This adventure is my vacation.  It is also Kelley’s work and livelihood.  Where I am all about stopping to visit roadside attractions and taking pictures if Pilot at historic markers, Kelley needs to book more engagements, ensure future bookings, and sell DVDS and books.

Yesterday, on the way to a lunch (Kelley’s work — see earlier post) — we were heading toward the “Field of Dreams” — the Iowa farmhouse used in the Kevin Costner baseball movie of the same name.  Sensing that I would like a diversion from the road, Kelley actually suggested the stop.

Iowa farm country is as I had imagined — lots of flat land and large swatches of crops.  The only thing you see in the distance is a lone tree and towering grain silos.  We winded through a series of farm roads and ended at our destination. On the way there, we researched the place on the ‘net — even at slow AT&T Edge speeds, I was able to read their web site.  The place has been attracting visitors since the film was released (more than 65,000 every year), and is now up for sale.  The asking price was not published, but rumor places the price at $1.5M.  Actually, not bad for a farm and an attraction, that at $10 in merch a visitor is a half-million dollar-a-year business.

The site itself is nothing special — the white farmhouse with wrap-around porch sits on a small hill behind a sign that reads “Field of Dreams.”  Next to the house is the baseball field and a single bleacher section.  Being late October, the corn crops had already been mowed down — so I had to imagine Shoeless Joe appearing from the tall, green stalks. Pilot bounded out of the car and immediately proceeded to pee on the pitchers’ mound and again on the bleachers — harkening the phrase, “If you build it, he will pee.”  We walked around a bit — it was all very simple and well maintained.

We ambled to the souvenir stand and proceeded to cull over the immense amount of available merchandise.  T-shirts, baseballs, thimbles, spoons, bells, magnets and a “collector’s edition” book.  I ended up getting a magnet for my brother (who I know would have appreciated this place MUCH more than I), a pin for my ukelele bag which reads, “Is it heaven? No, its Iowa,” and a mini baseball bat (in case I wanted to play midget baseball.)

As we loaded back into the van, a small bus of disabled kids pulled up and started to play T-ball on the field.  For all of the hokeyness of the attraction, it really is a Field of Dreams to some.  I mentioned to Kelley that the scene was endearing — he agreed, and mentioned that had I not been on the tour, he would not have stopped.  We were both glad that we did.