We’ve been working on some exciting things lately, including the full redesign of This Here Blog. It’s about time — I’ve had the same WordPress template since I was twelve, so we’re past due for some changes around here. I’m working with Gertrude Pillena over at Design Kick, a super cool design firm based in Singapore. In about a month or so, things will look much more clean around here, and I can’t wait to sweep up all the clutter from Frankenstein-ing this website for the past decade or so.
Since we’re going to be working remotely in a lot of cool places moving forward, I’m starting this new series called “Working Remotely in…” and you can find a bit more about my remote work on my last post about when we were working remotely in Colorado and Palm Springs.
Working Remotely in a Haunted Orphanage in Galena, Illinois
When we were designing our quarantine road trip back in December, we picked Galena in part because we’re staying at a ~literal haunted former-Orphanage-turned-Airbnb~ which is pretty incredible. (You can find our listing on Airbnb here.)
I grew up watching those shows about ghost hunters, so I was very excited to be hunting ghosts in our own creepy place, which features really incredible artwork like the below:
This whole town feels trapped in the nineteenth century, and Ulysses S. Grant’s home is literally down the street from us.
We met a nice man named Rick who is an amateur archaeologist with dinosaurs eating tin men statues in his front yard, and he gave us a pipe relic he found during a dig in London.
Best Things to Do in Galena, Illinois
Stop, drop, and go get a grilled cheese sandwich from Galena’s Wine and Cheese shop on Main Street. I kid you not, this was the best food we had in Galena, hands down.
The best restaurant in Galena is easily Fried Green Tomatoes which I’m pretty sure is some kind of chain (I’m not familiar with chains in this part of the world, but it did have Chain/Franchise Energy) and one of the bartenders was an entrepreneur who had just moved to Galena from Chicago and said that “you only become a local in Galena after five generations.”
What’s interesting is that only a few thousand people live here, but they get over a million tourists per year, which definitely makes the town have serious tourist vibes. Not a bad thing, but it does feel like it’s some sort of real-world Disneyland.
We also did the trolly tour and ghost tour, which were both great fun. If I’m going to learn about history, I want it to be wrapped up in either being in some interesting vehicle or told through a grisly series of deaths.
Lastly, the best coffeeshop (even though I no longer drink coffee, RIP) is the Trolley Depot by the trolly tours. Highly recommend: it’s a cute spot and we loved the weird zinger drinks. They also have some well-designed merch. (I love merch and want to get back into making it, I’m obsessed.)
Otto’s Place has the best breakfast in Galena, and their homemade cinnamon buns are to die for. Be sure to call ahead on weekends: they get busy fast.
Mostly, we got food and hung out by the river, or walked along the walking trails. Make sure you bring bug spray, since the mosquitos come out something fierce in the evenings.
Overall, this was one of our favorite spots to work remotely because of its walkability: we could walk to pretty much everything, and walks are one of our main forms of exercise during the day.
The weather in April in Galena was pretty bad: snow, rain, and mostly temperatures in the 40’s. The few sunny days we got were absolutely gorgeous, though.
The Next Stop On Our Remote Work Journey: Peshastin, Washington
We’re going to be embarking on a five-day journey back to the West Coast Best Coast, and we’re staying next to a river in Peshastin, Washington. It will be considerably less haunted then where we’re staying right now, but it has a hot tub which we’ve definitely been missing since our last place.
If you’re a remote worker, would love to hear about your favorite spots below. Or get @ me on Twitter, @sutoscience!