Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Iowa adventure

Laws on smoking in public vary from state to state.  In Iowa, they are very strict: at a rest stop along the highway you can only smoke if you are inside your car with the windows closed.
Fortunately, we do not smoke. Incidentally, the rest stop was bucolic. (And the air was pure.) I felt like just staying there a while and looking at the scenery. We were on our way from Madison to Des Moines to visit friends last weekend. Iowa and Wisconsin share a border but the Midwest is large and it's about a 5 hours drive. It's scenic in a gentle sort of way.
  A highlight of the trip was an delicious Iowa version of Chinese hot pot. (Our friends spent a month in China this winter, visiting their daughter who is teaching there.)
We saw the new Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It's a gorgeous open space right downtown and is full of large sculptures by well known artists. One of the most popular works seems to be Nomad by Jaume Plensa. It's fun to walk inside the figure and look at the sky. (Plensa is also responsible for the wonderful fountain in Chicago's Millenium Park.)
 We amused ourselves by looking at the art and looking at each other look at the art. Paul took a lot of photos too; here he's taking a shot of Back of a Snowman by Gary Hume. Only metal snowmen would have survived the heat in Des Moines this weekend. Saturday the heat index (what it feels like with the humidity) was 103F (39.4C). We stayed inside and watched the US lose to Gambia in the World Cup, the only sad part of our trip to Iowa.

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