Two weeks ago, I went on the most unexpectedly wonderful weekend getaway to Galena, Illinois. Why was it unexpected? Because I (and I know I’m not alone in this) previously felt there wasn’t much to see or do in Illinois outside of Chicago. But, needing a respite from the city and with the promise of a snowy resort, I rented a car and drove the three hours northwest to Galena.
The town is so cute! The Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and looks like something out of an old movie.
I spent an entire day checking out the local shops on Main Street, from vintage stores to breweries to some of the best popcorn I’ve ever had.
Galena is also home to nine Civil War generals, most notably General Ulysses S. Grant. You can tour his home, which is full of original furniture and relics.
The main reason I was in Galena was to actually feel like it was winter. I love Chicago and normally hate snow, but sometimes I do miss seeing it blanket vast amounts of space. I stayed at the Chestnut Mountain Resort where I was surrounded by snowy hills and nothing else. It was beautiful! I felt so far removed from Chicago, and even from downtown Galena. I went for walks in the woods, watched skiers zip down the hills, and curled up with a great book and glass of wine in the cozy lodge. It was the perfect way to unwind after a hectic week without having to go too far.
In My Carry On
Of course, half the fun of going somewhere snowy is all the cozy winter wear you get to pack. Here’s what was in my carry on:
Sweaters, obviously. Nothing is cozier than a warm woolen sweater. I’m recently obsessed with Acne Studios, but sadly can only afford one of their sweaters per winter (and wear it almost every day). My other favorite is this one, which can be thrown over any t-shirt, is so comfy, and is way on sale!
Ski pants. (Even if I’m terrible at skiing I can at least dress the part!)
Snow boots. For winter wonderland walks.
Gloves (The ones I wear every day are from Iceland, but these are almost the same).
A warm yet attractive scarf.
Sunglasses, because winter sun is the brightest sun.
Cozy pajamas, because nothing is better than jumping into PJs after a day outside.
Argan oil. Winter skin be gone!
Bubble bath, because I don’t have a bath at home and looooovee indulging at hotels.
A great book. Have you guys read Room? I couldn’t put it down! I didn’t think the movie came close to comparing – thoughts?
A notebook, because I never leave home without one and I’m constantly collecting.
Have you been to Galena? What did you think?