Summing it Up...
Now, that I'm way on the wrong side of sixty, I feel that being true to self is important. "I yam, what I yam." Kindness and smiles are to be given away. Women are strong. Men are more vulnerable than we believe. Husbands may come and go...but one thing I know for sure is that I will NEVAH live without a corgi or coffee in my life if I can prevent it. Come piles of dog fur or hot water!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Another day of fun in NW Illinois...
Where do I begin? We had a fun-filled day. We woke up to a rainy morning, and that always means breakfast at the lodge, and oatmeal. We first camped here shortly after we married in our pop-up, and the tradition of eating oatmeal at the lodge on a rainy morning began then. (Jim has the Paul Bunyan breakfast, but for me, the lodge's thick oatmeal, served with fresh blueberries, butter, brown sugar and raisens.)
We signed the papers at the park office so it's legal for me to "ride" on the John Deere 'Gator, that last year I had a ball driving through the fords, rooster tailing, with a load of wood in the back. This year, since I'll just be visiting off and on, the paperwork was much less.
We headed to Grand Detour, the tiny village on the banks of the Rock River in the heart of the Black Hawk Valley, to see the John Deere historic site, where he began his first blacksmith shop, and made the plow that changed history in America. We watched the demo in the blacksmith shop, and Rick was very entertaining. He forged a leaf, very beautiful, and explained how the bellows, fire, cooling, and hammering all jives together to create a primitive piece of art, tool, hardware, all at the same time. He gave Jim the leaf, and Jim considers it a great prize. We walked through the flower gardens, and vegetable garden and the family home, where Deere and 7 of his 9 children lived for 11 years before moving on to Moline. The gift shop was our last stop, and I recommend everyone to visit their website, and plan a visit to Grand Detour. Visit the John Deere historical website.
I had noticed an article last summer about the Colonial Rose B+B and restaurant in this tiny hamlet, and today we called, and asked about it, and made a reservation for this evening for supper. We returned to the park, grabbed the 'gator, and went exploring...off-road...in the park. Cool beans, this is our fav thing to do at White Pines. We see the "secret" White Pines, the rock walls, creeks, overlooks, and where all the raspberry vines are. Soon, it was time to walk the dogs, clean up, and head back to Grand Detour for our reservation. The 1855 red brick Italianate B+B is encircled by an old fashioned garden. In fact, you walk along the garden path and enter the restaurant through an unadorned side door, up six steps to casual elegance. The lady owner is an artist, and her work adorns the walls. The male owner is the executive chef, and he came out to our table to see how we liked what was on our plates. The food was gourmet quality, very unusual, and we were glad to "go" once, for something special to experience. Visit their website:www.colonialroseinn.com/