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My mother-in-law is awesome; she knows how much I love history and site seeing. Having grown up in Cedar Rapids, IA, her son has “been there done that” and see most everything where as I have not. So every time I visit, we see some place new and we really enjoy our time together. Earlier this week we went to the antique shops in the town nearby and gushed over all things old. Then, today we, along with my sister-in-law, went to the historic mansion – The Brucemore. I LOVE historic houses and big, huge historic houses at that. I was very privileged to have gone into some of the historic homes in the Detroit area when we lived there and now when ever I have an opportunity to go into more, I take it. The mansion was all decorated for Christmas which was a fabulous sight to see because all the rooms had a huge Christmas tree decorated in a different style. We go to go through all four floors (main, basement, second, and third) and got to see both the family side and servants’ side of the house. When we started the tour, the guide asked who watched Downton Abbey. My hand shot into the air as I’m not afraid to admit that. Haha. And true to his word, the home is very similar to the way the home is decorated for the DA set. It made me happy. Now I want to host a 1910ish style tea in the mansion for all my reenactor/living history friends and anyone else who would be able to join us!!!

After the mansion tour, we went to the Czech area of town to the National Czech and Slovak museum. The museum had to be moved after the flood in ’08 and  it was fascinating to see the video of the building being moved to higher ground. The main exhibit traces the history of both the Czech and Slovak people coming to America as well as the build up to the events of WWII and the Velvet Revolution. As a lover of all things historical clothing, it was fun to see the traditional folk costumes. It makes me want to figure out what my traditional Polish folk costume would look like and then make it. Mwa-hahahaha. 

I’m excited to have visited these two important sites in IA and I’m looking forward to seeing more parts of the city/state in the future.