Friday, May 8, 2009

Iowa City Adieu

Back from a short business trip to Iowa. Working nights meant that I had a couple of afternoons to explore. I walked around the University of Iowa campus area Thursday afternoon, visiting Prairie Lights book store (remembered fondly from Laura's tour of Iowa City in 2007) and a Java House. There was also a Java House in the hospital, but I sensed it wouldn't be the same.

My hotel in Coralville surprised me by having a deck and river outside the back doors. It also contained the Iowa Writer's Library. Guests can fill out library cards from the books' front pockets and check them out for the duration of their stay. I loved that, and wished I'd had time to read.

Before hitting the road today, I went to the Iowa Antique Car Museum/Johnson County Historical Society Museum. The Historical Society Museum was pretty bad. The exhibits were set up haphazardly in a huge room, with little thematic connection or continuity. And while I appreciated the schoolchildren's cardboard/construction paper models of historical Iowa buildings, it seemed like they shouldn't really be a prominent part of the Historical Museum's collection. I assume they're not operating with a huge budget, so I hope they get a chance to do more. I love Historical Society museums in general, and I wish it well.

The antique car museum (a room next door) was all I'd hoped for, however. A giant room full of old cars, and plenty of room to walk around and view them up close. Antique cars have some crazy hood ornaments. My favorite was a policeman with spinny arms. I also liked the tires with "non skid" treads, and the fancy front lamps on many cars from the 1910's.

Following a short stop at the world's largest truck stop, I'm back in Wisconsin. I like road trips, even solo. Even for work.

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