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need a break? book the trip

“travel brings power and love back to your life”

- Rumi

 

Hi friends! Lately, me and one of my girlfriends went on a trip together. We were both in need of some vacation time, which I think we can all relate to. No matter what you’re doing in life, a little R&R is always required. It’s good for the soul to get out and do something we enjoy and just escape our normal routine for a bit. It helps remind us of why life is so beautiful.

Taking a break can be amazing for our mental health, as well. Sometimes when we get stuck in our routines of overthinking or worrying, it can be good to switch up what we are doing for a bit. It’s almost like a wonderful disruption to our everyday lives. Plus, if it’s something that is outside of your comfort zone and you go for it anyways, it can be a wonderful bonus!

We decided to go to a beautiful small town within a few hours of where we loved. A wonderful little town called Galena, Illinois. Some of you may have been there already and can probably attest to how cute of a place it is to visit. There is a reason they are busy year round! For those of you who haven’t been there, it is a small town near the Illinois/Iowa border that is full of different shops and restaurants. They have boutiques, furniture stores, ice cream parlors, candy shops, and anything you could probably want! They also have a few great restaurants right on the main drag that are so busy on the weekends, you need to call for a reservation and basically take whatever spot they can fit you in. It’s a town with a calming atmosphere that is the perfect weekend getaway for a couple or you and your friends!


The first night we got there, we ended up strolling main street and headed to a local bar to get some food. As we were walking, I took in all of the atmosphere. The old brick buildings, the hillside filled with houses and one lone church at the top, the couples walking down the streets holding hands, the window displays still lit for all to see. It felt like we were walking in a Hallmark movie! There was a very calming energy in the air. Adding in the amazing food that we ate at Gobby’s Sports Bar, it was a perfect night. We decided to head back to the hotel a little earlier to get a good night’s sleep for the next day. We ended up staying at the Stoney Creek Inn that was only about 4 minutes from the main street, so it was a great place to stay for us!

The next morning, we decided to get up and head into town around mid-morning when things started opening up. I will admit I was a little nervous that morning. There is always residual anxiety in the mornings for me when I begin a vacation and I knew that once we got into town it would probably start to go away, and thankfully, I was right. We got into town and decided to get some hot chocolates and go for a walk through the park. Even the simplicity of drinking hot cocoa while roaming a beautiful park was enough to help my anxiety ease. Then walking on the pedestrian bridge, we took in all the beauty of the hillside that went into the main street. Trees still orange but starting to turn brown as the leaves have left the branches. The cloudy, crisp day was still definitely worth adventuring out into to take in the beauty that was Galena.



Throughout the day we went to different shops, ate great food, had some tasty drinks, and just enjoyed everything Galena had to offer. A couple spots that I would highly recommend if you ever get the chance to visit there is Galena Cellars Winery and Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape. Galena Cellars Winery is a three story building with live music, wine tastings, and a gift shop on the different floors. They have an extensive wine list, but all that we tried were very good and refreshing! The interior of the building is also picturesque. We got to sit in a dining room on the third floor where the walls were all brick and had a great view of the park across the river. It was the perfect spot for some Instagram photos😉. We couldn’t leave without at least buying a couple bottles of wine and, honestly, they were fairly priced for a winery! I think I got two bottles for around $35, which compared to some wineries I have been to, that is a good price.


Eventually we headed down to my other favorite place, Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape. It is a lounge with a unique vibe. It is full of comforting, low lights, live music, and a wonderful selection of drinks, anywhere from bloody mary’s to wine to one of a kind martinis! We ended the night on a ghost tour that took us around Galena to a cemetery and a “haunted” mansion where we got to hear different stories and use ghost hunting instruments. It was a very unique experience that surprisingly didn’t scare me. (If you know me, you know I’m terrified of basically everything). Then we ended up going back to our hotel to get some sleep before our drive back the next day. The whole day was fun, relaxing, and exactly what me and my friend both needed.

Although, the trip was relaxing, it amazes me how fast anxieties that we were running from can come back once we get to our normal. It took me only about an hour or so for them to creep back. Going away for the weekend helped me try to calm my anxieties by telling myself that, “you were away for a weekend and you were able to put your anxieties away. Don’t let them creep back in now that you’re home”. Although, that was easier said then done.


the perfect distraction

a welcome disruption to your thoughts

a change of pace to the normal routine

a reminder of the beauty surrounding us

- book the trip


All in all, I am very thankful I had the opportunity to go away for the weekend and let my anxieties stay back home (for the most part). It was a great disruption to my routine and really helped me remember how beautiful our surroundings are. If you need a break, book the trip. It’s worth it. Let’s continue on this journey together. Stay tuned, friends.

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