Driving to University of Iowa

On Thursday, my mom and I set off in separate cars to drive to Iowa City. Though hesitant to leave, my mother assured me that if I were to change my mind, we could turn around and go home. (Or keep driving on to Indiana; whatever my little heart desired.)

We had planned to arrive at the University of Iowa and move my belongings into my dorm in the afternoon. After that, we would find a place to park (Iowa City is a great pain to park in) and camp out for a couple of days. However...that plan didn't quite pan out the way we thought it would.

The drive started out normally. After stopping in a neighboring town to eat lunch, we continued our journey on the interstate, where I got a little reckless. Switching lanes and driving at about seventy miles an hour, I grasped my camera in one hand and steered with the other, catching a shot of this silo.

In a way, I took this photo for my grandmother. She has this "thing" for silos; a fetish of sorts that only evolved after a 1974 tornado completely destroyed the one on the farm my mom grew up on.

After about an hour, it started to get cloudy, and rain sprinkled my windshield. We drove past Walnut and Adair, and I noticed that nearly all of the wind turbines that dot the fields were on.

However, I wasn't able to enjoy the rolling green hills and "driving music" on the radio for much longer. An hour later--halfway to Iowa City--my car blew a tire. My mom, at least half a mile ahead of me, noticed that I pulled over into the break lane. She then preceded to reverse up the breakdown lane to get to me! I was half-laughing, but remarked aloud, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

After realizing that we were, in fact, without a jack, we realized that we would not be able to change the tire ourselves. To further complicate matters, our wrench didn't even fit any of the bolts! As a result, we waited for three hours for the Iowa Highway Patrol to come and change our tire.

We were tired. We were frustrated. We had to pee.

The Highway Patrol man was rude. He was inconsiderate. He snapped one of the bolts in half.

Not a fun experience in the least...

That's my car in the corner.

When we were finally back on the road (past the time when we thought we would be finished unloading), I noticed a large rainbow; one that spanned from one terrace to the another, across the Interstate. It was beautiful, and I was able to point it out to my mother--while passing her. I knew that she would appreciate it--just as my grandmother has a "thing" for silos, my mom has a "thing" for rainbows.

To make a long, frustrating, depressing story short, my mother and I decided to stay in a hotel Thursday night. Sadly, the receptionist that checked us in that night was the highlight of my day.

My mom had slowly made her way into the lobby ahead of me, asking the young man if there were any non-smoking rooms available.

"Why, yes, there are. Would you like one?"

"Yes, please," my mother said. "Is there a room with two beds, or will we have to share one bed?"

"We have rooms with one bed and rooms with two beds," was his articulated answer.

"Do you have rooms with no beds?" I quipped. My mom laughed and receptionist smiled.

"I can give you the ballroom if that's what you want," he said. "I cater to your needs."

Once checked in, we stood joking around with the receptionist, as well as his fellow co-worker. We discussed the University of Iowa, where I transferred from, the city of Council Bluffs, and Chex Mix. When we were ready to head to our room, my mom spoke.

"Umm...where are our keys? We don't have them yet," she said in her you're-a-cute-puppy-and-would-like-to-cuddle-with-you voice.

"You are the most demanding guests, Pssh! KEYS!" he said sarcastically, and we all laughed.

One of many pictures I took in the bathroom (the 180-degree mirror provided some interesting abstract photos).

Exhausted, I jumped onto one of the beds, looking forward to "sleeping" in a surprisingly comfortable hotel bed.

The next day (Friday), my mom and I checked out of the hotel and headed back to the dorm. We unloaded the rest of my belongings, moved the cars, organized furniture and said belongings, skipped lunch, replaced my tire, killed time at the Coralville mall, went grocery shopping, unloaded the groceries, moved the car, organized the room, and moved the cars back again. This time, however, I was dropping mine off in the designated lot...a lot that happens to be seven miles and a forty-minute bus ride away.

After parking the cars, my mom and I walked over to the Cambus bus stop. While waiting for the next bus, she suggested that I take a couple pictures of the payphone.


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