Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weekend Away

This past weekend, Zachary and I went a getaway. Zach surprised me about a week earlier with a few days off in a row from his work and suggested we go somewhere for my birthday. After mulling over a few areas to visit, we decided to go Duqubue, IA to visit the National River Museum and wander around from there. I booked our Friday night at Hotel Julien, a beautifully renovated historic hotel in downtown Dubuque. Even though we had their basic room, it was still pretty nice. We had a wonderful meal at the Hotel's restaurant, Carolines. Zach had the Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon and I had Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushroom and Green Peppers. Mmmm… that was good. Even the ranch dressing on the dinner salad was amazing.
Saturday we headed over the National River Museum. It was really fascinating to see the wildlife of the Mississippi River up close.
We do have a favorite creature of the river… the Otter.
We discussed the possibilities of making an Otter a house pet, but converting the living room into an Otter pool probably wouldn't be the best idea. Plus I don't think Quee and a wet swirling Otter would make a good match. Maggie would probably be all for a wading pool in the house, though. We were also very fascinated with the large retired dredging ship they have on display, the William M Black. I can't imagine how hot and loud it would have been working in the boiler room, to keep ship running. It was also interesting that steam powered paddle-wheeler was still operational in the 1970s. It was retired because of the massive amount of oil it used to heat the boilers.
After a few hours at the Museum, we drove north to Prairie du Chien, WI and found a hotel there. That night we had dinner at the Great River Roadhouse in De Soto. One of our favorite places to get pizza, but being on the other side of the state, we usually try to swing by when we are near.

Sunday we visited Cabelas, and the Cannery, a unique 2-story gift and antique store in a old canning factory building.
We spotted a trail head on the side of the road between Prairie du Chien and Marquette, IA for a lookout in a National Wildlife Refuge on the Mississippi River. We headed down a metal staircase to what we thought was the trail start. Zach startled a Robin, revealing her nest. Doesn't seem like the safest place for a nest?
After a 10 minutes, we dead ended. We could see the lookout deck, but there was water between us and the lookout. We walked back confused, thinking maybe the area was really flooded. Turns out the trail head was actually on the other side of the parking lot. The metal staircase tricked us.
So we found the actual trail and made it to the lookout. A lot of beaver activity around the trail.
After our muddy, but enjoyable walk in the woods, we headed home. Our cat was really happy to see us. I think she got lonely, since Maggie went to my parents for the weekend.


Julie said...

How fun! The museum in Dubuque really is a neat one. Weekends away are always such a treat - and the hotel rooms looks beautiful!

Christy said...

Seems like a nice trip.