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Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

After exiting the Des Moines International Airport this morning, I took a right turn and found myself immediately immersed in the bright greens of America’s heartland. Corn fields hugged both sides of the road and dairy cows munched on the lush prairie grasses as I drove past farm after farm. The peaceful countryside seemed even more beautiful than I imagined from movies like Field of Dreams.

I’m in my room at Honey Creek State Resort Park after touring the resort so new that all the concrete hasn’t finished drying. Opened last September, the resort features elegant accommodations with views of Iowa’s second largest lake – the Rathbun Lake. As I walked in the resort, the 60-foot fireplace drew my eyes upward at its mosaic designs of native Iowa fish and birds.

At the resort’s Lakeshore Grille, I was informed that any traveler to the state should taste the well-reputed Iowa chop. I’m still in a food coma from that delicious meal with baked apples on top, but looking forward to starting my whirlwind tour of Iowa tomorrow.

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