Alex and I decided to be really stupid and drive to Minnesota last month. It’s a two day drive, and I always forget that time seems to stop in Iowa, because it feels like an eternity to get through Iowa.
Since I am from Minnesota, and every Minnesotan can agree with me on this, I believe that Iowa is not a real place and that it needs to fall into a hole in the earth. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but seriously, Iowa is not a real place
Since Alex has lived in a total of eight different states, he has no love or affiliation with any place. Since he spent a lot of time on the east coast, I consider him an east coaster, but I was born and raised in the same area of Minneapolis and lived there for 18 years. My mom still lives in the house that she bought when I was four, and I still talk to a couple of my high school teachers.
I’m very, very overly proud of my home state and home town. Something that baffles my in laws, but I think it just adds to my quirkiness.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. As soon as we get to Iowa, I scrunch my nose and complain that Iowa is basically hell and not a real place. Alex starts to get agitated with me.
Alex: Why are you so against Iowa? What did Iowa ever do to you?
Me: It exists. Isn’t that enough?
Alex: NO! THAT IS NOT A REASON TO HATE SOMETHING! THAT’S WHAT HITLER THOUGHT ABOUT THE JEWS! THAT IS NOT A VALID REASON TO HATE A PLACE OR SET OF PEOPLE!
But by the end of the day, Alex would be agreeing with me.
There’s this chain of fast food restaurants in the Midwest called Culver’s. They fry their burgers in butter, they serve beer battered cheese curds from Wisconsin, and their ice cream is actually frozen custard and they make it fresh in every store. You can get a heart attack just looking at their delicious food, and it’s a treat for Alex and I to visit every time we’re home. I looked on the Culver’s website and find that there’s a Culver’s in Des Moines. I figure that this was the time for Iowa to redeem itself. They also had a Caribou Coffee, which is my favorite chain of coffee stores, and I will go into my love for Caribou in a later post.
Alex and I were starving. The biscuit and gravy breakfast from the Super 8 Motel was not sticking with us. Alex and I are both hangry (so hungry that you’re angry). I get the directions on my phone to get to the closest culver’s restaurant, and as we’re getting closer, we realize that we’re in a residential area. When the maps says we’re there, we’re in front of a condemned house.
Strike one, Iowa.
Alex says screw it and we’ll find something once we get to Minnesota, which at this point is only two hours away. I pull out some veggies from our cooler of goodies, but carrots are just not a good substitute.
As we’re back on the highway, I see a sign stating that Culver’s is the next exit. I get excited and then I mistake the next exit for the exit following.
So we missed culvers. Again. Alex was furious.
I can’t blame him.
Then I see a sign for caribou. Alex tells me that if he can’t get cheese curds, I can’t get a turtle mocha.
So we’re both in the car, in silence, the dogs are sedated in the back, and we’re both staring ahead. I decide to change things up a bit.
Me: How about we play I Spy?
Me: I spy something yellow.
Alex: is it corn?
Me: Good! Now I spy something green.
Alex: Is it corn?
Me: Ugh… Fine, I spy something husky.
Alex: Wait, wait… let me guess… It’s corn!
Me: I SPY A MUSICAL BAND KNOWN FOR ROCK AND ROLL!
Alex: IS IT KORN WITH A “K”?
Me: I SPY SOMETHING THAT IS DYING!
Alex: LEAH! THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS CORN!*
Me: THIS IS WHY IOWA ISN’T A REAL PLACE!
When we finally got into Minnesota, after getting lost in Des Moines, driving through hundreds of acres of corn, Alex and I came to an agreement.
The corn gods must be crazy.
Have you ever been to a place where you were just so frustrated by how little there was? Have you ever gotten lost in a strange town because apple maps were designed by assholes? Let me know in the comments!
*Our I Spy game lasted close to an hour. Only two other times were the answers not corn: When I spied something spinny, which was a wind turbine, and I spied something beany, which were the soybeans.