Birds, Changes in CR, & Cool Cars

Nuthatch leaving the feeder with the goods.

As usual its been a busy week. Still catching up with friends and just generally running around. John gave me bird feeder for Mother’s Day and we’ve had fun watching all the activity. We’ve had cardinals, tufted titmouse, goldfinches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and the bluejays and redwing blackbirds give it a try. The bigger birds don’t really fit on the feeder buts its funny watching them try. I’m having fun photographing them too, hope you enjoy the photos.


tufted titmouse

Mr Cardinal
This weekend we spent some time in and around downtown Cedar Rapids. Since last August a lot has changed which is refreshing. In 2008 this city suffered a 500 year flood. The river in the downtown area was a mile across. That was 5 years ago. We left on our travels in 2010 and each year we have watched the recovery. What was so discouraging is how little had changed the 1st two summers back. There were still many abandon homes and buildings that needed to come down. By the time we left last August we did notice some of that starting to change and its been 8 months since we’ve been back and we are really seeing a turn around. Downtown they have revitalized the New Bohemia area and Czech Village. One of our favorite new additions is a permanent farmer’s market called Newbo Market. It reminds us of the market we visited in Napa CA but on a smaller scale. It has a produce vendor, pasta vendor, organic dairy, bakery, spices and about 4-5 places to eat.  Then other vendors set up right outside during the good weather months. Its a great place to shop. Also in this area is our favorite  bar/restaurant Parlor City. 
My favorite place to shop!
Outside the market

Polka Band in Czech Village

Czech Village is another little area of CR that was devastated in the flood but much of it has been cleaned up and businesses are back. It was Houby Days (mushroom celebration) in the village this weekend so it gave us an excuse to wander across the bridge and check it out. One of the biggest changes here is the National Czech and Slovak Museum. Last year I posted some photos of how they were raising and moving this building which was an amazing task. It now sits at least one story higher than before and at an angle to the river. They also built a huge addition. It looks beautiful.

Other changes in the city include green spaces where many of those abandon homes were finally taken down, the beginnings of a new riverfront park with an amphitheater, the downtown convention center has had an overhaul, a new US District Courthouse was built, they are developing a medical plaza between the two hospitals to consolidate all the services in one area. So lots of changes.

We also got to see a car show as part of Houby Days. Lots of fun vehicles from new to old, classics to hot rods, a few motorcycles and trucks too. Thought I’d share a few of our favorites.
This is the car John would love to have

This is my favorite

Last I can’t leave without a baby update. She is growing and healthy and so much fun. My friend Mary was here from Minnesota, which was fun all on its own but getting to share Evelyn with her made it more special. Mary and I spent a lot of time together when Mitch and her son Greg were small. She had 3 girls after that so was excited I finally have a little girl to spoil.
My favorite photo of John and Evie so far. 

Mary and Evie
We are getting ready for a shower for Mitch, Emily and Evelyn next Saturday. We are having here at our rig and right now it looks like the weather will cooperate but its a little too far out to count on that yet. We have a tornado watch going on now but I’m hoping all the rain and severe weather will be gone before next weekend. Should be lots of photos from that to share next week. Until then...
Happy Trails.................


  1. What an adorable picture of Evie with John. Love it!

  2. We will have to try and remember the Czech and Slovak Museum there next time we're through that way. Having been to those countries I can imagine it would be interesting to us.

  3. Hey, that's the same bird feeder my sister gave me as a present a couple of years ago. I like it!

  4. So glad to hear that the city is making a comeback. So many places just become abandoned after a catastrophe. Evie is beautiful.

  5. Thanks for the tour of CR since we have not been and the great bird photos. Your granddaughter is adorable.

  6. That picture of John and Evie is a real keeper! She is a real cutie. All these baby pics are really getting me anxious to see the arrival of our first Grandson sometime in the next few weeks.


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