From iowa city to chicago

We went on a Road trip

After the long day on Saturday involving college football, some booze, lots of laughing, and a scary basement, it was time to head back to Chicago.

We had the whole day to get back- so we decided to take the scenic route. Our first stop was to eat at Goose Town Cafe in Iowa City. I had the Goose Standard breakfast, sunny side eggs, square sausage, delicious home made hash browns, and some toast. They also had their own jam and hot sauce. Oh my days! It was super yummy. The service was amazing as well. Outside the restaurant was such a nice tree, as well as a very creepy book statue.

The next stop was at the Worlds Largest Truck Stop. It was huge! They had so much stuff inside. So I got 2 magnets and 2 postcards. I love tat.

Onwards from there was Dixon Illinois- the birthplace of Ronald Reagan, and also, a statue of the Berlin Wall. Apparently it has a piece of the Berlin Wall in it. It was dedicated to the birth place of Reagan because of his involvement in the wall coming down. There was also 3 wall murals and a statue called the ‘Wings of Peace and Freedom’ by artist Nick Tanev. See photos below for visual fun!

We stopped at McDonald’s for a final fuel up, then stopped at the gas station for a further fuel up for the car and headed on our way through rural Illinois. The reason for the rural route was the “avoid tolls” button on google maps. Oops! It did provide with beautiful views along the way.

We dropped off the rental car at the airport, grabbed a Lyft car share and listened to some rock music on the way back home. There were plans to make our weekly trivia night, but we arrived late back so didn’t get there. Next week for sure!

I’m off to bed now because I am working tomorrow, while the rest of the gang are off for their half term week.

I had a brilliant weekend and I am happy to share them here. Next week, it’s back in the kitchen- inspired by my adventure!

see you soon



Iowa homecoming game

Go hawkeyes!


This weekend I went to Iowa for the very first time. There was a small troupe of 7 of us that were sharing an Air BnB near to the Kinnick Stadium where the Iowa College Homecoming Football Game would be played on the Saturday.

Sam, Matt (his brother), and I shared a car from the airport where we just picked Matt up. He had flown in from the UK. We drove straight from there to Iowa City, I napped in the car and hoped I wouldn’t need to pee. I have the tiniest bladder ever, which makes me an awful road trip buddy.

We arrived around 11.30 and had some food in McDonalds because it was so close to where we were staying. I finally got to pee in McDonalds, and what an adventure that was. Someone had managed to poop ON the toilet seat… I was in awe at the sight, and also mildly horrified. Though working onboard the trains from Edinburgh to London- I had seen worse. Have I made you feel nauseous yet? Glorious. That’s the last I’ll mention of that. You’re welcome.

The air BnB we stayed in had a BASEMENT! A real, horror movie, dark, creepy, “empty” basement. I was thrilled. I never thought I would get a chance to go into a basement. I also wondered if I would be eaten by something- or open some sort of portal to another dimension. Who could say!

I had all the intentions of going to bed when we got in, but we all stayed up chatting till 2.30am.

We had an early start the next day, Sarah made breakfast of eggs and bagels. Yum! At 10am we headed to our first tailgate. Drinking beers in a car park- I felt like a teen again! Plus they do it right, they had portaloos. Genius idea for pre-game-pre-gaming with beer.

By the time we got to the stadium we missed the first quarter of the game, but arrived in time for the “wave.” This is where the whole stadium turns around and waves at the kids in the children’s hospital next door. Such a touching moment!!

We were sat right next to the cheerleaders, which was so cool! I was really living my American dream, basements, cheerleaders, tailgates! oh my.

The game was tense, but Iowa won so that’s good for their homecoming. The half time show was a huge marching band playing “popular musical songs” which was mostly the Lion King. They were so good. They got in formation of words, the state shape, and other such things.

We left at the beginning of the final quarter to go and find food somewhere. But we didn’t. We ended up in a bar called Brothers and watched the last of the game there- having some more beers.

It finally kicked in an hour later that we hadn’t eaten since bagels and eggs, so off we popped to Blaze Pizza where one of the group spotted a former student from the school. Que fun awkward trying to hide the mildly booze buzzed teachers talking to her. I just ate my pizza, it was lovely.

We then went to The Union bar where the bouncer said he would have accepted a fake ID from me because I have an old face. Rude.

Next was a bar called DC or something similar to that name- which had a weird balcony section upstairs where people were throwing popcorn to the patrons below. The whole place smelled like popcorn and had giant beers.

We ended up back in Brothers bar for a while, before going to The Union for just one more drink. Cut to two hours later and some tequila and I made friends with two local farmers. Nice guys, very friendly.

Finally we got back home around 10pm, played some games, I ran into the basement to find serial killers, survived, ate some pizza and then went to bed. Glorious. The next day we went on a road trip on our journey back to Chicago. But that’s for the next story.

see you soon

colin x