Hi, everyone! I’m back home from Galena, which was gorgeous. We basically spent the trip relaxing, eating, and repeating :) We stayed at Hawk Valley Retreat and Cottages, which is tucked between the rolling hills and farms in northwestern Illinois. We could hear cows mooing during all hours of the day. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars at night. Jane and Fritz were wonderful hosts and Jane made the best baked french toast ever! She was even nice enough to give me the recipe, so maybe I’ll post it when I get a chance to make it at home.
Some of the highlights of the trip include:
Visiting Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery. The wines were tasty (we walked out with 5 bottles) and the tour was entertaining. There was a group of Eastern Orthodox priests with their friends and family on our tour. Everything was translated from English to Russian and one lady looked like the mom from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Galena Cellars also has a tasting room in downtown Galena if you can’t make it to the vineyard for a tour.
Eating at One Eleven Main in downtown Galena. Their menu features local flavors and products. When possible, their dishes include locally-sourced ingredients and specialty items recommended by their partners. I enjoyed the Pecan-Encrusted Salmon with a Galena Brewery Fevre River Ale while John had the Almond-Encrusted Walleye. BHG has a similar maple pecan salmon recipe in their November 2010 issue, so that might also pop up here in the future.
Biking along the Galena River. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but there were still a few brightly colored leaves left hanging around. The river eventually dumps into the Mississippi River, but the trail is blocked before that point. We didn’t mind because we had a chance to chat with some cows along the way.
Now it’s time to get back to reality…bummer.
Have you taken any mini-vacations lately? Any recommendations for a long weekend trip?