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Lip-Smacking Barbecue in the Iowa Heartland


Barbecue. What comes to mind when you hear that word? Is it a socially based image where family and friends are gathered around on a sunny summer afternoon? Does it make you think of a pre-game huddle under a pop-up tent with friends all sporting your favorite team’s colors and gear? Or perhaps the word doesn’t instill a social image ... Read More »

Abloom with Tulips in Pella, Iowa


The small town of Pella, Iowa, is the place to be for its annual Tulip Time festival. The entire city is in full bloom during the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday in May. Thousands of pastel-colored tulips line the streets and public gathering areas. There are daytime and nighttime parades, along with craft and food vendors selling many wonderful items ... Read More »

Touring Eastern Iowa for Perfect Pies


There are a few things in this big world that offer us an opportunity to reflect on who we are, where we came from and, yes, perhaps even where we’re going.  Some of these things — in combination with this deep insight — also offer an unparalleled joy that consumes our very being.  I would like to take you on ... Read More »

Food and Fun in Iowa’s Amana Colonies


If you are interested in the history of the Amana Colonies area, I have included that at the end of this blog. However, I want to get right to the fun stuff! The Amana Colonies is a wonderful place to visit and features many National Historic Landmarks, great shops and restaurants. It also is host to some fun and entertaining ... Read More »

Midwest Family Vacation Spots

Midwest vacation spots I consider myself a family first type person, as I’m sure many of you do too.  It’s tough these days to get kids to “unplug” and even tougher to get them to look out the window and see the countryside on family vacations.  Between DVD’s, social media, texting and gaming, it all adds up to a ton ... Read More »

10 Favorite Hotels and Restaurants in Iowa by Inspector 80

Iowa restaurants and hotels Hello everyone! I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of my favorite places to eat and stay in Iowa. Yeah that’s right, I said Iowa. I think it’s about time for the little landlocked state to get some credit.  When I tell people I’m from Iowa usually they pause and then ask if potatoes ... Read More »

Canoe Trip Catastrophe in Mason City, Iowa

Canoeing in Mason City, Iowa A little preparedness goes a long way: this statement sounds like good advice. For those of you who have ever been on one of those family vacations where Murphy’s Law seems to establish an all out theme, I just want you to know that you are not alone.  Let me tell you about one of ... Read More »

Favorite Eats in Iowa City

Tailgating in Iowa City Tailgating has two definitions according to Wikipedia. One involves driving too closely behind another vehicle, which as a professional driver and a AAA employee, I do not condone.  The other is a social event that takes place around the tailgate of a vehicle and “involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food.” While correct, this simple definition ... Read More »

I-29 Road Closure –Inspector Recommended Detours

I-29 road closure Iowa/Missouri NEWS! I-29 is now mostly open. The FINAL update from the Iowa DOT website on Nov. 14 states that: "I-29 was reopened to traffic on Sat, Oct. 8. Contractors are currently working on the bridge approach paving and pile stabilization under the northbound bridge at milepost 1.4. Temporary median crossovers are in place routing the north- and southbound traffic into the southbound lanes between mileposts ... Read More »