2005 became the first time my family coined the saying, “If you build it, we will be a tourist!” We had received a wedding announcement earlier in that year from the first grandchild, my niece. She was getting married in Kalona, IA. My wife, my then three year old daughter and I were living in Glendale, AZ at the time had never once set foot in Iowa, much less knew where Kalona was located in the state. Heck, we didn’t even know how we were going to get there.
It so happens that the easiest and most economical way was to fly into Quad Cities (Moline), IL. From there it was about an hour drive to Kalona. We learned during our drive through the heartland that this was also Amish and Mennonite country. We would have to be careful of horse drawn carriages along the way. We made it to our destination just fine, but then came time for the rehearsal. Not having an official role in the wedding, we decided to go exploring.
I asked my future in-law (nephew-in-law?) how far was it to Dyersville? “Oh about 90 minutes,” came the reply. So off we set, heading north towards Dubuque and eventually to Dyersville. Reading this, I am sure you are wondering what on earth is the draw of Dyersville, IA?
Dyersville, IA happens to be the location where Kevin Costner heard ‘The Voice’ in the movie Field of Dreams. For reasons unknown to him in the beginning of the story, he plowed over a major source of income to build a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field. The movie ends up with Kevin’s character getting to play a game of catch with the ghost of his father on this field of dreams. It brings a tear to my eye every time I watch that movie.
We were on a mission and our journey north from Kalona ended up taking us about two and a half hours, but we made it to the Field of Dreams. The movie set is still has the baseball diamond, bleachers, house and, as of this writing is for sale. There is no cost to sit in the bleachers or walk on the field or through the corn. Just like the movie, it was me and my wife and more importantly my daughter playing catch in the middle of a corn field in Iowa. We made it back to the wedding and the wedding party could have cared less. We had been there and we have the memories to last with us a lifetime.
Travels with my family have continued because I still have the wanderlust virus coursing through my veins. This adventure truly proved our saying: if you build it we will be a tourist.
My series of articles and journeys with my family are meant to spark the wanderlust within you. Why I know this is so strong in most families has to do with the fact that they do not have pictures of dad going to work or mom sitting in a cubicle! I am willing to bet on the fact that many of the photos from your own family were taken while on vacation. I hope you will join us again for more adventures as we travel as a family and sometimes as tourists! Family travel is somewhat of a specialty of mine. Find out more by clicking on my bio and learn how I can help you have the vacation experience you not only want, but what you need!