Archive for the ‘Events in Dubuque’ Category

Barrel Head Winery

Friday, June 14th, 2013

barrelhead
Today my friend Karen and I went to the Barrel Head Winery. The owners, John and Karen, had visited Quiet Walker Lodge last week and had invited me to stop by and visit. I learned so much about their grapes and wines that my head is still swirling with information.

One of the most important keys in producing good wine is to wait until the grapes are at their peak in sugar content before picking them. John is very serious about starting with the perfect grape. He harvests the grape when it is ripe and this produces some of the best wine I had ever tasted. His Concord wine was one of my favorites in the reds. I also liked Leggy Lisa and the champagne he produces was the best…lots of small bubbles that exploded in my mouth with every taste!

But besides enjoying the awesome wines, John also educated me in how to keep healthy vines. He told me the story about the French winemakers who always had the women of the town stealing their roses in the vineyards. So they sprayed them with sulfur to prevent the thefts and discovered that sulfur kept the bugs and mildew off the vineyards besides stopping the theft because the roses no longer had the sweet fragrances.

I also learned not to swirl champagne because you do not want to loose the bubbles and why it is important to hold the glass at the stem to prevent heating up the champagne. He told me why we swirl and sniff wine before sipping it and the importance of not spraying vineyards with systemic sprays. All of John’s wines are produced with grapes he grows personally on his land. His pride in producing quality wines is quickly noticed by anyone who takes his or her first sip. Thanks for the great visit John and Karen!

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Wine Trail Event

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The 17th Iowa Wine Trail event is coming up November 3 and 4 from 10 am – 6 pm each day. The fall theme this year is “Around the World with Iowa Wines.” Each winery has chosen to pair their wines with food from another country. The Winneshiek Wildberry Winery near Decorah will pair their wines with Italian Cuisine. Eagles Landing Winery in Marquette will be pairing their wines with Cajun cooking. Daly Creek Winery in downtown Anamosa will serve Japanese dishes that complement their wines. Brick Arch Winery in West Branch will use a “melting pot” of recipes including barbeque, pork tenderloin and cranberries, and pineapple upside down cake to pair with their wines. The Engelbrecht Family Winery near Fredericksburg will pair their wines with German dishes including Reuben sandwiches, hot potato salad and German cheese cake. At Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery near Baldwin, they have chosen Greek cuisine and will pair their wines with a mezes – small dishes made with cheese or grilled meats, and baklava. If you are planning to participate in the event, consider staying at Quiet Walker Lodge to make your experience complete. Tickets for the event are on sale at www.iowawinetrail.com or by calling (563) 557-3727.

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Classic Car Show

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

On Sunday, my husband and daughter went with me to the Classic Car Show held at the botantical gardens. The variety of classic cars was very impressive and it was obvious these owners loved their cars! My husband fell in love with the cherry red corvette. A car he would have trouble getting into and out of at his age. But it is nice to dream!

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Christmas at the Lodge

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

"Iowa Lodging at Quiet Walker Lodge Bed and Breakfast, a Country Inn and Dubuque area bed and breakfast located near Dubuque, Iowa" />Quiet Walker Lodge B & B Although there is no snow yet on the ground, I am still wishing for a white Christmas. The surrounding area is all aglow with lights and moving reindeer. It is beautiful to drive around and see the various displays on neighbors front lawns. One of my favorite displays is on Asbury Road in Dubuque. A farmer has a huge star glowing on his silo. It is breathtaking!
There are many plays, musicals and choirs entertaining tourists at this time of year. The festival of trees event was awesome and the Senior High Choir gave us all a glimpse of the festive spirit. Vendors lined Main Street with delicious food, warm drinks and one-of-a-kind holiday goodies. Buddy the Elf, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf, and the Grinch also were there! The Dubuque Senior High School Choir performed and the tree lighting ceremony signaled the official start of the 2011 Festival of Trees. It was a great event to participate in.
We have already had a few parties at the lodge. It is always nice to share a meal with friends and family for the holidays. We here at Quiet Walker Lodge hope you have a blessed holiday and a great New Year.

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Linda Rodrigues

Why Iowa?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Romantic Weekend | Romantic Get away | Dubuque hotels | Dbuque bed breakfasts

A year ago, my husband and I decided to move to Dubuque, Iowa from the San Francisco Bay Area. All of our friends and most of our family thought we had lost a few screws in our brains! We were constantly asked “Why Iowa?”. People move out of Iowa and come to sunny California. Nobody moves from the land of milk and honey to Iowa! Even our governor put down Iowa in an ad campaign for California.

All I heard from my well intentioned friends and neighbors was that it was humid in the summer and freezing in the winter. They continued to remind me about the Bay Area weather, restaurants, culture and beauty of my native land. Why would you trade this in for corn and tornadoes? You don’t even have family in the midwest!

Even when I arrived in Iowa, Iowans asked me why did you leave California for here? Are you aware of the weather? Have you been through a winter here?

Well I am happy to report now that yes I have been through a winter in Iowa and I survived. So let me tell you why I chose Dubuque, Iowa.

We love the ocean, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the Napa Valley, Muir Woods and the beauty of the Bay Area. But we do not like visiting these places with 2 million other people. We do not like the cost to park the car, the fees, the crowds, the litter, or the noise of so many people caged together in a limited space.

We do not like the lines at banks, stores, and doctor’s offices. When you finally get to be the first in line the customer service person has been yelled at by so many people that they are unfriendly and robotic.

We do not like the commute traffic day in and day where we are paying more at the gas pump to sit idle on the freeway.

We do not like the shoving and pushing in the malls and the total lack of respect shown by shoppers to sales staff and other shoppers.

In the past 5 years we had to have alarms placed on our vehicles. Crime became a common household word as more home invasions, gang related crimes and muggings occured in the neighborhood. The elderly never came out of their homes. I would not walk at night . We basically became prisoners in our own living room.

The pace of life was becoming more chaotic. Utility fees, housing permits, gas and taxes ate up most of the paycheck. We would come home exhausted from work only to turn on the news and hear more about killings and drugs. We began to question what is quality of life.

Now I am not saying that Iowa does not also have its share of problems. But on scale with California they are no where near as high.

I live in the country on a bluff surrounded by a forest reserve. I drive along the Little Maqoketa eight miles into the city of Dubuque. The birds sing, the bald eagles soar, the river meanders through the limestone and I feel relaxed and well. There are no lines here. I am seen within 10 minutes at the medical clinic. We have some of the best doctors and hospitals around. There are five higher institutions of learning here. People smile and say hello even if they do not know you. Your name is remembered by your banker, store clerks, and business people. It takes less then five minutes to change a license from California to Iowa and you get the license right there! There are not countless housing permits, inspections and fees to build a house in Iowa like in California. Gas prices are lower here. Housing prices are extremely reasonable. Schools are good. There is very little litter or graffiti. We have name brand restaraunts. We have excellent music and arts activities many of which are free. And the crowds of people who go to the large events is very manageable. We are always able to find a parking space.

But what we like the most is the beauty of the northeast Iowan landscape. The beautiful Mississippi River is awesome and not crowded with people or boats. The animals, birds, butterflies and lizard are abundant. Orioles, cardinals, finches, bluebirds, woodpeckers and many more birds flock to our feeders each morning. Red fox, deer, wild turkeys, quail visit me early in the morning and at sundown. I can see the stars at night and hear the crickets outside my window. It is peaceful and serene.

So yes I have to deal with ice for a few weeks. And maybe I might not have the variety of shops or selection that is offered in the Bay Area. But I have online shopping and Chicago is only three hours away. What I do have is a beautiful country setting where I can re-energize each day, a community that takes pride in its town, people who have not forgotten what it means to be respectful, friendly and honest. And a countryside filled with beauty. I am happy and proud to be an Iowan!

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Fish flies

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Fish flies cling to a riverfront fence Tuesday in Dubuque.Last June when I arrived in Dubuque, I took a walk along the riverfront. It was there I had my first encounter with fish flies. They were clumped together around the lamps and the sides of the building. I asked my new friend what they were and she said flies that come for about a week and make a mess of the riverfront. It was at that point that I decided to learn a little about these interesting flies.

Today they are back again. What I have learned about them is fascinating. They live for only 24 hours. Their technical name is mayflies and they emerge out of the water during the hot summer months. Mayfly nymphs live in water for anywhere from three to four weeks to two-and-a-half years, depending on the species. While in the water, they live on plant material and attempt to avoid hungry fish, salamanders and even dragonflies. After they hatch, they fly around for about 6 hours. They have no mouths so they do not eat.

After flying around for 6 hours, the males form swarms to excite the females and breeding occurs. 

Most females fly upstream before laying their eggs. The eggs, as many as 8,000 from each female, drop to the river bottom. This occurs within about 5 minutes after they have mated. They then fly around for another 6 hours usually close to light like a lamp post. They cling to the post and then die.

I wondered about the purpose of the Mayflies and thought maybe it is to feed the fish. If each female fly deposits 8,000 eggs, I would hope the fish eat most of them because if they all hatched we would have invasion of the Mayflies!

I am glad I do not have to clean up the mess of millions of dead fish flies. They are only found close to the river and never migrate this far into the interior. I have even heard of cars sliding around when there are so many of them on the road. People tell me it is like black ice without the cold. Only in the Midwest!

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Ice fishing on the Mississippi

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

IA fishing | Dubuque IAThis past weekend I decided to take a short trip to the Mississippi River to see what it looked like in the winter. I was amazed at how frozen the river had become. There were actually men standing out in the middle of the river and ice fishing.

I find ice fishing fascinating. The men were bundled up from their head to their toes. I am sure one must wear protective gear to avoid frostbite. They used an ice saw to cut a circular hole in the ice and then had a spear of some sort to spear the fish.

I have heard that some people build ice shanties when they plan to fish for long periods. I am sure this is to protect them from the wind and cold. I don’t know if I would ever attempt ice fishing, but it did look interesting.

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Bald Eagle Watching Special at Quiet Walker Lodge B & B

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Bird Watching | Quiet Walker LodgeIt is that time of year for bald eagle watching in Dubuque! At one time, bald eagles nested all over the United states until lead posioning diminished their numbers. Federal and state agencies have been working to protect the bald eagle from extinction. Now there are more than 10,000 nesting pairs and you can see some of them right here in Dubuque.

The American Bald Eagle visits the Upper Mississippi River each year from mid-December through February. Dubuque is a popular wintering area for these birds because of the abundant food and open water. Our Lock and Dam #11 keeps the river from freezing thus allowing the eagles to hunt for fish.

Dubuque Audubon Society is celebrating the American Bald Eagle with the Dubuque Eagle Watch on Saturday, January 23rd at the Grand River Center. Free Trolley Rides from the Grand River Center to the Lock and Dam #11 will be given from 9AM to 3PM. Exhibitors and vendors will be at the center providing educational information and nature items for sale.

In recognition of the American Bald Eagle, Quiet Walker Lodge will be offering a 10% discount on the weekend of  January 23rd (Friday thru Sunday night). Just mention the Bald Eagle Watch Special. So grab your binoculars and come on out to Dubuque to enjoy the majesty of our American Bald Eagles.

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Reflections in the Park

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Dubuque IA | Quiet Walker | Bed Breakfasts
Last night I decided to treat myself. I drove over to Murphy Park in Dubuque to enjoy the Reflections in the Park. This lovely display of lights is a part of Dubuque tradition every year. The $8.00 per car donation helps Hillcrest Family Services provide opportunities for our struggling families in Dubuque.

Reflections in the Park does get a lot of people coming through to see the fantastic light displays. Each year, approximately 10,000 cars pass through the park, with somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 people viewing the lights. Since the program first began in 1995, more than 650,000 visitors have viewed the brilliant display, raising over one-million dollars for the programs and facilities of Hillcrest Family Services.

Reflections in the Park opened Thanksgiving night at Louis Murphy Park and continues daily from 5 to 10 p.m. through January 1, 2010.

One of my favorite displays was the John Deere holiday tractors and construction equipment. These animated vehicles even moved with the Christmas music provided by radio 95.5. The snow on the ground and the clear evening made it even more dazzling as we drove through the park. If you have a chance to see this display, it is worth the time and it helps our community!

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Festival of Trees

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Dubuque Bed Breakfasts | Iowa Bed Breakfasts The Mercy Festival of Trees is in full swing at the Hotel Julien. This is the 26th year that this beautiful community event has been held in Dubuque. From Friday, November 20th to Saturday, November 28th you can view the sparkling trees for no charge. There are many events held during this time to raise money to support the building of a new Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital. Besides the silent auction, they are holding a Festival of Trees Cookie Walk on the 21st. This is a real favorite around here. For $10 you get to fill a bucket of some of the most delicious cookies around. I like to freeze the cookies and then have them for Christmas treats for my family. On Tuesday, November 24th the Tri-State Surgery Center and US Bank are hosting a wine tasting, cake auction and jewelry show at the festival. You get to taste the wines and also purchase bottles of wine at the event. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. There is a viewing of the cakes from 5:30-6:15. This is a very popular event.

So come on up to our neck of the woods and stay at QWL while you visit the Festival of Trees in downtown Dubuque. It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and help support the building of the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy!

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