Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Spring Tour

Galena ,Clear Lake ,Prairie Du Chien
By Melinda Pritchett

Despite questionable weather reports, we thought we might be in luck when 21 of us departed on Wednesday morning from the Belvedere Oasis.  We had a nice ride to Galena where Dan Pritchett led the group for a tour of the U.S. Grant home.  After lunching in town at Vinny Vanucchi Restaurant, the group checked out downtown Galena.

We ate dinner at our house in the Galena territory and celebrated Irene, Rose and Larrys birthdays.  Dan and I felt the weekend was off to a good start when Karen, Len Vinyard, and Kathy got into the musical mood of the trip by marching around the room singing
 Seventy-six Trombones  from the Music Man.

The birds were ready to roll at 9AM and we slowly (Ken informed Dan that he was actually traveling about 10 mph slower than he thought) set out.  After lunch, we arrived in Clear Lake and toured the Surf Ball Room.  The Surf was made famous as the last venue where Buddy Holly played, but many other famous acts have appeared there over the years.   Our hospitality room was open at 5, and we had a great dinner at the Surf District Restaurant.

By Friday morning any hopes of nice weather were gone, and we skipped the trip to the crash site and went directly to Mason City.  I think everyone enjoyed lunch at the Decker House and the subsequent tour of Meredith Wilsons childhood home and Music Man Square.  We also toured a Frank Lloyd house and had a cocktail at another Frank Lloyd Wright building, the Park Inn Hotel.  Dinner that evening was at the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, and I think everyone was glad to be out of the rain for a little while.  We retraced our route Saturday morning back to Charles City and stopped at the Floyd County Museum.  After all, what tour is complete without a visit to a Tractor Museum?  We had hoped to lunch at the Barrel Drive Inn but the rain persisted so we made alternate plans.
All visitors to Prairie du Chien stop at Villa Louis and so did we.  It was an interesting story of the Dousman family.  We checked into our hotel, had a great dinner at the Barn Restaurant and ended the night in our makeshift hospitality room.  Sunday morning everyone started off for home.

Dan and I have run several tours in the past, but it was a little worrisome since we were new members. We were very grateful for the enthusiasm of the group, and could not get over the thank you notes and kind words we received when we got home.  Rose and Ed even bought us dinner!  It was a great way for us to get involved in this fun club!!