It was getting late when we arrived at Holdens - 10? 10:30? I really don't remember, but here is the funniest part. We rang their doorbell, knocked on their door, called their home and cell phones, all to no avail. We sat on their porch swing, chatting, until their son finally got home. He let us in, where we found John & Dom' had fallen asleep, notwithstanding all our efforts to alert them.
Guess we're all getting old...!
Friday was a relaxing day. We hung out with Dom', reading and chatting and knitting, while John worked. I needed a different needle size, so we set off in search of a yarn store. We'd been to Unique Yarns back in 2010, and it was a nice enough store, but now it is out of business. We found another on the internet, just north of Rockford (Loves Park), but when we arrived, it also was closed. But, we noticed another LYS, The Wool Gathering, in the same strip mall, and headed there.
They carried Knitter's Pride interchangeables, so I was able to get the needles I needed. We also looked around a bit at their yarn. There wasn't a huge selection, but they did have a nice bit of Dream in Color, some of which jumped into our car:
|720 yards, currently marinating in my stash|
I wonder if this LYS will survive. The owner's chatter was all about herself, and how she has to compete with the internet, and about how she's "the only game in town," and will she have funds to buy more yarn for the fall... It sounded like she is struggling - but really, there was not much about the store that said, "Come back soon!" Maybe if I lived there, it would grow on me.
John had to be on-call (on-site) at the hospital Friday night, so we ordered pizza from Giordano's and spent the evening in his break room, playing Ticket to Ride and eating really bad malted milk balls (the pizza, however, was excellent).
On Saturday, we decided to go to the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. En route, we passed the Anderson Japanese Gardens. When John and Dom' realized we'd never been there (after all these years of visiting Rockford), John immediately turned around and we went there instead. This was a great choice - it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
Here are their mission / values statements, taken from their webpage:
In our hectic and stressful world, Anderson Japanese Gardens opens minds to a different culture while offering guests a place of peace and tranquility where they will find healing, renewal, inspiration, and a re-energized soul.It really was a beautiful place - so much green and beauty. We enjoyed walking along the paths and admiring the gardens. Here are just a few photos:
We are an authentic Japanese Garden maintained by the highest of standards that touches the soul of our guests. With grace, elegance, and gentle awareness we exemplify the Japanese cultural heritage of respectful humility in service to people of all cultures.
|Jim, Robin, John, Dominque|
|Lots of Koi in the pond|
|Isn't this a nice photo of Jim?|
|West Waterfall - Nishi No Taki|
|I love ducks.|
We did take LOTS of photos at the Japanese Gardens; if you want to see more than this handful, there is an album here.
We stopped at Chocolate by Daniel, located in downtown Rockford. It was something of an oddity - there wasn't much else in the way of business in its neighborhood, and the store itself was very quiet and dark.
Daniel was the only other person in the store, and patiently described the available chocolates, so we could make our choices. We sat on a couch savoring them, and chatting with Daniel. He explained the lack of lights (to protect the chocolate, of course), and told tales of chocolate discoveries. Maybe the chocolate was pricey (as some of the reviews suggested), but we enjoyed the visit and the chocolate.
We then drove up to Lake Geneva, WI, about an hour north of Rockford. John & Dom' knew of a restaurant there, and we decided to celebrate both our anniversaries (our 25th, and Holdens' 32nd).
|Along the way - clouds...|
|... and more clouds|
We were early for dinner, so we wandered around looking at the tourist shops:
We had dinner at the Grandview Restaurant and Lounge, at The Geneva Inn. It was a lovely meal - we could see out onto the lake; our food was delicious; we enjoyed the piano singer; and we enjoyed relaxing together.
|The restaurant put this card at our table,|
with "Happy Anniversary" wishes
The next day, we went to church with Holdens, and then had an uneventful trip home. It was good to be back with our favorite beagle!