Anyways, my Mama absolutely loves the movie Bridges of Madison County. Clint Eastwood gets her all steamy – she is totally a huge fan, she’s seen like every Clint Eastwood movie known to man. So I as her daughter was like “hey mom want to go on a trip.” She of course said yes and I set off to planning. My north shore idea fell through so I talked to my dad and he said “why not take her to the bridges.” Bridges? What bridges? Umm the covered ones in Iowa, ya know that movie, he said. Oh yes right the ones in the movie. So with that idea in mind I found us a hotel in Stewart Iowa and started planning our trip.
Madison county Iowa is about a five hour drive from Minneapolis. Wintersett is the county seat and it is also the town featured in the movie. I will admit the town is so stinking cute! We ate lunch at the north side cafe, which again is featured in the movie. There menu was full of Iowa comfort food and home town charm. I had a ham sandwich and deep fried cheese balls. After our bellies were full we walked around the town square and did a little shopping. I bought wine at a pharmacy and kept searching for a signal. Wintersett is a dead zone for cell phones. The nice pharmacist gave us a paper map to all of the bridges.
There are a total of six remaining covered bridges. All except for two of the six sit on their original sites. Getting to the bridges is an adventure in itself, your drive on winding gravel roads and follow these little tiny brown bridge signs. It was kind of like bingo! My mom and I were actually trailing behind the cutest little old couple. Though the weather was misty a lot of folks were out looking for the bridges and it was fun watching people’s faces light up when they walked through them.
Only a few of the bridges were featured in the movie the bridges of Madison county. The most important bridge is the Roseman Bridge. That is the bridge Francesca drives up to and leaves a note inviting Robert to dinner. At this bridge there is a cute little gift shop where you can buy copies of the book and local goods. The bridge, well all of the inside walls of the bridges actually, are covered in signatures, poems, and art work left by visitors. My mom and I thought about adding our names, but we decided not to.
I thought it would take an entire weekend to see all of the bridges. They are actually really close together and it took us about two hours to visit all of them. In wintersett there is a cute city park where the Cutler-Danahue Bridge sits and if you drive back into the park you will come along the stone bridge (it was in the movie) and way back into the woods is clarks tower. I decided to climb to the top of the tower and the view was amazing.
Since we had one more day to spend on our trip I thought it would be fun to head on down to Omaha Nebraska. My mama seconded the idea and off we went. I always thought Nebraska would be boring, it’s not boring, it’s actually beautiful. We went to the Durham Museum, tooled around the farmers market, did some shopping, visited the La Familia Shrine, and an apple orchard. It was a jam packed Saturday.
Oh bonus while in Omaha we had lunch at the Golden Corral. When I was little my mama would take me to the one in Red Wing and I loved the Texas toast and ice cream. Which she always told me was not a meal. On Tuesdays your child at for the price of their weight, 20 cents per pound. They had this big scale, you’d stand on it and they would write your weight on a sticker and slap it on you. I was a cheap date for my parents. Anyways back to present day! People! OMG! They have cotton candy on there dessert bar! I smuggled some out! I know I am such a criminal.
Sunday arrived sooner than we liked and it was time to journey back home. The fog was pea soup that morning so we took it slow and by the time we got home it lifted. Driving in fog is not fun. If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway I highly recommend visiting the Bridges of Madison County and the city of Omaha. There is so much to do and see, everyone will be happy that they went. Now I am going to go refresh my memory and rewatch the movie!