We've all had visitors come to the Tri-Cities area at one time or another. And we're coming up on the part of the calendar in which visitors may be here for at least part of the holiday season.

And these visitors certainly have some sort of impression about their visits -- at least if you ask them.

After I had the mob here for my son's wedding earlier this year, I got a general consensus on their favorite parts of the visit, above and beyond the wedding and reception.

For example, I couldn't get my cousin and his wife from Colorado out of the Little Traveler in Geneva. In thinking it would likely be a short visit, their fascination with the place turned it into nearly two hours of browsing and buying stuff. So, that was their favorite place.

My niece was overjoyed with her visit to Rocket Fizz in St. Charles, buying plenty of taffy and other sweet items in the process. At 20-something, this was still her favorite spot.

My sister and brother-in-law enjoyed their quick tour of the Club Arcada and Arcada Theatre. They spent quite a bit of time looking over the photo display of the bands that have graced the stage there. They were impressed, to say the least.

My 92-year-old mother? Well, she was overjoyed at the reality that she made it out here from New Mexico to see her grandson get hitched.

But she also mentioned how much she enjoyed her meal at Corfu in St. Charles during her stay. I knew she would. It has also been one of our favorites over the years.

A few of the others were thoroughly impressed with Burger Local in Geneva and Portillo's in St. Charles. Also, a nephew raved about the coffee at Arcedium in St. Charles.

As for the few moments we had to walk around the area, there were also good comments about Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles, Island Park in Geneva and the Riverwalk in Batavia.

It all sounds familiar, doesn't it? These are the things that we all love about this area as well, and it's always nice to hear visitors reinforce those thoughts.

Amazed at generosity:

Kim Lamansky has been executive director of the TriCity Health Partnership for less than a year, so she's still fairly new when it comes to seeing how local residents rally to certain causes.

As such, she was simply blown away by the funds raised for the medical and dental clinic through the St. Charles Country Club's annual Charity Golf Classic.

"It was my first time involved, and they do all of the work," Lamansky said. "I literally show up, say hello and a few words about the partnership at the dinner, while their committee and chairwoman, Sue McDowell, do everything else."

The proceeds from the golf event are split between Lazarus House and TriCity Health Partnership, with nearly $53,000 coming to TCHP alone. To date, the clinic serving low-income or uninsured residents in central Kane County has received $800,000 from the country club members.

"It is beyond humbling and overwhelming," Lamansky said.

Store takes shape:

Prior to last week's drenching rain, the warm and dry weather hadn't done much for plants and trees in the area. But it certainly worked out for the fellows working on the new Ashley Furniture store along Randall Road.

The former Sports Authority location in Geneva is morphing into its new look, one being the removal of two large portions of the front facade on each side near the front entrance to make way for four showroom windows.

After all, furniture stores have to show folks what is inside.

But this type of work exposes the building to the outdoors for significant periods of time.

So, dry and warm worked out fine the past several weeks prior to it finally raining around here.

A needed service:

Being at the Emergency Veterinary Services office in St. Charles with your pet at 1 a.m. is never fun.

Of course, a visit at such an odd hour means something went wrong with your pet.

But our pets are similar to humans in the timing of their illnesses or accidents. Their problems sometimes pop up with no regard for the time of day.

It shows again that folks who work through the night for the benefit of others -- and their pets -- provide an invaluable service.