Our time away was just what my family needed to end the summer before the busy fall schedule begins.
Time in the boats, playing at the sandbar, a peaceful kayak ride to enjoy the beauty of the lake, treasured time with family full of laughter, lots of teasing and enough food to feed the five thousand.
As we puttered along the shore taking in the beautiful scenery, I can't help but notice a pile of beautiful aqua metal yard chairs. The junker in me never really goes on vacation and I'm thinking that since they're sooo close to the lake couldn't that be considered "lakeside clean-up"? (just like curbside clean-up days) Maybe we need to try out a new style of junkin Lora, hook up the pontoon boat! We could be the "Pontoon Pickers"!
J.K. Graves lived on top of the bluffs and worked as a banker below. The long daily buggy rides propmted his idea for an inclined rail car. Originally built for his personal use, he later opened it to the public for five cents a ride.
At the bottom you enter a small wooden car built on an incline to match the grade of the hill. Inside is a bench on either side that is much like steps on a staircase. You pull a bell chord to let them know on top you are ready to leave. During the ride you are hoping that the cable towing you up the hill has recently been inspected.
Once up top you go through the turnstyle and pay your fare. While the rides are no longer five cents, they are still a bargain. My mom, daughter and I rode round trip for five dollars total.
The view from the top, the city below is a beautiful sight to be seen.
The bluff is still home to many gorgeous vintage homes. Daughter and I loved the elevator building with all its vintage details. The bead board walls and ceiling, the operators counter with vintage pulls and fun old light fixtures. Sorry no pics.
The downward ride is fun and a little tense at the same time. Since its origination in 1882, the elevator has suffered two fires with reconstruction and updates along the way, but its vintage charm has remained unchanged.
The "Iowa Tour" began on our way home from Moline, Illinois. This isn't the Antique Archaeology van and you would never find a piece of junk in this truck. It's my Dad's Escalade (he's not a junk lover, can you tell?), but it made for a comfy long trip.
I've never seen an entire episode of the show, only bits and pieces while in the kitchen or folding laundry. I always pictured the site being off a dirt road in the middle of no where. It's actually a block off the main drag (67) going through town. My dad found it as soon as he spotted the iconic Nash car.
We arrived twenty minutes before opening and within minutes carloads of people(tourists, followers, groupies)began arriving and snapping pics like myself. Guess we need a camera crew next time we go junking, Lora.
It was fun to recognize a few items I had watched them pick during the show. We didn't catch them in town, heard they were picking in Wisconsin.
Back in the truck and on to Dubuque!
Our daughter passed the chocolate counter and landed at the kid candy. It's still sold by the pound and placed in individual white paper sacks. She decided on rock candy, fruit slices and gummy flowers.
The old soda fountain is still in place along with the mahogany booths. What a great place this would be to enjoy lunch, taking a break from the busy-ness of today while relaxing in the past. I think I could have spent the day just enjoying the vintage building.
Lagomarcino's has been featured in several magazines like Country Living and Midwest Living just to name a few. Wish I could be in town to see it all decked out for Christmas and Valentine's Day. I guess they go all out in their store windows.
Check back for more posts of my journey ("The Iowa Tour").
This week has found me getting ready for the big weekend! Memorial Weekend in Minnesota is the start of summer. Yes, the kiddos have a couple more weeks of school, but it's time to head to the cabin, or the lake, or the beach for the first visit of the year! For my family, we all converge on a little cabin and boathouse on a little lake, that my Dad built with his Dad and a couple friends, in high school! It is anything but fancy, but it holds many family memories. This year we have a new cousin that's visiting for the first time!
Our weekend will consist of garage saleing in town for the ladies and small children, while the guys head to the golf course. We will fit in some fishing, some swimming, some game playing, and a lot of good food. Memorial Day will be spent listening to some beautiful patriotic music, and appreciating the cost that many took, fighting for the freedoms that we enjoy.
Since I've been in food prep mode, I thought I'd share what I'm bringing to contribute.
Cheryl is a hamburger-loving girl, but I am more of a hot dog girl. My Dad worked at summer carnivals in high school and college, selling old-fashioned hot dogs, and sleeping under his trailer at night. The Shrimp spent a few summers selling foot longs at the Great Minnesota Get Together (the State Fair). My family likes a good hot dog. The other day I stopped into our new neighbor, around the corner from the store, Nortog Meats.
They have samples of their products all along their counter. I tried one of the bits of their old-fashioned weiners, and wow! That is a good hot dog! I decided to get some along with a few of their brats for the cabin weekend.
I love how the hot dogs are all connected, so old fasioned. Reminds me of kids cartoons!
They had a couple different kinds of brats, I just chose the original, but I had to pick up some jerky for Mr. Freckles. He loves gnawing on either the beef version, or the turkey.
Along with the hot dogs and brats for the weekend, I am also bringing some family favorites: Baked Oatmeal, Granola, Rhubarb Crunch Dessert, and a couple more recipes that I will share in my next posts.
If you're needing some great meat to grill, check out Nortog Meats! When you're shopping on our Occasional weekends, check out their lunches. I loved their BBQ pork sandwich. They will also be open on Sundays of Occasional weekend-Yeah!
As I've been watching my own peony plants get bigger by the day, I've been checking Swenson Garden's website, anticipating their amazing Peony Field Tour that I attended last year! Check out last year's post, here. They have planned to open their fields at their home in Howard Lake, MN Memorial Weekend, May 25,26, and 28th. They will probably be adding another weekend. Watch their website and blog for more details. Swensongardens.com I know I want to make plans and swing by on the way to the cabin! If you have a wedding or special party on the horizion, contact Becky about cut flowers! We got a whole load of beautiful blooms for the Shrimp's wedding, and they were amazing!!
Hope you have been able to get your hands dirty in the garden this week!