The world might not think of Iowa when they think art and Iowans might not think Decorah when they think art, but they are sort of wrong about that. Last weekend, Curt and I and three friends ventured to Decorah for their annual artist's studio tour. We always stay in the Old Hospital Lodge in the tiny village of Highlandville about 15 miles north of Decorah. Highlandville, if you haven't been there, is a cute place, now most famous for it's trout stream and pastoral setting. The paved road literally ends across the bridge in downtown Highlandville. This place is a little remote and has only about 20 year round residents.
So what do you do in Decorah (other than Walmart, Mindy)? You eat copious amounts of Mabe's pizza, eat numerous Ronnie's rolls at Ruby's, which now serves rommegrot- I love it- have a decent meal out at La Rana, listen to a local klezmer sounding band called Maritza, and shop for art. And did we shop for art. As if every nook and cranny of our house isn't already filled with functional and art pottery, we ended up buying more from Elisabeth Maurland, Dean Schwartz, Doug Cole, Kelly Jean Ohl and Nate & Hallie Hite-Evans. I also picked up a photo book of Decorah- as if every corner of it isn't burned into my memory. We went a little crazy.
On Sunday, we went out to Green's Sugar Bush- no not a naked kitchen mishap, but a maple sugar farm- for the annual Saddle Club charity pancake breakfast. We LOVE this event. All you can eat HOT pancakes, sausages cooked over a campfire, real maple syrup- gallons of it if you want- and a great outdoor setting. Oh, and polite young people who come around with MORE pancakes and sausage. Sweet (deity of your choosing)! It was like a dream. Lots of tasty breakfast food and people to fill my plate without having to go to the kitchen. It gets no better than that!
Oh, and it was about 90 degrees all weekend which was freaky for October.