Two Weekends in Moline

I know I’ve been mentioning Fall Rush a lot (as of Monday, it’s started), and how my Fridays off are about to take an 8- or 9-week sabbatical…And while I know it’s going to be rough (this will be my 3rd experience with it), the fact that I’m going to be working a mandatory 8 hours of overtime each week during that period means I’ll be able to fund my weekend in Minneapolis and then some. I’ve been working bits of OT here and there as it is, to fuel my stationery/writing habits.

I recently won a few eBay auctions for some vintage stamps. Apparently the seller was auctioning off the collection of a newspaper editor who recently passed away. I got a bit more than I bargained for:


Stamps (Two)


Stamps (Three)

That’s barely scratching the surface of what I wound up with. I added up all the stamps in each lot, and I think it came out close to 700 or so. They’ll get shared and/or used. I have plans to tuck a few here and there into some of my letters to penpals I know collect/use vintage stamps. I also bought more modern stamps, because self-adhesive is a great thing.

I almost feel a little guilty for my intentions of actually using these vintage ones, since someone thought enough of stamps to accumulate many sheets. I will say that one thing my dad’s passing has taught me is that things are meant to be used. I wanted his dining room suite, because the table and hutch were practically pristine – We almost NEVER used them. I posted on Instagram about how I could think of maybe three meals I ever ate at the table. And I remember when he bought the set. It has some scuffs and scratches from being moved a couple times (from his house to his apartment, then from his apartment to my house), but other than that, it’s basically brand-new. I intend for us to use it until it either falls apart somehow, or I’m dead.

I also bought myself a new fountain pen fairly recently – It was under $20, and it’s got a houndstooth band around it (another penpal shared a picture of hers, and I decided I needed one). I also stocked up on several packages of cartridge inks – Not all of my pens have converters, and cartridges appeal to the lazy sod in me. Normally I’m a straight black ink kind of gal, but I bought a tin of olive green ink cartridges that I am in LOVE with.

Journal and Herbin ink

No kidding, I’ve been using this ink exclusively in my journal for the past month. I’m going to have to order more, and possibly a bottle, just so I don’t run out.

Journal and Fountain Pen

I would like to say I’ve cut back on my washi tape purchases, but that is not really the case. I am trying to use up what I already have, though. And I’ve given away some to random friends and family. I also fell down the rabbit hole that is the Stickii Club.

Journal and Stickii Stickers

That’s where the burnt paper and perfume bottle stickers came from. I keep buying sets individually, but I really should just bite the bullet and get myself a monthly subscription.

And also, there’s been a bit of travel thrown in for good measure. The bambino spent the past week in Ohio with his cousins, and since Moline, IL is almost exactly halfway between my sister and I, that’s where the handoff took place.

My sister and I spent a weekend there back in the spring, just hanging out together, and I’ve decided I really like the area. It reminds me of a quieter Cincinnati, which is bittersweet. I miss my hometown like crazy, but I also know deep down, one can’t really ever go home again. There’s little chance I’ll ever move back there, but I guess I should never say never.

I have to give a shoutout to the people at the Hampton Inn at the Quad Cities Airport. I found the hotel during my back-and-forth trips to Ohio last year. It is quiet, clean, and the staff are super-nice. They even recognize us now, we’ve stayed there often enough in the past year! And as a bonus, it’s right across the street from Bare Bones BBQ. We took a chance on the place the first time we stayed, as at the time, we didn’t really know the area, and it was either that or McDonald’s. It’s one of those places that looks a bit like a dive (and I mean this in the best way possible!), and you leave smelling of grill smoke, with a full belly. The food is AMAZING. We’ve had the brisket, the pulled pork, pork tenderloin sandwich, burgers, ribs, and all of it has been excellent. Since we’re typically there on weekends, we have to make sure to get there early, as the parking lot is always full, and the dining room is a little on the small side. It’s been well worth it any time we’ve had to wait.

The drop-off weekend for the bambino was somewhat uneventful – We met my sister and one each of my nieces and nephews, and ate at Bare Bones (well, we all did – My sister did not, since there’s not much she CAN eat there). The next morning, we hopped in our respective cars and parted ways. We drove into crappy weather:

Iowa Thunderstorm

I suspect it was part of the same system we drove through the day before in Minnesota. Luckily it didn’t last too long, and the sun came back out. We started thinking of somewhere to stop for lunch, and rather than eat fast food, we found the East Bremer Diner.

East Bremer Diner

The inside reminded both of us of Craft, as did the food. We got there during their Sunday brunch time, which meant only the brunch buffet was available. It was HUGE, though, so we got plenty to eat and sample. We made plans to try and go when we came to pick up the bambino and could try things off the regular menu. Sadly, I missed an exit a couple hours outside Des Moines, so a return trip won’t happen for awhile.

And after a week of pretend empty-nesting, we headed back for pick-up. Jay had taken that Friday off (we hadn’t really coordinated with my sister until the last minute), so we opted to drive out and have an extra day, so we could relax on Saturday while we waited for my sister, two different children of hers, and the bambino to arrive.

Friday night, since we knew we’d be eating at Bare Bones BBQ with my sister and family on Saturday, Jay and I found a Maid-Rite diner, and had dinner there. My sister and I found and ate lunch at one when we had our sisters weekend, and though I tried to get us to the same location, Jay and I wound up at a different one. Which was just fine, as there was ice cream next door, but more on that in a bit. I wound up having a Maid-Rite Horseshoe.

Maid-Rite Horseshoe

Though the Maid-Rite sandwich is an Iowa creation, the Horseshoe sandwich is an Illinois one, and this combo was perfect. An open-face bacon cheeseburger. Our waitress chuckled at the fact that I cleaned my plate, and commented she’d never seen someone eat a horseshoe as neatly as I did. What can I say? I wanted to make sure I got every last bit!

Saturday, we booked a riverboat cruise, as Jay thought it sounded like a lot of fun. He hadn’t been on one since he was a kid and spent summers on his grandparents’ farm.

Celebration Belle

When my sister and I spent our weekend in Moline, we did the sightseeing cruise. This time around, Jay and I did the Captain’s Narrated Lunch Cruise. A lot of the information and stories were much the same as when my sister and I did our cruise, but we got a delicious lunch.

Cruise Lunch Part 1

Cruise Lunch Part 2

Yes, I got a roll on each plate. It was a buffet, and I love bread. I regret nothing! I also learned that at least on the Mississippi, suspension bridges are limited. This is one of only four, and it’s slated for demolition in the near future:

Mississippi Suspension Bridge

It’s sad, but I guess that’s the price of modernization. The bridge handles something like 3 times as much traffic now than it did when it was first built.

Saturday was Bare Bones, which has yet to disappoint. This time around, I had the brisket dinner:

Bare Bones Brisket

Fork-tender brisket, with house-made BBQ sauce, and a baked potato. And enough butter to clog the Incredible Hulk’s arteries. Afterwards, we headed back to Maid-Rite’s neighborhood, because next door to it was Whitey’s Ice Cream. I thought the name sounded familiar – I’m pretty sure the grocery store here in Brookings carries it. I got myself some Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel on a waffle cone, and I was happy.

Chocolate PB Revel Waffle Cone

The next morning, we had the breakfast at the hotel before parting ways once again. And much as I love travel, I also love having downtime at home, so I am in no hurry to do a road trip again any time soon! But I look forward to the next time we’re in Moline, and exploring even more of the Quad Cities area.