These days I’m always looking for the fudge shops in my travels because I write the Fudge Shop Mystery Series, but when I was a little girl, it was all about adventure of seeing exotic things. (I eventually found chocolates and fudge; more on that later.)
As a girl, I was as awestruck as Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, traveling past locks and dams, and catching glimpses of huge barges, clamming boats, a power plant, and small fishing and farming communities such as Savanna (chocolates at the Marketplace!).
Continuing north on 84, a lot of people stop at Poopy’s Pub N Grub, a tavern in Savanna, Ill., dedicated to motorcycles including a gift shop and free tent camping.Motorcycles not your thing? Savanna is also the home of Land of Oz Dolls, museum-quality dolls made by internationally-known artist Connie Zink, who is also a master gardener. www.landofozdolls.com
Galena is known for its many antique and art shops, its spas, golf course, its Bed and Breakfast inns (many!) (http://www.greatriverroad-illinois.org/bed_and_breakfasts.cfm), restaurants, and of course fudge!
A great time to visit Galena might be during the Great Galena Balloon Race with lots of kids’ activities June 19-21.
If you’re the outdoor type, take your family slightly east of Galena to the Apple River Canyon Park. It’s a hidden gem with a shallow river for wading, tubing, and fishing. As a little girl visiting this place, I felt that fairies must live here. It’s green, lush, and lovely. And because this is the driftless area—glacial hilly terrain that continues into Wisconsin—you’ll be amazedthat a state known for being flat has a gorgeous, rocky canyon. http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/PARKS/R1/APPLE.HTM
Before you head out of Galena or over to the Apple River, remember to buy your fudge! Galena has three fudge shops. Try the locally owned Galena Kandy Kitchen, which was opened in 1974 by a Chicago transplant, George Paxton. http://galenaskandykitchen.com/
I hope you travel the Great River Road in Illinois soon. It’s a weekend trip back into history and literally a trip into the heart of our country. For me, it’s a road that takes me “home” no matter which direction I roam.
First-Degree Fudge enjoyed 10 weeks on the Barnes &Noble mystery bestseller list. The series also includes Hot Fudge Frame-Up.
In celebration of that, Christine DeSmet is offering one lucky winner a
half a pound of Kilwin's fudge because Kilwin's has helped her with research on fudge-making. The winner can choose their favorite flavor: https://www.kilwins.com/fudge/mackinac-island-fudge
Remember to leave your contact information with your comment so Christine can award your prize if you're picked!
Christine is a writing teacher at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she mentors writers of novels, screenplays, plays, and short fiction. She directs the “Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Retreat” every June, open to all aspiring writers. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Writers Guild of America, and Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum.
Visit Author Christine DeSmet at her site for more information on her work:
(Information Provided by Author, http://www.greatriverroad-illinois.org/, http://galenahistorymuseum.org/ and all other websites listed. Click on the links in this post to learn more!)