Given the crabby nature of that last post, it was clear that we needed to get out of Dodge for a while. Stash the kids with their grandparents, head South. So we did.
To Galena, IL. Perched in the Northwest corner of Illinois, it was hardly much of a trek from Madison; it hardly garnered us any of the temperature advantages one usually hopes to gain by heading South in March, but it did the trick. Attitudes were adjusted. Thank god.
Galena is a town with a rich history in lead mining. It was also an off-and-on home to Ulysses S. Grant. We took a little time to steep ourselves in the history, but only after getting settled in with both yarn and beer. Since our little excursion to Portland, ME a couple of years ago, we discovered that an important part of travel for us was to unwind with the following patent-pending program:
- Locate yarn shop.
- Locate quirky small bar.
- Huddle, kiss, then split up – she to the yarn shop, to shop unfettered, he to the bar to chat up the locals.
- Rendezvous at the bar, where knitting commences and chatting continues.
Knitting in bars is truly my favorite vacation activity. A close second – strolling through the local farmer’s market. I scored a few skeins of Holliberry Icelandic yarn for to make my (wee) boy a vest. Also required when applicable: dipping my feet into the ocean. Clearly not applicable here, so I compensated with extra wool.
One day we chose to take our program out on the road. The Potosi Brewery was calling to us, so close we could almost smell it. The town of Dickeyville, WI was on the way, so we were obliged to make a quick run-through of the very curious Grotto there.
Then we arrived at our own shrine.
Hee hee. I’m being flippant, slightly irreverant, but do not wish to imply that we worship alcohol. But wool? Perhaps. (we’ll leave that to the historians)
Exhibit A: This handsome guy in the smart wool vest and Stormy Kromer hat
Exhibit B: Delicious new yarn grown in Wisconsin, sourced in Galena, put into active duty in Potosi. And the beer, ‘fresh from the cow’ as I like to say, was sublime.
We found ourselves slightly bewildered by how dark it was when we finally emerged. Time flies when you’re on vacation in a bar with yarn. But it was time well-spent.