July 5, 2024 Adventure

I am sitting at a picnic table looking out on Baring Sever Lake as I write this. Chris and I have eaten our picnic lunch and been down to the waters edge and watched the dragon flies on the lotus flowers and the baby fish swimming in the shallow water. It is so peaceful here listening to the birds chirp and sing, the occasional train whistle and the happy sound of the swimmers and campers.

Our adventure this morning started with us not knowing exactly what we were going to do, but we packed a picnic lunch and headed out. The day started as many of our days off do, with a trip to a thrift store. We went to The Closet in Edina and found a few items we could not leave without, then we randomly headed north.

We did not have a destination in mind, but quickly decided Baring Sever was the place to go. Now we are ready to head on further in our adventure. Not entirely sure where we are headed…

Our adventure took us to Rutledge for a little shopping at Zimmerman’s Store, and we checked out the new appliance store. They have some very nice appliances at what I think are decent prices. We also went to a thrift store in Rutledge. We did not know they had one, but I heard someone ask the girl at the register at Zimmerman’s. It is a very nice, well stocked little store, run on the honor system! I found a very nice 64 oz. vintage Stanley Aladdin Thermos for $2.00.

From Rutledge we drove onto Memphis and checked out their thrift store, but neither one of us found anything we had to bring home. We left Memphis without any other destinations in mind, but decided to “wander” home instead of coming directly.

We ended up in Cantril, IA at the Dutchman’s Store; did a little shopping and got ice cream cones. With that important purchase consumed, we resumed our wandering and ended up at Athens State Historic Site. 

It was a beautiful evening for a leisurely walk through the park. After exploring and taking several pictures we took a direct route home and arrived about 8:00 pm.

There is nothing I would rather do on a holiday off from work than spend it on a adventure with Chris. Whether that adventure takes us many miles from home, or we stay relatively close like today.

Rocket Launch Adventure May 17 & 18, 2024

Chris and I made a quick trip to Cedar Rapids, IA this weekend for a rocket launch on Saturday. We left late Friday afternoon and arrived in Cedar Rapids around 7:00, just in time to enjoy a Jamaican Beef Patty at NewBo City Market. After we ate and enjoyed some open air live music, that was very good, we headed to our hotel. We stayed at an Avid hotel, it was our first time staying in one, but it will not be our last. All the reviews said how clean it was and the real deal did not disappoint. The room was very comfortable, it may have been a little small, but I can live with a smaller room for the cleanliness of the whole facility. They also provided a very acceptable breakfast in the morning.

Saturday we did a little exploring of the area between Cedar Rapids and Fairfax before the rocket launch was scheduled to start. That is such a pretty area and we always discover something new to see and enjoy. We arrived at the launch site about 9:30 am and they were set up and already launching. It did not take Chris long to get some rockets prepped and ready to fly. It was starting to get windy, so Chris did not waste anytime launching, because we knew the wind was supposed to increase as the day went on. It was a good thing he got started when he did, because by noon they were shutting down, with the wind gusting up to 26 miles an hour.

Chris adds: The launch we attended was hosted by the Fairfax Society of Rocketry; it was their “Spring Fling” event, and this was the first time we’ve attended, though I’ve flown at their October “Hocus Pocus” launch twice.  It was an enjoyable launch, but was windy enough that we had to end it early.  I left one rocket behind, having managed to find the only tree in a mile.  If you’re interested, I’ve created a detailed launch report on my rocketry blog site.

We might be stuck in a rut, but we went back to NewBo for another Jamaican Beef Patty for lunch. We don’t usually eat the same thing two days in a row, but that is the only place we know to get them and we don’t get up there very often. I am going to have to try making some one of these days.

After lunch we started meandering our way home. Friday we went directly taking the Interstate, but we took smaller roads heading home. They are so much more interesting! We ended up stopping in Riverside for a bathroom break, and decided on the spot to look up Captain James T. Kirk’s birthplace. For anyone who is not a Star Trek fan, Riverside, IA is the future birthplace of Jim Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise. The town embraces their place in history and has ran with the Star Trek theme.

Heading on home on the byways of Iowa we decided to take a small detour and go to Oakland Mills. We had not been there for many years, sometime before 2020. We discovered that the little Rock Cafe that we had enjoyed was no longer there, but there is a food truck that supplies very good food and they have a comfortable outdoor dining area. From there we went back into Mount Pleasant and hit the Interstate to get home. It was getting later in the evening and we had to get the car unloaded and everything put away after we got home.

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Now that the weather has gotten nice, hopefully we will soon be taking more adventures that we can share with our friends.

Kansas City, November 1 to 4, 2023

Well Chris and I have been on the road again! This past Wednesday we headed to Kansas City for a few days. I had a conference on Thursday for School Board Secretaries at the Kansas City Convention Center, so Wednesday was our travel day. We loaded up the car and headed out in the morning and arrived in Kansas City that afternoon, after only one unnecessary stop at an antique store. Chris found a book by one of his favorite dead authors, so it was a successful shopping trip.

The accommodations provided for the night before the conference are at the Marriott Downtown Kansas City, which is a very nice hotel. We enjoy getting out and walking around the city, but Wednesday was a little chilly, so we did not do as much walking as we would have liked. There are so many places to eat in the area, and we like to try different places, so we did explore enough to find a very interesting bar/restaurant for dinner and a nice coffee shop for breakfast the next morning. Last year we really enjoyed the Power and Light District, but it was just too cool this year for us to enjoy being out after dark.

We were quite close to the downtown branch of the Kansas City Public Li持久液

We chose the Milwaukee Delicatessen for dinner in a refurbished old downtown building that has been restored to accentuate its history while still providing modern necessities. Here’s a link to their page detailing the history of the building and business: https://milwaukeedelikc.com/history/

We particularly admired the ornate ceiling:

And here’s an exterior view of the building:

We enjoyed wonderful food and met a couple of friendly out-of-towners while sitting at the bar, the only seats in the busy establishment, all the while absorbing the welcoming atmosphere of the historic place and easily imaging how it was back in the day. After our satisfying and enjoyable visit to the Milwaukee Delicatessen, we headed back to the hotel to call it a day.  The view from our window was quite pretty:

Here’s the view on Thursday morning:

After a good night’s sleep, we got up on Thursday morning and headed to Mildred’s Coffee Shop for breakfast. The Marriott does serve a fairly nice breakfast, but for the price they charge we decided we could explore a little and enjoy some of the what the locals have to offer. Mildred’s did not disappoint. When we were done with breakfast it was time to walk back to the hotel and get the bags ready for check out. Then I headed to the conference which is basically across the street from the Marriott, and Chris headed out for the day on his own, until 3:00, when he had to pick me up at the Convention Center.

Chris adds: Last year I found it challenging to “waste” the time between Tracy going to her conference in the morning and me picking her up in the afternoon. This time I put out a call on my role-playing game group to see if there was anyone who was willing and able to take off a few hours in the middle of a working day to play games, and in fact three people showed up for a session at Mission: Board Games in Mission, Kansas from 10:00am to 2:00pm. As that store is connected directly to a coffee shop, we were able to eat there and not lose too much playing time. I enjoyed it, and I think the players did too; they indicated interest in doing it again, so we’ll see if I can pull it off again next year. Afterward, I made it back to the Convention Center in plenty of time to pick up Tracy.

When Chris picked me up after the conference, which was fantastic as expected, we headed out to our new accommodations for the next couple of nights, the Independence Drury. We always try to stay in the Independence area, as our friends Dave and Angie live near there. We checked in and just rested from the day we had both had until it was time to meet Dave and Angie for dinner. We ate at The Corner Cafe, where Dave suggested and as it was a less than 5 minute walk from our hotel we readily agreed.

After dinner, they came back to our hotel and we visited for the rest of the evening in the very comfortable lobby. Dave and Angie are those friends that we only see once or twice a year, but every time we get together it is like we just saw one another last week. We made plans to meet for dinner the next evening at Lions Choice. Lions Choice is our favorite St. Louis area fast food restaurant and we were so happy to discover at least two now in the Kansas City area.

Friday morning we woke up to a cool damp morning, but that did not change our plans of going to Parkville, MO in search of a rescued bridge for Chris to see. I will let him explain all about the bridge, but I will say it was a very unique bridge in a cute park with very nice walking paths, and we enjoyed exploring the park and examining and photographing the bridge. The weather was improving and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

Chris adds: The bridge at Parkville is a Waddell “A” Frame truss, one of just two known to exist in the US. It started life as a railroad bridge, was sold to the state and re-used on a county road, and after being dismantled it laid in a DOT yard for a couple of decades before Parkville decided they needed a bridge for their park. Engineering students, contractors, and volunteers helped reassemble the bridge in the park. I’m kind of a bridge geek, I suppose, but I really enjoyed seeing it first-hand; it’s bigger than you’d think from looking at the picture.

Parkville also had some interesting statues carved from tree stumps in the park:

This eagle was placed perfectly to get a photo with the bridge in the background:

Last year on one of our two trips to Kansas City we discovered The Roasterie Cafe, a coffee shop that is attached to a roasting facility which gives tours of the roasting, bagging and shipping process. I wanted to do a tour then, but we did not have time as we had to pick Taylor up shortly. The building would have been hard to miss as it has an airplane on the roof!

When we drove past it last year, I recognized it immediately because the hotel we had stayed in the night before served their coffee and had a poster on the wall by the coffee maker. I had really liked the coffee, so I was happy to discover I could get some of their coffee to bring home. Jump to this trip to Kansas City, the only item I had on my agenda was a tour of the facility and even though he does not like coffee, Chris was ready and willing to do the tour. We learned a lot about what goes into sourcing, roasting, bagging, shipping and delivering a very popular coffee product.

Their first roaster, “Baby”

The new ones are a bit bigger:

Here’s a view of a larger area of the Roasterie:

One of the other people in the tour group we were in is a journalism student and was on the tour to write a story about The Roasterie for her class. She wanted to interview some of the others on the tour, especially people from out of town. Chris and I both agreed to the interview when she asked and she told me she would share her article when it gets published on her schools website. When I get access to the link, I will share it here so anyone who wants to can read it. Of course I bought coffee to bring home, but I am happy to know I can order this coffee and have it delivered anytime I want it.

When we were finished at The Roasterie, it was time to start looking for somewhere to have lunch. Chris wanted to go to the Micro Center and a gaming store in Overland Park, KS, so we headed in that direction and just watched for some place that looked interesting to eat. We found a Mexican restaurant, La Fuente Mexican Street Food, located in the same shopping center as the Micro Center. Since we both love street tacos it was an easy decision where to eat. We were not a bit disappointed, but the tacos were much messier than we are used to getting. After Chris explored the Micro Center and I went to an antique store nearby, we decided it was time to find some thrift stores and we did, we bought a couple of small things, but neither one of us found anything we really “needed”. By now it was time to head back to Independence and meet up with Dave and Angie again. Once again after eating we came back to the hotel and visited until almost midnight, since nobody had to be up early on Saturday.

Saturday morning we woke up to another cold and rainy day, but there was a difference from Friday, it stayed cold and rainy for the remainder of our time in the area. After breakfast and loading the car, we once again headed to Kansas to find a couple more bridges Chris wanted to see. We did detour to the downtown Kansas City, MO area to experience the City Market, a daily market that has both outdoor framers market booths and permanent indoor booths, stores and restaurants. We did quite a bit of shopping here and came home with some spices, teas and sodas to enjoy over the next weeks and months.

I got some tea at this stand.  There were a lot of varieties to choose from!

I had actually seen this streetcar earlier in Kansas City but this was the first good opportunity to photograph it.

Then it was on to Kansas to find the bridges.  Both were easy to find and Chris had a great time examining their construction and marveling over the fact they were both built from scraps of a bridge that had been taken out of service.

Chris adds: The first one we looked up was in a park in Troy, Kansas, and it’s another Waddell “A” frame. Remember I said there were only two? I was really happy to get to see them both. This smaller one was apparently built from parts taken from another bridge, which is itself kind of amazing to me.

Troy is the county seat of Doniphan County and has a nice looking courthouse, so we stopped and photographed the courthouse and looked at the military memorials in the courtyard along with a carved statue that had been donated to the county.

Here’s a bit about the statue:

The second bridge was just a few miles from Troy, so we found it in just a few minutes after leaving town. A short section of  the road we took from the second bridge site heading into St. Joseph was signed as being an original part of the Pony Express Route.

Chris adds: This bridge was also built out of pieces; specifically, the end panels of a larger “camelback” truss. It was very cool to see it.

We once again went looking for thrift stores in St. Joseph and we found several. This time we made a few small purchases but no big finds. I enjoy finding good quality kitchen items at thrift store prices and I found a couple, including a Henckels Classic 6 inch chef knife. I really like good quality kitchen knives and I have gotten several at thrift stores that just needed sharpening, but this one isn’t even completely dull. I will sharpen it and have it ready to go for when I want to use it.

It was now getting late in the afternoon, so we decide to eat lunch and then head home. We ate at PepperJax Grill and had an amazing Philly steak sandwich and some pretty good french fries. Instead of taking Highway 36 we took Missouri Highway 6 home, which was much more interesting. We took the time to drive around in most of the small towns we went through and Trenton was by far the most interesting to us. We are planning to go back in warmer weather and do some more exploring.

This mural is quite cool.

They have a large historical museum with buildings on both sides of the street.  This was the scene behind the main building:

When we got home it was unpacking and laundry time. I got most of the laundry done before we went to bed Saturday night, but I did have a little to finish up Sunday morning. We also remembered to set our clocks back, so we got an extra hour of sleep to recover from out adventure. Now to wait and see what adventures the future holds for us.

October 27, 2023

Today is not an adventuring or roaming day. It is a stay at home and be lazy day for me, and a take Mom to the doctor day for Chris. It is not a very pretty day outside and it is getting colder rapidly, but I am still loving the day. We are finally going to have Chris’ birthday meal this evening, almost a month late.

Chris’ birthday was last month and we celebrated by going to the QU Balloon Glow with our kids. Then the next day we went on a one day adventure to Oskaloosa, IA and Chris got sick! It was a long miserable trip home for him. Taylor, also, had made reservations and bought the tickets for us to go on the Dick Brother’s Brewery tunnels tour the next day, and he thought he was going to have to miss that. He did get to feeling good enough to go on the brewery tour, so I drove and we came straight home after the tour, which was very cool. Thank you very much Taylor, Tristan, and Sierra for making it such an enjoyable event. The only down side was that they do not allow photos in the tunnels.

By the time Chris was feeling well enough to think about having a family meal, his mom, Betty Jo, was having shoulder replacement surgery, and she wasn’t up to it for a few days. Between work and some other plans we had, we were not able to schedule his meal until today. The kids won’t be able to be there because of a family event with Tristan’s family, but that is okay as we spent his birthday with them, and a few other times with them over the last few weeks. So tonight it will be us and The Moms.

Since I did not have to work today, I got up this morning and put a beef roast in the crock pot with all the fixings to make a nice gravy and started it cooking. Then I made a batch of Chris’ favorite homemade bread. By the way, as I write this the house smells amazing from the bread I just baked and the simmering beef. Later today I will cook potatoes and make mashed potatoes and maybe a veggie. Chris will finally get his requested hot beef plate birthday meal. His ice cream cake will have to wait, because I forgot to get it started a couple of days ago, and it can’t be rushed.

Now to wait for Chris and Betty Jo to get back from Hannibal 犀利士5mg to pick me up and meet Mom at Betty Jo’s and enjoy Chris’ birthday meal with The Moms.

October 20-22, 2023 — Adventure!

Chris and I spent the weekend in Cedar Rapids, IA. This is the second year we have gone up for the Fairfax, IA model rocket club’s fall launch. Since there are no local model rocket clubs, Chris launches with the Fairfax group and with a club from Macomb, IL so he does not have to launch on his own. Launching models rockets on his own would not be a bad thing, but we do not have the large wide open piece of ground that would be needed.

We spent Friday night in Cedar Rapids because the launch was supposed to be Saturday starting at 9 am, but the wind was blowing so much it was postponed to Sunday morning. Good thing we had made plans to spend Saturday night in Cedar Rapids also. This schedule change worked out great because the wind speed was very low on Sunday.

With the launch postponed we had all day Saturday to explore the area and visit some of our favorite places. Since it was chilly and windy in the morning, we started the day with a drive around the outskirts of town and saw some beautiful countryside. The fall colors were absolutely stunning. After driving around for a while we decided it was warm enough to go to our favorite area of Cedar Rapids, Czech Village and New Bohemia. They are neighboring areas separated by a river and referred to together as The District. They are both beautiful old neighborhoods that are thriving with retail businesses, bars, and restaurants. There are many different types of stores including antique stores, which we both enjoy. Although this trip neither one of us found any treasures to bring home.

We also enjoy the NewBo City Market very much. It is a large building with spaces for many small businesses to have a “store front” location. There are some really good places to eat there, our favorites being the Caribbean Kitchen for the Jamaican Beef Patties and Roaster Coffee for tea! Chris likes the Chai Frappe and I like the London Fog. This time we also indulged with a Dutch Letter from the Amana Colonies Bakery.

After spending a few hours enjoying The District, we found a few thrift stores to check out. Neither one of us had any major finds just a few small things. I did get a small hand carved nativity that is signed and dated to add to my collection. We finished up the day with supper at Sugarfire BBQ and a little shopping. Then we headed back to the hotel to rest up for Sunday.

We woke up to a very chilly Sunday morning, but it was sunny and clam. After we got the car packed up, we headed back to Czech Village and Czech Town Station for breakfast. It did not disappoint! This was the first time we had tried this res威而鋼
taurant, but we will go back. After fueling up for the day, it had warmed up a bit and we headed to the Fairfax launch site.

It was a perfect day for flying model rockets, sunny and not too cold and the wind was very calm. I think all the rocketeers got to launch everything they wanted. As usual some recovered unharmed but other came back with some damage. All in all I think everyone had an enjoyable day. I know Chris did and I had a good time photographing it all.

While we were at NewBo City Market on Saturday, I was talking to one of the vendors selling home décor, including framed photos. She had a photo of a lovely old bridge and I asked if it was local and still standing; it was and still being used! She gave us the name of the bridge and general directions for finding it, and that is what we did after the rocket launch ended. And, as we were enjoying brisket at Sugarfire on Saturday evening, Chris saw a Facebook post our friend Joe had tagged him in about a rescued bridge that had been moved to a nature center in Cedar Rapids, so we went on a short hike Sunday afternoon and visited this bridge also. For those of you who don’t know, Chris loves the old iron bridges and photographing them. He really enjoys it when he finds a design he has never seen before, and these two bridges were the same design and one he have never seen before. He thinks they are probably the oldest bridges he has photographed as they were both over 140 years old. The bridges were fabulous and Chris was thrilled with getting to see them.

We had a fantastic weekend with memories made, good food consumed, last year’s acquaintances a little closer to being friends and new acquaintances made. We want to thank the Fairfax Society of Rocketry for making these two Missourians feel so welcome and wanted at their events. Here’s to the spring launch!

September 29, 2023

One of the reasons Tracy and I started this blog is to help us remember where we went, and when, and what we saw (and might want to explore further).  To help with this we’ll be retrieving some of our older posts from 犀利士
Facebook and sharing them here.  Even if you’ve seen this post by Tracy on her Facebook page, you may find a couple of new pictures below.

Yesterday was Chris’ birthday and we have been celebrating him. Last evening we went to the Balloon Glow at QU and met Taylor, Tristan and Sierra there. We enjoyed an evening of fair food, family, friends and glowing balloons.

Today Chris and I took the day off and went on a road trip. Our first stop was for lunch in Ottumwa at Canteen Lunch In The Alley. If you have never been you need to go. It is an amazing little place that has been in business for almost 100 years. To find it you need to know that it has had a parking structure built over it. It is in the alley under the parking structure. The first time we found it was pure luck. They only serve loose meat sandwiches and pie, but they are so good it doesn’t matter.

Our next stop, and real destination, was Oskaloosa, Iowa for a little exploring. We have been there before, but had never taken the time to explore and enjoy the down town area. Today we took plenty of time to explore and enjoy.

Oskaloosa has a very pretty park in the center of their square, which features this statue of Chief Mahaska:

And the very pretty bandstand behind it:

We went to the Smokey Row Coffee Shop and I took this photo from the balcony.  It’s a really neat place.

Among their decoration is this telephone booth:

Here’s a photo from the front.  It’s a very inviting place.

Here’s the coffee shop from the front.  The Book Vault next door is a really interesting place, a bookstore in an old bank building.

Their county courthouse, unlike most around here, isn’t in the middle of the square but instead is off to the side:

And this is one of several alleys they have redecorated as outdoor gathering and eating areas.