Monday, June 20, 2016

Monroe County Courthouse

St. Louis Trip, Day 8, Friday, July 31, 2015
Another stop on our trip home from St. Louis was the Monroe County Courthouse in Albia, Iowa.
The first session of the court in Madison County was held in a log house without a floor.  During the session, Judge Charles Mason, the lawyers, and the clerks slept on the ground.  Since there was no barn, their horses were tied to trees outside  One night there was a severe storm, so they brought the horses in and stabled them in the courtroom where they slept until morning. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

First Methodist Church in Centerville, IA

St. Louis Trip, Day 8, Friday, July 31, 2015
It's not everywhere you go that traffic will slow down and wait for some random blogger standing on the sidewalk across the street to get a photo of the local church.  But...that's just what one car did for me in Centerville, Iowa!
Centerville was one of our last stops on our way home from St. Louis last year.  We noticed this Methodist church down the street from the courthouse, and knocked on the door of the parsonage.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Super 8...and Illegal Fireworks!

St. Louis Trip, Days 2 & 8, July 25+31, 2015
On our trip, we spent two nights at Super 8 motels, one in Bowling Green, Missouri, and the other in Macon (below).
Of all the hotels I have stayed at, I would rate Super 8 as the most economical.  The rooms were not particularly fancy or spacious, but when one is is travelling, arrives late and leaves early, all that is needed is a bed!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

National Balloon Museum - Part 2

The National Balloon Museum has a basket available for visitors to take photos in.  The gentleman who was acting as museum curator kindly consented to have a picture taken with me.  He told us about ballooning in the area and the yearly festival, and gave us information on how to get a balloon ride. 
Besides the rooms filled with displays, the museum also has a small theater and a library.  The oldest book I noticed was The Aeronautical Annual from 1895.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

National Balloon Museum - Part 1

On our Winterset trip last May, we stopped at the the National Balloon Museum in Indianola, Iowa.
Admission was only $3 per person.  There are maps near the entrance with pins for visitors to mark where they are from.  If the maps are accurate, the museum has been visited by people from every state in the Union, and guests from every continent.  I'm not sure the three pins placed on Antarctica are legitimate, but who knows?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2015 - Part 2

Best Western Cantebury Inn and Suites turned out to be an older hotel, so accommodations were not comparable with those we enjoyed at the Cedar Rapids Best Western.  But, regardless, I was pleasantly impressed.  I booked the room weeks in advance...and they gave us the most spacious room on the first floor!
Clockwise from top left: Sign in Best Western room, BW room, stairway at the Marriot, BW continental breakfast.
It's not often I book a 2 queen-bed room and get a couch as well (not pictured).  It was also very nice to start the day with a complimentary continental breakfast (a standard at Best Western).  Last year we stayed at the Marriott, but ended up driving around town to a McDonalds for breakfast. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2015 - Part 1

I'm stepping back into my drafts folder to post about the state's strongest tournament, the Iowa Open, which we participated in on August 29th and 30th, 2015.  I'm not sure why this never got posted, but better late than never.  Like in 2014, the Iowa Open was held at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa.
I woke up at 6:00 A.M., packed and caught up on emails (and made sure I made a move in my correspondence chess games so I wouldn't forfeit on time while gone).  Charity, Papa, and I left shortly after 7:00 A.M.  On our way we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast.  We arrived at the Marriott with plenty of time, and checked in with Mark Capron, the tournament organizer.