>I’m having trouble uploading my pictures, so I will have a big photo extravaganza when I return home tomorrow, as well as more details on the Iowa State Fair because the pictures really tell the story.

Today my sister and I drove to Kalona, which is a real Amish and Mennonite town. I use the word “real” because everything was closed there due to the Sabbath (as opposed to in Amana, another Amish area we visited, in which there is a charming-but-fake downtown that was open). Sister and I had a jolly old time driving around and stopping to pictures of some of the odder things that we saw, which I will post tomorrow. (Maybe I will even set up a long-overdue Flickr account…) Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of the two Amish horse-drawn buggies that crossed the road while we approached a stop sign. It was cool.

Sister also showed me where she worked, and then we went back to Iowa City to pick up her husband, who had stopped into his office to get some paperwork done. From there we headed to Amana, which was chock full of cheesy-homey things. We went to a few stores, where I picked up a small bottle of cranberry-plum wine (perfect for our second annual wine, cheese, and chocolate party in October), a piece of Iowa blue cheese, a “Dutch letter,” which is a flaky cookie shaped like an “S” that has almond paste in it. (Yum!!!) Next we went to the only working wool factory remaining in Iowa, and I bought a completely ridiculous hat with a stuffed bear head (fake, of course) on it for a mere $12.95. I am very excited to wear it around NYC in the winter, although if Husband wants it, he would look very cute in it and I will gladly hand it over.

Our final stop was the 31st annual sweet corn festival in Cedar Rapids. It is a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Catholic School, a cause I am not very supportive of, but I bought a hilarious t-shirt for $8. Corn was 3 for $1, and Sister bought six. They gave her seven. While we waited in the corn line, it began to rain, so we ate quickly under a tent and then brought the rest back with us. I must say that the corn was too mushy, not sweet, and had too much weird butter goo on it.

Before I fell asleep in the backseat on the ride home, we passed a corn field with a big billboard that read, “GOD IS PRO-LIFE. ARE YOU?” This made me wonder why so many women die giving birth around the world, as it does not seem very “pro-life” to me. What do I know, though?

Thus I am now back at Sister and Brother-in-Law’s cute condo, where we will eat dinner and watch some quality films (The Warriors is on tap!). Tomorrow my flight leaves at 8:30 am. While I had a GREAT time here, I am looking forward to seeing Husband and Tycho again.

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