and i’m tired. but my house is clean, one of those rare times when it looks pretty good and i wish it looked that way more often.

the thing about cleaning is that you get it all done and then it just gets dirty/messy again.


as i wrote last time, we went up to sterling just six days after getting back from Glacier. Then, we went back there for kevin’s family’s “canadian thanksgiving” get-together on Columbus Day. So we went back to Starved Rock on Friday Oct. 11th, just ten days after going up there.

It had been so hot then, but by nearly mid-October it was chilly. When we arrived Friday night it was also very windy, and we sat in the restaurant having dinner looking out at a wedding party straggling along outside, the womens’ fancy dresses getting swept around by the blustery day.

It didn’t seem like a great time for an outside wedding but our waitress, who’d been there a while, said there were something like ten wedding there a weekend? crazy.

It’d have been nice to stay in a cabin, but they were booked up, but we enjoyed our modern room.

the next day we hiked to St. Louis Canyon and saw many nice dogs as we hiked.

when we were checking out I asked about booking a cabin for next year – i’d read the brochure and realized that some of the cabins were stand-alone. the one we’d just stayed in had been a 4-plex and we could hear the conversations from the people in one of the adjoining cabins.

But guess what – they had no availability for next year. So i asked about the year after that, and still, no cabins. I think there are only maybe four or five of these special cabins and since Starved Rock is like the most popular outdoor destination in Illinois or something, it figures.

however, they did have a big two-bedroom cabin available in two years time. we booked it, thinking that maybe kevin’s brother and his wife might want to join us.

we then drove up to Sterling, actually Rock Falls, to the Country Inn & Suites where we always stay. we all got together that night, and then on Sunday morning we drove up to Galena.

I’d never been to Galena, and i like it a lot. We took the very brief tour of Grant’s home, and this is my favorite photo – that thing with the handle on top second from the right is a curling iron! Hmm, i feel that you’d singe your hair right off if you used it.

The tour was only about a half hour and i’d have like to have spent a little more time in the home, but they hustled us right out.

There was some big craft fair thing going on that weekend and some of Kevin’s siblings went to explore the stuff. we started to follow them but decided it was too cold and windy to look at a bunch of junk we didn’t need or want.

Instead, we walked around in town and looked for a lunch place. We found a fantastic one, called Fried Green Tomatoes. Mmm, delicious. I had a crab cake salad and some kind of delicious wrap, i can’t remember what kevin had, but it was good. plus a lovely place.

Galena is very hilly and it was fun to walk around and check out the many b&bs. This one looked really nice.

some of the many stairs we went up and then down.

This swanky place is called the Felt House.

It wasn’t the fanciest one i read about, though – when we got back to the hotel i looked up some of b&bs and the one that stuck in my mind is one that had a “candlelit three course breakfast.”

I guess i could see three courses for breakfast…but candlelit? why? do you have to eat before the sun comes up? Is it served in the basement?

After Galena we drove back to Dixon where i was really looking forward to dinner. We’d gone to this little italian place quite a few years ago for lunch and i remembered it being so delicious. I got pasta arrabiata i think, with anchovies and capers and olives. this time i got it with homemade gnocchi.

and unfortunately, it wasn’t anything special this time. plus the service was horribly slow, and then kevin got some delicious-sounding chicken but instead it was rubbery.

oh well, now i won’t need to long to go back…

we asked his brother and wife if they’d be interested in staying at Starved Rock with us in two years. they didn’t say anything at all, so i quickly said “you can think about it.”

we can always have the cabin to ourselves!

as long as somehow i remember the reservation that’s in two years from now…

i hope your thanksgiving is hassle-free.

ok then,

mrs. h.