Sportshow 2019

We finally had a break from this crazy cold winter and thawed out enough to attend the 41st Annual Sportshow at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids.  The annual winter sports show is being held Feb. 8-10, 2019.  My husband and his family are avid fisherman, so this is always a fun event to check out local and regional spots!   Several fishing seminars are planned throughout the event as well.

This year our main interest was a place in Missouri called Mark Twain Lake.  We have relatives that just moved there.  We were excited they had a booth at the show, and what’s this?  A huge waterpark for the kids at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City.  It’s only about a 3 hour drive from us, so it will be added to our bucket list for sure.  The complex has RV hookups, a motel, cabins, condos, and tent camping.

Check out all the fishing equipment at the show!

Fish Eqip

Kayaks

Kayaks

Hobie Pedal Kayaks

There was a great selection of RVs here.  I hope next year the show can get an Airstream trailer in!

RVs

Plenty of boats to look at as well!  We spent quite a bit of time here as my husband and father-in-law are ready to start looking for a new fishing boat to trade up into.

Boats

This was a nice surprise!  An African Safari trip!  We will definitely be checking into this further!

Safari

Golf, anyone?

Golf Cart

Local outfitter Palo Outdoors had a great display, including this hunting equipment.

Palo

Another surprise was these electric bikes at the Kelly’s Auto Center booth.  I would like to ride around town in one of these!

Ebikes

If you go:

Cost of tickets is $6.00 for Adults; Kids 12 and under are free.  Look for a $1 off admission coupon at your local Casey’s store.  Hawkeye Downs is located at 4400 6th St SW in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

https://cedarrapidssportshow.com/

 

Best of 2018

We love to share our favorite places and food finds with other people!  Here are our favorites from 2018!

Best Bike Trail:  Along the Cedar River, whether you are on Ellis Road, going downtown, or on the southwest side of town

Cedar River 2
The Cedar River as seen from the southwest side bike trails

Best Park for hanging out:  Ellis Park.  You have the river, the pool, the basketball court, the playgrounds, the golf course, Shakespeare’s Garden, and all the little off-set areas to explore in as you drive around the park grounds.

Best Event or Fair:  We loved the Bohemian Betty Flea Market held in September.  It was a bit unusual and had really unique items.

Best Pizza:  Mellow Mushroom in Coralville (they have a great gluten/dairy/soy free selection!)

Best Burgers: The Map Room

Saigon
Saigon Burger from the Map Room

Best Non-Burger Sandwich:  Voodoo Chicken at Zepplin’s

Best Wings:  Quinton’s in Cedar Rapids

Best Mexican Restaurant:  El Paraiso  The staff is wonderful!  We have been coming here for so long they remember us not only in the restaurant, but also out in the community when we see them!

Best Chile Verde:  El Pariso  (It is spicy!)

Best Wine Bar:  Tie between Winestyles and Della Viti.  Della Viti is more trendy and you can have partial glasses of wine; Winestyles is more cozy.

Best Beer and Ciders:  Parlor City

Best Margaritas:  El Paraiso (we love this place!)

Best Martini:  White Star Ale House

Best Steakhouse:  Rube’s in Montour.  Worth.The.Drive.

Best Indoor Place for Kids to Play:  Skyzone

Best Outdoor Place for Kids to Play:  Cherry Hill and Ellis Parks and Pools

Best Free Activity for Kids:  Coder Dojo at the Geonetric Building

bigfoot
Bigfoot spotted along Ellis Road

What are your favorite places?  Tell me about them in the comments!

City Bike Trails

Now that the chilly, gray winter is over, our family FINALLY! got out to ride our bikes on the south side trails in Cedar Rapids.  This day was extra special because all four of our kids were able to join us!  You see, our oldest boy turns 21 in a few weeks and will be moving on in the world.

Local Pour

Our first stop of the day was at the new restaurant at 302 3rd Ave SW called Local Pour Street Food. The poutine here is delicious! The corn dogs are literally a foot long, the gyros are fantastic, and everything is exactly what you would expect to find from a food truck. Ask them about their secret menu….

Next we rode over to Czech Village and caught the trail over to the Cedar River.

ConstructionConstruction is in progress to expand the Cedar Lake area.

Bridge

We were excited to see signs posted announcing a new pedestrian bridge that will be built in the near future to allow access across the river.  Check out Project Connect CR here to learn more about the “Sleeping Giant” that will be a magnificent addition to the riverfront.

Mt Trashmore

Mt. Trashmore rises in the distance…..

Critter

Critters on the trail going out to Tait Cummins Sports Complex.

kickstand-e1527820483348.jpg
Photo Credit:  JR Lauritsen

All this riding made us thirsty.  Gotta stop at Kickstand for a Smith and Forge Cider at 203 14th Ave SE for the adults.  (Water and pop for the kiddos!)

After a quick stop at Quentin’s Bar and Grill at 450 1st St SW for some of the best wings in town, we ended our day at Blue 42 (629 Ellis Blvd NW) for burgers and pizza.  Seven hours later, we arrived home.  Tired, sore, and already planning our next outing.  Where should we go next?  Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Fall Scapes

A brilliant person, Ferris Bueller, once said, “Life moves pretty fast and if you don’t take the time to stop and look around you might miss it.”  Well said, Ferris, well said.  I took the time this fall to stop and enjoy the beauty around Eastern Iowa as the leaves changed and a new season began.

5 Seasons Fall
A beautiful fall day in the City of Five Seasons, Cedar Rapids!
Pumpkins
Pumpkin display at the Hy-Vee on Johnson Ave. in Cedar Rapids.
Train Bridge
A view of the train bridge by Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids.
Time Check
Trees change into vibrant colors at Time Check Park in Cedar Rapids.
Wapsi Mill
The Wapsipinicon Mill in Independence.