Thursday 30 September 2010

Day 34 – If You Build It, Kevin Costner Will Come

We’ve got a lot of road time on this trip, it’s understandable considering how big America is, but that can often mean we drive for hours on end just to see one particular thing (especially when that thing is in the middle of nowhere). Today was a day like that, because you don’t get much more ‘middle of nowhere’ than Iowa. Having said that, it ironically seems the people of Iowa have got somewhere to be. I’ve never been overtaken by a semi-truck before, but somehow today 5 did this unprecedented deed.

What, you may be asking, is worth seeing in Iowa? Well, as it’s quite close to Minnesota, every time we’ve been back in the last few years we’ve talked about doing a small roadtrip there. The reason? To visit the site where the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ was filmed. We’ve always put it off as it’s a long drive just to stand in a cornfield, but on a trip filled with long drives, this excuse no longer held up. And besides, we needed to get from west to east somehow!
Iowa is so close to home that we saw signs today stating it was only 198 miles to Minneapolis. I didn’t expect it when, just for a fleeting moment, this made me feel a little homesick. We’ve been on the road for just over a month and I’m loving the trip, but home is still home – even a new home. Joe politely agreed.

After a five and a half hour drive we arrived at the farm of Don Lansing in Dyersville, Iowa. A piece of true American film history! Many people love the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ -- but I doubt anyone more than Joe. He was a baseball kid, him and his brothers have (what some would call) an obsession with the sport. But there’s something so innocent about baseball, something that falls back to a father and son throwing a ball around in the backyard that connects with most American males.
And this film in particular, for reasons unknown, connects with that. It’s a love that’s passed down between generations and when Joe’s love of baseball and his love of film intersect in the cornfields west of Dubuque – then by jove, that’s where you go. It’s where our kids’ll go and their kids’ll go, Don Lansing permitting. It’s a place where dreams come true - so, it was a small price to pay in gasoline to drive all day for. It’s not often that that happens (The bleachers even still had a carving that our trip mascot, Kevin Costner, made himself during takes while filming).
Putting down the bat and ball for the day, we crossed the mighty Mississippi into state number 20: Illinois, where we’ve diverted from our regular chain of hotels to stay at a different hotel chain. As we were spending a day reminiscing on Joe’s childhood it seemed only right we’d stay at a place Joe had visited a few times on family vacations – ‘The Hampton Inn’ in Rockford, IL. Thank god it’s had a lick of paint since the 90’s, it’s actually one of the nicest rooms we’ve stayed in on the trip! Too bad we didn’t get here til 8pm and have to get up for another oil change at 6:45am…
So, until tomorrow…

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  1. That's funny! Everytime we go to Chicago (a few times a year) I point out the Rockford Hampton Inn to Meghan. We are very similar, arent we? :) Did you make it to the clock museum???

  2. We looked it up and it seems the clock museum is closed!!