We left for the Taste around 10am and walked there. Turns out they were actually opening earlier than the originally proposed 11am. So once we got down to the other end we started buying our treats. As usual, I stuck to Taste portions and wound up spending 3 sheets of tickets for the day (giving 3 tickets to Elsa as well).
I started off with some mustard fried catfish from BJ's Market & Bakery. Next was Ricobene's Italian breaded eggplant which was in a small bun. This was very tasty. I then picked up an Irish egg roll from Abbey Pub & Restaurant, 1/2 a tamal from Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill, and churritos (which are mini churros which aren't filled) from Churro Factory. I returned to BJ's and went in with Judi for a peach cobbler. I finished my Taste excursion with a non-Taste portion of Bacio ice cream (chocolate hazelnut gelato) from Cafe Gelato. Although the Taste is a shadow of its formal self, there were still lots of yummy places to eat!
Once we had rested up from the return walk from Taste, we loaded into elsaf's car and she drove us to Galena. I navigated with the aid of my phone and CoPilot Live app. I had "avoid toll roads" so we did wind up most of the trip on US20 West which took us through a few more small towns than Elsa wanted to drive through. (And too many highways than my dad would prefer to drive on. Heh.)
When we arrived around 6pm, we checked in to the Chestnut Mountain Resort (which was about 8 miles from Galena and off in the "mountain" roads). It reminded me a little of Hueston Woods, where my folks, sister, and I used to go when I was a kid. We ate at their upper scale restaurant, the Sunset Grill. I had a nice salad which had blackened shrimp, pine nuts, gorgonzola cheese, and mixed greens. It was very tasty. Judi and I decided to finish with their strawberry shortcake, which we discovered was their short of strawberries cake. It was still tasty and the ice cream we got on the side helped.
Judi and I then took a walk around the grounds and chatted with a lady working in the gift store. We had a lovely view of the Mississippi (and Iowa on the other side) from both the resort and from our room. I also discovered a path I decided I'd walk along the next morning.
The next morning, we all woke up a bit early mainly because none of us thought to shut the blackout curtains. Whoops. I took the walk I had intended to take, and then we went down to the Summit restaurant for breakfast. I had eggs over easy, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast. Yum!
After we checked out, my phone was once again our navigator to Galena. We parked across the river from the town proper and walked over a nice foot bridge to get to the town. We purchased tickets for a trolley tour and wandered the streets a little before the tour began. Turns out Galena (an old mining town known for its lead (II) sulfide - aka galena - mines) has five levels to it. Main street was on level one and our tour took us on all five levels. Which was just as well as the day became so hot, we never left level 1!
Apart from being known for galena, Galena was home to Ulysses S. Grant (whom we loved to joke was Judi's great-great-great-great-great-great grandpappy) and we saw his childhood home and the home he was given after being president. We also so the huge stair steps that run through that town that he would climb daily (often twice a day as he'd eat lunch at home). "No wonder he drank" said our tour guide.
After the tour, we went to Chef Ivo's for lunch. Judi had studied the tourism booklet we'd gotten at the resort and had decided the previous night that we'd eat at Chef Ivo's. She ordered some pork shank as appetizer (my first time having shank and it was pretty tasty) and I got a half rack of St. Louis ribs with an apple glaze barbecue sauce. My sides were slaw, spiced apples, and the tiniest cornbread muffin you ever did see. But everything was tasty, even the fried catfish that Judi had ordered and let me taste.
We shopped along Main Street until the girls were pooped. Then I continued on down the street until I realized that Galena, IL (like Chester, VT) doesn't allow my Pay As You Go service to work. If the girls couldn't get ahold of me or me ahold of them, I figured I should curb my shopping spree and return.
We still had a hot walk back to the car to go, but we all made it safely. Elsa then drove us home, this time with my phone allowing toll roads in the mix. So the way back was shorter (and would have been even shorter still but for the traffic once we got to Chicago) than the way there.
It was time for supper, so we walked to the Nepalese place for supper, only to discover it's not open on Mondays. We wound up going to Zapatista (a Mexican joint) instead. I had another salad, this time with goat cheese and carmelized pecans. Judi then suggest splitting a flan, which I agreed to. We had a vanilla flan, which I seemed to enjoy more than Judi did.
This morning was finally our bike ride day. Judi tried to ride hers but her knee was hurting. So rather than ride Elsa's spare bike that she'd brought (which was older and less comforable), I rode Judi's bike. We went south on the bike path for almost 4 miles and then returned. It was warm but with the moving bike, was still pretty comfortable.
We'd decided to try the Nepalese place (Nepal House) again and had their buffet for lunch. I had a little bit of nearly everything and enjoyed it all. And then I decided to be foolhardy and when the girls went back to get the car, I walked to the Icon theatre where we were going to see Despicable Me 2. I survived the heat and beat the girls there (since they had to walk back to the apartment complex to pick up the car).
At the start of the flick, we were the only 3 in the theater, but during the trailers, another party arrived. The movie was very entertaining and will be added to my BluRay collection when it comes out.
After a short hop to Target, when then returned home (and once again, I walked both places). Now we're about to head to the pool.
Tonight, Spanish tapas! Tomorrow *sniff* Elsa heads home.