Is this Iowa?

June 14, 2006

I spent a long weekend in Iowa for an Irish-Catholic wedding in Dubuque. Good times were had by all.

I took my Texan buddy Kevin up north with me, other than ski resorts in Colorado he had never been North of Tulsa. I had to fix that. We beelined after our bar class to Des Moines where I stayed with my buddy O-tang. He’s gota nice house up there and is a partner in our investment firm (stupid market!). So we child with him, had some BBQ, and downed a few bottles of vino while watching Sideways (good flick if you like subtle humor, and wine). For extra special news O-tang asked me to be the best man at his wedding next memorial day weekend! Woohoo! I’m already planning (plotting) the bachelor party (well not really, but I thought about it. I havent been to Vegas in a good while).

The next AM we were off bright and early-ish to take a driving tour of highway 20 between I-35 and Cedar Falls, Iowa. Kevin was very surprised to see the rolling hills, river valleys, and other terrain in Iowa. I guess everyone pictures a flat expanse of farm fields. He also finally understood what I was trying to ttell him aobut there ALWAYS being a house within 1/2 a mile. Farm house farm house farm house… apperently in Texas such is not the case. He seemed pleasently surprised by the country side in Central Iowa and VERY impressed with the Dubuque area.

We did a driving tour of the University of Northern Iowa‘s campus and saw the new arena they are putting up (which looks like a big box). Then we drove throug hthe heavily industrialized city and gandered at the massive industrial complex that is John Deere Waterloo works, just on the way to my parents house to drop off Kaldun’s old John Deere bike. It was a bit of a theme I guess.

At my parents hosue we took their sporty little car out for a spin and then my mom took us out for lunch and forced a couple fried pork chops upon us. Then down hwy 20 again to the mighty metropolis of Epworth. My inlaws live on a hobby farm with a gorgeous barn (have pictures, MUST post sometime damnit!), a few horses, some fowl, a dog, anda ton of swallows. A classic Iowa farmstead without the actual farming). Due to the wedding, chaos ensued.

For those of you not in the know, Epoworth is about 15 minutes outside of Dubuque, Iowa, an old Mississippi river town and home to Lock and Dam #11. It is as hilly as San Francisco in many parts and sports a ton of old brick buildings. The old part of town has clearly define districts and neighborhoods that make it a really interesting city. Kevin and I had a chance to drive around the city and look at the old colleges, checked out a raft of barges in the lock from the bluffs overhead, and survey the areas around the town.

The best part is we found Fettkether Lane while we were driving around! Woot! I felt pretty special aobut that. It was/is a one lane gravel road with a wooden bridge that eventually has a sign that said “Maintain at level 8, enter at your own risk.” We chose not to enter and went back from whence we came. highway 52 up there is amazing, open areas, areas that felt like appalachia, and everything in between. Very cool. Then we almost ran out of gas since it goes near no gas stations and the very narrow WINDING dark lanes would have sucked to run out of gas on. I digress…
Rehersal went well, the groom was a bit nervous; OK, very nervous, And the priest was the same one that did our wedding… other than that no problems. The next day all went well with the wedding in-spite of the rain (but it kept the temperature in the non-aircondition country church down in the mid 70s), I took pictures and videos and to repeat my montra, I’ll post them. They had a string quertet playing and Kaldun was a ring bearer (which he will repeat next year for O-tang), it was a nice service (and my first time in a church since the last funeral).

The reception was a good time too! My parents took Kaldun back to Waterloo with them at about 8pm and it all went downhill from there. Kevin and I ended up hitting the bars with a pair of twins, a Norweigan, and an Englishwoman. Ok, they were all men in reality, but it would have made a better story for the internet had I started it the otherway. We ended up causing some good old fashion drunken trouble (nothing serious) and had our SOBER drivers get us home sometime before last call. A good time was had by all, except Kevin, who may or may not have had a good time. He still isnt sure. ;)

We spent Sunday night at my parents house in Waterloo and went to the Brown Bottle for some Italian and crashed relatively early. The next day was a 9 hour beeline to Tulsa.

Good trip, good people, good wedding, good times. It wasnt until I was on my way home that I realized I had taken NO pictures. Other than 3 pictures of Joes barn, 1 picture of Kevin, and the wedding pictures I didnt take any. None from the blufs of the lock and dam. None of Fettkether lane. None of the hills around dubuque. no bar pictures. NOTHING! D’oh! It was a whirlwind weekend (put 1,500 miles on my car!), so Ill use that as my excuse. Argh!
So now I am back ot the grind. We made up the bar classes by going ot night classes and the fence is getting rails this week. Slow and steady.

- Jesse

ps. if this seems more incoherent than usual, it is because I have had 3 phone calls, one yaking dog, and 2 emergency situations with a 6 year old while writing it (dog ate his toy tractor and his computer wouldnt turn on).

Pictures someday. I swear I own a camera.

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  1. Kevin sent me an email saying he really enjoyed the trip. I’m glad you guys had fun!

    How is the fence project going? Near completion?

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