oilBabe and I took a four day weekend there with another couple. At first I was like, really, Dubuque, what's there? But it was a pretty good time. We left Friday AM, and it was good timing. The A/C condenser unit for the upstairs of our home lunched it's fan Thursday, so it was good to be away from home with 1/2 the A/C missing. I loaded the iPod with three books on tape we checked out from the local library and set off. We drove up to Amana, IA to see the settlements. I can see why different German and other European groups settled in the area. Parts of Iowa remind me of Germany. We bought some beer, wine and other offerings of local craft. We continued our journey to Dubuque and stayed in the Clarke House Bed and Breakfast. Rose the lady who ran the house for the owners was awesome and gave us the adjoining room to our suite so each couple could have a private bath. We stayed in the Asian and Golden Gate rooms, but she opened up the Italian suite so we could use the bath since there was no tenant in there, leaving the bath in the Golden Gate for the other couple in our party. We got up Saturday for a great breakfast served by Rose and some of her suggestions included the Farmers Market and the Eagle's Point Park. Since the Farmer's Market was Saturday only, we went down there. Wouldn't you know it, we ended up with some local beef and pork, some more wine, and a few trinkets as well. After taking our latest treasures back to the house to keep the meet cold and to put a couple of bottles of wine on ice, we toured the renovated river front. I don't recall what the call it, but the Dubuque Star brewery building is down there and the city spent $400 million on the various projects, hotel and casino built there. We ate a late lunch at the restaurant at the old brewery building sitting on the patio overlooking the river front. From there we drove up to Galena, IL for the Top of IL Wine Festival. For $15/person we were carded and given tickets to try seven wines. We ended up with another six bottles of wine by the time we completed our lap around the festival. We dropped our new treasures in the trunk of the car and finished the night off at the Galena Brewery. A local micro brewery and restaurant. The food was OK. There was live music and after a flight to sample their brews I chose their IPA offering and had a couple of those while we had dinner and danced to the band on tap. We drove back and climbed up to the cupola of the Clarke House and sat on the roof, enjoying one of the wines we bought that morning. Sunday was once again a great breakfast by Rose. After the other couple who was not with our party left, we spent some time talking about Dubuque and the state of the nation. We then headed to Eagle Point park, sitting on a hill overlooking both the city and the river. We watched boats lock through lock and dam #11 on the river. From there we headed to Potosi, WI, to, you guessed it, the Potosi Brewing Company. We had a great lunch, sampled some of the local product, and came away with a growler of root beer and some adult brews as well. The food was great, the portion of the museum on the restaurant level was a good time, but didn't have time to view the upper floors. From there, we drove to the ferry in Cassville and crossed back into Iowa, just making it back to Dubuque in time for the American Lady Dinner Cruise. I don't see how they made any money on this, but given that there were only 16 of us, I understand why they called and waited on us as we were a bit tardy, but arrived before the scheduled departure of the cruise. The buffet was good, but avoid the chicken as it was rubbery and I could swear I saw "Mad in China" molded into my piece. It was the staff and the relaxed and definitely not crowded nature of the cruise that made it a good time. The price was $30/person for the two hour cruise and included dinner buffet and all the free tap beer as well as water, soda, tea. There was also a cash bar for bottled beer and mixed drinks. From there we headed to the Elevator. My suggestion is park at the bottom, take it up, then back down. We parked at the top and took it down, only to be distracted by downtown and missing the last elevator. However, this afforded us the opportunity to work off the buffet and the drinks by walking the three to four blocks up-hill to return to our parked car. So how did we miss our ride back up the hill? We ended up in a couple of joints on Main Street. We visited The Bank. It was a restaurant bar built in a former bank. Upscale appointments, but I can't tell you about the food. I had a beer from the Millstream brewery in Amana. We asked the bartender where we might find live music and he suggested The Busted Lift two blocks away. We finished our drinks and headed there. The Busted Lift is a joint. It looks like a college dive bar in the basement of Vinny Vannuchi's restaurant. No band, but the bartender suggested we go on the deck to watch the fireworks that were starting soon. East Dubuque, IL was putting on it's fireworks presentation that night and we could catch it from the restaurants deck. He assured us they would be fine with us going up there, so we took our drinks and headed out. We enjoyed our drinks and at 9:45 the show started and went 25-30 minutes. We had the place largely to ourselves. The only other group was a group of college age folks, including our waiter from the Dubuque Star the day before. After the show, we returned to the bar, ordered another round and shot a game of pool. Of course, we missed the lift, so a group of 40 somethings trekked up the hill to retrieve the car and back to the Clarke house. The smell of bread baking during the walk made everyone hungry, so we decided to order a pizza. However, we had just driven through downtown and every place appeared closed, so it was Dominos. So we sat on the porch with more drinks waiting for the Pizza guy. Monday was more of the same, breakfast with Rose. The other couple left early, so it was just our party and Rose. We gathered our treasures from the fridge, gave Rose our hugs and envelopes with cash to express our appreciation for her gracious hospitality. She helped the girls carry stuff to the car. We drove downtown to the Methodist Church on Main. It was the first Church in Iowa and has Tiffany windows. The pastor was gracious and allowed us to go almost anywhere we wanted and encouraged us to actually touch the glass. We spent close to an hour there, taking photos, touching the glass and reading. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Luke%27s_United_Methodist_Church_%28Dubuque,_Iowa%29 After leaving a donation, we went next door to the fair trade shop run by that church and other area Methodist churches, we had a bite of lunch at the Naughty Dog. The cole slaw is the side to get and my Ruben Panini was a good choice. After lunch, we said our goodbyes and head back home. Who knew Dubuque, IA could be so much fun!