Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Iowa Than We Expected

I hope you folks aren’t getting tired of hearing about my travels.  I am combining several days here just to speed things up.

When we left our tale, Dad and I had just arrived in Des Moines after a big day.  We were on our way to Denver, our next big goal of the trip, to see my sister and her family.  It was Sunday night. 

I liked the decorating details of our Sleep Inn so much I thought I would share them with my blogging friends.  I was thoroughly indoctrinated into the farm and country motif by now.

In the lobby: 3 old screen doors fastened to the wall as coat rack. These were by far our hottest days and most humid, and no coats in sight.  

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In the dining area: metal chairs with animal cut-out backs and carved wooden table base with glass topper

11-05-09-06-34-44H  Now this I loved: an old door converted into a coffee table with the addition of  carved legs.  It helps that the door was quite an interestingly carved one.  Not like my closet doors at home; wouldn’t put them on display anywhere…11-05-09-06-33-30H 11-05-09-06-33-40H Outside on the porch, an inviting row of rockers v

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In the lobby:

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On Monday morning we checked out after breakfast and headed west, stopping to visit long time Cedar Rapids friends from Mom’s girlhood.  After a nice visit, I hopped out of the car to take this picture and we discovered a pool of oil under the car.  Not good! 

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Our friends directed us to a repair shop which was also the Honda dealer in town and incidentally right across the road from our hotel of the night before.  They diagnosed the problem as a hole in the oil pan from something we had run over in the road, and there were several other things that had gotten banged up.  They were quite concerned about the amount of oil left in the engine and said we couldn’t drive it anywhere safely.  They ordered the parts needed which would come from Davenport the next day.  So we went back to our hotel, asked for our old room and prepared to stay for a few more days. 

Did I mention this was my birthday?  And the day before was Mother’s Day?  I was a teensy bit homesick to be with my family at this point and felt like I was hostage in Des Moines.  And it was really humid! 

Dad went back to the dealership to sit with his car like a family member in Intensive Care Unit.  He took care of the insurance business while I stayed happily in the air-conditioned room finishing my latest J. A. Jance mystery. 

I found a new love that night at dinner: The Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant.  Right next to our hotel, it was a celebration of farm produce and home cooking with all the decor to match, and a gift shop, to boot.  Shades of Cracker Barrel.  It was a perfect birthday dinner.  Just look: old farm equipment and kitchen antiques decorated the walls11-05-09-16-36-09H

Dad had the pork loin ( 2 thick stuffed slabs, enough for 2 people, really) which came with fresh green beans , potatoes and gravy and I had pot roast.  The meal started with a basket of different breads and the salad course was individual bowls of fresh-made cottage cheese and coleslaw for each.  I was full right then!  The funny thing is that although we were staying there for several days, we never went back there because Dad said it was  ‘too much food’. 11-05-09-16-51-55H

The next day I went back to shop, though, and enjoyed all the John Deere toys and farm cookbooks.

Aprons for sale:11-05-10-09-02-04H

The repair shop loaned us a vehicle and we went out to visit old friends. ( Mom and she were friends from 8th grade and were letter writers after moving away from each other. Dad and Mom always visited them on cross-country trips.) 

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We also went to Dallas Center to kill time.  This pretty little chapel is where a distant cousin of mine got married:

11-05-10-11-06-02H    11-05-10-11-04-56H Along the road from Dallas Center to Des Moines, the different dark brown soils, such rich earth:

11-05-11-08-09-02H  11-05-10-11-25-36H 11-05-11-07-22-02H  And the other thing we did when driving in the country: Yum, yum.11-05-10-11-12-31H

Reading the paper:

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Good Night!  Good Night!

2 comments:

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I never tire of vicarious travel! :)

Love those screen doors as art!

LM said...

Yes, it's just like that, except that the door is Tunisian! And we also added glass to the top so that you can actually put a coffee cup down. What a great idea.

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