Why is it whenever I go on an excursion of any kind, I feel compelled to pick up brochures at the visitors centers? Nothing wrong with picking up the brochures, but how many do I really need?

For example Husband Joe and I took a little two-day drive to Galena to see the fall colors. Having been there numerous times before we were not entering unknown territory. My Galena booklet was 2 years old so it was a given that I needed to pick up a new one.

So here we are at the welcome center, and I begin to pick up my new stash of leaflets on Galena, bypassing the historic ones. Not that we are not interested in the history of the town, but how many times do I need to see where Grant sat, slept, ate or gave a speech. I immediately pick up pamphlets on eating establishments, knowing of course we will eat at Fried Green Tomatoes, a must.

The restaurant has moved its location into the town proper, so we had to know where, even though a drive down the main street would have done the trick. Take into consideration we were only in Galena for two days, so we did not need to have too many places to choose to eat, but I took the brochures anyway. In case you’re interested, our second choice for dinner was the Log Cabin; we recommend both.

As for what were we going to do in Galena, Husband Joe is content to find a comfortable place and read a book. I, on the other hand, like to shop and I did. Thinking I would get some holiday shopping out of the way, I bought one present. I won’t divulge for whom I purchased the present, but I hope the person likes it.

Why did I look at a brochure advertising balloon rides? I don’t like heights and don’t fly, so a balloon ride was out of the question, but the brochure was colorful. I also picked up some winery pamphlets; they have good wine in Galena.

Oh yes, the trolley schedule. I didn’t need that, although every time we go to Galena I say we really should take a ride sometime and learn more about the town. I somehow or another always take a brochure on the Field of Dreams, which is not in Galena but in Dyersville, Iowa, knowing we are not going there. But?”surprise, surprise?”parts of the movie were shot in Galena.

We learned that interesting fact from a video shown at the visitors’ center. It was fun to spot the sites while in the main part of the town. There I was walking the same sidewalks Kevin Costner walked, which is the closest I will come to Kevin Costner. Why did I take a leaflet on Stockton, a town not far from Galena? I guess because it looked good.

We did not purchase any wine, because they did not have any apple wine. I’ll try The Cork here in Riverside. Sometimes you don’t have to go far to get what you want. We did purchase a few gourmet products made by Chef Ivo at the Galena River Wine and Cheese. His products used to be available at Pringle’s in Riverside. Pumpkin butter sounded good for me and salsa for Husband Joe.

It was cold, so we bought sweatshirts?”one can always use another sweatshirt. Stops on the way back included the cheese outlet store in Lena and a roadside stand where we purchased some apples. No, I’m not going to bake a pie!

In truth, I only needed to take one booklet which is titled “Visitor’s Planning Guide 2005>” Actually I took two?”one for the car and one to look over in the room; it had all the information we needed.

The booklet and an illustrated map would do, but they’re not as much fun to look at now that we are back and ponder what other things we should have done and where we should have gone. So as I sort through my brochures and wish I had gone to the bead store and the stamp store and … and … and …

Oh, well, the next time we go, I’ll plan my trek through the town. And if I forget where it is I want to go, I can always pick up some more brochures.