22 March 2007

Middling Iowa

We found ourselves in Iowa City, Iowa for St. Patrick's Day Weekend, due to a mixture of tightened budgets, familial uncertainty, and serendipity. My brother Tim had the notion to bring his family to meet up with my parents, Brooke, Rex Grossman, and me in the Amana Colonies' Wasserbahn resort. The colonies are pretty much exactly half way between Clinton, Wisconsin and Omaha and the Wasserbahn sign always looks very impressive.

Upon discovering, however, that a nightly rate for the WB hotel was approximately $14,000 Tim rethought the trip. While there was talk of my parents coming all the way to Omaha or cancelling entirely we persevered and settled on the Travelodge - Iowa City (as a side-note...click on the travelodge link and look at the picture of the bathroom {thumbnails below}. Look for a moment. Now, where is the camera?).

Not sure as to whether we'd actually go or not, Brooke and i (& Rex) settled on a single night at the hotel, thinking Iowa City only had, at most 12 hours of entertainment possibility. Serendipitously, however, my good friend nateG informed me that he had been accepted to Iowa's Mass Media program and he and lissa were thinking of making a trip to the big IC that very weekend. Additionally, jackie was also planning on being at home in Center Junction, Iowa (home of the Lib'ry Inn) and possibly making the 1 hour trip in for the St. Patrick's festivities in Iowa City.

So, we piled in the car and Rex made his longest car ride to date without incident (by which i mean peeing on us or the seat). Although having Nate & Lissa and Jackie (not to mention Sandy and Angela who live there) around probably distracted from our familial obligations, we did discover that Iowa City is a pretty damn cool town. From campus and it's old Capitol building to Masala Indian Vegetarian Cuisine to an It's Brothers satellite (untouched by us this trip) the life in Iowa City seems good. Though not as scenic, it reminded me of Decorah with just the right mix of townie life, hippie life, and college life (perhaps a little heavier on the collegial).

St. Patrick's Day started off promisingly enough, with Nate partaking in an afternoon green beer & joel tucking into a Guinness. After dinner and birthday cake with the family we headed back out to wander from bar to bar looking for open seats. The Deadwood bar was definitely a highlight, though the memory is as hazy as the air inside was. To cap off the night brooke, jax and i hit a trashy bar that may have been called the Hilltop where they were passing out Jell-O shots just before closing... a sort of parting 'one-for-the-road' sort of gift...except you pay for it. All in all, the bar scene in Iowa City mirrored the rest of the town, with a good balance of trashy, classy, hipster and poser. If you find yourself inexplicably in Iowa City, fear not for it has much to offer.


Anonymous said...

About the Travelodge bathroom, seriously - where IS the camera?

Beyond the awesome and creepy aspect of there being a hidden camera in your room at the Travelodge, how do you even take a picture like that? We're talking serious Photoshop action I'd say.

Good weekend in I.C.

joel said...

I know. That's not an easy edit (a lot of magic wand work)