A visit to my aunt this weekend fell through and because Paul and I had planned to take Friday off, we decided to give ourselves a day away. (I realize there seem to some incongruities here...I whine about how much we work and then I blog about my days off, but trust me: Pictures of my laptop and phone and comments about serial commas and deadlines are not blog-worthy).
At any rate, we decided to take a day trip yesterday to Dubuque. I've lived in Iowa for more than 20 years now and still there are many in-state places I've never been. It was a pretty low-key day—partly cloudy, windy, the fields still dull—and Dubuque seemed a subdued place, as well. But it was a nice day away: we drove up through Mt. Vernon where we stopped for omelets, toast, potatoes, coffee, and the New York Times—that was a treat! Along the way we enjoyed the sights: the barn above, the house at left, with its matching miniature house out front, and St. Mary's church on the hill outside of Peosta and across the road from the New Melleray Abbey, which is run by Trappist monks who support themselves by farming and making caskets.
In Dubuque enjoyed the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the small but sweet Cotton Cabin Quilt Shop (the front room was traditional, the back room had a nice selection of contemporary fabrics), and the sign outside this bar. Sadly, it was just too early to stop in and see Paul's Big Game Trophies in Paul's Tavern (or Paul's Tap, depending on whether you believe the sign out front or the parking sign.)