Each tournament trip has at least one day off. Well, we suppose the team is watching film and practicing. But we fans have to fill the time somehow. This is a brief account of how we did that, to accompany our gallery of pictures. (Yes, click that link!)
We checked out the free breakfast at the Best Western. Blah. So we headed into downtown Ames and had a very pleasant time at the Café Diem on Main Street. Nice room with lots of comfortable tables, decent capuccinos, and cranberry scones just out of the oven.
Then we drove the 30 miles to check out Des Moines. ("It is named after the Des Moines River, which may have been adapted from the French Rivière des Moines, meaning 'River of the Monks.'" Thanks, Wikipedia!)
Main target was the state Capitol which turned out to be an outrageously gold-domed structure sticking up like a yellow beacon on a hill visible from many miles away. We walked around it for an hour in bright sunshine, but got thoroughly chilled in the 35F breeze.
Then we took a slow ramble through downtown Des Moines, and stumbled onto a sculpture park in the middle of the city. Lots of whimsical art works certainly brighten an otherwise not especially memorable place.
Further down Grand street we came to the Des Moines Art Center, a large and interesting gallery specializing in art of the 19th century to now. The building, with its three parts designed by three different major architects in different eras, was interesting and fun to see.
From there we ambled back to Ames via minor roads. Pretty boring drive, actually, with everything colored beige with accents of gray. For a few weeks in May this region is probably stunningly lovely. (Then it gets hot.)
Streamed the OSU trouncing of Middle Tennessee on the computer, and so to bed.