It was with a bit of misplaced confidence that I set off from the Iowa House on my first day in Iowa City to find a certain noodle shop where I enjoyed a number of meals last year. After I had been walking for about an hour and regretting that I left the campus map in my folder of paperwork for the classes I was there to take, I managed to veer back on track and eventually did get to the restaurant. I was so very glad to slip into a cool wooden chair and relax before the meal was set before me.
There were few patrons besides myself, so I did not mind really taking my time over the steaming repast. When I ventured back out into the streets, I found that a jazz festival was winding down its last day and the streets were filled with vendors grilling assorted foods, crafters selling their goods, jewelry, clothing, the usual array of merchandise one comes across at fairs. On Clinton Street there was a group playing to the crowd scattered on the lawn in front of the Old Capitol building with its shiny gold dome a main landmark for anyone trying to figure out the lay of the land.
By the time I got back to the hotel I remembered that I was supposed to call Dorothy, a lady I met on the cruise, who lives in Iowa City, when I first arrived. It was about seven p.m. when I reached her and she assured me that our plan to go to Mass together the next morning was still on, and that her friend and fellow traveler, LuAnn was planning to arrive at about 11:30 a.m. They would pick me up and we would go to Mass at St. Mary’s on Jefferson Street and then have lunch at a little restaurant that had been in business there since 1948.
Sunday morning they picked me up in front of the hotel and we entered the wonderful, old St. Mary’s church with the lovely statues, woodwork and exquisite stained glass windows. Lunch in Hamburg Inn was all it had promised to be with delicious hamburgers and the most excellent milk shakes. This was a great visit as well as a fine beginning to my week at the University of Iowa.