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September 21, 2012

Do people vaca in Manning, Iowa????

So we just got back from this amazing road trip - it involved 1600 miles, over 500 head of cattle, major interstates, dirt/gravel roads, 3 states and the best of small town America - according to Chris and I quote:

"This is the most fun we have ever had!"


We left Thursday around 6pm and got back Sunday evening around 7pm - it was a lot of time with the 5 of us in the cab of a truck, we walked a lot of pastures & cattle lots, stepped in a lot of cow pies but we did have fun - so much so that my kids have asked if we could buy a vacation home in Manning!  Some people vacation by the ocean, some in the mountains but not my kids they were dead serious about a vaca home in the middle of a cow pasture!

After leaving the World's Largest Truckstop Friday morning we rolled into Manning around noonish  - ever been to Manning? Not a lot of choices in the restaurant area so after two trips around town we parked on the main drag and all jumped out - Emi Lou climbed in the bed of the truck to I don't know what she was getting but I said to her discretely could you please get in the side pocket of my bag and hand my a feminine hygiene product.  As I was waiting I saw a lady come out of a place across the street and as she walked my way said to her "Could you tell us a good place to eat here in town?" - she pointed right down the street to a place called Third and Main, she said it had just opened up several months ago and was a pretty popular place in town!  We had a nice but brief conversation and then just as I said thank you so much to this completely wonderful stranger and turned to go she politely says to me "Umm I think you dropped something" only for me to look down and realize during my conversation with her I had recalled that the middle child in the bed of the truck had interrupted and said "MOM" to which I simply held one finger up in her direction (my pointer as to say please wait a minute - not the finger some of you think I held up) to which she must of ignored and tossed the feminine hygiene product at me where it proceeded to land on the street between us!!!!!  She was so polite and giggled and said "Oh don't worry I have been there" - I was beginning to love the people of Manning!

Third and Main was the neatest, friendliest place - of course like any small town place the minute you open the door to walk in everyone looks up and when they don't recognize you there is the awkward staring and then some whispering - but I have said before we love local places and small towns so stare away!  This place had a great room in the  back that had a couple of leather couches, foos ball table, fireplace and one high table so it was like eating at home - only nicer, cleaner and someone else did the cooking so basically nothing like eating at home - and because we had the room to ourselves and the kids had been pent up in a truck cab for so long I am sure the whole place was glad we were alone!

So the waitress came back to welcome us - Julie (yea we are on a first name basis now-well at least I am with her), she took our drink orders and proceeded to tell us what was on the menu today - by the time she came back with our drinks she knew we were from Indiana, who we talked to on the street and had recommended we come in and what we were doing in Manning - small town communication at its best - she went on to share with us a farm that we needed to visit and their phone number.  While waiting on our food we made some calls and plotted out our afternoon rounds and listed the farms we wanted to visit and the best order - and on our way out the door we were offered homemade cupcakes for dessert, seriously people of Manning I love you!   I won't go on and on about the food - let's just say that yesterday on Facebook they listed their special as homemade lasagna and cinnamon rolls and we all were just about to jump in the truck and head there for supper - when I texted the oldest what the special was all I got back was a text that said "homesick-can't we go back"!

Once we ate I gathered my freak show and exited Third and Main with waves of good bye's from the locals that now knew several things about us: where we were from, why we were in town, how long we would be in the area, the farms we were visiting & least we not forget they also knew what time of the month it was for me!!!!

So if any of the 3 people that read this blog are ever in the area of Manning Iowa may I suggest that you stop by Third and Main - just tell Julie that I sent you - basically she will have no idea who I am but it will make me feel special!

FYI-the very small fine print is my whispering-if all CAPS is SHOUTING isn't tiny letters whispering?


  1. I would be glad to say Hi to Julie and I am loving the thought of that good food.
    I love small towns the people are so nice.Glad you had a good time.B

  2. If I'm ever going through Manning, Iowa I'll be sure to give you a call so you can join me!! How can you not love a place that offers you cupcakes for the road?? Glad you all had fun!!

  3. You are too funny...looks like I am the 3rd and final person who reads your blog. Go me!!

  4. I'm from Manning (born and raised). I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and I'll speak for the whole town when I say you are welcome back anytime! I'll be sure to pass your blog on to Julie (who is not only a great waitress, but is actually the owner of Third and Main). Thanks for visiting! Come back soon!

  5. You have another visitor from Manning! Love your blog. I grew up in the Manning area on a farm and I understand why you love it. It is a blessed lifestyle!!! Visit www.ManningIa.com to see why we say Manning Its Refreshing! Have a super day and week!


  6. Also born and raised in Manning it's always great hearing other people love our community as much as we do! And being a truckers wife I give you TONS of credit traveling with 5 in a truck! Come visit anytime! Amy Ferneding

  7. I grew up in Manning and didn't really appreciate it until I moved away. Some day I plan to be back living there. Manning is a progressive small town that is a great place to live for everyone from new families to retirees.

  8. Dawn (Hargens) RitchisonSeptember 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Great Blog! I too was born and raised in Manning. I didn't really appreciate what a GREAT town it is until I moved away and had a family of my own. I am so proud of the community/people that keep it going. I have not been to Third and Main yet but next trip back I hope to stop by. I am glad that you and your family got to experience the warmth of the Great People of Manning, Iowa!

  9. You had better recount your readers. What an awesome place, and did you get to meet up with Miss Katie from Squaw Creek? Too much fun in a " fly over" state! How did the gathering trip go today? Can't wait to hear!