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06/22/2006 - 8:37 p.m.

ON THE ROAD TO IOWA—PART II

Where to continue to, where to continue to? I thought I was on my way to Coon Rapids but FogieKnight points out that I have forgotten on one of the highlights of the trip: the lunch in Cedar Rapids and the kolaches. (FogieKnight would say that kolaches are a Czech danish. Coming from a different culture, I would swear they are the "cake" hamantashen only shaped differently. Whatever description you chose, they are wonderful.)

Lunch in Cedar Rapids was at Zindrick's, a Czech restaurant. (Are you sensing a theme here? FogieKnight is largely of English heritage but he loves his ¼ Czech part.) The food was wonderful. I had the cabbage roll, which was a little less sweet than my paternal grandmother's stuffed cabbage, but very, very good. The portions were huge so I did not finish it all. FogieKnight, who gets accustomed to a puzzled look from waitresses in Iowa when he asks for something vegetarian, did not get it. She pointed to the mushroom tart and told him they could leave the meat off.

After lunch, we went across the street to the Sykora's bakery and picked up kolaches. We intended to buy a dozen but the woman behind the counter threw in an extra dozen for free. After that, we trailed kolaches like a strange Czech Hansel and Gretel. The kolaches would have been about as helpful as those breadcrumbs if we really had needed help finding our way home---and it wasn't little birds that ate them. It was more like two adult cousins, a friend of FogieKnight's from high school, his wife, and his neighbors, a few people at the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at, and three children.

And off we headed for Coon Rapids, FogieKnight's hometown. (Actually, to be accurate—and I'm all about the accuracy no matter what that man says—he originally lived in Lohrville current population approximately 431, but he did spend a lot of time growing up in Coon Rapids.). We got there just before suppertime but our stomachs were so full we did not have much interest in supper.

After checking into the Garst Farm Resort, a Bed and Breakfast owned and run by FogieKnight's cousins, we headed out to meet one of his high school friends for a drink. I learned of a Coon Rapids custom I had never seen before (but then again, he had not seen it so it must be a new one). People go visiting, take their coolers, and everyone drinks their own beer. We had not been informed so we had no cooler and no beer. I'm not much of a beer drinker anyway so I just had soda. So much for tradition (but it allowed me to stay awake.) The company was pleasant, even before FogieKnight and his friend got back from their mental trip back to high school. We then headed for the River House, which FogieKnight had painted one of the summers when he was working as a house painter (but which, I assume, has been painted since as it did not look run down) and spent a very nice evening with a cousin.

And thus ended Day One of the trip to the old homestead.

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