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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…

I double dog dare you. That was the challenge issued by the Iowa Roadie’s husband when I told him I was not only going to write a new blog…but make scotcheroos as well. Whoa! A blog AND scotcheroos? In hindsight, that DOES sound a bit ambitious…particularly when I didn’t even know if we had rice krispies in the house. (This is because cereal has sugar and carbohydrates, and we are supposed to be “eating healthy”…no thanks to a “mildly obese” ruling at last year’s Iowa Roadie physical. ) However that diagnosis was far from my mind when I made such a bold claim. What I WAS thinking about was how tasty the Captain Morgan and root beer cocktails were that I had just consumed. All while sitting on the sunny patio of Lehigh’s Riverside Tavern after two months of quarantine drinking at home. TWO MONTHS of Aldi’s wine on my…

Forget water. I recently stocked up on alcohol. I figure if I get quarantined with my family, I need more than water to help me survive. I recently purchased two bottles of Crown Peach…which may be Very Important Currency if I need to trade for toilet paper. I also purchased some “Cheap Ass Beer” (manufactured in Minnesota) for my husband, as well as cucumber vodka for $10.99 (I may never drink it, but I saved $15!) and Hy Vee’s “customer choice” Amsterdam coconut vodka. (Impulse buy.) In all honesty, I tend to go a little bonkers in the liquor store. I have BOTTLES of alcohol that sit unopened on a shelf in our basement. (That is because I drink leftover $4 Aldi’s Christmas wine, and my husband drinks “Cheap Ass Beer.”) We rarely make mixed drinks at home, because that’s what Iowa Roadie adventures are for. It’s far more fun…

It started with a guy named Flint. And a shot. In a bar basement. That trilogy either screams disaster…or an Iowa Roadie adventure as crazy as any we’ve experienced. I’m going with option #2. You must know that sometimes our Iowa Roadie adventures do not align to a well-thought out plan. (Big shocker here if you’ve read even ONE other Iowa Roadie blog!) We sometimes begin with a starting or end goal in mind, but the journey itself rarely follows a pre-determined protocol. This is mainly due to things like shots…and guys named Flint…and bar basements. I often get recommendations of places to visit, and a recent referral was to the Riverside Tavern in Lehigh. THAT was our end goal. The problem with reaching our destination is that the Iowa Roadie is easily distracted by Google. Specifically the “dive bars near me” Google search that I always put in as…

I used to fantasize about being a rock star. Heck…I STILL think about it. Me… in tight leather pants, my name emblazoned on a giant tour bus, and thousands of fans following me on social media. And in some bizarre parallel universe, this MIGHT be possible. Unfortunately in the real world, leather pants do not come with an elastic waist. I can barely make payments on my used SUV, let alone afford a tour bus. I have no clue how to use snapchat. AND…I can’t sing. (In the spirit of Milli Vanilli, I also stink at lip syncing.) Thus any dreams of the Iowa Roadie winning a Grammy are quickly squashed. However a recent Iowa Roadie adventure did result in an encounter with a Real Live Rock Star. Sort of. Meet Jack. Jack has owned the 405 Lounge located at 405 Main Street in Reinbeck, Iowa for the past 38…

Check yes or no. This year’s Christmas shopping involved alcohol. If you answered no, you are either a direct descendant of Buddy the Elf and have eggnog running through your veins. OR…(and I believe this is more likely the case)…you are lying. It is virtually impossible to survive December at the Mall on only an orange julius from the food court. Pour a little tequila in that julius…and suddenly the Old Navy line becomes fairly tolerable. Therefore, following a Special Day purchasing gifts for our dear family and friends, it should come as no surprise that the Iowa Roadie and her husband found our way to The Prairie Creek Saloon in Norway, Iowa. Norway, by the way, is home to the Tigers, 20-time state high school baseball champs and focal point of the movie “The Final Season.” Upon entering The Prairie Creek Saloon, we found our customary seats at the…

Sometimes the best things in life are right under our noses. Such is the case with the latest Iowa Roadie adventure that takes us only a few miles down the road to Bradford, Iowa…home of the Stumble Inn. Now if you follow the Iowa Roadie at all, you’ve likely seen the pictures I’ve posted of the food here before. Specifically their “crispy pig”…a monster of a breaded tenderloin that was recently honored as the second best tenderloin in Iowa by the state’s Pork Producers. But behind every good sandwich and order of cheeseballs is a good cook. And in this case, that cook is named Johnny. Earlier this fall, Johnny was hospitalized for a week with septic pneumonia. Because of his illness, he missed weeks of work and acquired thousands of dollars in medical bills. To show support for their beloved chef, The Stumble Inn recently hosted a benefit for…

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