Author Archives: Anne Ohrt

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

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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Wilkommen zu Maifest!

In case you don’t read German…that is an official welcome to Mayfest in the Amana Colonies, in Amana, IA.

Maifest is the colonies annual celebration of spring and will be held this year May 3rd and 4th.

Maifest is a great reason to visit this wonderful German community, just nestled 20 min southwest of Cedar Rapids.  There is a full weekend of events scheduled and visitors can experience all that Amana has to offer.  The annual Maifest parade will go through Main Amana at 10am on Saturday morning and there is much to do for both adults and children throughout the next 2 days.

I would personally encourage stopping by Millstream Brewery and trying out their delectible beers and sodas.  I am quite partial to the Millstream Root Beer and Black Cherry.  Yummy!

Take the time to visit the Amana Meat Shop, Woolen Mill, and General Store to get the full Amana product selection.  If you have a full day to spend this weekend, make time to sit down to a traditional German family style meal at one of the many excellent resturants in Main Amana.  My all-time favorite is the Brick Haus.  Sit down and enjoy a big bowl full of pickled ham, fresh Amana rye bread and Amana made brats.  Oh..and don’t forget to give Walt a Guten Tag!

I feel blessed to have such a rich heritage based community like the Amanas in the corridor.  My family and my husband’s family are all of German origin, so it is very special to us. 

Froliche Wochenende und hast du viel SpaB in Amana!

Bis spater.

posted by: Anne Ohrt

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Filed under Arts and Music, Celebrating the four seasons, Community Events, Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Shopping, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

Have you…

Considered Iowa ? 

I am pleased to announce the relaunch of the new Consider Iowa site:

This site is a comprehensive site to promote career opportunities that are available in the state of Iowa and also highlights why Iowa is great place to live.

Some of the features that the new site has to offer are:

Job listings

Career Developement Tools

Online Career Seminars

Virtual Company Tours

Community Information for all Major Iowa Cities

Connect with a Career Advisor

Connect with an Iowa Professional using LinkedIn….. and more!

If you are a student in Iowa or looking to take on a new career endeavour, I encourage you to visit the Consider Iowa site.  Iowa is a fantastic place to work and play.  Don’t let anyone ever convince you that there is nothing to do here!   

Consider Iowa…find a lifestyle and a career in this great state I call HOME!

 posted by: Anne Ohrt

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Art in the Depot

What do trains and art have in common? Every April, I get excited when I see the billboards and posters go up around town for the annual Marion Arts Festival. It has been and continues to be an event that my family and I look forward to attending each spring.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday May 17th, 2008 in the quaint park near the Marion Train Depot.  See: for more details.

I have been to many an arts festival, such as the large Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, CA and the Marion Arts festival can certainly hold its own. I appreciate the quality of art that is brought in and the wide range of arts on display. Iowa and the Midwest is blessed with many talented artists, no matter what their medium of choice might be. I particularly like handmade jewelry, and two of my favorite pieces have come from the Marion Arts Festival. I wear them with happy memories of time spent with my husband and a great bag of kettle corn to munch on while we look.

The festival is not only about highlighting midwestern talent, but students from around the area, make bowls from various mediums and you can purchase those. The “Empty Bowl” project raises money for food banks across Linn County. If you don’t like to shop then you can participate in the 5K run. There is something for everyone!

Marion is so close, yet it usually takes this event to get me to drive 15 minutes to enjoy all of what Marion has to offer and to see a great deal of people from the community that I know that have also come out to enjoy the arts!

I encourage you to discover what the Marion Arts Festival has to offer.

posted by: Anne Ohrt

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Trail Blazing

Spring and warm weather is finally upon us! This is a great chance to get outside to take advantage of the fabulous trails in the corridor. 

In a short 15 minutes, I can drive from my house and get my feet, bike, or blades on the Cedar River Trail.  The trail is well maintained, well marked, and very accessible from a number of locations in Cedar Rapids.  It makes for the perfect weekend adventure with my family and has a number of locations were we could stop off and have a picnic if we so choose.

If you have not considered walking, biking or blading on the trail, I would highly recommend it.  The trail is free to use and the time spent with friends or family is priceless.   The trails are for all ages.  On last night’s ride we passed a new rider who still had his training wheels on and a whole family of 8 walking together.  I can’t think of a better way see and experience the beautiful place we live in .

The link below contains maps and more information about the many trails in the area.

Blaze a trail this year and experience the Eastern Iowa Corridor!

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A Great Education

My husband is current less than a year away from completing his Management/PM MBA at the University of Iowa.  YEAH!   While it has taken him two years to get to where he is now, he will tell you that it has been a great haul.  

The flexibility of the courses and scheduling has allowed him to be able to work full-time and attend two classes each semester that meet once a week.  One of the best things about the Tippie MBA program for us is that he does not have to drive to Iowa City for classes, but can stay in Cedar Rapids and attend classes.  He is able to get a world-class education and not spend hours in front of the computer for an on-line program or driving. He has had the chance to learn valuable work applicable skills from great instructors who are currently in the work force themselves.  While he has still had his fair share of homework and tests (yes, you still have these in an MBA program) some of the classes have included on-site field trips to Eastern Iowa companies and hands on skills that he has applied in his current position.

For those that want to get done with the program faster, there are week-long and intersession classes offered in addition to the semester classes.  Want to pursue an MBA, but don’t have time to go to class every semester?  The Tippie MBA program gives you the flexibility to obtain the degree over a 10 year span. 

The Tippie program is also one of the best values for your money and is ranked high amoungst other MBA programs in the country.

The Economist
Top 20 Public U.S.

Financial Times
11th Public U.S.
27th U.S.
45th World

3rd Public U.S.
12th U.S.
2nd Big 10
1st Fastest Payback

U.S. News
Top 25 Public U.S.

Wall Street Journal
16th Regional

University of Iowa’s MBA program is also fully accredited by the AACSB. 

My husband has truly grown as a person and in his professional career while in this program.  He has had the opportunity to work with and build relationships with many other amazing people in the Eastern Iowa work arena, that he might not have even met.   It has broadened his knowledge of managment skills and tools to be a more effective member of his team.    I even have had the chance to work on some assignments with him and hone in on my own skills as he shares with me what he has learned. 

The Tippie MBA program is just another reason why the Eastern Iowa Corridor is a great place to live, ,and grow.  Tippe and the University of Iowa are committed to a quality and comprehensive education for their students and helping them progress in the workforce. 

For more information about the Unversity of Iowa MBA program:

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A Corridor Weekend

I love the weekend! I love to shop on the weekend! I love to shop and be with my husband! Do I have to choose one?

Ok, most of all I love spending time with my husband (99.95% of the time). Somewhere in his head it is quite romantic to spend three to four hours with 70, 585 of your closest friends, while trying to avoid someone stepping on you as they search for their seat, wondering if the third quarter bee is going to sting you, hoping you are really sitting on the correct seat number and praying the guy next to you doesn’t tip his drink over and then your stuff gets all wet and sticky. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?! For many here in Iowa, my husband included; God Bless Iowa and God Bless the Hawkeyes.

Attending Iowa Football games is one of the many sporting events that we are able to enjoy on a regular basis here in the Eastern Iowa Corridor. The University of Iowa has a rich tradition not only in athletics, but also in academics and its health facilities.


Often a day at a Hawk game like today includes not only a great game, but also a chance for me to enjoy some of the great specialty shops and boutiques in the Iowa City/Coralville area.– I have so many favorites here that I don’t know where to start…I will add my favorite ped mall shopping list soon

On any given Saturday we are both in heaven…shopping, football, you name it the Corridor has it.

Tomorrow I am off to a craft show and an antique show. My husband has graciously offered to let tomorrow be a “girls” shopping day for my mom and I. I think the thought of 150 craft booths is a bit daunting for him. I tried to sweeten the deal by reminding him that the craft show was at Carver Hawkeye Arena where his favorite team plays basketball, but that still was not enough to engage him in a couple hours of standing and purse holding. Though I will miss him, we forge ahead in shopping bliss.

How did I find both of these activities for Sunday you ask? Each Thursday, The Cedar Rapids Gazette Weekend paper is full of a wide range of events for all audiences: www.gazetteonline.comIf you can’t find anything to do then you are not looking hard enough!

For example: Like movies and don’t want to pay full price for even a movie?
There are two discount theaters in Cedar Rapids! This particular theater even has real buttered popcorn!

Another great resource for a wide array of events is the Cultural Corridor site:
While my husband would rather go to a football game, I would choose a musical. You are able to find listings for both here. This site has a little bit of everything.

After all my ramblings about Saturday and Sunday, I bet some of you are wondering what we did Friday night. Friday was spent with dinner and a movie which actually is something that we both really enjoy. We had the pleasure of seeing The Final Season which was filmed right here in Eastern Iowa. It was so cool to see my high school on the big screen! My junior English teacher was even in it! It is a beautiful film and a true testament to the realness of the great state of Iowa and the great people that live here. Go to to see the trailer.

I guess that is about it for this weekend. I might have time left over to catch up on some housework, but I would much rather be out and about exploring all of the wonderful events that Eastern Iowa has to offer and enjoying the beautiful colors of fall. If Friday night had offered more hours in it, you might have seen my husband and I swing dancing. I would have been counting out loud and leading and he would have been watching his feet.

Maybe next weekend.

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