Field of Dreams – August 9, 2002

This trip that Bob and I were on we were doing it for 1 reason…. to play ball at the Field Of Dreams and TODAY was finally the day we would do it. We really didn’t know what to expect, honestly. We had read the web sites, we had read other reviews from when others had gone there for a visit, but would our trip there be anywhere near that? We had been planning this trip for months and it started off great last night in Chicago and the drive over here, about 4+ hours, was long, but fun. We got to see a great meteor shower even. But today was the day we were looking forward to!

We got up, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and hit the road for the drive to Dyersville and the Field Of Dreams. Our plan was as such, go to the FOD, spend several hours there, then we wanted to go back into Galena, IL to check out a few things FOD related (from when they filmed the movie) and then back into Dubuque to see a few spots from the movie as well. At that point, if we had time, we would go back to the field for a while before calling it a night. So we ended up at the field right about 9:30am and to our surprise there was several people, about 20 or so. We found a parking spot, one of the last few available, and started walking towards our first souvenir stand.

See, if you don’t know, what you need to know is that the field actually sits on 2 families land. 1 family, the Ameskamp’s own Left & Center Fields. The Lansing’s owned the rest. Each had a souvenir stand, which confused us, until we started reading the signs. What we read was that the 2 families did not get along, at all. We also read that the Ameskamp’s had actually plowed up their side of the field after filming and replanted corn. It wasn’t until Mrs. Ameskamp told her husband, in shock, that people would want to come and see the field, that he corrected his mistake. This is why the Lansing’s refer to their side as “The Original” Field of Dreams. Either way, our first stop was at the Lansing’s souvenir stand, only because it was the closest to where we parked. They had a lot of cool stuff and a ton of your usual tourist trap crap. The 1 thing that stood out with Bob and I was the Louisville Slugger Field of Dream bats. We each bought one and planned to use it at the field.

When we finally made our way towards the field, we weren’t sure how things would go. There was several people playing on the infield, and a ton more just roaming the outfield or playing catch with each other out there. After spending a few minutes watching people playing the guy that was pitching told us they were doing a rotation, he was all-time pitcher, and if we wanted to fill in a spot in the infield, we could get in the rotation… so we did. When it was our time to bat, Bob went first. There is something special about the crack of the bat. Bob got a few decent hits in. He did better than me that first time around, that’s for sure. I got a couple decent licks in, but nothing special. We spent a few hours playing around either with everyone else or just the 2 of us walking around the outfield out by the corn. We did take a ton of pictures as well before deciding it was time to head into Galena.

What I really need to say about the Field Of Dreams is that it was…. magical! There was something special about being there. I have never been to Disneyland, but to me the Field of Dreams is the happiest place on earth! It was pretty close to what it looked like in the movie, the farm house, the field itself, the backstop, the corn… all awesome!

There were a few reasons that we wanted to go to Galena. Not only was Galena the home of President Grant, there was also a tribute statue to him there that contained the name John Kinsella…. which of course is the name of Kevin Costner’s dad in the movie (not the same guy obviously). According to the extras on the DVD, this was pure dumb luck. They found it during a break from filming and say it was one of those eeerie moments or as they called them, an “FOD Moment.” Well, we found Grants house, yet even with the help of the tourist bureau we were unable to locate the Grant statue. We finally gave up and headed to a building in town that was having a Civil War show. They were to have a ton of artifacts on display and we thought that would be cool to see. So we got there about 4:45pm and while the sign on the window said it was open until 5pm, the doors were both locked already. No big deal, we decided to go back to Dubuque and check out the town.

When we got to Dubuque, what we didn’t know is that they basically rolled up the side walks at 5pm. This left us a couple options, go to dinner and back to the hotel or find something else to do. So having read about the theater there in town that did the World Premiere of Field Of Dreams, we decided to go see what was playing and got tickets to go see “Signs” and hit the Olive Garden for some dinner before the movie. The theater itself was like stepping back into the 70’s, with it’s orange shag carpet and all. Was weird. The movie was really good, I think being in a strange town, a theater we had never been to and seeing a semi horror flick, it all added up, but it was creepy. The strangest part was walking out the door after seeing a movie about aliens that inhabit a guys corn and all we can see is…. CORN! Had we been at home, this would have been really freaky, but we were in Iowa, so what did we expect, right?

Our day ended with us spending some time in the pool and hot tub at our hotel….oh the memories 🙂

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