True life: I’ve never seen Field of Dreams.
As an Iowa native and overall human, this disappoints me as much as it does you. I wasn’t going to share this post until I had finally seen this cinematic masterpiece, however, it looks like I am going to hit publish before I hit play.
My trip to Dyersville was like most trips in my life-- unplanned. I was on my way back to Cedar Falls from a wedding in Wisconsin, when I thought to myself-- I’ve got air in my lungs, gas in my tank, and an exit sign calling my name. If there’s one thing to love about Iowa, it’s the view of the fields on a Sunday afternoon drive.
I don’t like to throw around the word ‘perfect’ all that often, but if I had to pick a perfect Sunday, September 10th would be one of them. After a decent hotel breakfast, a few flea market stops and a trip down Main Street, Dubuque, for an iced coffee delight (more on that in a forthcoming post), I continued taking my time getting home. Now when I say take my time, I mean my original ETA was 1:30pm and I got home around 6:30pm. I sure know how to pass the time with adventures.
Before I left the Plaza antique store, I grabbed a map and asked for directions to the nearby movie site. The young lady working there was very helpful and informative, as I’m sure they get this question a lot. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised. As noted earlier, I had never seen the movie so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was simple and quaint and peaceful. It felt inviting for all walks of life, whether you’re a baseball fan or a movie buff or someone who enjoys the likes of both. Or even if you're just someone who fancies spontaneous road trip adventures (i.e. me). I had just missed the last house tour (bummer) but proceeded to read the giant sign containing the backstory of how this movie came to life.
I walked around the field and ended up taking off my shoes and wading across a small nearby stream. Taking the opportunity to truly soak up this sunny Sunday moment, I laid in the grass under a nearby tree and felt the breeze and listened to the distant sounds of laughter and fly balls. It was heavenly. (If you ever find yourself visiting this rustic diamond, please, do yourself a favor and wander a bit off the beaten path to really take in the whole picture. Just under the bridgeway entrance, is a small stream. Cross the stream, sit under the tree, and truly soak it up for all it’s worth. I practically guarantee you won’t be disappointed.)
After a good half hour or so of feeling like time stood still, I went over and sat on the bleachers, watched some families toss a baseball around and purchased an ice cream cone for $1.50. While the whole experience was truly wonderful, my absolute favorite part of visiting this small-town Iowa, big-time attraction-- was the people. It was a magical sight to see (and hear) all of these people from different walks of life brought together on a field-- a field of dreams.
This will definitely go down as one of my favorite days and I hope you find the same peacefulness and tranquility on your visit. It truly is an Iowa treasure to be explored.
Advice for your endeavor/note to my future self:
- Plan ahead so you can catch a house tour.
- Charge phone beforehand.
- Don’t forget you have a glove AND a ball in your trunk. (look alive number 10)
- Bring friends. Or at least food for a picnic.
- Wear flip-flops; they’re easier to take off and put back on while you walk through the grass and wade in the water.
- Always offer to take a family’s picture when you can tell they’d like to have one with everybody in it.
- Stop. Pause. And breathe. Whether it's for five minutes or 20, learn to soak up the experience while you’re there.