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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I spent a few days in Ames last week for Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Surprisingly it was a mind opening experience where even an old guy can learn a few new things. So here is what I learned on my mini vacation.

  1. Always check your entire hotel room on the first day. You feel kind of dumb when you open what you thought was a very large dresser on the last night to discover it held a microwave and refrigerator.

  2. There are no free parking spots on the campus anymore. Take plenty of quarters or park and get a ticket. If you aren’t affiliated with the University you get three free a year.

  3. The University Food Service makes the best cherry pie…hands down.

  4. If you haven’t wandered around the Memorial Union in twenty years you will be surprised how much it has changed…or how bad my memory is.

  5. I hate to say this but I may have just found a burger that rivals the one at the Rusty Duck. I couldn’t find it again if I tried but I would suggest the double cheeseburger at Brick City Grill and be sure to try the Cy fries which are like thick potato chips with a queso like dip. Heaven!

  6. It is perfectly acceptable to eat an ice cream sundae for your meal and desert at Hickory Park.

  7. When you arrive on campus and find fire trucks outside the nuclear laboratory building it is important to know which building is really on fire!

  8. Iowans are a friendly bunch. I tried to find a quiet place to nap a couple of times but kept getting woken up by someone wanting to know if I was alright.

  9. Having a conversation about the swans Lancelot and Elaine at Lake Laverne with a Russian visitor becomes entirely hilarious when he explains that his ex wife was not a swan.

  10. Finally, there is always something new and different to see and do in Ames and it isn’t really all that far and well worth a day trip now and then.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.