As I said before, this weekend Dominic, his parents, Olivia and I went to Galena. Dominic and I wanted to have a nice little getaway for our anniversary -6 years today!- and his mom’s boss has a beautiful home in Galena that was perfect for anniversary celebrating. It was so relaxing, and refreshing and I came back nice and inspired.
Fact: I am terrible at picking pictures to share, so I am warning you now….there are a lot of pictures ahead. I’m talkin in the hundreds. I can’t help myself!
On Friday, Dominic, Olivia and I woke up nice and early to leave for Galena. We left early because we didn’t want to waste a whole day that we could’ve spent relaxing. So, we dressed in our comfiest travel attire, stopped for bagels and coffee at DD and hit the road.
About 3/4 of the way there, we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs. Olivia had just woken up (she was an angel this whole trip with being in the car!) and she was definitely ready to get out for a little while. We got some snacks, we bought some lottery tickets and just let her run around for 15 minutes.
Once we arrived, we were welcomed with a beautiful fire, and the smell of Nick’s favorite chili (Nick and Nancy came up on Thursday evening.) Olivia was mesmerized by the fire and kept whispering ‘Hot‘, and the chili was amaze like always. She also had to explore the house a little, of course.
It was seriously such a beautiful, sunny day (also the only beautiful, sunny day this weekend), that we decided to visit downtown Galena after we ate lunch. I love Downtown Galena. It is seriously so quaint and has the cutest little shops. I had a list of just a few things I wanted to get while I was down there: popcorn (they have their own popcorn store), a specialty coffee (almost didn’t get it!), Minnetonka’s for Olivia (they didn’t have kids sizes! Boo!) and a candle (didn’t get one of those.)
The Great American Popcorn Co is such an awesome store. They make all of their popcorn right there and they have the wildest flavors. All of them sound so good, but we stuck to a Chicago mix that has cheddar, caramel, and butter. I’ve tried other flavors before though and every one that we’ve had has always been delicious.
Shout out to Galena Candle Company for having exactly what we were looking for. While I could’ve gotten a candle here, at the time we were looking for salts to use in the bath (I feel really weird saying bath salts) and they had so many good smelling ones. I’m a fan of strong smelling, mint or eucalyptus scents so we got one called ‘invigorating soak’. We used it that night….hea-ven.
And Oh. Em. Gee. Afterward, we went to this cute little coffee shop. I don’t know HOW we’ve never been there before, but it was seriously SO perfect. Only a handful of people know this about me (up until now), but my dream is to open this place where it’s a coffee shop on the bottom, and a bakery on the top. I have this perfect picture in my head of what I would want it to look like and it includes a spot where bands can come in to perform and get their name out (I loved going to shows in high school), and mismatched furniture. Well guess what, this was exactly that kind of place….although I’m sure there aren’t too many punk-rock/indie bands performing there…. I was in my own kind of heaven, I didn’t want to leave. And the coffee was delicious. I got a caramel latte.
We walked around a little more, shopped a little more (I found Olivia the cutest headbands!), and then the sun went down, so it got cold fast, and then we headed back.
I’m not really sure what it is about Galena, but we always eat like kings when we’re there. Seriously. It has turned into some unspoken tradition that we eat ribs at least once while we’re there. It’s also my favorite unspoken tradition. This fatty loves ribs. Olivia even ate them, they were so good! After we ate, we decided to give Olivia a bath in their huge master bathtub. We put a towel under her so she wouldn’t slip and be traumatized, and she had a blast. Water child for sure and also the best baby for sure (but I’m a bit biased).
Once we were finally able to get her out of the beloved tub, we put her in her pjs, gave her some milk, and she was out.
Dominic and I have a king bed, so it’s big enough to share with Olivia, but here, the biggest bed is a queen and although it may sound like it’s also big enough, I can assure you that it is not. We borrowed a play pen from my grandma, and although I don’t like playpens (I refer to them as baby jails), I was able to make this one comfy enough for her to hopefully sleep the night in. Of course at 4am she had it with sleeping in there and ended up in our bed anyway…..we’re suckers.
And then Dominic and I took the most amazing bath and then we went to sleep, too!
I would just like to say a big THANK YOU to my wonderful Fiance because he let me sleep in until 11am both days that we were there. He got up with Olivia at 6am and that meant 5 whole hours of uninterrupted sleep (you read that right!) and a bed all to myself. Best. Anniversary. Gift. Ever.
After I finally woke up, we headed out to lunch. It was rainy, and gloomy out, so to lift our spirits, we went to this place called ‘Happy Joes’ and it really is as cheesy as it sounds. Fake pizza, really bad games and a very generic atmosphere. But we still made the best of it. I have no pictures to show for the food and really the only time I took out my camera was to take a picture of the fortune-teller. All she told me was that my lucky color was blue, and printed up a green card….and when Nancy did it, the fortune-teller told her that HER lucky color was green and printed her a blue card……..yeah, we were confused, too.
Nick and Nancy told us about a flea market that they wanted to check out and although Olivia was starting to get fussy and tired, we decided to see what it was all about. Let me just tell you that the term ‘Flea Market’ was totally misused and actually I don’t know what you’d call that place. It was just this huge warehouse with a mess of animals and flowers and WEIRD THINGS (like frogs on bike and 20 foot Knights) all made out of some kind of metal. The best thing about that place was the really old soda dispenser.
And then we came back and took naps by the fire.
And when Little Miss woke up, she just was not happy. I have no idea what was wrong with her but she was just a crabby little child.
Regardless of her mood, the plan was to go swimming after she woke up. I knew that all we had to do was actually get her to the pool, and then she would be fine, and she was.
Quick story about her awful (but how is it still so cute on her?) bathing suit. We found out Friday morning that there was an indoor pool. Excited, we brought our swim suits but Olivia didn’t have one that fit her. We figured that since we knew the Targets and Wal-Marts around here sold summer stuff, surely the stores out there would, too. WRONG! We looked all throughout downtown Galena for a bathing suit and even at Wal-Mart and this ugly pink thing was all that they offered. It had an attachable life guard jacket which was SO funny but since it didn’t actually make her float, we didn’t make her wear it. Instead, they had this really awesome ramp that went deeper as you walked down. Of course she stayed at the top end of it and had. a. blast. I love her love for water, I feel like she gets that from me. Also, ignore her full diaper, we didn’t bring her any swim diapers (we really were so unprepared). That didn’t stop her though.
Then Dominic found the gym…the basket ball was almost as big as Olivia. Again, she didn’t mind.
After we left, got back to the house, and got ready, we set Nick and Nancy up with everything that they needed for the few hours we’d be gone, we kissed Olivia goodnight, and we went on our date night.
I loved getting dressed up for Dominic. We drove about a half hour, to Dubuque, Iowa, and went to a casino right on Lake Michigan. The town was so cute, and much more populated, but it was so dark out that I couldn’t get any good shots. We were starving when we got there, so we ate at the most delicious buffet, had some dessert, and then went to gamble. The first time I ever went to the casino was on my 21st birthday. Nick, Nancy and Dominic took me, got my pregnant self (I was HUGE by that point) a nice non-alcoholic pina colada, and showed me the ropes. I fell in love instantly. I love playing the slot machines and Dominic and I had such a good time. We each had one drink, made a rule to not talk about Olivia (we obviously broke that rule very quickly) and just enjoyed each other’s company while playing some games.
I love going places and doing things with Dominic and I love that we went out that night to celebrate the fact that we have been together for 6 years and how much we’ve gone through and accomplished in that time. Still hard to believe that after this year, we’ll be starting all over with Wedding Anniversaries instead.
We drove home in the scariest fog. I have never driven in fog like that before, and I was so glad to get back to the house.
Sunday after I, again, finally woke up at 11am, we started to pack up our cars. We ate lunch, and then took showers. While Dominic was in the shower, Olivia was walking around the house saying “Dada dada dada” and when she finally found him, she looked kind of interested in what he was doing, so it was only natural that we strip her and put her in there too. I thought she was gonna freak because of the water all in her face like that, but she just stood/sat there like it was nothing. I love her so much.
We did some last-minute shenanigans, like jumping on this huge bean bag (she laughed the first time, cried the second) and then got some last-minute things into the car. We stopped into town one last time to get a lotion that Dominic is obsessed with, and a package of locally ground coffee (I got French Caramel. It smelt sooooooo good. Yum!) from another really cute place that sells coffee and loose leaf teas, and then we hit the (VERY foggy) road back home.
After about 2 1/2 hours, Olivia woke up and she just had this face like “Really? We’re still in the car?” And then I got her to change that face and well, that just led into a little photo shoot (shocking, I know). We decided to stop for a quick dinner at a highway Oasis about 45 minutes from home, where we were all able to stretch our legs, eat some food, and get some coffee for the road. Doesn’t the fog look so crazy?! It was, and I was amazed.
Once we finally got home, I checked the mail (my March BIRCHBOX came! Yay!), and then we unpacked, which is definitely some sort of record for us because we usually live out of a suit case for like a week after any type of vacation. I uploaded and edited pictures, we cleaned the house, and enjoyed the rest of our Sunday just the three of us.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this was a MUCH needed little getaway, in which we are all refreshed, relaxed, and ready to start the week.
Happy Monday, Happy Anniversary to Dominic and Me, and Happy Birthday to one of my bffs, Carly.