Monday, November 8, 2010

More Good Times

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7 (Daylight Savings Time Ended)
Spent about 5 hours driving west and a bit north through Illinois and into southeastern Iowa. Part of the drive was through Amish country, and there were a few of these horse-drawn buggies on the road. The highway was a narrow, two lane road without paved shoulders, and many little hills, so caution was needed.

We arrived at Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake around 2 p.m., and were happy to find that a special deal was
being offered: two nights for the price of one
including bike rental and use of the waterpark. I took this picture this evening just after sundown, as we drove up again. There are three of those "modules" on the right side of the entrance, all connected. To the left is a one story wing with the lounge, restaurant and meeting rooms. (Next weekend there's a big quilting retreat here.)
This is a large, luxurious building, craftsman
style again, nothing skimped on.

Before dinner we went for an hour long walk around the grounds. This resort is quite new and also has 28 "cabins"--really very nice small homes.

We went for supper in their classy restaurant and were disappointed. I had "Forest Mushroom" soup--a cup--and that was delicious. Then I had a Chicken Quesadilla which was the worst one I've had. Jim had the soup of the day and then a Bruschetta, which was O.K. but not "real food." We ordered appetizers because we weren't very hungry at all, but we should have ordered one regular dinner and split it between the two of us.

Our room is great, with high ceilings, lots of space, marble bathroom, view of the lake, and a great comfortable king-sized bed.

We had breakfast in the Lodge Restaurant, and had the opposite experience to last night. The breakfast was great! "Real Food!" according to Jim.

What a beautiful day! We went for a long bike ride, using the bikes the Lodge has available. Up and down the hills, alongside the water, over all the bike paths in the park.

Around 3 p.m. we drove to the closest little town, Moravia, to have a meal at the Hometown Café. Too bad--it's out of business. A local told us that Angel's on the highway was the only other option, but when we saw it, I gave it a "thumbs down." So on we went, 10 miles south to Centerville, and were glad we did!

We were looking for the Bluebird Café on Jackson Street, but it was closed when we got there. What we found instead was so interesting.

They say that this town has the world's largest town square. In the center was the large old courthouse (sorry, no pic) surrounded by green lawn. The streets around that square were wide enough for angle parking on each side and in the middle of the street there was enough room for another double lane of angle parking. Surrounding those wide streets on all four sides were old buildings, several of them restored, or undergoing restoration.

We asked about a restaurant, and a woman from Missouri, who said she was only there because her dad had just died, directed us to the restored Continental Hotel. This turned out to be so interesting.

The Continental Hotel, which burned and was rebuilt in 1872, had fallen into total disrepair when Morgan Cline began restoring it.

Morgan, born in 1932, grew up in a poor family in this area of Iowa. His mother worked as a cashier in a store on the Square. He made a fortune in advertising in New York, and became a huge benefactor for Centerville. He bought and restored historic homes and buildings, notably the Continental Hotel. It now has 24 suites for independent seniors, meeting rooms and a fine old restaurant.

Learn more about Centerville and Morgan Cline at

Jim was looking for "real food" and found it here: cheesy broccoli soup in a bread bowl and a baked potato.

After dinner we looked for a newspaper for Jim's evening reading, but it's pretty hard to find newspapers. Jim's had several USA Todays, and on Saturday we found a New York Times. Yesterday he had to make do with a Des Moines Register, and today he's out of luck.

I keep myself entertained with my knitting and reading some books I took along: Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden, The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

This afternoon I finished the second hat (for the third time.) I didn't like the crown the first two times. Then I got the idea I wanted these little triangles poking out and took a long time trying to figure out how to knit that. Finally gave up and went to the net where "Knit Witch" showed how to short row, and then I was able to do it. I like this version; it has a sense of humour. At least I'll need a sense of humour to wear it!

This evening we went to the waterpark in the lodge. There's a lot there: a very shallow pool for little kids with a pirate ship with slides into the water; a "lazy river" to float around in tubes; a 3' deep pool for games: volley ball, water basketball; islands to climb onto and fall off from; a waterslide; and a hot tub--which was so relaxing. We enjoyed it more than we had expected. And we could just imagine how much our four young grandchildren would enjoy a waterpark like this one.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome home!! You wrote about your marelous trip and I can well imagine some of the sights and experiences enjoyed !! Love your hat! it is very unique! Did you figure out how many km's on car, on hoof (walking), hiking, and biking! You certainly kept us well informed and such good iformation about some of the buildings, although I wondered if you had seen some of the Amish quilts? Those buildings, the historic ones, had such beautiful woodwork in them, the bannister is awesome in the scammer's house!! and the history you passed on Hope to see you Thursday