Monday, March 8, 2010

Not Exactly Quixote's La Mancha

This past Friday, Andrew, Livie, and I went on a little long-weekend road trip to Bloomington, MN. It's early March so the drive through the farmland of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota looked absolutely barren; the muddy landscape was covered in melting snow, and once frozen lakes and ponds were becoming less icy and more slushy. On our drive north, it was hazy, but the sun was doing its best to shine. On the way back, however, it was overcast and dreary.

On our way there, we passed these huge windmills (I guess "three-bladed wind turbine" is the proper term), part of some wind farms out here in this area. These things were HUGE. (I'd wanted to take photos, but alas, my camera was stuck in a bag in the back of the 4Runner). Livie was amazed - for a little while - and then went back to her DVD.

Meanwhile, I thought of the obvious - Don Quixote - which led me to thinking of  Manchega cheese (from Spain's La Mancha region, of course, and very tasty paired juicy, ripe pears), and wondering if it were a lot warmer and less muddy in Spain right now than it is here in the midwest. 

And of course, I thought of Man of La Mancha starring Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren, and the famous "The Impossible Dream." I had this song stuck in my head for a good part of that drive.

I actually enjoy that movie. Did you know that the first time I saw it was in high school in my Spanish 3 class?! During class for two (maybe three) days in a row, we did nothing but watch this movie. It was a fun change of pace. Okay, so we weren't practicing our Spanish-speaking skills, but we were, in fact, watching a musical adaptation of a wonderful piece of Spanish literature.

And now that I'm thinking of it, I should put it on my Netflix queue, since I haven't seen it for a while.

During that drive, I also thought of my grandparents and a road trip we went on long ago from Des Moines, IA, to El Paso, TX. I think it was "The Impossible Dream" that reminded me of my grandfather, and thinking of him led me to thinking of our long car trip to El Paso all those years ago.

That song always makes me think of him - the honorable, proud American who always had a lofty goal and did what he could to reach it, permanently unafraid, and always confident that doing the right thing was the only way to go.

Anyway, at around this point, Livie's movie was over, and I was snapped back into the present when she asked for another movie.

On the way home, however, I made sure to have my camera next to me, in case I had the chance to take some photos of the wind turbines. We didn't stop, but I did take some photos through the window as the 4Runner sped along.




If we ever head back to Bloomington again, I may pull over onto an exit and take a couple photos other than through the moving car's window. 

Sometime after snapping these photos yesterday, I saw another interesting sight - at least *I* thought it was interesting - it had captured my attention enough to make me want to stop. If we'd been hungry, and if it had been closer to lunch-time rather than late in the afternoon, I may have convinced Andrew to stop for a bite. It was a sign for a restaurant in Waverly, IA called The Fainting Goat. I'd never heard of it before, and the name was so fun, I made a mental note to check it out when we got home. Here's the link for The Fainting Goat. Looks kinda fun, huh? Maybe next time . . . if we ever take this route again.

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