My first order of business with this post is to apologize for not posting the remaining three weeks of blog posts in a timely manner–driving long hours combined with a jam-packed schedule and spotty cell service made it difficult to post along the way. But, now that I’m home and have had time to rest and reflect, I plan to write about my travels while looking back through a wider lens.
So, here we go: what the heck is in the Mid-West??
After Chicago, we drove west to Galena, Illinois and Blaum Brothers Distilling Co. We made it in time for a tour of the distillery, which, as a recent chemical engineering graduate, made me extremely happy (I even got a picture with their still and distillation columns!!). We also got to sample their delicious bourbon, gin, and pepper vodka (too spicy for me). After we’d had our fill and bought some souvenirs, we headed on into Iowa.
In Dyersville, we found the gorgeous St. Francis Xavier Basilica. The pictures below don’t do it justice. It was definitely an unexpected find in a state I, admittedly, often write off as just being filled with corn and not much else. Sorry, Iowans, but know that I now know there are more than just crops in your beautiful state.
We continued to Cedar Falls and Single Speed Brewing Company. Are you sensing a theme yet? We enjoyed some great local brews while watching some hockey and eating our combined weight in nachos.
Like I said, I think that a lot of people, especially from the heavily-populated coasts, tend to think of the Mid-West as not having points of interest; it’s a place to drive through, not stop and spend time. Well, from this experience, it is beautiful. There are stunning places to see. It is well-worth at least a stop on a trip, if it’s not the destination.
In other words, what’s the Mid-West good for? Good sights, good drinks, and good times.