This will be my last post from Iowa as I’ll be heading to Illinois tomorrow – my mouth is already watering at the thought of Chicago deep-dish pizza. Side note: for those of you who have never seen Jon Stewart discuss his feelings on deep-dish pizza, please stop reading this post now, open a new tab in your browser and watch this video:
I love Jon Stewart more than anything and this clip never fails to make me laugh until I cry; nevertheless, I’m getting pizza when I get to Chicago.
Okay, back to the RV park in Davenport, IA where it’s in the 80’s and beyond humid. The only reason I’m even at an RV park is so I can continuously run the A/C in the MoHo. I turn it off for 2 minutes and I’m sweating and Juno is panting. Misery.
So let me catch you up on the last few days. I mentioned I was taking last weekend off and it was wonderful. I headed to Le Mars on Saturday morning to visit Blue Bunny, the purported “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” The town is cute and there are painted ice cream cones everywhere – the popcorn one in front of the movie theater was my favorite. I enjoyed a Bunny Tracks milkshake for lunch.
From there, I headed to Kennedy Park in Webster County. Trails for me to run on, wonderful RV neighbors (thank you Kim for a deeper explanation about the quilt squares!) and an opportunity to catch up on some reading and knitting. I saw someone trailing a real “tiny house” and I was also introduced to the Ice Castle RV. Apparently these RVs are used primarily for ice fishing. They sit directly on the ice and have floor “portals” that you can open up so you can cut directly into the ice and then fish from inside the RV. I can assure you this is something I have no intention of trying… But the best part was that there was a golf course next to the RV park and when I took Juno for a walk, I’d find lots of golf balls in the grass. My favorite is pictured here (I put the others back in on the 17th tee box as I figured someone could use them)
Feeling refreshed, I headed out on Monday morning for the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend. Dana told me about this place, along with one of the people from the RV park. It’s really a sight to behold… The Grotto is considered to be the world’s most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells and petrifications in one place. Once again, the pictures just don’t do it justice.
After the Grotto, my plan was to hit the Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook. The artist Patrick Acton creates these incredible sculptures – everything from Notre Dame to the Capitol Building. I was most excited to see his recreation of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings, as well as Hogwarts from Harry Potter. As it turns out, the artist has an agreement with Ripley’s and both of these pieces were at other facilities. I was really bummed. But things took a turn for the better when a woman at the museum offered me two cucumbers from her garden. I gladly took them and incorporated them into my green juice this morning. So while I can’t offer you a picture of Minas Tirith or Hogwarts, I can offer you a picture of the cucumbers. Win win!
I spent the night in Cedar Rapids before heading to Wilton this afternoon. The Wilton Candy Kitchen is the longest running soda fountain in the country – it opened over 150 years ago! Kyle is the new soda jerk and he made me a delicious vanilla malt (aka lunch).
I’d like to end this post with a few pictures I took yesterday as I was heading east across central Iowa. Into a storm. Juno seemed undisturbed by what was looming ahead…
This might be my favorite picture I’ve taken on this trip so far…
Looks like it might rain again so time to get Juno out before it starts pouring… TTFN!