(In an effort to reduce the risk of losing my loyal readers of this travelogblog by either posting too much or waiting too long between posts, I bring you Day 5 in two parts.)
More midwest driving. Farmlands are a bit of a comfort drive for me, kind of like comfort food but the comfort and sense of home comes from looking out the window of a car instead of eating something. Not sure the husband feels the same way. Today (actually on Day 6, but I’m behind a day on travelblogging…and I’ll forget it if I don’t type it now) he said, “So what do they grow HERE?” Yeah, he may be tired of corn fields. Even the occasional soybean field is starting to look like a change of scenery. He gets almost giddy when he sees cows. I exaggerate. A little bit.
Suposedly we didn’t need to leave Des Moines very early in order to make it to Omaha for a 7pm Storm Chasers game, yet we actually missed the first pitch (gasp!) Here’s how THAT happened. Of all the Iowa spots that popped up on the husband’s favorite resources for sites to see, the one that we just couldn’t resist was 30 minutes north of Des Moines in Ames. We visited Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State University campus. It was a lovely, sunny morning for a walk outside. At the front desk they “apologized” for being in the middle of a major, seasonal changeout, but that didn’t bother us at all. The garden are not too formal and have a touch of whimsey about them that I really enjoyed. The tulips were not at their peak, but still spectacular:
The husband had to drag me and my nose out of the lilacs:
There was a garden chime that you walked on, a butterfly house, a conservatory, and a children’s garden. They were installing about 7 “tree houses” on the grounds – small, themed structures that were about the size of a backyard playhouse. But the real reason we had driven a hour out of the way was to see Elwood.
Remember our road trip mascot? Well, understandably FrankenRocky is none too excited to attend baseball games with me after his unfortunate decapitation. And I have this fear that I will be considered too-far-gone-to-be-served if I were to take him into a bar with me. I decided it was time for him to get out of the car and what better excuse than for him to meet the World’s Largest (concrete) Garden Gnome.
If you look closely, you can see Rocky on Elwood’s foot.
All three of us were happy we stopped.
The husband, of course, got a recommendation for a local brewpub, Olde Main Brewing Company, where we sampled some solid German-style brews and had lunch. Our timeline to get to Omaha was getting a little tight, but we weren’t worried…yet.