It seems strange to describe a trip to the hometown you left only three months ago as a "vacation."
But my recent four-day visit to Illinois, plus the day I spent driving back to Des Moines in time to work an eight-hour shift, definitely represented a deviation from the norm in terms of what/when/how much I ate, when/where I slept and what/how much I drank (sometimes that meant coffee, guys).
Sounds just like most of the previous vacations I've taken. And just like after those more-exotic trips, I came back from this one raring for moderation and what had become my routine after three months.
Once I unpacked from my trip, I fell back into my usual lineup of activities, and it did me good. After breakfast was digested, I mapped a slightly new route and did not while away precious time aimlessly browsing websites — I got dressed and got going.
The title of this post isn't about coolness as in lack of friendliness. In fact, as annoying/condescending as I find coast-dwellers' generalizations about the Midwest, I have to say: If it weren't friendly, it wouldn't be Iowa.
It means refreshing and not hot (as in the weather) and sufficiently interesting — a low-intensity but energizing way to spend 38:11 of my morning.
It's also cool as in not trying too hard. My run wasn't overly ambitious in speed, distance or terrain. Yeah, I stopped quite a few times during the totally new and surprisingly hilly third mile. So what? Apparently I still averaged 9:32 per mile.
I know my cat missed me. I think Iowa might have, too, if my return run is any indication.