Back to Minnesota

Traveling home after trips is always a mix of sadness, relief and downright exhaustion. This trip has been no exception. When you need to drive 6 hours each way to spend two nights in a place, you almost always end up feeling un-rested when you arrive home.

Yesterday, after our run, we got a bit of a chance to rest, but then the family activities of the afternoon and evening kicked in. Because we didn’t know many of the people at the gathering we ended up spending a lot of time with a close cadre of people that we know from my wife’s family and playing a lot of board games. In fact much of yesterday was spent playing great board games with family.

We brought along a bunch of games, and introduced people to Sushi Go, a great quick card game that our niece and nephew couldn’t get enough of. Then we pulled out a favorite among my wife’s family called Lords of Vegas. It’s like Monopoly on steroids with intense episodes of dice rolling where you see if a major gamble to take over a casino paid off. It’s a super fun game to play with people who are just a bit hardcore and competitive, as you can really get into some strategic battles to controls the Las Vegas strip.

After some games we packed up for a big buffet dinner at a neighboring casino, and after dinner retired to the hotel once more for a couple more rounds of games. Because of how early we awoke for running, bed time was long before midnight, despite other folks closing down the bar downstairs.

IMG_3615Today started much quieter. I awoke somewhat early and headed out on a photo walk to check out some of the really interesting sculptures that dot the area of Council Bluffs. There was a bridge just down from our hotel that had four completely unique sculptures on the four corners. It was really cool to try and shoot some pics of it in the early morning light. I then headed over to another area to capture a weird multi-person statue, looking for unique angles to photograph.

I had a ton of fun pulling out the camera, and for the next few days this blog will be a photo blog as I work my way through the post-processing task. I did discover that I wish I had a lens that fit in-between the two zooms that I currently have. I found myself needing to change lenses more often that I would like because my larger zoom just didn’t go quite wide enough for some of the shots I was taking, but I needed the high zoom for some of the close up work. Something for me to start looking into I guess.

IMG_3617On the way home we stopped at a nice liquor store in Iowa (ON A SUNDAY NO LESS!!!!!) to pick up some six packs of beer that I can’t get in Minnesota. I’ll be sure to talk about those brews in another blog. It was fun picking out stuff just by label, not really knowing what I was in for. We then hit another brewpub in Ames called Olde Main Brewing for some late lunch. They had a great Belgian wheat that was super refreshing, as well as a hearty burger with bleu cheese.

As I type this we’re currently on Interstate 35, on the way home, looking forward to getting in some quiet down-tome tonight before the hub-bub of the week begins in earnest. It’s been a whirlwind weekend, but overall a good one. I’ve seen places that I’ve never seen before, and my never see again. I’ve gotten to drink beer from breweries that may never distribute in Minnesota, and I’ve gotten to play a bunch of great games with family that I love. But for now it’s back to life in Minnesota.

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