Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Family History Writing Challenge

The Family History Writing Challenge takes place in February, and for the 6th year in a row I participated again. Basically you commit to writing about your family every day for 28 days. I had to miss 4 days as I was up in Iowa creating new family stories, so I will continue on past today with those posts. This year I wrote about the Kubler family. If you are interested in what the challenge is all about, you can find my posts here.

Before we left for Iowa, I was looking for a couple of fun places to stop on the way up to my in-law's house. Because Kirby always made this trip with us, it has been helpful to break out of our old routine and go places we could never go when he came along with us. I came across a website called Roadside America. What a fun site! You enter the state you will be traveling through, and it gives you a listing of all the oddities in that state. You can look at the attractions located in an alphabetical listing of town names, or you can review the attractions pinned on a map so you can see which ones are on the route you will be driving.

That is how we came to stop at the Swedish Heritage Museum located in Swedesburg, Iowa. You can see the Julbock (straw goat) and sign from Highway 218, so we have driven past this over 100 times in the years we have lived in St. Louis. But we never took the time to stop. Originally my thought was to just grab a quick picture, but we ended up going into the museum as well.

Am I ever glad we did! The docent was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and we enjoyed getting to know the origins of the town and the Swedish people who settled in the area. The antiquities included in the museum are amazing. There were no photos allowed inside, but I was amazed at the quality and quantity of items that have been donated by local family members. The general store and tinsmith shop certainly take you back in time.
Swedish Heritage Museum
Roadside America also led us to a new place for lunch - The Flying Wienie in Cedar Rapids. You can't make this stuff up...After photographing the exterior, we went inside to presumably order a wienie. We were not expecting the variety of options on the menu. In the end, my husband could not turn down an Iowa pork tenderloin sandwich, and I was lured by the smell of the Italian beef sandwich. The choices we made were good, but not great, so if we ever stop again we'll go for the hotdogs.

Flying Wienie
If you ever decide to visit Cedar Rapids, I am including a little tip for you below. Because if you have a flying wienie, it's always good to know where to park it.

Wienie parking

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