My Not So Perfect Vacation: Five Colorful Days Near Galena 1

Last week we had a mini-vacation at Apple Canyon Lake, near Galena, IL. I wanted to unplug and lounge by the lake, soak up the sun, read a book, etc… but I may have gotten more than I bargained for. Check out last weeks post (posted from a coffee shop in Galena) to see my tips on unplugging… but I fully admit it wasn’t easy! I still carried my phone around sometimes, even though it was really just a fancy clock for most of the trip. Despite my forced disconnect from all things digital there were plenty of other things to do too… but let me say this was my not so perfect vacation, with some perfect moments.

Day 1: Arrival

We drove out to the cabin my boyfriend’s parents were renting after a long Wednesday at work. So we arrived kind of late… and in the midst of a major storm! Driving in we heard severe weather warnings that sounded like Tornado weather… luckily the storm eventually passed and we were able to unload the car later without much excitement. We were off to a good start…

Day 2: SUN!

Thursday looked just about how I wanted it too! Sun and warm lake water. First, I needed coffee because Matt’s niece and nephew are morning people (it seems all kids at 3 and 1 years old are), and they were struggling with colds. Coffee was a must. Then I road along in the golf cart as Matt and his Dad played the course at Apple Canyon Lake, where we saw a lot of wildlife!

Coffee, Golf, and Sun

Back at the house, Matt blew up our giant floaties we found at Sam’s Club and lugged them down the hill… and I stayed on that flamingo as much of the day as I could! (And thank goodness I did because it would turn out it would be the only time I used it!). I started reading the book I brought, Matt fished with his dad a bit, and we just chilled at the cabin. It was a good day!

Day 3: Galena!

Explore Galena

After another early morning wake up call, and chances of rain all day, we decided to grab our computers and head to Galena. We stopped in Kaladi’s Coffee Bar to get coffee, a scone, and some WiFi (I already said I wasn’t great at the whole “unplugged” thing). I needed to post last weeks short reflection as well as shop the Nordstrom sale (I needed a new winter coat). After we had finished at Kaladi’s we decided to wander the main street. There is so much to look at and way more to do then we did! There are many historic sites, cute shops, a brewery, a distillery, restaurants… you can find just about anything you might need. We of course had to stop in the candy store (Matt got some salt water taffy) and the Galena Canning Company (taste everything!). We probably could have spent longer exploring or taking one of the trolley tours but we decided to head back to the cabin. We spent the afternoon reading and learning how to play cribbage. Eventually, the sun was out enough that we did get to hop in the lake for a bit before heading out for dinner in another town near by. That is the other thing, there are tons of little towns around Galena, like Elizabeth and Woodbine that have antique stores and other shops or restaurants you can check out! At dinner we watched the next storm roll in. It was fast and dark!

It stormed the rest of the night with high winds and heavy rainfall!

Day 4: After the storm…

Before and After

We had every intention of lounging on the lake all day Saturday, Mother Nature had other plans. We woke up (another early morning wake up call when someone didn’t want to take his medicine) to a bright gorgeous looking day. We put on our suits and headed outside with plans of kayaking and floating… until we saw the lake. The dock had been dislodged and beached. Matt’s dad was in search of a kayak that had gone missing (as well as some of the noodles and floaties… lets just say there might be an alligator loose). And the water was high and murky. Lake security was driving around helping where they could and keeping people off the water. Luckily we had our giant floaties tied to an anchor so they were right where we left them. The storms left many roads flooded and Galena had to close their flood gates. But the sun was still shining, so I sat on the deck and sunbathed and continued my book!

Lemons into lemonade… or wine as it may be… we decided to try to go to a wine tasting at Galena Cellars! It was fun, but we went way too fast! Luckily, they have a ton of outdoor space where we could grab a glass and sip!

Galena Cellars Tasting

Day 5:  Departure

We probably could have hung out for part of the day and soaked up some more sun, but with the lake still closed and the early alarm clocks we decided the have an early start. We all went out for a lovely Sunday Brunch at Eagle Ridge thanks to my boyfriend’s Sister and her husband. It was a great way to end our mini-vacation: sipping coffee and a mimosa, surrounded by food… and three of the cutest kids I know!


My must haves for the lake house:

  1. Floaties
  2. A good book
  3. Snacks! (Smart pop and chocolate covered pretzels were a big hit)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Bug Spray!

Oh And how was the book I read? I’m glad you asked! I read Sophie Kinsella book, My Not So Perfect Life… you could say it fit the theme of my vacation! Kinsella is the author of the popular Shopaholic series as well as other fun reads, so there should be no surprise that this book makes for an enjoyable read with a look at a young professional’s struggle to achieve the life she dreams about (and the life she instagrams)! There are great characters, some romance, and a very relatable protagonist!

not so perfect

The take away: appreciate the great, the good, and even the O.K. moments, because life (like our vacation) will never be perfect… but that’s what makes it worth it! Does that make sense? Maybe I need another vacation… do you think my boss would be alright with that?

Oh and not every moment is as great as the instagram post!

A not so perfect, perfect vacation

Read about Chelsea’s not so perfect vacation, full of adventure near Galena IL

A not so perfect, perfect vacation A not so perfect, perfect vacation A not so perfect, perfect vacation





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