One of the loveliest things about our trip is that it connects us up with some of our best and oldest friends. In Seattle we spent a weekend with a family we hadn't seen for four years, meeting their two small boys for the first time. In Ames, we were visiting an American friend of Tom's who since we last saw her about 10 years ago has acquired a husband and a daughter now aged 5. We also drove up to Minnesota to briefly see an old friend of mine, do some work with him (Tom) and visit the State Capitol building in St Paul (me and the girls). Last week we had dinner with a San Franciscan friend who was in town (Chicago deep dish pizza all round). This week travelling south from Chicago to Danville, we went to stay a couple of nights with my sister's in-laws - a poignant visit at times but wonderful to spend time with them under happy circumstances and to see them get to know my family.
We are having a wonderful time exploring the USA but some of the best bits have been catching up with old friends and new. And it doesn't really matter where you are (Iowa included, you sceptics out there) you can still have a jolly good time!
So I am looking forward to the next couple of days when another good friend from San Francisco will be in Chicago.