We did it.

We wandered.

It felt really good even though we were tired as hell by the end of it. Ernie and I decided we need Wandering Conditioning to get used to it again.

This was a low-key wander. Sometimes I like going to a city and researching neon signs to find and making a map, etc. That sounded like way too much. We had one specific goal, to find a few buildings we had passed on a Big Boy chase (hence we weren’t able to stop), other than that we didn’t really care. I landed on Iowa Falls for our first night for no particular reason. I liked the name of it and the size of it looked nice plus it was on the north-south Jefferson Highway, so we could just take that down to the intersection with the Lincoln Highway and then we would wander south east and start in the direction of home.

I was worried about Ernie being too tired but he did pretty well. We headed into downtown Iowa Falls to find a place to get a drink and some takeout. Things were a tad frosty as we’d gotten irritated with each other (in case you’re wondering if these wanders are always idyllic) but then…we saw it. The Iowa Falls Popcorn Stand.

It was a thing of beauty. And suddenly the wander was restored.

It is open about two hours a week and there it was, neon shining, popcorn popping, just waiting for us. Some things are just meant to be.

We pulled over, took a few pictures and bought some popcorn. The woman running it was just lovely. She and Ernie chatted a bit while I took pictures and cursed the angle of the sun. She said it had been in Iowa Falls since 1948 if I’m not mistaken. She said she used to visit her grandmother in Urbana every summer. I chose to go with a large plain popcorn because, as I explained, I like the classics. She asked if we wanted her to take a picture of us—something that never occurs to us. I’m so glad she did.

I’d hoped to stop here for dinner but they were closed for two weeks. Well-deserved time off, I’m sure. It looks like the interior is much like the old Vriner’s. ❤️

We found a little place on the main street. I don’t remember what I’d said to make him laugh but I love it when I amuse him.

The place was ok. Cute enough. Understaffed but hey, so is everybody. I was using my walker and when I’d looked them up it said ‘wheelchair accessible entrance.’ O.K., good. However the tables right in front of the door were so close together that nobody with a walker, much less a wheelchair could get through easily. I squeezed in between the first two tables but then it got even narrower. I tried turning my walker sideways and pushing it ahead of me but that didn’t work terribly well because then the wheels were sideways. People sort of turned and looked at me but didn’t move. Ernie was trapped behind me and couldn’t really help. A couple of workers were right there too. Geez. We had a drink and got some food to take back to the hotel. I had a burger which I often do when wandering, unlike at home. It was pretty good although I have a sneaking suspicion that the gluten-free bun was less than gluten-free.

Everything is better when you have an Oxford comma bag and it it has a huge bag of popcorn in it. We collapsed, ate our food and watched a Hallmark Christmas movie.

A few more from the day.

There were sweet corn stands EVERYWHERE. I always like the ones that are self pay. Also, please note that I do NOT like the new Casey’s signage, etc. I told Ernie and he just nodded and said, “Yeah, I figured that.”

I love him.