We really wanted to explore downtown Cedar Rapids for supper on Friday night but we had dear sweet Violet and she's not exactly a good restaurant date. So we went to the cafe in the hotel instead. It was pretty good food, and allowed us to let Violet wander around the hallways as we waited for our food.
The indoor pool was warm and we took all the kids swimming that night. We had the place to ourselves, which was awesome. Nothing makes those boys happier than swimming! I remember what a treat it was to be at a hotel with a swimming pool when I was a kid. It's fun to see that excitement in them.
Saturday morning, we let those lazy sleepyhead males stay in bed, while Violet and I got up early and met my mother-in-law in the lobby for a trip to the local Czechoslovakian bakery. It opened at 6:30 and we got there by about 7:30.
Downtown Cedar Rapids
Czech baked goods, including poppy seed kolaches and their famous rye bread
When Cedar Rapids flooded in 2008, the water was up to the wooden paddle in the photo above!
According to the owner, who waited on us, it took 10 months to restore their bakery. More than 300 people came to help him, many from all over the U.S.
I loved their building with all the cool old wood work and the screen door in front.
The owner was a really nice guy, and I HIGHLY recommend you stop for a visit and some baked goods if you're in the area. You won't regret it!
It's funny to think that two weeks ago it was so cool in the morning that Violet was wearing long sleeves and leggings! Isn't she cute in her tie dye!
Just a couple blocks from the Czech District is an emerging and awesome neighborhood. At it's center is one of the neatest indoor markets I've seen, the NewBo City Market!
We were there early enough that we had to wait for it to open at 8. Violet explored the outdoor seating area and tried to eat their rocks.
Oooh, look at it! Isn't it pretty and bright and light and fun looking! It's open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. There weren't many people there at 8 a.m., but I think the outdoor farmers market a few blocks away was probably drawing some of their customers away.
I loved this stand. I think it was called Bloom. It had all kinds of fresh flowers, plants and accessories for fairy gardens. Fun!
Here's the delicious juice Violet and I shared -- spinach, celery, apple and kale. Mmmm!
We ordered breakfast from the Soul Food restaurant and took it outside to eat on the patio.
Look at the cute Little Free Library they had! This is the first one I'd ever seen, but just this week I saw an article in the newspaper that they're quite the craze and Des Moines has three of them! Such a cool idea -- take a book, leave a book. There are usually chairs near them so you can sit and relax and browse the books. I LOVE this idea!
You can kind of see the renovated buildings in the background -- bar, restaurant, guitar shop, etc. There was also a huge chalkboard with chalk and they wanted you to write down one thing you wanted to do before you died. Lots of people had written on it. I wanted to write: Learn to bake awesome biscuits. The biscuits at the soul food restaurant were unbelievably good!
This was their renovated fire house. The chalkboard is on the left side, behind the gray CUV.
I'll share more photos from the family reunion, probably tomorrow. For now, I think I'll sit back and do some online shopping. It would be fun to have a new outfit for my trip next week, or for my trip to Dallas at the end of the month. Summer stuff should be on sale this weekend -- and that's just fine since it's going to be hotter than Hades in SC and TX!
Happy Labor Day weekend!