Royce and I had the pleasure of flying to Iowa City without kids a few weekends ago to attend a wedding for a friend. It was a quick trip (Friday-Monday) but we crammed in some great time with friends along with lots of good food and drink.
Each time I fly back there I get nostalgic for the Midwest, the food, the people, the inherent genuine niceness of everyone. It takes me a few days to realize they want me to look them in the eye and smile when interacting. I get so used to the silent, head down, keep-to-yourself, efficiency of the east-coast.
Friday night I did the 1.5 hour drive to Manchester solo so that I could have some more time with my friend while Royce stayed back in Iowa City to enjoy time with his. The rolling farmland, the sinusoidal speed rhythm as you drive through small towns miles apart, the bug splattered windshield, passing cars on 2-lane highways — all things to me that are quintessential Midwestern memories that remind me of my childhood trips through western Kansas.
Since we didn’t have the girls with us we were less restricted with our time. We went on long runs, hit up the local DQ, drank coffee at Java House and wandered around downtown Iowa City. We even got to go up with Jeremy in his plane on Sunday night and see Iowa City from a new perspective. It’s always nice to go back, and each time we do we try to figure out ways to get there permanently but then I return home and remember how much I enjoy working for the agency and my tiny house in the city and all the city perks that come along with the city struggle and then I settle down and forget about having a large house in the open prairie land.
As if to prove my point for why I love living here we arrived back from Iowa on Monday and after a 3-hour drive on Thursday night — I was on the beach.
This past weekend was my annual girls “Mental Health Improvement Conference” trip and we headed again to Fenwick Island, DE for a few days of kid and husband-free relaxation. We did absolutely NOTHING unless you consider drinking, reading and eating doing something. It was perfect. Most of us were so relaxed we were rendered speechless; conversation was at a minimum during the days as we all lounged pool or beach side reading.
Because I had just returned from Iowa I didn’t have my sewing gear organized to bring Betty or any sewing projects with me like I did last year. It was OK though because I didn’t have the time to sew like I did last year since I had to hang back and work all day on Thursday and even had to put in two remote working hours on Friday. I always travel with something that can occupy my hands so my knitting traveled with me this time.
It is back to reality now though. Our next trip isn’t until the end of July when we head to KC with the girls for a family reunion. We will head to the beach sometime this summer as a family too. I’m looking forward to heading out to the Midwest (hopefully!) this fall to meet up with the girlfriend-wives and am tossing around visiting my girlfriend in Dubai this fall to help lend a helpful hand after her baby is born.