Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our Vacation Wrap-up

Every year I lose my husband for a week and get my high school boyfriend back.  During the drive, the kids can tell when we are getting close to the vacation house, because with each minute, my husband loses a year in maturity.

This past week we took our 10th vacation with our friend from high school and his family.  His family consists of his wife and their 13 year old son.  Yeah, it's a vacation for us.  For them, they gain a whole mess of kids for the week.

I took 411 photos during the week, so get comfy.

This year we went to Galena, Illinois, with a couple of days spent in Dubuque, Iowa.

Occasionally, we let our tourist show.  I carried my camera around my neck, and we went to some of the popular attractions.

Belvedere.  Before Chicago was the big, booming city, Galena was the place to be.  There are so many old, beautiful mansions all over town.

I don't care who you are, this is just plain funny.  We did a big ol' U-turn after we caught a glimpse of this statue.  Everyone jumped out, got the photo, and jumped back in the van.

If there is a cave, we will go in it.  Of the many, many caves we have been in, this is the first time that the guide left us in there by ourselves while he went to get some more people to join the tour.  It was immediately after he pointed out the valuable crystals all over the walls and ceiling.

Both Galena and Dubuque are ridiculously hilly.  In the mid-1800's, the mayor of Dubuque got tired of the 20 minute carriage ride to get to the bottom of the cliff.  He built an elevator from his back door to the street below.  Now, it's just a fun, cheap, touristy thing to do.

Looking over downtown Dubuque.

We decided to do some geocaching in Galena.  When we made the choice to walk to the clues, we failed to take the hills into consideration.  These stairs were actually a short-cut to the place we needed to go.

After the 4th of 6 clues, the kids and one very vocal, whiny adult staged a sit-in.  They refused to move until Hubby went and got the van.

The fort from the Blackhawk War.

Mostly, though, during our vacations, we pretend we are locals. 

We go to the parks and hike.

We climb trees.

We swim.


We find fairs.  This year we went to the Dubuque County Fair.  One activity was a Pop Quiz competition.

An interpretive center at the state park.

Overlooking the Mississippi River.

And we always, always find a baseball diamond to play some whiffle ball.

Oh how I love a vacation.  Especially with wonderfully fun friends we've known most of our lives.

We are blessed.

And sore.  Oh my word, we are getting old and out of shape.  The whiffle ball/kickball/soccer-fest about killed us.  Hubby and I are barely able to walk today.

The unpacking is going to take a loooong time.

Have a lovely day!

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