Monthly Archives: May 2008

Iowa’s Wineries: Some of the Best in the Heartland

We’re not Napa Valley, but that doesn’t mean Eastern Iowa isn’t home to a number of amazing wineries.  I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a few and The Gazette recently unveiled a special section “A Toast to Eastern Iowa’s Wineries” which has helped me update my ever-growing list of new wineries I’d like to try. 

Daly Creek Winery and Bistro – 106 N. Ford St. Anamosa, IA

I was originally enamored by this winery when I heard stories of their fabled “Penitentiary Red” – their best selling wine which is named after the prison that also makes Anamosa its home.  After a taste test and a wonderful New Years Eve meal, I’ve decided my favorite is the Winemaker’s Reserve – (Cabernet Sauvignon) and I recommend buying a bottle to take home with you. 
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Filed under Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Shopping, Why it's great to live here

Pictures from the Marion Arts Festival

Hundreds packed Marion Square Park to see vendors from throughout the Midwest. From jewelry to paintings and ceramics, there was something for everyone – including some amazing kettle corn to enjoy why you shopped. We had the opportunity to spend a couple hours at the Marion Arts Festival today, as well as visiting a few shops in downtown Marion. 

I thought I’d share some pictures.

For more pics please visit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26661191@N04/?saved=1

posted by: heatherjoy77

 

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Filed under Arts and Music, Community Events, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

Celebrate May on Mays

May on Mays Island, one of the many fun Year of the River events, is slated to take place this weekend.

Prepare yourself for the invasion of the Hawaiian shirts in downtown Cedar Rapids this weekend as hundreds are expected to participate in the Year of the River event May on Mays Island.

Join Parrotheads (official and unofficial!) from around the Corridor Saturday, May 17th from 5 pm – 8 pm as they join to celebrate summer Jimmy Buffet style.  The Cedar Island Band will perform and costume contests will be held. 

Tickets are $7 at the gate and you must be 21 to enter.  To learn more contact the Cedar Rapids Downtown District. 

Isle of Iowa
If you get a taste for the island life after Saturday’s event and want to learn more about embracing the island lifestyle you might want to consider joining The Isle of Iowa Parrot Head Club.  With more than 200 members the club holds monthly meetings and is always looking for an excuse to celebrate!

Looking for more to do on Mays?
Well, you won’t have to look far! Lunch on Mays Island will take place May 23rd at noon and will feature beef burgers, chips and drinks.   

Posted by: heatherjoy77

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Filed under Arts and Music, Celebrating the four seasons, Community Events

Take me out to the ol’ ballgame!

Summertime and baseball go hand-in-hand. And the Cedar Rapids Kernels know how to make it fun for the whole family. With tickets just $6 to $9, it’s also inexpensively to take in a game.

While the game is enough entertainment for most adults, those of the younger set get a little restless staying put for nine innings. A play area featuring a jumping pit, a batting cage, an inflatable version of skee-ball, and more,. is located on the concourse down the third-base line. For just $1, kids can use up extra energy jumping, playing and doing all the squirmy things kids do.

And of course, you won’t want to miss the ballpark food. Dale and Thomas Popcorn Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, home of the Kernels, features some pretty good baseball grub. Belly-Buster Mondays offer a great opportunity to sample all the traditional eats. For just $7 (and the price of admission), you’ll be able to enjoy all of the hamburgers, hot dogs, peanuts and chips you care to eat.

The team also hosts several special events throughout the season, including fireworks nights throughout the summer. Take yourself out to the ol’ ballgame … and have a great time!

posted by: danaengelbert

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Vroom!

GPS, satellite radio, heated seats, cooled cupholders are some just some of the features available on modern autos. So step back in time to see how drivers of days gone by got by without those amenities and more.

The Antique Car Museum of Iowa displays cars and related memorabilia from the early 1900s through a more modern era. Parents of a certain age will fondly recall travelling down the highway in a wood-paneled, avocado-colored station wagon like the one displayed at the museum. One look at the International Harvester hotel-to-depot transfer and anyone will appreciate modern airport shuttles and coaches.

Co-located in the Car Museum is my 4-year old’s favorite reason for making the trip. The Hawkeye Model Railroad Club is building a working display. Kids can push buttons to send two different trains – one passenger, one freight – around the track. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of club members working on the display.

Also in the building is the Johnson County History Museum. Featuring a variety of displays, from wetlands to the Mormon Trail, exhibits tell the story of Johnson County history from a variety of perspectives. Currently, there is an exhibit on the history of railroads in Johnson County. A model train and a large-scale circus train are a part of the exhibit, as well as many historical photos and artifacts.

Both the Car Museum and the History Museum have suggested donations for admission. Take some time to visit this great display of history, located at the intersection of 9th Street and Quarry Road, across from the Marriott in the Iowa River Landing District in Coralville.

posted by: danaengelbert

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Filed under Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

It’s the Year of the River in Cedar Rapids

If you’re local to the Cedar Rapids area you’ve probably heard of this year referred to as the “Year of the River.”  I saw the slogan on a recent newsletter from the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and decided to investigate.

In May, 2007 the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County proclaimed 2008 the Year of the River. The City of Cedar Rapids’ Web site stated that they hoped doing so would bring attention to the Riverfront and generate private and public investment.

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Iowa Renaissance Festival

Hear ye, hear ye, All ye Lads and Lasses, Lords and Ladies!  If ye need something to entertain thyself this end of week, gather thyself and go to the Iowa Renaissance Festival. 

17th Annual Iowa Renaissance Festival and Gathering o’ Celts
May 3-4, 2008
Middle Amana Park (Medici Grove) – Amana Colonies, IA

http://www.festint.com/iowarenfest

There will be jousting, musicians, magicians, and fun for the whole family.  At the festivals that I have attended, you are more than welcome to come in Renaissance garb and such if that suits your fancy.

This festival is just one of the many wonderful events happening in the Eastern Iowa Corridor this weekend. 

So many choices… so little time.

posted by: Anne Ohrt

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