Homer's Travels: The Quest For Cambria ... And Me Without My Camera

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Quest For Cambria ... And Me Without My Camera

When we lived in California, we had a favorite place to get away to when we just needed to get out of town - the town of Cambria.  Cambria was an artsy place with interesting stores and restaurants.  It was far enough ways that it took up the day to get there and back and the drive never seemed to disappoint.

Now that we've moved to the Midwest we find ourselves Cambria-less and I, for one, miss it.  So we decided to start looking for another Cambria.  Our first try: Walnut, IA.

Walnut is a small town of 780+ about an hour east of Omaha and is known for it's antique stores.  16 Antique stores to be exact.  We arrived to a small town scene that I haven't seen in a long time - a little boy on his bike riding to the corner bakery to buy a snack.  To make it better, he was wearing little light up devil horns.  It would have been a great picture IF I'D HAD MY !@#$%&! CAMERA.  We went into the bakery where there were two little girls, also decorated with horns, drinking root beer out of the bottle.  They payed for this treat with change that one of them kept in a plastic Easter egg.  How perfect is that?!? And me without my camera.  *sigh*

We walked through several antique shops.  In one the owner was giving out free homemade cookies and cider.  A little kitten was hunting and pouncing on a dead leaf in the courtyard of the store.  Too cute.  And me without my camera.

We ate some lunch at Aunt B's Kitchen.  Good, in-expensive food served by someone who was very likely an Aunt and who's name may actually start with the letter 'B'.  It doesn't get much more ... real than that.

After lunch and a few more antique stores, we headed south out of town.  I was going to take some country roads home instead of the interstate.  On the way out of town we passed several wind turbines being built.  Not sure how many but a few were numbered up in the 90s.  Why Nebraska doesn't have wind farms, I don't know.  Iowa, if I'm correct, is the third largest producers of wind energy after Texas and California.  Wind turbines always look so majestic.  And me without my camera.

I turn west and we noticed something alongside the road.  I stopped and backed up to see a flag flying next to a large B-24 bomber model on a pole.  The props of the model were spinning in the wind.  A plaque told of a mid-air collision of two B-24s near this point in 1942 and listed the crews that had not survived.  And me without my camera.

I was concerned that the Wife might miss the Notre Dame kick-off so I was zipping along on the empty country roads.  I was zipping along nicely until I passed a cop car.  Oh Pu-lease!  D'Oh!  I pulled over before he'd even completed turning around.  I had all my papers ready by the time he got to my window.  I was nice.  He was nice.  The Wife was giggling.  He gave me a ticket.  *sigh*  He was nice enough to knock 9 MPH off my actual speed to reduce the fine.  I pulled away and carefully sped up.  I was so careful that I didn't even noticed that I ran a stop sign.  Fortunately the cop car wasn't following me.  That would have really made my day.  I drove the speed limit the rest of the way home.  (I was disappointed to find out that Iowa doesn't allow you to take driving school to dismiss tickets as they do in California.  Great.  Higher insurance rates.  Wonderful.)

We made it home literally a minute before kick-off.  The Wife is happy.  Me ... I owe the state of Iowa $94.60.  There goes the money I earned off my pictures.  Poop.


  1. Even without the camera, the running commentary still tells of a wonderful day. Well, except for the speeding ticket, LeadFoot... ;)

    Look at it this way: remember speeding tickets in CA are something like three hundred bucks, so you came out on top!

  2. GH: His ticket would have been $300 if the officer had put the actual speed on the ticket, but because "Speed-o" seemed to think he needed to get me home for kick-off (I told him not to worry about it way before the pretty flashing lights went on), he was making the quickest get-a-way out of a very scenic late-September landscape. I am not to blame (note: I am throwing my arms out like Richard Nixon leaving the white house for the last time).

  3. You are such a bad boy. A ticket!!! For speeding!!! Why am I not surprised. I've been in your back seat way to many times to be shocked. Go ahead, blame it on the wife. hehe

  4. GH: It was a nice day until I got the ticket. I could have done a lot worse of the speeding fine. I was lucky.

    Wife: I will have to correct this misperception - I don't blame you for the ticket. It was all my fault.

    MoH: It wasn't the Wife's fault ... and I do have a need for speed. :-)

  5. One ticket makes your insurance go up? We have a points system and if you have 4 or more points that happens.

    I do enjoy that The Wife giggled but I bet it was a tad annoying at the time! :D


  6. JaG: I'm not really sure but it might.

    A tad? I little more than a Tad. Ha!