Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spring Tour- 2009

by Marylu Kramer

After a little rainy and cloudy start, the day turned into a beautiful springtime journey that found 13 classic 'Birds - along with 5 retros plus a few assorted others containing 43 participants - winging their way to Galena, Illinois for a fun filled weekend for our Spring Tour, planned by Liz and Bill Werth.

Our lunch spot was the traditional Culver's and everyone ordered one of their Culver's favorites, be it a burger, a salad or the special chunky custard of the day!

Our next stop was at the Apple River Fort in Elizabeth, Illinois. This Fort was the site of an important battle during the Black Hawk War in 1832. The Fort was recently closed because of lack of funds from the State of Illinois and reopened the week we were visiting! Abraham Lincoln and his militia company stayed at the fort just days before the battle. It was a self-guided tour and we needed to stretch our legs after a two-hour drive!

After another hour we approached Galena with beautiful hills and valleys before us - we made quite a statement driving our T-Birds in a caravan through this picturesque landscape. Staying at the northwoods style Stoney Creek Inn put us in the mood for friendship and fun. We had our own room for hospitality, and snacks were provided by our members. Pizzas (11 total) were sponsored by the club, and we spent the evening socializing and being entertained by Mary Ziemba and her magic tricks!

Up early for a quick breakfast provided at the Inn and off to the center of town for a Trolley Tour of Galena. Liz and Bill even made sure we had a special place to park in town as they received special parking passes for us to put in our cars. The 'Birds certainly looked great perched all together! On the trolley, we passed by mansions and general homes and listened intently to the historically and architecturally oriented talk that came with the ride. At one stop, we exited the trolley to visit the oldest house in Galena - that was the Dowling House — it was a primitive dwelling and an old miner's trading post. It had been authentically restored and it is open to view as a monument to one of Galena's early pioneers. We stopped at Galena's largest mansion, the Belvedere House and Gardens, and it too has been restored to its original condition. Many photo ops along the way such as the high school steps, Grant's home and many other civil war personnel. Many lunch spots were available and many of the group stopped off at Dirty Gurt's, a local burger venue with great burgers. We spent the rest of the afternoon touring the many Main Street shops and also did some wine tasting at the local Galena Cellars.

Later on Saturday evening, we caravanned to Dubuque for a sunset cruise on the Mississippi and enjoyed friendship and dinner aboard the American Lady, which is a million dollar yacht. We enjoyed the majestic limestone bluffs that lined the shore.

The Inn offered a quick coffee pickup on Sunday morning before the official brunch at the DeSoto Hotel. The DeSoto is Illinois' oldest operating hotel. It served as campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. A four-story atrium was the setting for the brunch and we enjoyed traditional breakfast fare. The brunch offered more opportunity for an exchange of friendship and of course, more Thunderbird talk! Afterwards, we all said good bye and drove home tired, but blissful, after a fun packed weekend and still so very proud to be a T-Bird owner!

Thank you to Liz and Bill Werth for putting this trip together.

Attending were: Chad and Kami Woody, Dick Brack, Tom and Judy Bruin, Rudy and Janet Budach, Bob and Marcy Burhop, Pete and Lisa Ekstrom, Gordon Gluff and Mary Ziemba, Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill, Len and Mary Keil, Lorry and Karen Kelly, Pete and Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Dan and Dan Mrozek, Dave and Mary Jane Osborne, Jerry and Pat Peterson, Lloyd and Joan Schellin, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Bill and Bonnie Thelen, Dan Tinder and Susan DeSantis, Len and Irene Vinyard, Bill and Liz Werth and Joe and Madeline Zambon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We loved having the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland come to Galena to explore all of its history and wonders. Bill & Liz were great to work with and the club was a blast to host. We sure hope we can do it again in the future! From your friendly hosts for visitor information, the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau