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The Iowa Roadie & husband recently had CoVid.I have to admit that this has been an atrocious experience. I equate it to a Mack truck parking itself on our chests…for two weeks.During this time, we alternated between coughing, sleeping and watching an endless stream of horrible television shows.We hardly ate. (Perhaps the ONLY positive in the situation.)Most horrific… we have not had an alcoholic drink in three weeks. My liver is in shock from the sudden detox.Kidding aside, the virus hit us both hard.Super hard.At one point, I pondered what would happen if we didn’t recover. What would our legacy be?Fortunately we ARE recovering, and will see the day where we enjoy another cocktail and platter of cheese balls.But is THAT our legacy? Fried food & cheap drinks?Perhaps not the worst way to be memorialized…But hopefully we can do better. I want to be remembered for the WAY I live…which…

Last week the Iowa Roadie turned 50.My special day was heralded with some well-meaning birthday cards…and a membership solicitation from the AARP. The day also came with the realization that if asked for my ID, the server would not be verifying that I was legal to drink…but instead checking to see if I qualify for the senior citizen discount. Happy birthday to me! In any case, a birthday–especially one of this magnitude–requires a celebration. So the Iowa Roadie’s husband not only planned a long weekend trip to the Eau Claire/ Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin area BUT presented me with a birthday crown and sash. As I had never known the joy of being crowned Homecoming Queen (or even the Pork Queen at the county fair), this was my first time feeling the rush that comes with a make believe tiara.You know what else comes with wearing a cheap crown and sash?Free…

Who else thinks that life can really stink sometimes?Admit it. We’ve all been there. Struggling finances. Lousy relationships. And–GASP–flat beer. But a group in northeast Iowa has found a way to celebrate “Stinky Things” and make them…Well, not so stinky. A few years ago, Jeff Simon and his buddy Ed were sitting in a basement bragging about who could make the better deviled eggs. And chili. And Bloody Marys.You know…The Stinky Stuff.Four years later, that cellar bravado has raised nearly $6000 for the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City…all under the guise of Stinkfest, a competition featuring–you smelled it–deviled eggs, chili, and Bloody Marys.This was the third year for the competition, so the Iowa Roadie was beyond flattered when organizer Jeff invited her to attend. Here was an event that involved drinking for charity.Let me say…It’s so much easier to give back to the community when alcohol is involved.However, I felt…

Who likes road trips?If we were all sitting in a classroom together–or even connected via a ridiculous CoVid-era zoom meeting–I believe we would see everyone’s hand shoot to the sky and frantically wave, “Pick Me! Pick Me!” Perhaps we can even add some gorilla “ooh ooh” sound effects to increase the intensity of the answer. (“Ooh Ooh! Pick Me! Ooh Ooh! Pick Me!”)So I repeat my question…Who likes road trips?Ooh Ooh! Pick Me! I know the answer to this one. Ooh Ooh!The answer is WE ALL DO….or at least dive bar-seeking Iowa Roadie readers do. (All two or three of you.)So when loyal Iowa Roadie reader Joel recommended I take a trip across the border to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin…AND provided me three pages of dive bar notes…I felt it my DUTY to follow his suggestion. It’s all about making connections with readers. And if we had some Spotted Cow…

Can you keep a secret?The Iowa Roadie can’t. Forget any pinkie swears or “cross my heart” promises. Simply put, no secret is safe with me. So I apologize in advance for spilling the beans about the Cottontail, whose sign proclaims it Urbandale’s “best kept secret.”To put the situation in context…The Iowa Roadie & husband had just finished a morning of furniture shopping. Tell me…is there an occasion that screams “I need a drink” more than selecting a couch within one’s color scene AND price range? So when we drove past a sign for “The Cottontail,” we did not hesitate to pull our beat-up plow truck and dented trailer (carrying our new couch in a lovely neutral shade of gray) into its spacious parking lot. (Admittedly the ample parking space was part of this establishment’s initial lure. Try parallel parking a snowplow in downtown Des Moines’ East Village.)Time for a little…

The Iowa Roadie is getting old. Ignore the telltale signs like my gray hair or the “oldies” stations playing music from my high school prom. I knew I was old when given the choice to go out on a Saturday night or watch Dateline with a frozen pizza, I chose the option that allowed me to fall asleep on the couch by 8 pm. With the cat on top of me. And an empty bottle of Aldi’s mulled wine in the trash. All of which indicate that the Iowa Roadie should resort to “day drinking.” Google “day drinking.” Go ahead. I’ll wait. This is what came up when I typed those words into the search bar… Day drinking means you’ll likely be sipping for a much longer period of time than you would if you just had a few drinks at a bar after dinner. … (As a general guideline,…

What’s hiding under your chicken coop? Silly question? Perhaps. But for veteran Jim Thomsen, the answer is life changing. In the 1950s, Jim was an Army soldier serving in the Korean War. Young. Scared. Thousands of miles from his family in rural Minnesota. Just a boy putting his life on the line and honoring his country the only way he could. War is filled with terror and moments one hopes to someday forget. So when an opportunity for folly presents itself, you seize it. Especially when it involves alcohol. And a chicken coop. The officers at Jim’s base were having a party. With scotch. So Jim and his fellow soldiers devised a plan to snag themselves some as well. With a brevity they didn’t feel, they arrived at the party claiming to be officers and asked to “load up” the scotch. So with a vehicle suddenly filled with contraband scotch,…

There are certain things in life that warrant a strong cocktail. Here are three: A bad day at workCar problemsMenards Not necessarily in that order. I realize that for many of you, there are a multitude of issues more disturbing…A family squabble, finances, the Redskins being renamed “The Washington Football Team.” (OK…you may have a point with that one.) Yet I maintain…a trip to Menards is as provoking as anything. Case in point: Caulk. There is nothing exciting about caulk. Or electrical tape. Or any of the other kazillion home improvement items you can buy there. So instead of the required masks, I propose that Menards hands out mini bottles of alcohol. Suddenly there’s a party in Aisle 2. Unfortunately Menards has yet to realize the benefit of intoxicated home improvement shopping. Which meant that the first stop for the Iowa Roadie & husband after buying a “self-adjusting rotating level,”…

There’s something about tacos. With ice cold beer. Or a margarita. Heck…tacos and ANY alcohol is a win. So when the Iowa Roadie and husband drove by the Willow Run Lounge in Mason City and saw a sign proclaiming “homemade tacos and ice cold beer all day & night,” there really was no decision to ponder. Homemade tacos and ice cold beer. All Day & Night. Seriously…which of you WOULDN’T brake for that? We pulled into the parking lot and found a spot between two vehicles bearing handicap license plates. I found this quite appropriate as the Iowa Roadie’s husband recently celebrated a milestone birthday and began receiving AARP invitations himself. (For the record, the Iowa Roadie’s husband is not pleased with this development. Mainly because this is proof that when someone asks for his ID, it is not to assess if he can legally drink, but instead to determine…

I miss the “good ol’ days.” You know…like three months ago. Three months ago, the only people wearing masks were either comic book characters, the Lone Ranger, or crazies from those Purge movies. Now, it seems, normal society shuns us if we aren’t wearing masks…and standing six feet apart…and armed with Lysol disinfectant spray. Thank goodness not everyone subscribes to the “new normal.” Thank goodness for bars. Before I begin, I want to be clear…This does NOT mean that Iowa bars and restaurants are ignoring the social distancing guidelines set forth by Governor Reynolds. In each of the bars recently visited by the Iowa Roadie, seating was limited to every other table. Yet, somehow, it felt like the “old normal.” A world in which problems are conquered by cheap alcohol and fried food. We begin our latest Iowa Roadie adventure with a quick stop at The Outpost in Aredale, population…

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