My break is over now and it was good. I am around 1900 miles in and around Cedar Rapids IA. My girlfriend and I stayed in Iowa City and saw everything there was to see, we did it all, not that it took very long to do so. It has a nice little downtown area and we ate a couple of good places and not so good.
(insert/edit - forgot about it)
When checking into the hotel I was staying at with my girlfriend I was talking to the motel clerk and she was was mentioning some of the things the hotel had. I noticed the little brochure thing said "no pets" so I asked her totally straight faced if you could have chickens in your room if they were not pets. She said "As long as they are dead." So then I asked "Well how about cats?" She said "You can't have pets." So I said "Oh ya, I know, I am going to eat them, Is that ok?" She went silent for a few seconds looked at me like oh man this is not good. There were two other people behind me within earshot and she looked at them and then said "That wouldn't be very nice." I told her 'I'm not going to eat any cats." and she realized I was joking. She started giving me a hard time after that but in a good natured way. I wouldn't recommend talking about eating cats as every conversation opener but I enjoy simple pleasures, the beach, forests and straight faced jokes at odd times..
It's interesting when you go to place and ask people what are some good places to eat. Some of them are good and others not so good. I think some places start off good and it gets a good reputation with the locals but quality drops off but people still like it. We call it the "Tavern On The Green" syndrome, it was an iconic place but ended up being crappy and eventually went out of business. The recommendations we got on restaurants ended up about 50/50.
There is some little tourist trap area called the Amana Colony. The people from there were supposed to be the ones that started the Amana stuff, dishwashers etc. It was a German colony that left Germany because of religious persecution and later left New York for Iowa. The colony had a "prophet" that would tell prophesies during church and would be recorded by the school teacher for everyone to read. When they ran into the trouble the prophecy would be that it was time to move on. They played some odd little movie on the history of the place. People were friendly there but it was an odd cult like history.
I found out why my feet have been hurting. I have a case of plantar fasciitis. It is swelling/inflammation and pain on the bottom of the foot and heel. It happens a lot to people carrying heavy loads over long distances... makes sense.. I have some stretching exercises to do and anti-inflammatory to take. Hopefully with that my feet will at least stay near the same and at least not get worse.
Now I promised a toe update and taking off a week worked wonders on them. A couple of days ago my one toe that was all messed up lost all the nail build up (nail/blood) on it and it now looks normal. That is good since it has been messed up since almost the beginning and my other toes look normal now also. That will probably change in a week or so.