Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Betty in the Wild: The Mid-western US

I'm off on a big road trip around the USA, staying with a few Bettys as I go.  Here are a few snaps from part one of the trip.

I started out traveling from my home in Washington, DC, to Betty JoDee's home in Pennsylvania.  She has a lovely, sunny corner in her manse where she can sit quietly and do her embroidery while the children play around her feet.  This little workbasket holds her threads and yarns.  (Probably -- it's not like I'm going to look in it.)

Next up:  Detroit.  I loved Detroit, and plan to go back to get a look inside the art institute there, which is gorgeous on the outside.  That's in the Midtown neighborhood; Downtown has Tigers Stadium (and Lions, but I didn't feel like walking extra blocks in the wrong direction) and an Alpine-style pub/restaurant that felt Austrian enough to make Magic in Vienna a reasonable choice.

Ironically, MinV is one of the few with no pets.
Here are a few tigers for Cordelia & Charles.

The Millenium Bell - I love public sculpture.
More Salzburg then Vienna, really

Then I was off to Chicago, where Sarah and Hugo enjoyed the view from my friend's high-rise apartment (most Betty heroines are, I know, at least a bit squeamish about heights, but not Sarah Ann if I recall aright.)

Serendipity brought me to the Lyndon Bridge in rural Illinois, over the Rock River.  It was threatened with demolition, so people from near and far chipped in to preserve it.  Donors got metal plaques affixed to the bridge's wooden planks.  Most just said the donor's or honoree's name, but some went farther.

The bridge now connects a swathe of cornfields to a smallish residential cluster, edged by cornfields.
Jenny & Eduard climbed at least one tower to be together.

Elk Horn, Iowa, is home to the not-exactly-world-famous Danish windmill. Beatrice and Oliver visit Copenhagen!

Scale model of windmill

Plus they have an electric-car charging station!

Iowa City is mostly just home to the University of Iowa, and surrounded by... cornfields!  I went to the semi-Amish village of Kalona for the fall festival in a very light drizzle.  The talent show featured many teen and pre-teen girls in spangled leotards -- would Betty approve?  The Amish were not wearing leotards.

Not a fraternity house; a sorority house.  Never While the Grass Grows is perched on a not-quite-empty soda bottle I had to travel to find; Pi Alpha Phi takes its landscaping seriously.
A housing co-op.  I did not live in anything like this in my student days.
Home to the world-famous Iowa Writers' Workshop.
For sale at Kalona Visitors' Center, and really beautifully made.
My route did not take me through Nebraska, but tried to keep me on the Iowa/Nebraska border.  I wasn't having any of that nonsense, so sidetracked a bit to the mighty Missouri River and across it.  Sarah Ann danced on the bridge at Avignon, so I tried a few steps on this bridge -- with all the self-consciousness of a middle-aged woman jigging for trans-continental truckers in the middle of not much of anywhere.

The mighty Mo and I are buddies of long standing.


  1. Oh I do love this. I can't wait until you darken my doorstep!

  2. Betty Keira will just have to wait her're due at my house in mere and traffic permitting!

  3. "A middle-aged woman jigging for trans-continental truckers" could have gone viral if you'd only thought to record video. Of course, who knows which trucker might have been rolling tape. I'll keep an eye on YouTube...

  4. I hope you didn't get stuck in any nasty blizzards in the northern Rockies! Come home soon--you can visit Polly & Linus again, if you want. We'll even teach you how to use the TV remote this time.

  5. Student housing looked different for me too. One place was a nice looking modern high-rise next to another high-rise "inhabited" by members of the American forces and their families. Ha! The windmill link is great. I watched the video. Amazing. What a lot of work - a puzzle of gigantic proportions.
    Betty Anonymous