“A spectacular week ahead.” That was a comment I read last week in the forecast discussion on the NOAA weather website for central and eastern Iowa. It made me smile for two reasons. The first reason was obvious – sunny, warm, no-rain-in sight – who would not smile for that reason. Second, if you’ve ever read an in-depth NOAA forecast discussion, it may be written in English but the terminology and abbreviations used are not for the layman and that simple sentence was so out of character and felt, well, so down-to-earth!
So, with a smile on our faces, we wrapped up our stay in the Des Moines area by taking a bus to downtown Des Moines to tour the state capitol building. We’ve only toured about a half-dozen state capitol buildings but this one has been the most architecturally impressive (so far). Like many state capitols, it sits on a bit of a hill overlooking the city but unlike the state capitols we have visited, this one has one large dome rising from the center and four smaller domes that flank the four corners of the building. The interior was equally stunning. Since there were mostly school groups touring the building that day, we tagged along with a group of eight-grade girls. The docent did a pretty good job on the tour but the girls didn’t seem that interested in being there.
We had delicious lunch at a Lebanese café nearby and then made a quick stop at the State Historical museum. The museum is geared for kids, is superficial and I wouldn’t recommend it.
On Saturday, we drove back into the city to check out the weekly farmer’s market. The market stretched for several blocks and there was quite a crowd. However, NOAA lied to us. It was sunny, yes, but it was blustery and cold. This didn’t seem to bother most people there and some of them were walking around in shorts and t-shirts compared to our heavy jackets and hats.
Before heading home, we stopped at the city’s old public library. This beautifully restored building, built in 1900, overlooks the Des Moines Riverwalk and is now home to the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. We had no clue what the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates was or what it meant. We were simply interested in seeing the building. But, we found out all about this organization. You can read all about them here World Food Prize
We are now in Hampton, Illinois at a COE park along the Mississippi River and have been here for a week. The city is in an area known as the Quad Cities which is a region of four counties in northwest Illinois and Southeastern Iowa.
Quick, look at the sky! That’s no “sucker sky” – that's a real sun and few clouds. Amazing!
Stay tuned as we try to stay warm and dry.