Don and I returned from the annual Innkeeping Conference yesterday and were we glad to be HOME! When we expressed our dismay at the choice of Las Vegas as the location for this year’s convention many friends, family and guests gave us those knowing glances and soft chuckles, saying, “Yeah, right.” But in reality, we had never been there and were not excited about a trip to Las Vegas. With hope born from the experiences of others who told us we would love the desert oasis; off we went. After 5 nights and six days we returned resolute to our original supposition – we prefer Galena to Las Vegas in all areas; lodging, fine dining, gaming and attractions.
Gaming & Attractions
I’m not sure what the big deal is about gambling. We have two casinos within 20 minutes of Galena and I don’t see much difference between them and those we walked through in Las Vegas. Yes, Vegas is louder and has more, but it seemed more of the same; a large, loud, smoke filled room with flashing lights, pulsing music, and crowds of people enjoying games while betting money on the outcome. Standing on the bridge over the Mississippi just 9 miles up the road from Galena I could throw a $20 into the water, enjoy the peaceful views, catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle and probably save myself a fortune in the process.
I must admit that the Frank Sinatra impersonator we saw was amazing. He sounded just like old blue eyes. Of course, so does the DVD I have! The shows in Vegas are amazing, and very costly. Tickets were anywhere from $50 – $200 depending on what and where. Listening to live music at Cornerstone or Galena Brewery is still free here in Galena without the hefty price tags on the drinks! Standard fare on the strip in Vegas was $6 – $8 for a domestic beer and even more for a glass of wine. Here in Galena we have street musicians playing delightful tunes for tips. On the walkways in Las Vegas we were occasionally met by panhandlers begging for change – they didn’t sing.
At the Las Vegas conference hotel there were two fine dining options; a steakhouse and Italian. The décor was trendy and sophisticated and we were seated quickly. A quick look over the menus had us gasping at the prices, but, we figured with price tags like these, the food was sure to be a culinary experience of the highest caliber. The reality was a confirmation that we have some of the best fine dining right here in Galena. The meals at both Las Vegas restaurants were very good, with some dishes worthy of an “excellent” rating; however, we found nothing that was better than we can enjoy on Historic Main Street in Galena, Illinois. Returning home I compared our meals at these two restaurants with two very similar ones here in Galena.
|Fried Green Tomatoes, Galena, Illinois||Las Vegas Steakhouse||Log Cabin Steakhouse,
|Appetizer (1)||Seafood $14||Seafood $10||Shrimp Cocktail $18||Shrimp Cocktail $8|
|Salad (2)||$22||Included with Entrée||$28||Included with Entrée|
|Potato Side (2)||$20||Included with Entrée||$20||Included with Entrée|
|Entrée||Veal $39||Veal $25||Prime Rib $30||Prime Rib $26|
|Entrée||New York Strip $38||New York Strip $31||Prime Rib $30||Prime Rib $26|
|Total||Vegas Italian Dinner for 2:
|Galena Italian Dinner for 2:
|Las Vegas Steakhouse for 2: $126.00||Galena Steakhouse Dinner for 2:
(Prices rounded up to the nearest dollar)
Do the math and you will see that fine dining in Las Vegas will cost you twice as much as it does here, in downtown Galena, Illinois.
As owners of a Bed and Breakfast we firmly believe that it is the Better Way To Stay. Hotels just don’t measure up to the amazing service you get from a Bed and Breakfast – especially the Farmers Guest House in Galena. Our suite was very nice, but housekeeping was inconsistent, coffee service was limited, and all the wonderful amenities that we offer our guests were missing – cookies, beverage service, maps and menus on hand, in-room thermostats that really work, luxury soaps, and true from-the-mouth-of-a-local concierge service. And then there’s the breakfast! Today, after a fresh fruit parfait, banana bread and muffins, we enjoyed the Broccoli Garden Soufflé with corn muffins and bacon that is locally sourced from Arnold Farms. Add our own special coffee blend and you have one more great reason to get out of bed in the morning!
As you can see, we are happy Midwesterners proud of Galena, Illinois, the best Midwest getaway destination.