End Of An Era – Surf Ballroom

Each decade seems to bring its own musical trend. The 1940s were all about the Big Band sound that inspired a generation of crooners. When the 1950s rolled in, the sounds of Rock 'n Roll vied with the previous decade's hits for airtime. Much like other passing trends, the popularity of this new sound created the end of an era for Swing music. New faces were becoming stars and they were eager to get in front of their fans. For years, the Surf Ballroom was an important step in the progress to gain national fame. Stars from all music genres scheduled shows at [...]

By |2021-09-17T05:57:20-06:00September 17th, 2021|Clear Lake, Iowa, Midwest|2 Comments

River City Stop – Music Man Square

My mother introduced me to the wonder of musicals, which served as a form of family entertainment, during my younger days. It seems that the golden age of musicals must have peaked by the beginning of the 1960s. That doesn't mean that no good films came out in this genre after that period. An example of a later addition, and one of my personal favorites, is The Music Man. To this day I will put down the remote when I come across this classic. Just the mention of the title has the melody of "Seventy-Six Trombones" running through my mind. That alone is [...]

By |2021-08-24T06:17:14-06:00August 24th, 2021|Iowa, Mason City, Midwest|12 Comments

Tulip Time Trek In Pella, Iowa

We find that festivals are an excellent way to really experience the culture of a city. With a distinctly Dutch heritage, we couldn't wait to explore Pella, Iowa. Taking a Tulip Time trek to this central Iowa town was a chance to learn more about these descendants of people from the Netherlands. With little knowledge of their traditions, we hoped to immerse ourselves in the food, art, history, and entertainment. The Tulip Time event focuses on the abundant blooms that are found all around town. It certainly adds pops of color to their annual festival. We want to thank Visit Pella and the [...]

By |2021-09-09T14:15:46-06:00August 17th, 2021|Guides, Iowa, Midwest, Pella|2 Comments

Legendary Gunslinger – Wyatt Earp Experience

Wandering through the vast displays of beautiful tulips, we found ourselves immersed in the Dutch heritage of Pella, Iowa. Little would we imagine that this humble Midwestern city has a connection with the rowdy, wild west. Yet, as we made our way through the Pella Historical Village, we happened upon a house that at one time was called home by the legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp. There was no way we were going to pass up checking out the Wyatt Earp Experience, which had just recently opened. We want to thank Visit Pella and the Pella Historical Village for their hospitality. Rest assured all [...]

By |2021-07-30T05:55:25-06:00July 30th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|6 Comments

Preserving Traditions – Pella History Village

Seeing a new destination through the eyes of others will reveal stories that are waiting to be discovered. We find that digging into the history will give us a chance to learn how communities are preserving traditions. Pella, Iowa is steeped in Dutch culture that can sometimes seem strange to Midwesterners, but at the same time intriguing. A visit to the Pella Historical Village allowed us to watch some of their unique skills being put to use. We want to thank Visit Pella and the Pella Historical Society for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.  Milling Around It's easy to [...]

By |2021-07-13T06:12:59-06:00July 13th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|4 Comments

Charcuterie Trail – Tastes Of The Heartland

No matter where we travel, we know that food will be involved. After all, everyone needs to eat to survive. That doesn't mean it has to be boring. For us, the culinary adventure is a large part of our explorations. When we were in the midst of planning our trip to Oskaloosa and Pella, we discovered a plethora of unique dishes. With the resurgence of tapas-style dining growing in popularity, we decided to embark on a Charcuterie Trail. This would certainly provide us with a sampling of the tastes of the heartland. We want to thank Mahaska Chamber and Visit Pella for their [...]

By |2021-06-22T06:40:05-06:00June 22nd, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Oskaloosa, Pella|2 Comments

Scholte House Museum – Finding New Freedoms

While religious persecution was not unknown in Europe, Holland had long been a refuge of safety. By the mid-1800s, this dynamic changed. It signaled the beginning of an exodus for those seeking refuge. A group of about 800 immigrants set sail for America with hopes of a better life. Hendrik Scholte, their religious leader or Dominie, promised his wife a life that would equal that which they were leaving behind. Although they would face hardships it would end up being a promise kept by the founder of Pella, Iowa. Our visit to the Scholte House Museum would educate us on this interesting family. [...]

By |2021-06-04T04:05:57-06:00June 8th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|2 Comments

A Day Downtown – Exploring Oskaloosa, Iowa

Long ago, we discovered that the downtown is the center of a community. The very pulse of the city can be felt in this area. The towns that embrace this idea are the ones where you will find a vibrant and thriving society. Our visit to Oskaloosa, Iowa only allowed for one day downtown, but we were determined to make the most of it. It never ceases to amaze us with the variety we find in the places we visit. Oskaloosa was no exception. The citizens have embraced their history and it has propelled them to create an inviting space that offers visitors [...]

By |2021-09-09T14:14:48-06:00June 4th, 2021|Guides, Iowa, Midwest, Oskaloosa|10 Comments

Getting Our Dutch Fix – Pella, Iowa

We have had the opportunity to sample a wide range of cuisines, but Dutch had escaped our taste buds. It took a visit to Pella, Iowa for us to savor this particular style of dishes. Dropping by for Tulip Time allowed us to immerse ourselves in the culture and flavors of this particular fare. With only a couple of days to check it out, we wanted to get our Dutch Fix every chance we got. The city is filled with tasty opportunities, but we focused our attention on the downtown square. We want to thank Visit Pella for their hospitality. Rest assured all [...]

By |2021-05-21T06:18:32-06:00May 21st, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Pella|6 Comments

Life In The Heartland – Nelson Pioneer Farm

It is a simple fact that the Midwest was settled by farmers. The fertile lands of the Central Plains are often referred to as the "Breadbasket of America". Being natives of this region, we enjoy visiting sites that tell the stories of these fruitful laborers. Oskaloosa is home to the Nelson Pioneer Farm & Museum, which showcases life in rural Iowa and the occupations that were needed for survival. Over a dozen buildings have been assembled on the acreage that the Nelson family settled only a year after the land was opened. We dropped by to explore the spaces and learn more about [...]

By |2021-05-18T04:29:36-06:00May 18th, 2021|Iowa, Midwest, Oskaloosa|10 Comments
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