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Weekend in Iowa

I got out of the office on Friday at about 4, and headed downtown to pack and get going. I got out the door by about 4:45pm, gritted my teeth, and prepared for a hellish Friday rush hour drive out of downtown. I was pleasantly surprised however. The Broadway Extension, which is usually a parking lot by 4pm, was so wide-open that I was able to use cruise control. I went to Kohl's up on Barry Road to pick up a shirt, a tie, and a pair of pants, before hopping on 152 heading east toward I-35. 152 however, proved my undoing. By the time I was Liberty(near where 152 meets I-35), I was in ridiculous stopped traffic so long that it crated a wavy mirage effect on the no-so-distant objects in front of the car.

I got on the highway at 5:30 or so, and zipped up to Des Moines without further incident, except paying $3.39 per gallon for gas somewhere in Iowa. When I got gas, I stopped at the only apparent place to stop: McDonald's. I hadn't eaten at McDonald's in months. Let me make something absolutely clear. I used to love McDonald's. I would hold their quarter pound cheeseburgers up to my face and revel in the aroma- the soft pliable consistency- the way that the cheese bonds into the shape of the patty.

As a matter of health, I made a decision some time ago to avoid eating at McDonald's unless it isn't comfortably avoidable. On Friday, I found myself with the choice between eating at McDonald's and going hungry. I opted for a chicken sandwich at McDonald's. The translation from marketing picture and actual sandwich was pretty dramatic. It was disgusting. I don't mean that it was fatty, or greasy, or overtly unhealthy, though I'm sure it was. I mean that it tasted bad. I wasn't able to finish it. I deposited the uneaten half of it back into its container, tossed it, picked up my fries and soda, and left.

As I drove up the highway from there, I finished the fries. I used to love the fries too, but something had happened since the last time I had eaten them. These had presumably the same flavor and consistency that I've always remembered, but they were not appetizing. I made myself finish them, and in so doing, made myself feel ill. Is it possible that going for extended periods without McDonald's food can make your body dislike it when it's reintroduced? It was a sad thought that I might never enjoy McDonald's again.

Anyway, I rolled into Des Moines just after 8pm, and Alex and I almost immediately left for a beverage or two at A.K. O'Connor's in the rolling suburbs of West Des Moines, and on to Rock Bottom Brewing in Clive for a really delicious APA they temporarily had on tap.

We left the next morning for Fairfield. I chose not to shower, as I would prefer to freshly shower and shave once we got there. Unfortunately, the hotel was well within the borders of Iowa, and employed a staff that was apparently unaccustomed to people wanting to stay there. Unshaven and sweaty, I instead availed myself of the use of their bathroom to change, and we headed over. I shaved at the church, hacking off 75% of my face in the process.

The wedding was lovely though. Sarah and her sister sang a surprise song for Jacob, to whom Sarah had just become married. More country music was played than at any wedding I have ever attended, comprising roughly 60% of the music played. After the reception was over, a cadre of drunken goers(myself included, of course) knocked the dust off the bar, and kept things going into the wee hours.

Alex and I got moving the next morning, and said our tearful good-byes in Des Moines. I had since busied myself with debilitating allergies that have recently attacked my eyes and nose. Pictures from the wedding are on the way.

5:04 PM, May 21, 2007

4 comments

Paintfumes thinks:

Wow what a drive. Maybe you could put up some pics of your trip. I just can't believe I'm in the

"quiet seat". What trigger you for putting me there. Life goes on.

11:12 PM, May 21, 2007

tim said:

I gave up the golden arches after watching Supersize Me. It's true that after a bit of time, you kind of lose your taste for it. That's a good thing, trust me. You can always munch on some beef jerky from the gas station if all else fails.

7:51 AM, May 22, 2007

Jeff responded:

starvation is better than mcdonalds.

9:21 AM, May 22, 2007

thesmartone replied:

I also gave up the McDonalds after Super Size Me, but, I have since returned.

McDonalds is a jealous mistress, I cannot stay away.

10:22 AM, May 22, 2007

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