Day 50: Iowa City, IA to Edison Park, Chicago

Yesterday I woke up in a tent pitched on my neighbor’s parent’s lawn.  Today I woke up in my own bed.  In seven weeks we drove about 7,200 miles (with 1,200 of those miles coming over the last four days).  Did the trip change us?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Like a good tan, the trip effects (good health and low stress) will fade over time.  The same thing in regards to the novelty of a comfortable bed, dishwasher, and a fridge that does not involve the constant feeding of ice into.

Yesterday our friends Alex and Chad took us to the Farmers Market in Iowa City.  After the cowboy mentality of Wyoming and Nebraska, it was refreshing to be in the more plain-spoken and warmer midwest.  The market was awesome with farmers and artisans from the surrounding country side set up downtown to share their homemade wine, cheese, veggies, and crafts.  The crowd was mostly locals with lots of kids running about and everything was friendly and low-key.  This was only my second time through Iowa City (the other time I was a senior in high school visiting colleges) and I was really impressed by the big town/ little city feel of the place.  I could see why people like Kurt Vonnegut chose to live there.  aMaceing Life, I think you might miss the mountains but would otherwise love to live in Iowa City.

After the market Chad and Alex took us to another delight; John’s Grocery Store.  This nifty little place was overflowing with beer and wine as well as good cheeses, veggies, crackers, and humus.  The store also had wisdom as the people working there knew their stuff and made good recommendations.  Armed with lunch, we set off on the interstate for a visit with Corey’s mom who made us a nifty dinner.  Joining us were my niece and nephew and their parents and the welcome felt complete.

A few hours later we fought against traffic and reached our house.  George and his friend took great care of the place.  I was worried that they might have had one to many big parties (and in doing so anger the police officer that lives next door) but I guess George mostly talked guns with him.  The cats looked healthy but did not seem to notice our arrival.  A couple of our friends happened to walk by later and it felt good knowing that we were missed.  After sorting through seven weeks of mail and doing a little unpacking, Corey and I drank some good Iowa wine (really, it was good stuff) on the front porch while Henna slept in her own bed.  We were home.