4. June 2009 17:50
Today I went the distance to discover a place I felt I already knew before I arrived from one of my favorite movies: Field of Dreams. I resisted the urge to quote lines from the movie out loud to my guide Karla Thompson from the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce as she drove me down the same road featured at the end of the film when cars sit bumper to bumper to come see the baseball field.
The Field of Dreams Movie Site awakened all the heartwarming feelings the movie creates, since the field looked just as it did when Universal Studios constructed it inside a corn field. Some children and adults were playing a pick-up game on the iconic baseball diamond while I walked around, since the owners keep the field free for anyone’s use.
Even though the corn was too short to be just like the movie, the stories of filmmaking made the field come to life for me. Tomorrow marks my last day of touring this small corner of Iowa at Quad Cities and Des Moines, with no doubt more amazing surprises in store.
3. June 2009 17:37
When I was little I always impatiently awaited my next chance to play in my friend’s tree house, which we would stay in until the setting sun forced us both inside. Today, I explored a tree house in Marshalltown, Iowa that made my friend’s one-room tree house seem like a dollhouse.
What started out as a hobby has turned into an attraction drawing people from all over the world. The man with a vision, Mick Jurgensen, built this tree house mansion with very little construction experience. As his grandmother gave me a tour of the sprawling 55-foot high house, she told stories of Jurgensen’s early fascination with constructing miniature structures out of wood and Lego blocks so elaborate they came complete with their own water pump system.
The childhood fantasy come true known as the Big Treehouse seemed even livable, with 12 floors, a television, grill, running water and zany fun decorations at every turn. After today’s enjoyable tours of Pella and Marshalltown, I anticipate more Iowa gems tomorrow at Waterloo, Dyersville and Dubuque.
2. June 2009 23:55
After exiting the Des Moines International Airport this morning, I took a right turn and found myself immediately immersed in the bright greens of America’s heartland. Corn fields hugged both sides of the road and dairy cows munched on the lush prairie grasses as I drove past farm after farm. The peaceful countryside seemed even more beautiful than I imagined from movies like Field of Dreams.
I’m in my room at Honey Creek State Resort Park after touring the resort so new that all the concrete hasn’t finished drying. Opened last September, the resort features elegant accommodations with views of Iowa’s second largest lake – the Rathbun Lake. As I walked in the resort, the 60-foot fireplace drew my eyes upward at its mosaic designs of native Iowa fish and birds.
At the resort’s Lakeshore Grille, I was informed that any traveler to the state should taste the well-reputed Iowa chop. I’m still in a food coma from that delicious meal with baked apples on top, but looking forward to starting my whirlwind tour of Iowa tomorrow.