Day 2:
Without an alarm, we managed to wake up and drag ourselves out of the crime scene Econolodge by the 11a.m. checkout date. The weather actually served as sort of an alarm clock anyway, since it had been raining since early in the morning and a huge crack of thunder rumbled at about 9:30 and I didn't go back to sleep after that. Instead of trying to find something to eat in Grinnell, we decided to hoof it to Des Moines and get something there (as it turned out, another bad idea).

It rained pretty hard the entire way to Des Moines and the wind was blowing like mad the entire 45 minute drive as well. We stopped off and figured that Perkins would be a decent place to grab a quick(ish) meal so we could get back on the road again.

This was the biggest mistake of the trip.

For starters, the aformentioned Drake Relays were taking place in town, so the restaurant was a little abnormally busy anyway. After being told that there was going to be a 15-minute wait, we decided to stand in a corner until we were called, and nearly the entire time an employee was switching between running the register and filling helium balloons (which he popped at least once). Annoying, yes, but nothing could prepare us for the wait to get our food.

Alas, we were finally seated and we ordered and our drinks came out pretty quickly. This happened at about 12:20, and we waited and waited and waited for the actual food to come. Other tables that had been seated before us still hadn't gotten their food at 12:50, and were getting visibly agitated. At 1:00, we made a bet to see how much longer it would be and agreed that if we hadn't gotten our stuff by 1:30, we'd walk out. Finally at 1:17, almost a full hour after we ordered, our food arrived. Even then, though, my hash browns were nothing but crisps and grease and TG's vegetarian omellete (mushrooms and cheese) was laden with ham.

We finally got out of the restaurant, got some gas, and finally made it back onto the interstate just before 2p.m. Des Moines was bid a good riddance for the trip and we were on our way through even more rain.

On our way home, we swung by my parents farm for awhile, and when we arrived my mother informed us that there was a tornado warning in effect for the county. We'd noticed that the clouds and weather had turned strange over the course of the past hour of the trip, but had no idea that it was quite that scale. The sky was layered with all kinds of different dark clouds and the wind was still blowing like crazy.

After the weather advisory expired, we went into town to get some plant starters from a relative, then back out to the farm to eat dinner. At dinner, everyone seemed to be in a particularly goofy mood, and my parents even convinced Aaron to have a little glass of a rather strong Danish liquour called Akavit (which is about 80 proof). Perhaps it was the weather.

At any rate, we made it back to Lincoln safely, although the wind continued to blow and the sky went through all kinds of strange cloud patterns. As always, email to answer and things to put away upon arriving back.