Friday, May 8, 2009

ADD Road Trip

In the last few months, I've come to realize that we've been living in this house for almost 5 years, and besides painting the walls, I've done nothing to actually make if feel like 'home.' I don't know if I was in denial that we actually live here, but the plan of selling the house in 2009 is definitely on the back-burner; especially since home values have fallen 30% or more in our neighborhood (yay Michigan!). Since we're going to be here for a while, I decided to actually start putting some personality in these rooms. Because I'm cheap and OCD particular, it's been a slow process of combing Craigslist, antique stores, and garage sales to start getting this house up-to-par on a budget.

One of the key pieces I've been looking for is an antique/vintage secretary desk. I've seen at least a dozen that weren't quite right or if they were, had too many zeroes in the price. Last week I found the perfect secretary for a great price in Iowa. The town was over 600 miles away - with trailer rental and hotel rooms, the secretary would still be well below the prices I've seen everywhere else. I brought it up with my husband, hoping that he'd talk some sense into me. No luck, he bought the piece of furniture and the family got ready to hit the road. I have to say that Iowa is really a beautiful state. The rolling hills were a welcome reprieve from the unrelenting flatness of Indiana and Illinois. We stopped in Iowa City the first night - kind of weird that the Iowa River runs right through the middle of U of Iowa's campus. Part of the university was under water last year when the Iowa River flooded - it looks like renovation is ongoing in the large and still-new buildings that flank the banks of the river. I'd like to visit Iowa City again if we had more time - it's no Penn State but it was a really nice university town.

We made it to Lamoni, Iowa (where we picked up the -exactly what I wanted- secretary) and stopped at Maid-Rite for lunch. I knew about loose-meat sandwiches from watching Roseanne as a kid, but had never seen one in person. I had a Maid-Rite topped salad. I expected the worst but it was really good, not greasy or weird tasting at all.

The next day, we decided that a detour through South Bend, Indiana would be a nice way to wrap up the trip. That is one depressing town. It was hard not to notice the huge dichotomy between the haves and have-nots in South Bend to the extent that it felt cartoonishly like propaganda against capitalism. Despite the general suckiness of the town, if anyone has to go to Notre Dame for a weekend I would highly recommend the Oaken Bucket. We had a great 'lunner' there on Sunday afternoon with the help of a Sierra-Nevada on draught (totally makes up for the 22 hours spent in the car over three days).

Now that we're home, I have three major painting/refinishing projects on the way. I'll try to remember to take pictures and post my progress. Also: went back to Weight Watchers yesterday - I'll post more about that soon.


POD said...

Too bad you can't drink Sierra Nevada IN the car.
I had never heard of the term "lunner."
And no to South Bend.
I felt that way when I went to Cincinnati years ago. The haves inside, the have-nots in the parking lot, begging.
Loose meat sandwiches, I remember Roseanne mentioning those. They don't sound that appetizing.
Probably made from lost Ovaries.
THanks for your post, btw, it was funny!

P/F said...

The next time we take a car trip like that, I think that we'll have to schedule at least another Sierra Nevada stop.

"Lunner" was coined for the kids who demand precisely three meals per day. It means, "you had a huge lunch at 3:00, so there is no way that I'm feeding you another huge meal at 6."

It took me a while to figure out how to post the picture (from Osceola,Iowa) - so I hope you liked it.

And I'd be resentful over the ovary taking, but I get resentful over most things, like Costco changing their toilet paper. I'm really glad that you're cancer free - even if they were possibly overcautious.