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Ames Trip Pictures!
Ok. even though these pics are all thumbnails, it might be a long one.. so I'm cutting it. 

While hanging out in Ames.. Molly was taking care of my babies.  Here's Samantha in her cuteness... and thank you Molly for sending me this picture.  

While in Ames, Ed and I caught up on playing Crystal-Stix.  We used to do it pretty regularly like 7-8 years ago, and got out of the habit of doing it.   Tried it again over a lunchtime.. and wow, we sucked. :) but it came back over a while.
Ed and I practise with Crystal Stix during LunchEd and I hanging out at my makeshift cubeSiju
I am very grateful that Ed and I learned to do that stuff.   Its fun, graceful, and fun to do with somebody else..  and we became very good friends through the whole thing.  The last person there is Siju... I shared a cube with him (doublewide cube) while I was in town.  He has "raised" seating -- ie, can either stand or sit.  It was very cool.

I got to hang out with Noumouas and Arabesque not once, but twice!  Very grateful.  They are some of the family that I'm leaving behind.. maybe we didn't see each other all that often, but definitely felt like family. 

Breakfast at the Grove with my friend Jeff!   I came up with yet another cool pattern for my pancake.  
Breakfast with Jeff.. caught him in the actMy Pancake, all doctored up

All in all, very good visit as far as visiting places and friends that I wanted to -- lets see..   Gar. I made a table, but its not pasting right.  Guess i'll let it slide..  NO I WONT.

Favorite Places To Eat That I visited
The Grove Cafe
2x Cyclone Truck Stop
Stomping Grounds
Chinese Homestyle Cooking
2x Café Diem
3x, 4x West Hyvee Starbucks
Probably many others…

People I love to be with
Stu – at least twice
Noumouas - at least twice
Audrey – Lots
Don and Heather - Multiple times
Jo MW, Lisa S, Robin W
Sara R
Jeff, Chad, John, Alice, Dennis, Dave N, Lyle, Kris, Darci, Monica, Carol, etc etc... countless recovery people, multitudes of church people, and lots of people I knew by sight if not by name.

Back to the pictures.

I took off from Ames.. as always, i seem to forget the beginning and end pictures of each trip.  Beautiful weather, happy GPS -- heading out to Cedar Rapids to see some friends there.   A little tired.. but not too bad. 

But, i then remembered - I hadn't seen a certain Sara R in my stay, and if I didn't, she'd like drop kick me across multiple states!  So I called, and we rendevoused at Starbucks in Neveda -- which is not a coffee place.  She's doing good.. i got to look through the latest pics from something I missed a few weekends ago. 
In the picture, i'm holding a "baby" cone -- 25 cents -- and she has an extra small.  I'm surprised she got choclate, usually she gets like Lime/Raspberry Twist or something.  Earlier in the day she'd fallen of a ladder.

I spotted this truck with a really cool black garden thingy (what are those called?).. I figured reaneau would like to see a picture of it, so there we is. 

Cedar Rapids crowd is doing WONDERFUL.    Left to right.. Ellen just moved to Iowa City and is back in school fulltime for Geo{graphy/logy}.. X24 is cheerful and goodnatured as ever.. Kathryn and Michael are heading to Shanghai (are there now) and taking their eldest with; Jim, Julia and Alex are doing great, no longer have the mumps, and the last is, of course, Andrea.. the first girl to ever give me her phone number along with an "I Love You" note.   *grin* I still have it somewhere.. M+K were mock horrified.
I'm so glad I got to see them..  I get to hang with them maybe once, twice a year.  Next big gathering: Either Halloween or NYE.  Possibly not both.

I left there in the evening..  heading out towards Peoria.  Stopped once for gas and nibbles.. 

I can't believe I didn't stop after that till Peoria.  Wow.  Got a hotel just past Peoria.. Morton Illinois, home of another Ford Plant! (I live next to a Ford Plant in Louisville). 
Quality Inn's are pretty nice.   Ruby Tuesday's was wonderful for Dinner.  I even had wireless internet, so I got to read up on more Order of the Stick...  The next morning, though, was the day of many stops.

First stop: Too damned BRIGHT.   I didn't have my clipon shades.. so I stopped at this cute place, and found a pair -- which don't fit right, work, and cost me $1.   Aren't I smashing?
The advantage of these is -- they look so dorky, I am highly motived to leave them in the truck.  Which makes them harder to loose.

I had a hard time staying awake.. but I did manage to get past IL into Indiana.  Then I had to stop for a nice nap..  at this wonderful rest-area.   I crashed on a bench, under a bunch of birds in trees and warm sunlight... oh, so good.  
That rest area has a cute, hard-to-see marble map of the state of Indiana.

Last stop... getting closer to home.. had to get gas.  Had this wierd bridge thing which I saw on the way in... 
When getting gas, I also got to use my speedway card for the first time.. and help a guy with a Huge trailer (in picture) back up.  
I got a better look of the structure on the way out. 

And I got home at about 4:30 in the afternoon.   Cleaned up a bit, fed and cuddled the cats, and headed over to Molly's for some yummy food and huggling.

Life is good.  It was a good trip.

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Nifty pics.
Love the Clip on shades. ;-)

It is way too long a drive, isn't it? I dread the drive to Tennessee every year when we go to visit my folks.

So you've been talking about Arabesque for ages but it has only just now occurred to me that she is the same Arabesque that is in my daughter Mia's pre-K class at Willson-Beardshire. I see them every morning. Silly. What a small town ames is!

Please do tell her Uncle Sunny says hello from me!

Hey! You saw me in CR too! Pout! You even got a good shot of the back of my head!

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