Spring Break in a Ghost Town

“We have an actual population, I swear.” Iowa City might as well have that posted on a sign somewhere, because, truth is, there’s a marked difference in the feel of the city between spring break and the rest of the semester. With most students gone over break, the city feels quieter, more subdued, tranquil in a not-quite-dead way. Maybe the lack of student activity makes for a boring Iowa City, but personally I think the city becomes more intimate. When you strip away the loudness and drunkenness of the general student population, it’s easier to see what makes Iowa City quaint and beautiful.

I had the privilege of hosting a good friend from Washington for a few days at the beginning of break, which was great. We were able to wander a mostly-closed campus and see the sights. Mostly, though, we ate.

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We also couldn’t escape the corn, admittedly.

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It was in a museum, okay?

The thing I love most about having people visit, especially for the first time, is the joy of being able to experience the city through a new pair of eyes. You may get used to the buildings and the sights because you walk past them every day with a heavy backpack, but when you’re able to show them to someone else, they become exciting and new. I loved being able to walk through my city and see it like I never had before, with all of its quirks and hidden corners.

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Spring break is also a time for relaxing, though, and I did plenty of that. The dorms are quiet and I had the room to myself, which meant loud shower singing and making blanket nests in my bed. This all led up to the pinnacle night, Friday night, where I stayed up until 7:30 in the morning doing nothing but writing and watching Netflix. Rarely do I get to indulge in such laziness, and it was glorious.

The reason I decided to stay up so late (early?) was because I wanted to watch the sun rise over Iowa City—from my lofted bed, I have a perfect view of the tops of all the houses. I had this grand plan where I would lie in bed and watch the sun come over the treetops and then I would take a picture and then maybe write a blog post or something about how much I love the beauty of early morning.

Well, I waited and watched as the sky turned brown and then blue, and then I realized—the entire sky was covered with clouds. It dawned on me (pun totally intended) that there definitely was not going to be a sunrise that morning. So, somehow still full of energy, I finally got to sleep.

I may not have the photo, but I do think it is a lovely thing to fall asleep as the world lights up. I think it’s lovely observing the way the world wakes up. Most of all, I think it’s lovely to have a city like this to call my semi-permanent home.

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