Saturday, May 2, 2009

Work Trip to Iowa: Visits to Iowa State University and Kansas University

Glad to be home after a quick trip to Iowa. The company that I am about to start working for asked that I head up to the Hawkeye state for some product training so I made the 600 mile trip via car on Wednesday. They also hired a Southern Missouri Sales Rep named Scott so he and I met up in Kansas City (365 miles into the trip) and made the rest of the trip together.

We arrived to our destination in Iowa at about 10:30 pm on Wednesday night and immediately went to bed so that we could be over at the manufacturing building nice and early Thursday morning. Thursday was spent meeting people and learning all about various bank forms so that we can now go out and actually know what we are talking about when dealing with banks.

We finished up at around 3:30 Thursday afternoon and decided that we wanted to get closer to home so we decided to try and check out of the Super 8 but were told we had already paid for the night so be couldn't get reimbursed. Scott was tired so he went to his room for a nap and I watched some TV before going to get some dinner. The big news of the day was that Iowa State University hired a new wrestling coach. Wrestling is HUGE in the area and the ISU program is legendary so this was a big deal. It was such a big story that they were streaming "Breaking News" along the bottom of the screen while regular TV programing was going on. We were right down the street from Ames, Iowa which is where Iowa State University is located so we decided to head over to the school to check out the area. I was surprised to find a very nice campus and a school that is much bigger than I realized (around 30,000 students). Scott and I are both huge sports fans so we drove over to the football stadium and of course took pictures. Pictures included in this blog are of me at the stadium, me and the statue of Jack Trice who was the first black student athlete at ISU who died during a football game in 1923, the basketball arena, and of me sitting with a bronzed statue of ISU mascot Cy that was located at the alumni building. Told Scott he should also get some pictures so that he could show his wife and two kids but he wasn't having it so I am the goofy one in all of the photos. We grabbed some dinner at Jimmy Jack's and then desert at Dairy Queen and then went to bed early to get ready for a long Friday of driving.

Hit the road around 7am yesterday and took advantage by making a few extra stops along the way. We were listening to sports radio on the way through Des Moines and one of the callers mentioned to the host that he was tired of the rain that they had been having over the past few days. The host then made some sort of comment like "I know, I'm ready for the Spring to finally arrive here in Seattle, Iowa". I guess Seattle is the national expression for a place that gets too much rain. I dropped Scott off in Kansas City and shortly after came upon Kansas Speedway. Would have stopped in KC but was never that close to the downtown area. Wanted to get some pictures of the speedway so I got off the exit and drove around but couldn't find a good spot as all streets leading directly up to the track were blocked. Thought I would stop by their souvenir store but didn't see one so I just snapped a quick picture of the grandstands from the road and kept going.

Lawrence Kansas was also off the freeway on the way home so I decided to stop and check out the University of Kansas. Found the famous Allen Fieldhouse (picture also included on this blog) which is where the Jayhawks play basketball and also took a picture of legendary coach Phog Allen's statue. There is a team shop attached to the fieldhouse and I asked the student employee inside for directions to the football stadium. He told me it would be a decent walk and he was right. Had to walk across campus, up and over a hill before coming to the stadium about 15 minutes later. Good walk which was welcome since I was on a long drive and still had over 300 miles of driving ahead of me.

Came upon the stadium and there were around 100 kids playing on the field with a handful of adults so I walked in and took some pictures. Was actually surprised that the stadium seemed smaller than I thought it would be. It holds over 50,000 people but feels smaller than that. Kansas and Iowa State are in the same conference (Big 12) as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M and I've been to all 5 football stadiums since moving down here now and the two that I visited this week definitely felt smaller and less impressive than the other 3. I did like the ISU stadium better than the KU stadium though. Also took a picture of the KU practice field right next to the stadium and saw the giant coaching tower right in the middle of the field. I was looking at it and tried to imagine KU Head Football Coach Mark Mangino climbing up the tower. Coach Mangino might be the heaviest coach in all of college sports.

Hit Dairy Queen one more time on my way home as I have yet to see a DQ in OKC. Got there just in time as two buses full of high school students pulled up behind me. Good timing.

Got back to OKC at around 7pm last night, fell asleep on top of my bed while watching TV and slept for 10 hours, surprise surprise :-) Exciting trip but I am happy to be back at home.

1 comment:

GilesDowden said...


Just checking out your blog. Very nice!

Sorry we didn't get to hook up more when I was in OKC.

Since then I have taken a job with the St. Louis Rams so have moved to Missouri. Not too far from where you are...

Hope all is well. Keep in and 813-777-6671.

Take care and talk soon...