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Grant Park - The Place Where It All Hapens



 Galena, IL 2014


kayaks weird 2


The City of Galena has done and continues to do an excellent job with our showcase park, Grant Park.  We are so fortunate to have this beautiful park which includes plenty of benches to enjoy an awesome view of the historic downtown, a railroad track, 3.5 mile walking path and Fever River for starters.  I do not know what this breed of "kayak" is called but they are pretty fun to watch go by underneath the bridge that leads to Main Street.


The local business "Fever River Outfitters" provides rentals for your enjoyment to include canoes, kayaks, bikes and scooters that you can drive out to a local winery. 


Great location and the site for Country Fair Weekend, Fourth of July Fireworks, Picnics, Music, Private Parties, Prom photos, Weddings, Family Fun and Romantic walks.









This is the bridge that crosses over the Fever River and lands one block from Main Street.  Great photo ops here of downtown architecture as well as the aforementioned river bike path activity.  Show up here around dusk and you will see a bevy of bats coming out atop the buildings for their nightly dinner. I know it sounds icky but really - no mosquitos and the bats aren't interested in you at all.  I've never had one come close to me here.





Here is the arbor which, in summertime, is covered in greenery. Very romantic for an evening walk!

cannon 4



And of course, being a town centered around General Grant and the Civil War, we have cannons.  I was just there yesterday and I can't remember if it's 5 or 6 of them but they are all different and very cool.  


cannon 3 wth kids



And of course you can climb on them.  It's not just kids that climb on them either.  Quite often, while strolling the park, I will see one or two adults posing as well!




Ah, the Gazebo.  Lots of wedding ceremonies, Prom photos, Bands and engagements happen right here!  



gaelna vets monument



galena vets mon


This Monument is always a good reminder of what people have sacrificed so we can be right here right now enjoying all of this goodness.  And of course we have a stature of General Grant.


grant statue 2



The house he lived in when he became President is right up the hill, across from our inn.  It has a garden with a statue of his wife, Julia Dent, who is pointed towards his statue below.  Sweet!





We also have this gorgeous fountain.  In a couple of weeks the planters will be filled with flowers!  It is surrounded with benches so you can sit and enjoy a picnic lunch right there.  See the Pavillion and war monument in the background?  The Pavillion is used for many things including weddings, local group picnics, bands during country fair weekend, etc.


kids park



Great recreation for the kids.  We've enjoyed bringing out kids and now our granddaughters there often.  Gorgeous green space.  Always something for kids to do during the fairs.


walking path 2



This is one of the many paths leading to the breathtaking views of downtown Main Street.  I have sat and enjoyed these views many times.  Sometimes I take a good book and sometimes I take my knitting.  Great way to relax.  Back in the far distance is the top of the original High School.  It is now filled with condos.



grant park sign 2



Thank you for taking time to view this blog.  I hope it entices you to come visit Galena.  If you live here already, I hope it entices you to pick up a good book and your dog and come sit for a while!

The "Grant Park" sign is embedded on a hillside.  A couple of years ago, during the heaviest storm we have ever seen, the word "Grant" slid off the hill.  As you can see they are now replacing it and it looks better than ever!  Way to go Galena!


Come see us soon!

Bernadine & Dave

Bernadine's Stillman Inn


Great New Antique Mall To Visit During Your Next Stay!


Elizabeth's Antique Mall

On Route 20 just 15 minutes from our Inn


mall name



This was the old school in Elizabeth.  Part of the facility is being used by Highland Community College and now this part is overflowing with a terrific mix of antiques, reproductions and new vintage items that all work well together.  What a treat!  The owners, Michael and Ashley, are obviously great visionaries and the place shows it from the fresh outside paint colors to the interior where the spaces are divided by wood palettes.  Amazing!  Way to go Michael and Ashley.  Here's to years of thriving business!


booth 1


Look at this display.  It is charming.  The space is well lit and there is a variety in this mall like none other.  Here are a few images of what you can expect to find!

green lantern


Here is a SMALL sampling of the books they have all neatly layed out in book shelves on the second floor.




I've been watching the "Burlap Craze" lately and they have some really cute tablecloths, bows and wreaths here.


burlap table cloth 2


Piano anyone?  Lots of furntiure here not just pianos.  And they have plenty of space to expand but while you are there, right now, you won't feel like it's half empty.  It feels full!



pianos two


Dave on the throne!  Lots of dressers, hutches, desks, etc.


Dave on chair


This pic is for my friend Jeff who plays the congas and the djemba.  I think this would be a great addition to our worhsip team!




See, things like this.  Altered reproductions.  But somehow it all just fits together and works!  I love this cabinet.


painted cabinet


Beautiful and affordable!  I could go on and on forever!


repro lamp


Who can resist this white stove.  Lovely isn't it?




You don't have to wait for the farmers market to open now to get homemade soaps and scents.  I love the soy bean jar candles.  They are wrapped in thing gauze so they look as unique as they smell.  You have to check this out!




This wa sour take.  My Dad collected venetian glass clown statues.  Over the years they've been lost or broken.  Mom still has several but she needs this guy to add to her collection.  Can't wait to give it to her.  I'm working on a quilt that is all wool.  I found these yummy bundles at a terrific price.  Can't wait to get started now.  I did leave some behind but not for if you are looking for affordable wool you better get there quickly!  Oh, and of course we had to buy some of their fresh cookies.  When you walk in there is a very comfortable seating area with a TV.  You can buy a great coffee drink and rest between floors!


our take home


The Owners: Ashley & Michael

Wishing you great success in your new venture.  The place is great and we will be sending our guests to you for sure!

By the way; turns our Ashley and Michael stayed with us a few years ago.  How fun is that?




This is one of those great "by chance" photos.  There's Ashley working in the background.  Looks like I planned the cool blurred effect but it just happened.  Photo rule #1 - if you take enough photos you are bound to get a few really great ones!


owner info


Have a great day today!  Keep your chin up and keep running the good race!





This is what happens when I leave for the Paducah Quilt Show


Dave Waiting


This is my darling Dave, voted "Best Innkeeper in the Midwest", owner/opeator of Bernadine's Stillman Inn.  This is what he does when I leave to go away for a few days.  How cute is he.  He sat by my car out in the driveway and said "I'll see you right here when you get back"!


Stalker: NO

Wonderful Husband: YES


Not only is Dave an excellent innkeeper providing the guests with the greatest concierege service in the world but he is also a wonderful husband, father, name it.  No one tries harder than Dave.


When we started dating he would drop in on me at work and just sit in a chair by my desk for a few moments just to "check in".  What a honey!  


Anyway, I was able to go on a five day trip with my friends to Paducah Kentucky for their annual quilt show.  Oh my gosh, this show is wonderful, big, tiring, exhausting, exilerating.  We had a blast.  It was six of us girlfriends and you can imagine the laughter!  We learnd so much about quilting and about each other, what fun.  


Unfortunately we won't be going back to Paducah next year.  We've decided to try another quilt show.  We've been going to Paducah show for about 6 years now.  Maybe 5.  It's an 8 hour drive for us.  We noticed the Quilt Show in Grand Rapids Michigan.  That would be a 5 hour drive so I believe next year we will be heading there.  One problem: It is in August and that is one of our busiest months here at the Inn.  I got it...I'll fly Dave's brother Tim in to help him!  BAM


Enjoy the pics!


Quilt 2014quilt 2014 2






Tagged in: dave events galena

Easter Sunday we saw Pastor Bill's Barn Bible


Barn Bible



The general rule in customer service is you are never supposed to talk about three things:





It used to be just politics and religion but recently there have been some heated discussions at our breakfast table concerning the "right to arms" so I have added that to the list.


Since we just celebrated Easter yesterday I am going to take the liberty to mention that yes, we are Christians and yes, we enjoy that I can share with you this interesting story.  

Many of you will like it.  


Our Pastor Bill has an interesting Faith story.  He was in the Army on a  tour in Iraq. When he got on the plane to come home at the end of the tour he and his team members were sent on an extended tour, a second tour.  He lost a good friend during this time and gave up believing there was a God.


He comes home, gets in a car accident and ends up in the hospital.  A friend went to visit him and brought him a Bible.  Some time after he started helping another friend out who runs a farm.  When he would go to work in the barn his friend would challenge him to learn a Bible verse with him each day.  This became the "Barn Bible".  


It is kept in a paper bag because of the smell but isn't it amazing!  Well worn and more beautiful than any Bible I have ever seen as it is part of what led Bill to be our Pastor and he is an amazing man of God.


Thank you to everyone who led him to where he is today!


As long as we are on the topic - Faith that is

We were also privleged to have seen a replica of the Shroud of Turen at a local Church here in Galena,

St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Pastor Fred Baltz.

What an excellent presentation.  I've never needed to know much about the shroud for my Faith journey but was I glad I saw and heard about it.


If you are in town next Easter be sure to check it out!


Shroud of Turen



Now on a more secular note: If that offended anyone here is the other side of yesterday,

Sunday 4/20/14


We took our beautiful granddaughter to the park and played with her!  

Beautiful weather and there are green things popping up out of the ground!

Hope you had a great Sunday!

Here is Miss Lili with Oreo!


Lili  Oreo



Tagged in: galena

Bernadine's Stillman Inn

Week of 04/07/14

Things to Do In Galena, IL This Week


dave w camera 2

Dave taking MORE pictures!


#1 Things To Do This Week

Take Pictures


I know it's not the prettiest time of the year and that is exactly why you should consider spending time in Galena taking pictures.  

You will be challenged to find just the right shot

Being overcast most of the time you will have perfect lighting

You will get a lot of exercise walking around

So, call to make you reservation today for this week, mention "Photography" and receive 10% off!

#2 Try at Shake and Burger at Durty Gurts Restaurant

#3 Pizza for Dinner at Procento's Pizza - uhm excellente

#4 Walk the soggy 3 mile walking path - Riverviews at one point on the path

#5 Shop - anywhere, just shop!

#6 Coffee - when you are tired from all the shopping - enjoy the Coffee Shop

We haven't had any snow lately so we have officially discontinued our special classes 

"Snow Shoveling 101, 201 and 301"

Sorry, but maybe you can get in on it next year!

The good news is we are now taking reservations for our next series, back by popular demand

"Window Washing 101 through 501"

Just Kidding You Know!:)



Recipe Highlight

Orange French Toast

It's so simple


Scramble up a few eggs

Add some milk to loosen it up

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp Orange Rind

1/2 cup Orange Flavored Liquor or Orange Juice


Mix all that up, dip some Texas toast in there and put it on the griddle!




Next Week I Begin My New Series

"What Makes Me Happy"


It should be fun and perhaps a few suggestions will stand out to you!









Tagged in: coffee dave galena

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