I hesitate to even post about the extraordinary Quad Cities because I’m afraid that visitors would somehow nullify the charm of this quintessential mid-Western town. But fear not fearless reader! I will risk certain ostracism from the Quad Cities by exposing the certain charms and solitude that you will find within its walls. Upon my arrival in Moline, IL, I was greeted with a congenial charm that welcomed me to this amazing little town.
While work may have brought me to this sleepy little town, the people made me want to stay. From the hotel reception staff with 2 kids who moved here from the big city to start a new life with no regrets to the big man who has had the pleasure of living here all his life, the people in Moline are hard-working, genuine people. They possess a certain sincerity and generosity that even this cynical traveller revels in. BigBill, who refers to his wife as TheHoney, spends his evening supporting his children and crafting pens (one of which I was fortunate enough to be gifted with). He mentioned to me that life in the Quad Cities is simply home, good, bad, or indifferent. GenerousStranger finds himself going out of his way to shop in the John Deere Store, andpurchasing a John Deere green cap for a stranger who admired his cap and wants one for her fiance as a wedding present. Ironically this is ordinary life in Moline where people live to support each other. Life in the QuadCitities is about community and a sense of family that you can’t find in the jaded world outside the mid-west. And it’s that sense of community that welcomes everyone into the QuadCities warm embrace.
For those of you intrigued about its charms, Moline also has some great places to eat! Surprised? Even in this small town, I was able to find quite an eclectic array of great food to inspire the soul and foster a great sense of community! With my initial visit, I had an excellent lunch at Johnny’s Italian Stekahouse. Johnny’s atmosphere provides a comfortable, rat-pack style Italian bistro filled with an awesome wine menu and some incredible traditional Italian fare boasting of original flavors and upbeat music. We all know that any Italian place isn’t worth the cannoli without some great music. While I haven’t had an opportunity to try any of the other cuisines yet, if you have a hankerin for living life on the wild side, try Le Mekong off 5th Avenue in Moline. They serve up some traditional Vietnamese fare to spice up the casual town of Moline. It was fantastic with a side of spicy!
After such fantastic fare, we all need to watch our girlish figures (because round is NOT a shape). So the Quad Cities offers a variety of outdoor activities. Off Rock Island, one of the Quad Cities, is a hike and bike shop that allows you to rent bikes either for a leisurely jaunt up the river or a rapid fire training exercise through the Rock city moutain biking trail. I’ll give you one guess which direction I went. Whatever you fancy, the Hike and Bike Shop had everything I needed to rent a bike and get in a good sweaty workout. Just do me a favor and stay upwind of me. It’s in your best interest. Wanting to take life into your own hands and leave your own trail? Here’s the link to the bike path trail that I found to be the most comprehensive and up to date. May you leave a trail of your own! Or ride a combine! I got up in one myself… And all I have to say is this is NOT your grandpa’s combine!
If hiking, biking and outdoor activities are not your fancy, dance the night away. The QCOnline provides a comprehensive guide to events in the Quad cities. I found it to be an invaluable resource. It even told me about the carnival being in town while I was there! Who am I to turn down an opportunity at a Ferris Wheel? Next on the list, some great music and Bad Boyz Pizza for a few beers and disorderly conduct!
So while work or pleasure may bring you to the Quad Cities, the people will make you feel welcome and wish you could stay forever. And I ask you? Do you know the way to Moline, IL? Here’s the map map just in case you get a little distracted by the wide variety of things that rural Illinois has to offer.