards, we went to the Jelly Belly factory for the free tour of their warehouse.

Waiting for the Jelly Belly train

We weren't allowed to take pictures during the tour as they told us all the secrets of making Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Thursday we started the day in Galena with a Trolley Tour.  Hudson was super-stoked and kept calling the Trolley Bertie the Bus from Thomas.  

This is a balcony on the DeSoto hotel, the second oldest hotel in IL.
Abraham Lincoln stood on this balcony and addressed the citizens of Galena in his senatorial campaign.

Lots to see....

Until Hudson finally passed out.

Then we drove up to Platteville, WI to go to the Mining Museum.  It's an old lead mine that takes you on a tour.  We were basically the only people there so we got a nice private tour and were able to ask many questions.

Killing time on the player piano while we waited for the tour to start

Mine tram

Safety first!

Our tour guide, who was excellent!

We ate at Fiesta Cancun in Platteville and it was seriously the best Mexican food I've ever had outside of Mexico.

This is how we get Hudson to eat.  Eat a chicken nugget, get an M&M

On the way back to the resort, we stopped in Cuba City, WI because they had this random little railroad photo op set up.

Self-timer time for family pictures.

Thankful for a week of fun, good food, and time spent together.  Now it's back to the grind in northeast Missouri!

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