I had the opportunity to go to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art this week, just a week after it’s reopening from the flood. Aptly, the museum’s first exhibit is The Year of the River: Flood Photography from The Gazette. The moments captured are breathtaking. The emotion they rekindle surprising. We are months removed from the Flood of 2008, and although the people of the corridor have moved on to recovery, it’s important to look back and remember just how extraordinary the event truly was.
I was lucky enough to explore this exhibit with people not from Cedar Rapids, many whom aren’t even from the Midwest. I’d seen many of the pictures before, I’d witnessed the flooding in person, and these photographs still took my breath away. To see their reaction was truly a privilege. They had all heard of the flood, and had sent their thoughts and prayers in our time of need. But as they walked the halls of the museum they were in awe of what we had experienced. They also had toured some of our flood-savaged areas and expressed amazement at far we have come, and how quickly we reached where we are.
I was bursting with pride for my community, as I nodded in agreement as they spoke of our spirit and our determination to rebuild.
I highly recommend visiting the museum and seeing this amazing exhibit. And if you have friends or family visiting from afar, take them and show them. It will give you everyone who sees it a new appreciation, and a new perspective on just how reselient we are.
On a similar note, a colleague recently shared an emotional and information video on the flood produced by Metro Studios – if you have a moment, check it out.
posted by: heatherjoy77
We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and take a short trip to Dubuque. We’d visited the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium before when my son was two, but now at age four he really seemed to appreciate the impressive sights he was seeing. Upon entering he rushed to the entrance way tank, following the ducks and turtles with excitement. Then we moved on to the five large aquariums that let us get up close with the giant catfish, an alligator and an ancient sturgeon We were ooing and awing at everything, including what I think was a huge albino turtle.
This summer’s attraction was called Venom that displayed all sorts of wonderfully colorful, intriguing and venomous creatures including Spiders, Jelly Fish, Bugs, Scorpions, Poison Dart Frogs, Snakes, Lizards and Fish. I’ll admit I was a little squeamish, but my son loved it.
We also looked through the riverboat museum, explored some wetlands, and took a tour of large 1934 steamer which included seeing the kitchen, bunk rooms, engine room and pilothouse.
TripAdvisor named the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium one of the top ten aquariums and zoos in the U.S. – and it’s right here in our backyard. I encourage you to take advantage of it!
posted by heatherjoy77
My mom and I love to shop. And although the Corridor offers a number of malls and boutiques, nothing beats a power shopping trip to the outlet mall.
Located just 30 miles from the Corridor you’ll find the Tanager Outlet Mall. It offers more than 55 name brand stores including some of my favorites -Old Navy, Carters (although my guy is getting too big), Gap, Bath & Body Works, and Nike. I also like to stop into the toy store and get a jump on birthday and Christmas gifts.
What I love the most about Tanager is it takes advantage of the wonderful area it calls home. It features an Amana Shop where you can buy crafts and food from the area. We partook in some yummy Amana cheese and I bought a bottle of red wine from the local Fireside Winery to enjoy when I returned home.
We often think, let’s go to Tanager… and then dismiss it quickly because we don’t want to drive that far. But honestly it’s not that far – and if you take the Highway 151 South out of Cedar Rapids and drive through the Amanas, it’s a beautiful drive and the reward is well worth it.
posted by heatherjoy77