Wednesday, September 21, 2022

There's no place like home!

Unbelievable charcuterie boards by The Hangry Lady, Cedar Rapids.

After we left Wakarusa we spent a few days in Iowa while we were somewhat close. Our first stop was supposed to be Cedar Rapids but no sites over the weekend at any campground. We went past Cedar Rapids to Ottumwa where we parked our RV in Pat's Mom's driveway, our next stop. 

On Friday we headed back to Cedar Rapids to attend BrewNost with Chris and some of his friends. It is a yearly fundraiser for the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids. It was spectacular! There was entertainment, lots of delicious food, great company, and if you couldn't tell by the name BEER. Actually, lots of beer tents with a lot of different kinds of beer. There was also hard cider, wine, spirits, a silent and live auction. If you were in need they even provided LIFT rides after.

Amber, Kelley and Chris were high bidders at the live auction for a beer-cave tour in Iowa City.  Kelley is founder of Gia's Italian Kitchen. Check out on-line cooking.

I can't wait to hear about the beer caves. During the mid to late 1800's various breweries in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids made man-made tunnels, some as far as 30' underground, to age and store their beer casks. Some were multi stories and others just single. Not many people get to go down there so this will be quite a treat!

Fill 'em up!

Wine and spirits by Cedar Ridge Winery.

The hill in the background is Mt. Trashmore.

Amber, Kelley, and Chris were high bidders for the beer-cave tour for 16 people in Iowa City.  Two photo bombers in the back, Peter and Tyler.

Saturday we went to Cedar Ridge Winery for pizza.  

On our way back to Ottumwa we passed through the town of What Cheer. A coal mining town with a population of nearly 3,200 in the 1890's and a current population of  607. Built in a Romanesque Style in 1893 by the Masonic lodge, the What Cheer Opera House has served as a clubhouse, auditorium, music facility and cinema. Notable performers over the years have included Porter Wagner, Hank Williams Jr., Guy Lombardo, and John Philip Sousa.

What Cheer Opera House

It can seat 560.

It was wonderful to go home and spend time with Pat's Mom Mary, his sisters, and one brother who all still live there. No trip would be complete without a Happy Joe's special (ham and sauerkraut) and a trip to the famous Canteen. They have the best loose-meat sandwiches!  People come for miles and even have them shipped.

The Canteen was such an icon that when they built the downtown parking garage they built it over the Canteen rather than demolish it. 

Where are the Piepers now? Carlock, IL


  1. We had a lovely time with you at Brew Nost! Thank you so much for the mention! Look forward to next time! Let me know when you want to do a Private a group Cooking Class!

    1. We enjoyed meeting you both! The cooking class looks like it would be so much fun.