Oakland, Iowa, to host ‘Junkapalooza’ festival Sept. 13-14

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Oakland, Iowa, is home to the Nishna Heritage Museum and the Heritage Garden. The community was hit by an EF-2 tornado last spring. As the Pottawattamie County community rebuilds, its heritage garden needs help. That’s where Junkapalooza 2014 fits in. It’s a flea-market-type festival with food vendors and vendors selling merchandise that is vintage, antique,… Continue Reading …

Whole Foods’ samples lead to global lesson

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As far as product samples go, Whole Foods Market rates high. We took a walking tour through the Omaha store during its “Sampling Saturday.” The name doesn’t really fit what the store is about. As you sample the items, the employee will offer recipe suggestions or answer questions. They’re very good at their job, as… Continue Reading …

The Machine Shed’s menu can make any farmer proud

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  We were told to try The Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale, Iowa, because they had outstanding barbecue. Following our visit to the Living History Farms next door, we sat down to a nice lunch. Lisa had BBQ pulled pork and I had the barbecue brisket sandwich. Both entrees were large. They each came with… Continue Reading …

Historic Valley Junction offers unique shopping, excellent dining

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West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction offers some unique shopping opportunities, as well as some excellent dining options. Valley Junction is the original downtown for the city. The area saw success after the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad moved its roundhouse, switch yard and repair shop here. The area recognizes its railroad history with… Continue Reading …

Living History Farms is a great trip back in time in Des Moines area

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Take a step back in time at the Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa. The farm complex actually consists of three farming periods – 1700 Native American, 1800 settler and 1900 farmstead – and an 1875-era town. The thing that stands out about the complex is the re-enactors. They dress for the era they represent… Continue Reading …

National Balloon Museum covers ballooning history

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Did you know that the first balloon flight carrying a human occurred in 1783 in Paris, France? This was new to me. But, after visiting the National Balloon Museum in Indianola, Iowa, I learned that and much more about ballooning. The national museum is located in Indianola because the area is home to some of… Continue Reading …

National Balloon Classic takes off with us

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About 75 balloons lifted off the ground for a mass ascension the day we attended the National Balloon Classic in Indianola, Iowa. We attended the 2010 International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM, so I set my expectations based on that experience. I didn’t know if I’d be impressed watching 75 balloons take off after having… Continue Reading …

Hiro88 and Cupcake Omaha host Omaha Bloggers Birthday!

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It has been 1 year ago this week that the Omaha Bloggers Network was formed.  We came together this past Sunday at Hiro88 in the Old Market to celebrate. They hosted us to a fabulous array of appetizers and boatloads of sushi. To top it all off, with any celebration, there must be cake and… Continue Reading …

‘Cowboy’ time in St. Joe

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As a onetime “Cowboy,” a stop at the Stetson outlet store in St. Joseph was eventually going to happen. As a kid, I wanted to be a cowboy. My nickname in Kennard was “Cowboy.” When I learned how to ride a bicycle, shoe strings were attached to the handle bar as reins. Halloween costume? Easy.… Continue Reading …

Scupltures, architecture highlight St. Joseph downtown

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St. Joseph’s downtown offers a lot of architecture history to enjoy. We took a couple of strolls through the downtown area, taking in the sights. Along the way, we tried to spot as many sculptures as we could on the city’s Sculpture Walk, a local downtown art project. During its heyday, the city was on… Continue Reading …