Family Farm in Postville, Iowa
On October 1st, Don and I drove just outside Postville, down a gravel road to have our night in a barn!
My Iowa Dream!
I lived my first 10 years in Iowa, but my father was a college teacher and I hardly have a memory of a farm. It has been my dream to go back to Iowa and stay on a farm!
When our car tires crunched over the gravel drive, the farm pets were first to notice.
After a few kitty sightings and a sweet greeting by Rover the lab, we met our host Donna.
Donna and Rover took us to our barn. It was perfect!
We knew we weren't going to be staying in a hay loft. The barn was created just a couple years ago. But Donna and Dave built this barn using the wood from their neighbor's 100 year old barn, when it had to come down.
Most barns don't have porches. But being a big fan of barns and a fan of porches, this was going to be my dream stay. Never have I stayed in a hotel, B &B or Inn, with a view like this! Ahhh, Cornfields!
This was luxury living as far as barns go. I've never seen a barn with kitchen and fireplace. It was homey-rustic, with everything we needed!
A Corny Bathroom
The wall around the bathroom door was made from old barn wood, showing some of the original red paint. Between the slats was yellow & green, corn-print fabric. I was glad to see a modern toilet and a shower curtain as nice as any Marriott's.
But the sheep's water troth made for some amusing showers! The rectangular sink could have been 100 years younger than the desk it was built on. And all I could do was laugh at my image in the yoke framed mirror as I washed my hands!
Up in the Silo
The silo from the old barn couldn't be saved. But at least we knew this new one, which enclosed the spiral staircase, was plenty sturdy.
The Dales thought of everything. They even had a small nightlight under one of the steps, to make it safe. The view from above was pretty fun!
We had 3 options for sleeping up in the loft. On one side there was a queen bed with picket fence headboard.
Or we could have made our selves cozy under the quilt in the smaller "wagon wheel" bed. A cat walk away, was another sleeping area with a full sized bed.
Exploring Every Nook
It was obvious that Donna dnd Dave had fun putting this place together!
There were fun details like the curtains made from an old quilt, and the book nook with a little door, filled with farm and cabin books for kids.
There were also mystery pieces of farm equipment, that I didn't recognize... turned into wall hangers and containers to hold games, or even lamps.
The stools at the game table, were more familiar. Milk cans with tractor seats!
Rain had been predicted, so I was thrilled that we had time outside! I couldn't get over the corn! I wandered along the edge of the field until I got a good glimpse of some cows!
Don spent a little time with his uke and a sleeping, white kitty on the porch.
I spotted cows lounging under a tree. Then I had a fun staring contest, with a sweet white cow, standing in the haze of the dusty dirt road.
Next, I spied a tractor on the gravel road! This wasn't just a Disney version of a farm after all. And then Don and I hiked down a dirt road and enjoyed the quiet... except for a woodpecker!
I packed a lot of silly stuff for this 22-day road trip and my "farm apron" was included. I had hoped I might get to do at least one farm chore during this stay. Donna did indeed humor me and she let me collect eggs with her. It was a hoot going in the coop and watching the hens feast on their dinner while we gathered up the brown eggs.
Donna pointed out how the chickens like to crowd their eggs into 1 or 2 areas. "I think they spot an egg and figure it's a safe spot and then they all go for it. They end up getting cracked sometimes."
Eggs Put to Use
In the morning Donna carted a couple loads of breakfast goodies to our kitchen able!
There was a wooden box with dishes and placemats, drinking jars and cold chocolate milk. In the "cooler" we had all the hot stuff along with a list of where all our homegrown and homemade goodies came from!
There was an egg, potato and cheese bake in one skillet and crispy bacon in another hot dish. We had baked apples and a giant puff pancake served with pure maple syrup. All washed down with a a big pot of coffee!
That we stayed in a barn was plenty. But the whole experience from animals to corn made the stay perfect.
We made use of as much as we could during our short time. Next time... a campfire in the pit, maybe? Or milk a cow? It was pretty ideal the way it was!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!