Saturday, January 03, 2009

More Iowa Pictures

The buildings in the downtown where my oldest lives are so flippin' cute! There are several stores in the downtown, but there are many empty store fronts. I can't even tell you how cute this place is. Several of the buildings have dates on them from the late 1800's, so this town has been around for a while.

My son did say a gallery and gelato place is moving in, so that will be a nice addition. This town would be just right for an artist colony, like Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Actually, downtown Newton Kansas has a lot of the old buildings like this and the downtown is full of really neat shops that people actually shop at. I hope this happens for his little town too.

There is so much charm and the residents are pretty friendly. It is definitely a gem waiting to be revived.

I love the bump out windows on the building above. It is right next to the old bank building in the picture below.

I want to buy this building.
Wouldn't it make a cute shop of some sort? According to the sale ad in the paper, the walls are marble and it has quite a bit of space inside. This town needs a yarn shop...I wonder if Shelly (Twist) or Julie (The Newton Beadery) want to open up a second shop? Really the 9 hour commute would not be THAT bad.....

Above is the one screen movie theatre in downtown. We didn't take in a movie while we were there, but I'll have to see what is playing next time I'm in town.

Another shot from the corner of my son's street. As you can see, he literally lives steps from downtown.
The town bakery is on this block. We went there each morning we were in town. Their glazed doughnuts put Krispy Kreme to shame. I have to admit, I had several different kinds of their doughnuts while I was there...and they were all delicious. I love places like this.
We also went into a gift/card shop "Daisy's On the Square" that was a great place to shop, and the town thrift store. I love independently owned stores. They just seem to have more heart and personality.
I have more pictures of the downtown to post since it does extend several blocks, but blogger might throw a tantrum if I put them all in at once.

On the way back to Iowa after Christmas, we did encounter some rain outside of Des Moines, which was really not that big of a deal--until the fog set in. This was no ordinary fog. I can honestly say I have never seen fog this dense! It was probably the scariest drive I have ever done. It was dark and I could only drive by following the white line in the road directly in front of the headlight. I could not see more than one car length. The really bad thing is that the semi trucks were barrelling down the highway and people were following behind them, using their lights as a guide. Pretty darn dangerous. That's a recipe for a hellacious pile up. We ended up navigating our way off the highway and found a Super 8 motel that was gracious enough to let us stay even though we had my son's cat with us. There was a hotel at the top of the interstate ramp, but you literally could not see through the fog to find their entrance. Super 8 had a well lit one, so that is where we went. I was in near tears by the time I walked in the lobby. It was that nerve wracking! By the next morning the fog had cleared and I was surprised at how much was in that area that we could not see the night before. The car was covered in ice, but after a little bit, we got it melted and went on our way. Luckily the road crews had been out early and the roads were clear. Let me tell you, I really don't want to repeat that experience again!!
I'm looking forward to going back and exploring the area around my son's town, but I'm thinking late Spring and Summer are good times to go. I did not realize he is as close to the Illinois border..We went to the Wal-Mart in Muscatine, Iowa--literally right on the Missisippi River. Apparently Muscatine used to lead the nation in pearl button production at the beginning of the century. Button production caesed in the late 1960's. I am going to have to explore the downtown when I go back. There is a yarn store in downtown that sounds awesome!! When I'm there again, it won't be snowing and icing, which is more friendly to exploring.
Plus I will have a GPS.
Anyone who has driven long distances with me knows that I need one...badly.

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