I was exhausted after getting my car fixed and decided that I didn’t want to try and drive all the way home on Friday. On my way to Schaumburg I passed through this little town of Galena, IL. I almost ran off the road staring at some of the buildings as I was passing through and thought that I’d stop and take some pictures on my way home. Instead, I found a hotel and stayed the night, figuring I could do some sight seeing and picture taking Saturday morning and then drive the remaining 5 hours home Saturday afternoon.
A few hours are not enough time to sight see in that town. Someday I will have to go back.
The first place I visited was President Grant’s home. I got quite a kick out the no guns on the premises sign. President Grant must be rolling in his grave over that. The house was small by modern standards. It was interesting to hear the history of Grant and his wife and their children. I had no idea that he was from Illinois or that he moved to New York where he is buried. I have a ton of pictures of his house and the other houses form the time period.
The second place I stopped at was a wine and cheese shop. I picked up locally manufactured balsamic vinegar and oil and raspberry wine. I might have gotten some of the cheeses and meats, but I didn’t want them sitting in the car until I reached home.
I also went to St. Michael’s church. It was beautiful inside and there was a shrine to St. Therese. As a Carmelite prepared to make my first promise into the Secular Order, it was nice to see the relics housed there.
Lastly, I visited Baum Bros. Distillery to get a glimpse into the process as research for my book. I took a tour and listened intently to how their alcohol is made. At the end of the tour they had samples of their 3 main items, Gin, Bourbon and Hellfire Whiskey. The Gin wasn’t bad, but it didn’t sit well. The Bourbon was disgusting. I think I’d rather drink paint thinner. The Whiskey was HOT. It wouldn’t take more than a sip to burn any taste buds you might have. After I got home to look up to see what grains are used in Irish Whiskey as part of my research, I discovered that there is more than one type of distillation. Seems I will need to do more research.
After the distillery tour, I headed home. Man, Iowa is boring to drive through. Nothing but corn and bean fields for hundreds of miles.