Week days in the Starved Rock area

Well, it was a busy Memorial Day weekend here at the Brightwood Inn and the Starved Rock area in general. Once again they had to halt traffic to the parks because they were too full. The trails were choked with people, trash was over flowing the garbage cans and our guests reported they saw people were carving into the trees off the trails. People were wandering off the trails and one guy fell 40 feet in one of the canyons. It’s reported that he’s in good condition now. Conservation officers handed out 76 tickets. Things were pretty chaotic in the Village of North Utica. It was estimated that there were 96,000 people here over the weekend!! I gotta say, all the good press Starved Rock has been getting has it’s down side. I’ll be honest with you, I try not to leave the property on the weekends so that I don’t have to deal with the chaos.

But, when the week days come, things slow down quite nicely. There is a little more solitude to hiking the trails and it’s so much quieter. You can actually hear the birds, not other peoples conversations. Restaurants are less crowded, traffic is a breeze. The only thing is, once in a great while, you might get stuck behind one of the local farmers tractors, but don’t worry, it’s not for long. Everything is so much more relaxing here on the weekdays.  

So if that isn’t enough encouragement to get to come to the Starved Rock area (and preferably the Brightwood Inn) on the weekdays, we have our “Save Big Bucks” deal. Do you have the ability to stay two nights?  If you answered yes then we have a deal for you.   Stay 2 nights in Door County or Turkey Run and weโ€™ll give you $15 off per night.  Stay 2 nights in Mackinac or Sequoia and get $25 off per night.  Stay 2 nights in Vieux Carre, Tortola or Mallory Square and get $35 off per night.  Stay in the Aspen Suite and get $40 off per night. Now this is only valid for check in Sunday thru Wednesday.

So if you really want to relax AND save money, take a couple of days off and come to the Brightwood Inn during the week.

There is a reason that our motto is “Relax and enjoy”. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Ottawa River Fest, 8-1 through 8-7

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Well it’s that time of year once again! Starting Monday August first and going through Sunday August seventh, Ottawa is having their River fest in Downtown Ottawa Illinois. Besides the usual carnival, music and beer gardens, this year they are also having a “Taste of Ottawa” fair. ย Admission is only $2.00 per person and children are free! As always, please check out there web site for a full list of all the activities. ย There is A LOT of things going on and they have a great calendar of events, list of vendors and and all the live entertainment that will be going on! ย The Brightwood Inn is only 12 minutes from downtown Ottawa, so we are a quiet place to stay in the country when you want to get away form all the noise. ย A full hot breakfast always awaits you every morning as well.

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www.ottawariverfest.org

 

Oglesby Fun Fest

Schedule of Events

2016 Oglesby Summer Fun Fest

the largest free festival in North Central Illinois

Schedule of Events

July 7-10, 2016

Oglesby Municipal Pool Grounds unless otherwise noted

No gate or entry fee required.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets from which to enjoy our many free entertainment acts.

For more information, call 815-883-3389 or 815-488-3599

50/50 Ticket Sales

Our goal is a $30,000 Jackpot.

Early bird monthly drawings for $100.00 each

Last yearโ€™s winner took home $10,404!

This is a Chicago Bears weekend.
Wear your Chicago Bear apparel!

Tuesday & Wednesday, July 5th & 6th
6 p.m.
10-11 year old District 20 Baseball Tournament, Bottomley Field
11-12 year old District 20 Softball Tournament, Memorial Park

THURSDAY, JULY 7TH

3 – 6 p.m

Farmerโ€™s Market

Downtown

5 – 11 p.m.

Carnival & Midway

Unlimited ride wristbands (until 10 p.m.) just $23
Win a free t-shirt!

5 p.m.

Mechanical Bull

Food Booths

Beer Garden

6 p.m.
Boys 10-11 year old District 20 Baseball Tournament, Bottomley Field

Girls 11-12 year old District 20 Softball Tournament, Memorial Park

7 p.m.
Pictures & Autographs with Chicago Blackhawk’s Tommy Hawk


“It’s Finally Hair Again!” Music Night

6 p.m.

Libido Funk Circus

Watch this high energy group perform good oleโ€™ Motown music
to the bass-thumping beats of todayโ€™s dance music.

8:45 p.m.

Hairbangerโ€™s Ball

Playing 80โ€™s Hair Rock and Glam Rock

FRIDAY, JULY 8th

8 a.m.

City-wide garage sales

maps available at City Hall

9 a.m.

Boggio’s Sweet Corn for Sale

across from Washington Junior High

5 – 11 p.m.

Carnival & Midway

Unlimited ride wristbands just $23
Win a free t-shirt!


4 p.m.
Boys 10-11 year old Baseball Tournament, Bottomley Field

Girls 9-10 year old Softball Tournament, Memorial Park

5 p.m.

Mechanical Bull

Food Booths

Beer Garden

Pony Rides

 

6 – 9 p.m.

Cruise-In at the Root Beer Stand

Hot cars, cool treats, presented by the Stampede Mustang Club

Join us for the โ€œBritish Invasionโ€

6 p.m.

The BriTins

Aย tribute to the Beatles

9 p.m.

Satisfaction

2-hour concert of music from the World’s Best Rock & Roll Band

SATURDAY, JULY 9th

8 a.m.

City-wide garage sales

maps available at City Hall

9 a.m.

Boggio’s Sweet Corn for Sale

across from Washington Junior High

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Craft & Vendor Sale

To become a vendor call Cathy at 815-343-9403

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

111 S. Woodland Ave.

10 a.m.

Heroes Come in All Sizes Kiddie Parade

Children and families may decorate bikes, strollers,
and wagons in a patriotic theme and join the parade.

Prizes for kids of all ages!

12 p.m.

Water Fights

Firefighters’ tug-of-war, hosted by Oglesby Fire Department

1 – 11 p.m.

Carnival & Midway

Unlimited ride wristbands just $23
Win a free t-shirt!

1 p.m.

Mechanical Bull

Food Booths

Beer Garden

Pony Rides

Petting Zoo

1 p.m.

KIDS PARTY IN THE PARKย 

Completely FREE kids activities

Featuringย Ralphโ€™s World in concertย 

and stilt-walker and juggler Jason Kollum

2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The GreatLakes Timber Show

Chainsaw carving, axe throwing, wood chopping, crosscut sawing, log rolling,
audience participation, and loads of clean family humor.

3 p.m.

Paddy’s Favorite Sons

the Illinois Valley’s only Celtic Folk band
4 p.m.
Boys 10-11 year old Baseball Tournament, Bottomley Field

Girls 9-10 year old Softball Tournament, Memorial Park

4 – 6 p.m.

Chicago Bear’s Staley da Bear

meet & greet with the mascot; wear your Bears colors!

Super Star Saturday Night

Celebrating the music of โ€œThe Boss” and โ€œThe Killerโ€

5 p.m.

Glory Days

Bruce Springsteen tribute

9 p.m.

Lance Lipinsky

Jerry Lee Lewis tribute,
performed by a member of the Chicago cast of “Million Dollar Quartet”

Sunday, July 10th

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Craft & Vendor Sale

To become a vendor call Cathy at 815-343-9403

12 p.m.
Illinois Valley Community Hospital’s

โ€œHometown Heroesโ€ Parade

Join us for one of the finest parades in our area.
RAIN OR SHINE.

Call 815-488-3599 to sign up to participate.

1 – 9:30 p.m.

Carnival & Midway

Unlimited ride wristbands just $23
Win a free t-shirt!

1 p.m.

Mechanical Bull

Food Booths

Beer Garden

Pony Rides

Petting Zoo

Oompah Music
by Jimmy’s Bavarians

2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The Great Lakes Timber Show

ย Chainsaw carving, axe throwing, wood chopping, crosscut sawing, log rolling,
audience participation, and loads of clean family humor.


3 p.m.

Keith Allynn

A Neil Diamond Tribute

 

4:30 p.m.

Zumba Demonstration

Led by the Oglesby Rec Department’s Diane and Cindy

6 p.m.

FEATURE ATTRACTION:

The Chicago Six

Featuring former Chicago Bear stars Dave Hampton, Otis Wilson & Steve McMichael

9 p.m.

50/50 Drawing Winner Announced

Someone is going to win thousands of dollars.

Need not be present to win.

9:30 p.m.

Gigantic Fireworks Finale

Going out with a band. See you next year!

Spring Time at the Brightwood Inn

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Well, Spring has finally sprung on us and I don’t know about you, but we could not be happier! Most of the migratory birds are back now, all we are waiting for are the Barn Swallows and the Hummingbirds. ย I even saw some purple Martins the other day, which I thought was a bit early, but they do tend to come earlier and leave a little latter than the Swallows. The House finches tend to leave us in the most harsh winter months, but they came back about a month ago, however the Golden Finches just came back the other day, as bright yellow as you have seen! ย We have a very large population of Blue Birds this year and most of them have taken up residency in our houses already. Our Brown Thrasher has returned again this year but we have yet to see our Mocking Bird or our Cat Bird. So, like I said, we are just waiting on our Hummers and Barn Swallows.

 

 

 

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Breakfast at Brennan’s, Brightwood Style!

eggs benny

Just finished up our “Breakfast at Brennan’s, Brightwood style” menu, for this Mardis Gras weekend. Stay hungry my friends!

Breakfast at Brennan’s, Brightwood Style

Saturday Morning

Cherries Jubilee Crepes

Delicate Crepes stuffed with a cream cheese mixture then topped with Cherries Jubilee.ย  Comes with a side of bacon.

or

Creole Skillet Bake

Andoullie Sausage with red onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes and redskin potatoes sautรฉed in a skillet then, baked together with eggs mild Cajun spices and topped with cheddar cheese. Comes with a side of Wheat Toast.

or

Scrambled eggs, bacon and Wheat Toast.

 

Breakfast at Brennan’s, Brightwood Style

 

Sunday Morning

Bananas Foster French Toast

Custard like French Toast Casserole topped with sautรฉed bananas and caramelized brown sugar. ย Comes with a side of bacon.

or

Eggs Hussarde

Toasted English Muffins with a slice of ham topped with a Marchand de vin (red wine mushroom sauce), then a poached egg and then finally Hollandaise sauce.

or

Scrambled eggs, bacon and Wheat Toast.

 

 

 

Frozen Waterfalls

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With some good rains and freezing temperatures, the frozen waterfalls at Starved Rock are looking very nice this year!

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Each Canyon having it’s own different look and feel. ย It’s really quite something to see up close.

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If Cabin fever has got the best of you, this sure is a good remedy for that.

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Come and take your own pictures, create your own memories.

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And then come back to the Brightwood Inn and warm up next to your own fireplace, relax after a long day of hiking in your hot tub and most of all, re connect with your loved ones. ย Make your reservations today!

Small Business Saturday!

This year for Small Business Saturday, the Brightwood Inn is featuring FREE $25.00 gift certificates for every $100.00 gift certificate you purchase!! 25 FREE Buckaroos!! Shop Small! Keep it local! (Offer is good Saturday and Sunday 11/28/2015 and 11/29/2015) ๐Ÿ™‚ You can purchase on-line (preferred, just type in small business in the message line) or you can give us a call at 815-667-4600!!

small_business_saturday_2015

Fall 2015

So far the fall of 2016 has been above average temperatures and way below average precipitation.ย  Thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia we are experiencing a little relief in the precipitation department.ย  Temperatures still look to be above average in the 10 day forecast.ย  We’ve only had one bout with freezing temperatures so far.ย  Two weekends ago we got a freeze advisory, so we went out and covered up the garden really good. The temperature got down to 29 degrees and unfortunately most of hard work was in vain. Our garden really took it on the chin killing ninety percent of the plants.ย  The good news is that our efforts did help keep all the fruit and vegetables form freezing, so that we can still harvest them. One thing I found interesting was that the morning glory on the back patio, which is normally a very temperature sensitive plant, remains virtually unscathed from the event.ย  All I can think of is that it was on a more protected side of the Inn.

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The ten day forecast still looks very good, I don’t know about you, but I could take this kind of weather all winter long.ย  So there are still flowers blooming all over the Inn and the fall colors are still going strong. Personally, Fall is my favorite season.ย  The crisp air, the smell of the leaves and maybe a distant campfire. It’s just a little chilly outside but nothing a nice little hike won’t warm you up fast.ย  A time when you can enjoy a campfire outside with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Regular or adult version ๐Ÿ˜‰

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These are some pictures I took just yesterday out around the Inn and with weather like what we’ve been having, I don’t see it changing till farther in the future! Relax and Enjoy at the Brightwood Inn!

Uptown Grill and August Hill Winery

If you need another good reason to stay at the Brightwood Inn, I’ve got two for you!ย  We’ve had for awhile now tickets to getย  free tastings at August Hill winery, but now we also have tickets to get a free appetizer at the Uptown Grill!

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So after you check into the Brightwood Inn and get your tickets, you can cruise up the road to August Hill and get a free wine tasting plus 10% off most anything you can purchase there. They have a beautiful back patio that you can enjoy a glass of one of their many award winning wines on and they also just added on with another beautiful room that they call the lounge.ย  Everything August Hill does is always First Class!

The-Lounge-at-August-Hill-Winery(1)

Then after you are done there, you can head on over to the Uptown Grill for a wonderful dinner.ย  They have an extensive menu with a lot of wonderful food to choose from. There you can get a free appetizer (up to $10.00 value!) with the purchase of and entree or sandwich. The Uptown Grill is another classy place where you can always expect great service and great food.

uptown caprese

Then when you are all done, you return to the Brightwood Inn, where you can sit outside for awhile and enjoy the peace and quite amid the beauty of nature. Listen to a chorus of Katydids and tree frogs serenade you while looking at the stars.ย  Then finally return to your room where maybe a relaxing hot tub awaits you, or maybe just a big ultra comfortable bed is waiting to embrace you and rock you to sleep.

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Then in the morning, a full complementary breakfast awaits for you.ย  Our breakfasts are made from scratch and made with wholesome ingredients.ย  And when we can, we even use ingredients straight from our own garden!

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Then after being fully nourished, it’s time to hit the trails at one of the most visited state parks in the country! Starved Rock State Park.

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It’s all waiting for you here at the Brightwood Inn!!ย  Give us a call or reserve on line today!

Butterflies

At the Brightwood Inn we have 14 acres of land. ย The front 2.5 acres are designated for our Aronia bushes and starting next year we will apply for an Organic license. ย That means that for the past 5 years there have been no pesticides used on our property. ย Everything that we grow, we grow in a sustainable way. ย Now tie that in with the fact that we are surrounded on three sides by Matthiessen State Park and you could see why the Brightwood Inn is the perfect place to grab your Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders (or you can borrow ours) and look for many different species of Butterflies.ย GST 1ย  In this picture we have a Giant Swallowtail on a milkweed plant in our backyard. ย On a side note, we don’t consider Milkweed a weed at the Brightwood Inn. ย Anywhere it wants to grow, we let it. ย Milkweed is danger of being eradicated because of all the harmful pesticides being sprayed by our agriculture system and milkweed is a valuable part of our ecosystem. ย If it is eradicated, other species will fall, especially many species of butterflies.GST 3ย  But I digress, so back to the Giant Swallowtail. ย Now it’s hard to judge the size of this butterfly from this picture, so I want you to hold out your hand flat and look at it. ย These butterflies are slightly larger than that.GST 2ย  We also have a couple of other Swallowtails around here. ย We have the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Eastern Black Swallowtail. ย Neither are as large as the Giant, but equally pretty.

We also get a lot of Monarchs and or Viceroys out here as well. ย Monarchs are one of the Butterflies that are dependent on the milkweed plant for reproduction. ย So not only do we let the wild milkweed grow where we can, we will also be planting a milkweed patch in our acreage somewhere next year.ย monarchย visitย http://makewayformonarchs.org/i/archives/598 for more information on the decline of Monarchs in this country.

Stay close to our Blog as we will be posting more pictures and information on the Butterflies of the Brightwood Inn!!