09/25/2010: Day 2: Cedar Rapids up to Minneapolis
We woke around 6:30 without any alarm. Actually, as our first night on the road, we didn't sleep well. A good night's sleep in strange rooms requires a little practice. We dressed and went for the Belgian Waffles. Karen mostly made them, as I checked email and such. I didn't spend time writing so we could get on the road and spend more time in Minneapolis.
We got gas and were on the road at 8. It was a rainy morning's drive. This made me feel better about my plan of going to the (begin deep voiced echo)Mall of America(end echo) for some water-tight shoes. Normally, if someone heard me suggest going to a mall, they'd wait for a "Bazinga!". But this is no ordinary mall.
We arrived at the mall just before 1, found the Walking Store, and I bought some shoes. This is a trial for me; I hate shopping. So why go to a mall on a dreary Saturday? Well, it's a good mall for people watching. Especially as they go upside down at a mile a minute. Really.
But the noise level in the mall bugged me. We walked the new shoe box full of my old shoes back to the car, grabbed the laptop, and went to one of the many coffee shops to caffeinate and check mail. Then we sat in the car in the garage looking for a room. The garage deck heaved like that of a ship every few seconds as cars passed; I got a bit green. But we finally found a reasonable rate only a few miles away. A La Quinta off I-494 just west of the I-35W. A tall building far from easy access. One pays for the good rates. But the room had a view, and I wrote up yesterday as we rested up for dance.
At 6:30, we up-and-at-them'd to dress for dance, and go see Hiawatha falls. We arrived at dusk, so my pictures are a bit grainy. But it is cool having such a feature essentially downtown. Then, with a bit of spousal acrimony in (mis)navigation, we went to the local contra dance. An whom to our wondering eyes did appear, but a third of StringDancer, David Kirchner! We'd forgotten that we knew someone in this town. We had a good time at the dance, that went to 11:30. It's nice coming in as a stranger, and leaving feeling a part of the group. After dance, I was sure I knew the way to the hotel. So I chose to drive, rather than navigate. Well, the accidental detour was only a mile or so out of the way, but we took about twice as long as we should have to get back. It was a late night.
So I finally finished up this post in a couple of pre-dawn hours in a HoJo on Monday morning in Fargo, North Dakota (starting Day 4). No, we didn't have ground Buschemi for dinner last night. My mouse died, which makes it harder to process the pictures. It's apparently not the batteries.