Jerome treated me to a day out for my birthday. We agreed on Dubuque, Iowa with stops along the return trip. Our weather couldn't have been more agreeable.
First stop, an all volunteer garden that just keeps getting better as the years pass.
That sweet husband of mine asked one of the gift shop volunteers to take our picture. On the way back into the shop I told her it was my birthday and my husband was treating me. She told me I was probably quite a bit younger than she. Her guess at my age was 47! I told her I had applied for Medicare recently and that we'd been married for 42 years.
We had lunch at Vinny Vanucchi's Little Italy on Main street in the old downtown. Absolutely divine. Jerome: chicken marsala, me: fettuccine seafood.
Then an attempt at riding what is described as the "shortest, steepest scenic railway", but alas, it was down for repairs. It would have provided a stunning panorama of the Mississippi and a view of 3 states. Fun just to glimpse from below.
Just up the street there was Yarn Soup. I was on the hunt for Tunisian crochet hooks. So hard not to stroke every fiber in the place. One of those shops, where if you worked there by the end of the week you'd have little left of your pay.
My buddy Mary had recommended we stop at the new co-op in town. We did but agreed our co-op is still the best.
Along the road home Jerome's eagle eye spotted a billboard for a quilt shop in the town of Fennimore. We were charmed by the town but I was delighted with the quilt shop, The Quilt Peddler. Only 18 months old, it is beautiful, spacious, fully stocked and a joy to visit. Though 50 miles from home, it is definitely going to be a destination.
In Dickeyville we walked the grounds of Holy Ghost parish which contains the Dickeyville Grotto. It's actually called the Dickeyville Grotto, but I have a hard time calling a town Dickeyville, let alone what appears to be a pilgrim destination. In the mid morning as we drove past it on our way to Dubuque it was crowded with people, women in dresses, men in slacks.
We stopped for an ice cream in Lancaster and a quick shopping in Gatherings in Boscobel, a gift shop with a tiny but good quilt shop tucked in back. Good to get home in time to close up the chickens for the night and lavish attention on the cats who wondered why they were alone all day.
Thank you Jerome.