Iowa was our destination for day two because of two reasons: Kristine and Ryan. While planning our drive, I decided to see how out of the way it would be to make a stop in the famed town of Storm Lake and to my great joy, it didn’t take out any time at all and would provide the perfect spot for a short visit with the Brandenbergers.
Because of our stops in South Dakota, we made it to Iowa later than planned, but still with enough time for a walk around Storm Lake with Alexio, their puppy. We got to see where Kristine works, where they live, and share a small taste of life in Storm Lake.
One regret of our time there is that we didn’t take pictures the first day. For whatever reason, we left the cameras behind and didn’t pull them out once. Kristine taught me a thing or two about the manual setting on my camera, so I did get this great shot ;)
The next morning, after staying up way too late catching up, we enjoyed an amazing breakfast, which Kristine had ready by 5:30. We grabbed a few shots then, as Carson was loading the car and as we said our goodbyes.
I did take a few pictures of the famed lake on the drive out.
During our time there, we were offered Diet Mountain Dew numerous times, which for some reason, we kept refusing. So Kristine packed these things for our drive. Kristine, thank you! The Mountain Dew kept Carson awake!
Iowa as a whole was exactly what we expected in a state. There were fields upon fields, pastures full of smelly livestock, trucks full of stinky pigs. We enjoyed Storm Lake, because it held special people, but as a whole, we weren’t that impressed.
We crossed the Mississippi River in a somewhat less dramatic way than I recall the Wilder family making that same cross in Little House on the Prairie.
Then we crossed another state line. Illinois brought us one state closer to our goal. It was there that we discovered the “joy” of toll roads for the first time. Suddenly, we were being corralled into lines with other cars of various shapes and sizes, with no warning other than “$1.10, have cash ready”. We didn’t have cash on hand, because it would have gotten lost in the already stuffed car. Somehow, thankfully, I turned my head and noticed the “Rainy Day fund” jar behind me. There were a few dollar bills in the neck that I was able to pull out with a straw. That jar saved us big time (at least we think so – we’ve heard that the fines can be rather hefty).
You might remember that earlier this year, we were really hoping that Carson would attend Notre Dame. So once we crossed the Indiana line, we headed for South Bend. The school was impressive, and Carson still wants to be there one day. Finding a gas station took quite some time, and we were in the city for longer than planned.
Ohio brought even more toll roads, which didn’t give us the best first impression. We watched another sunset in Ohio and saw the state from the freeway, providing us with an inaccurate view. We don’t have a picture of the moment that we arrived to our destination, because it wasn’t our house. It was too late to pick up the keys that night, so we stayed with my friend Rachel’s parents. We arrived a little after midnight (since we’d accidentally stayed almost 2 hours in South Bend), exhausted but finally in Ohio.