Sunday, June 5, 2016

Enjoying Galena

My friend Cortney and I had arrived in Galena the afternoon before and were really enjoying the area. For day two, we had a full schedule and we were up early to take it all in.

The Goldmoor Inn is an incredible property on the Mississippi River. Their spacious rooms and suites include a freshly cooked gourmet breakfast each morning.

While the chef makes one breakfast each day, they are flexible for special needs and allergies.

Our first breakfast consisted of warm scones, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, and a delicious omelet.

We took a ride to nearby Stockton, a small town within Galena/Jo County. We were first stopping at NorthWest Design Glass.

Northwest Glass is owned by Pennie, Daryl and Drew Groezinger.  They sell unique glass jewelry, ornaments, and other d├ęcor.

We browsed around the shop while Pennie finished up some work. She then gave us a glassblowing demonstration, which I don’t think I’d seen before.

After the demonstration, Cortney and I headed to downtown Stockton. It’s a quaint little town.

We had lunch at Stella’s Cafe. There were lots of locals, who you could tell come in there all the time.

The food was warm and comforting on the cool day. I had cream of chicken soup and pesto garlic bread with tomato, while Cortney went for the crabmeat egg rolls.

For dessert, we both devoured the red velvet cheesecake and chocolate torte.

Before we left Stockton, we went across the street to Sweet Alice’s. The bakery and candy shop is owned by the same family that owns Stella’s.

They have some great candies and cookies there, and we took some samples to go.

We drove back to the Goldmoor Inn for some rest before a long night. I was surprised at how curvy the roads in Galena are. It was certainly not what I was used to in Illinois.

We headed to Blaum Brothers Distillery for a tour of their operations, which they call “Handcrafted American Spirits from Grain to Bottle.”

They take fairly large groups through the distillery throughout the day to see their state of the art equipment and taste their vodka, gin, bourbon, and moonshine.

We had arranged the trip to coincide with Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows, two events that take place in Galena on the same night each December.

We were going to try to see as much as possible. We also wanted to stop in some of the wine tasting rooms along the way.

We parked at the end of downtown Galena and began walking through the streets. There were a lot of people, but it didn’t seem over crowded.

Many of the stores participated in the Living Windows displays. They ranged from characters acting out scenes in costume, to people baking, and even a couple getting married in a window!

The streets were closed to traffic and there were carolers walking and a belly dancer.

We passed some interesting places, such as Mean Bean Roaster, where you could design your own blend of coffee, and Timothy’s Table Bulk & Specialty Food Store, to which we returned the next day to get bags of Lucky Charm-like marshmallows.

Cortney and I also stopped at Galena Canning, where they offer endless samples of jams, jellies, salsas, and more, before going to the wineries.

We spent the longest time at Massbach Ridge. They had a large with some wines we really liked including their Seyval.

Dinner was at One Eleven Main. They are known for using many in-season ingredients and even have a board when you walk in listing some of what you’ll see on the current menu.

We started with a glass of moscato and the Beer Cheese Fondue. I had the duck for dinner and Cortney went for the pasta with shrimp. For dessert, we shared their Chocolate Roll.

After dinner, we took the Night of the Luminaria TrolleyRide. In the spring and summer months, the trolley takes you around Galena. 

For this special night, the tour includes some of the spots that are most lit up.

Our trolley driver had told us the best place for cocktails in town is Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape and we had to see for ourselves.

There was live music and we both liked the atmosphere and the spectacular three-page cocktail list. There were martinis, hot drinks, beer cocktails, and plenty of sweet libations.

Cortney went for one of the fruit martinis and I went for Death by Chocolate (Hot Cocoa, Kahlua, Chocolate Vodka).


We stayed for a bit before getting a cab back to the Goldmoor Inn. It had been quite a day in Galena and we had one more to go. 


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