BUMMING AROUND BURLINGTON

P1140163.JPG

P1140164-1

I liked the historic feel of Burlington, which was quite different from where I grew up in Southern California.  Several of the downtown Burlington buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was great to see the care taken to preserve these old buildings.

Take the Capitol Theater, for example.  Dating back to 1937, the 700-seat theater had been closed since 1977; however, a foundation of passionate citizens was formed to raise the money needed to restore the theater back to its 1937 splendor– with some modern additions.  Such painstaking care was taken in the restoration that the new seats and carpet were reproduced to look like the originals, and a boatload of money was spent to restore the marquee to exactly as it looked in its heyday.

P1140147.JPG

We took a guided tour, one of the included attractions for the day.  I especially liked the art deco-style lighting throughout the theater, and the old projector was a classic!

P1140148.JPG

The hop on-hop off bus also made stops at the top of Heritage Hill, a beautiful neighborhood of lovely old homes and Snake Alley.

P1140135.JPG

P1140132.JPG

Constructed in 1894, Snake Alley was once known as the crookedest alley in the world.  It was built to create a short cut from the top of the hill to the business district below.  Needing to accommodate horses, the mode of transportation at the time, the bricks were tilted higher on the upper edges, making it easier for the horse’s hooves to catch on the raised edge making the ascent easier and the descent a lot safer.

P1140172.JPG

We didn’t have access to a horse, so we hoofed the 275 feet of Snake Alley carefully on foot to the street below.

While bumming around Burlington, we had a quick look at St. Paul’s Catholic Church:

P1140169.JPG

In all, it was a pleasant little historic city of 25,000-26,000 people, and we enjoyed having a look around.

P1140181.JPG

It was another beautiful sail-away highlighted by an entertaining calliope concert!

 

 

 

 

 

P1140185

 

 

P1140188

P1140196.JPG

P1140192

P1140199.JPG

A typical river barge on the Mississippi River

 

Coming up next:  HANGIN’ IN HANNIBAL

QUAD CITIES

P1140043.JPG

P1140044.JPG

The “Quad Cities” region, at the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers, was next up on the journey aboard the American Queen Steamboat paddle wheeler.  Located in northwest Illinois and southeast Iowa, the focus of the hop on-hop off bus route encompassed Davenport and Bettendorf, the two Iowa Quad Cities  We hopped aboard for a look around.

P1140045.JPG

The Isabel Bloom sculpture studio, in Bettendorf, was our first stop where we saw a demonstration of how they make their sculptures.

P1140051

In Davenport we chose to spend some of our time at the River Music Experience, which included a very cool performance by two local musicians, and a stroll through the Bix Beiderbecke Museum.  Davenport was home to the great jazz cornetist in his younger days, so the private not-for-profit museum was established for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting material related to his life and career.

We also enjoyed the exhibits at the Figge Art Museum, where the highlight for us was seeing this Tiffany stained glass window:

P1140070

P1140058.JPG

Downtown Davenport

P1140057.JPG

A bank building in Davenport

Back on board, the sail-away was eventful, between the bridges we sailed under, the calliope concert (always fun!), and the locks we went through.  It’s a tradition for the steamboat crew and passengers to throw beads to spectators at the locks, so one of the officers handed out strands of beads to toss to these onlookers, who made a sport of catching them!

P1140115

P1140085

P1140091

P1140092

P1140097

P1140100

P1140098

P1140121

Next up:  BUMMING AROUND BURLINGTON

 

GALAVANTING OFF TO GALENA

It’s the busiest time of year for Cooked Glass Creations, so the long delay since my last post was due to Bruce and I galavanting off to craft shows here, there, and everywhere!

A short break from the action (while Bruce builds his stock back up) allows me to squeeze in another post:

The American Queen paddled us down the Missississippi River from La Crosse to Dubuque, Iowa, our next port on the journey.  Having visited the area during a previous trip with my best friend, Laura, her step-brother, and his wife; I had a plan:  Rent a car and visit Galena, where the four of us had thoroughly enjoyed our day.

The shore excursion office offered a premium excursion to Galena; however, after some quick research and calculations, I figured it was a LOT less expensive (and more fun!) to rent a car for a few hours from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and go on our own.

We asked our table mates if they wanted to join us, so after a quick look at Dubuque aboard the hop-on-hop-off bus (included with the cruise), a friendly Enterprise rep. picked the four of us up and took us back to the office to sign the paperwork.  (The rep. who brought us back was also friendly and a fun guy to chat with during the drive back to the boat.  I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Enterprise folks, so I concur with Consumer Reports and recommend them for your car rental needs!)

114.JPG

This shot was snapped through the bus window in Dubuque.

115.JPG

Another shot through the bus window of an interesting mural.

Galena, Illinois, located across the Mississippi from Dubuque, was a pleasant 25-minute drive, and well worth the visit.  Bruce, Jacque, and Rick enjoyed strolling through the historic district as much as I thought they would, and it was nice to visit the quaint town (population less than 3,500), once again.

Unfortunately, it was a gloomy day, so my photos aren’t nearly as nice as the ones I posted in my first blog about Galena.

117.JPG

121.JPG

122.JPG

Now, somebody up there has an interesting sense of humor!  I wonder how many tourists look up and wonder about THAT!

123.JPG

We enjoyed a tasty “flight” of root beer here:

126.JPG

127.JPG

Our boat, back in Dubuque

128.JPG

Jacque and Rick seemed to enjoy the calliope concert during the sail-away as much as we did!

129.JPG

Goodbye, Dubuque!

Next stop on the cruise:  QUAD CITIES