Hello Blog! Long time, no write! It’s been so long that I’ve missed


Nope, not this time! It’s just been a bit of a reset. Much needed time away.

In June, worked for two weeks on professional learning dealing with computer science. Both were because the state of Iowa awarded grants to our Area Education Agencies (AEAs). So, they are able to either teach the content themselves or award it to companies who are also working in Iowa with computer science. I spend a week with other Iowa teachers working virtually with students from Carnegie Mellon University. We worked through their Python curriculum, which was great, but it made my head hurt because I’ve only done block-based coding (think Scratch or Code.org). Then, the following week, another 5 days of Code.org’s professional development going through their Discoveries curriculum. By that Friday, I was FRIED!

So, we took adventures. First, the class was done, so we traveled to Elkader (a town close by) to visit a new to us brewery, Deb Beertopia. If you think it’s a hippie place, you are exactly right! They brew small batches of some delicious beers. If you are ever in Northeast Iowa on a Friday or Saturday from 3:00 to 7:00, I highly recommended this place!

That Saturday, we traveled to Dubuque, about a 90-minute drive. This was by far the weirdest day we’ve had in a long time! We wanted to go to the farmer’s market here because it’s a pretty awesome one! Lots of great food for sure, but also the stuff that goes with a farmer’s market: flowers, art, crafts, veggies, plants, all kinds of things. Our problem, as we left, the heavens unloaded and it rained all the way there. It rained and rained and RAINED! However, as we pulled into Dubuque and found the farmer’s market, the rains stopped. Next, we went to the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Again, another amazing find because it’s this massive place, but free. It was a tremendous place to visit with the flowers blooming all over. It was just a great visit.

As it was time to go home, we decided to hit a couple of wineries. The first was a total accident and so good! We checked on Google Maps and there were on our way home, right outside of Dubuque. So a quick check of the reviews and we decided on Bishop Vineyard and Winery. It was this tiny little building well off the beaten path, but we discovered a gem. It is run by a former teacher and his wife, and they’ve put together some outstanding wines, both sweet and dry (and I like my wines sweet!), on this beautiful ridgeline. We drank our wine, then went outside and just enjoy the quiet with some cheese and crackers. The owner came out and talked with us for a while, then we were on our way. Again, highly recommended!!

Our second winery was Promised Land. It’s an established brand in our area, and we’ve visited there once before. However, it was 15 minutes before closing time, so we had our wine and left! On this day, we had plenty of time, so we had our samples, then, found a spot outside and had great pizza! They have a great select of wine themselves, though it’s much more sweet than what we found at Bishop Vineyard. They have a great set up, live music on Sunday afternoons, and an amazing outside seating area. Another place that is recommended!

This was a reset weekend for sure, but there’s more! I’ll continue this in another blog because if you’ve read this far, you’ve got ideas on where to go for your beer and wine. We’ll talk about a great place to camp next!

Because you can’t reset without getting away for a while, right?? 🙂