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Thisbe Nissen: Tour Diary

Preliminaries - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 -
Day 7 - Day 8 - Day 9 - Day 10 - Day 11 -Day 12 - Day 13 - Day 14 - Day 15 -
Day 16 - Day 17 - Day 18 - Day 19 - Day 20 - Day 21 - Day 22 -
Day 23 - Day 24 - Day 25 - Day 26 - Day 27 - Day 28 - Day 29 - Home Diary - July 25 - July 26

Day 29: Ann Arbor to Iowa City

We drive into Ann Arbor with Uncle Paul, who has given us the gift of Patrick O'Brian's first novel, determined to get us hooked on the series. We meet cousin Alison for coffee at a great espresso place that could completely be Iowa City. I feel so happily at home. We walk around Ann Arbor for a bit, Chris falls in love with a Vintage Silvertone guitar in the window of a music store, we buy Michigan t-shirts like one Chris had as a kid, the day is getting hot already and we are remembering what it means to live through summer in the midwest. I feel thrilled.

On the last leg of our plane trip, our plane is filled with high school wrestlers on their way home from some big meet in Florida. They are hulking sixteen years old boys, noogy-ing each other and heckling the stewardess. they ask her for "pop" and she punches the air saying, "What? This kind of a pop? Is that what you want?" "Soda," she tells them. "You want soda." There are goods spirits in the air. And as we fly in to the Cedar Rapids airport all I can think of is how all through the course of this trip people have been saying to me: "Iowa? How can you live in Iowa? It's so flat." And I've adamantly maintained that Iowa isn't flat at all. "It's rolling hills," I tell them, "Like in the Grant Wood paintings." But what I see now as the place approaches, green-green farms sprawling out as far as the eye can see, is that Iowa is actually pretty damn flat.

But it's home! And there are kitty cats and the garden is so overrun with vegetables I don't know how we're ever going to eat out way through it, and the air is hot, but the house is cool, and messy as all get go (will I never learn to leave a neat house when I go away?) but oh god is it good to be home!