Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 7: On the road to Des Moines

On the road again.

Yesterday was the first day since last Friday that there was no book event. Just Mark, Atticus, Tali, and me making our way from the hotel in Troy, MO, to our friend Sonia's house in Des Moines, IA, so we took the scenic route along the Mississippi before crossing into Iowa.

The first stop was in historic Louisiana, MO, where we looked at the Mississippi for a while.

This cracked us up in a sort of an eye-rolling We're From PHILLY, Don't Tell Us About Murals sort of way. Mark believes that Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program is on a mission to cover every corner of our city in murals, and that soon blank walls will become an endangered species.

Atticus and Tali, taking a break by the Mighty Mississippi.

The next stop was Hannibal, MO. Mark Twain is to Hannibal what Ben Franklin is to Philly. They looooooove Mark Twain in Hannibal.

Very weird looking sculpture of Mark Twain. Mark and I have been getting better at taking photos from a car moving 70 miles per hour.

Hannibal, just in case you didn't know, is where America is from.

Me and Samuel Clemens.

Mark took this picture to remind himself to fact-check the validity of the claim, "The First Coffee Shop West of the Mississippi".

Me with Katie, who works at the Java Jive. She lives her life in terror of someone opening up a coffee shop across the street.

We are attractive people on a vacation!

And then, onward to Iowa!

Okay, maybe we're not that great at taking photos from a car moving 70 miles per hour.

My father has warned us (and continues to warn us by calling every five minutes with more warnings) about how we are unprepared for travel through Iowa, and might actually die of boredom.


"Look, corn!" Mark said. "We'd better take a look, because we don't know when we'll see this again."

I like Iowa! I like all the sky and the green and the no traffic. Granted, we are having the nicest weather ever, and I don't think I want to live here, but I still like it. I especially like Pella, the Dutch town that Mark found.

For those of you who don't know, my mother is from the Netherlands, and all things Dutch make me happy. So when we entered Pella, all my road-weariness faded away and I went all hyper with joy.

Windmills everywhere! This one was on top of a bank.

Another windmill! And enormous wooden shoes!

Atticus tries on the shoes. Or the shoe.

Blue and white Dutch ceramics!

More wooden shoes!!!

How to make your own wooden shoes!

Mark and a clock. A Dutch clock!

This was The Big Windmill. It was pretty big. Atticus was impressed.

Too true.

Onward to Des Moines. By this point, we were both pretty tired of all the driving and I had exhausted myself by getting all hyper over everything in Pella. Sonia and her fiance Michael were waiting for us with an amazing meal (our friends have really stepped it up with the home-cooked meals on this trip) and we were glad to collapse on the couch and hug up on their dog, Bear. But not before we took these awesome pictures.

The cows in Des Moines are enormous.

This is the Capitol Building. We were convinced it was a Greek Orthodox Church until Sonia told us otherwise.

This picture doesn't really show how fantastically purple this car was.

Today we hang out with Sonia for a while, and then head west to an evening book event in Omaha. Sonia promises us that we'll be seeing more corn...

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