We left my cousin’s lake house shortly before 11am today and headed just south of Spring Green, Wisconsin, to The House on the Rock. I’m not exaggerating when I say that The House of the Rock is perhaps the most incredible thing I have ever seen. I had not heard of it until a few days ago when Peter Sagal (see earlier post) suggested — insisted, really — that we add it to our plans, even though Wisconsin was not even on our itinerary.
The website for The House on the Rock describes it as “Alex Jordan’s imaginary, awe-inspiring man-made retreat.” The best way I can describe it is this: Put Frank Lloyd Wright, Willy Wonka, Walt Disney and William Randolph Hearst together in a room with a shitload of LSD, and the result would be The House on the Rock. It is a little bit Fallingwater, a little bit Victoria & Albert Museum, a little bit “Hoarders” (on TLC), a little bit carnival, a little bit American Museum of Natural History, and a whole lot of amazing shit. Any further description would be useless, because it really has to be seen to be believed (I have included below a few photos just to show some of the variety — double-click to enlarge — but none will do the place justice). If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin, or even near Wisconsin, you really should put The House on the Rock on your to-do list; you will not be disappointed. Just make sure to leave yourself ample time for the full tour; they recommend at least three hours, but I suggest four or five (we got there about three-and-a-half hours before closing and found ourselves rushing to get through).
So our next stop – The Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa – can only be described as a bit anticlimactic. In fairness, this was due in part to the fact that when we got there — at 8pm, two hours after closing time – it was raining. We did manage to get a few so-so photos of the house and field from a distance, but we decided to return tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to get the full experience.
So after we checked in to our room at the Super 8, we headed out to dinner at the Golf Side Grille, one of the few places open in Dyersville past 8 on a Monday night (actually, we got there about 15 minutes before closing). The food was really good and the owner, Jeff Ehlers, is an incredibly nice guy who took great care of us, even though we were the last customers for the evening and stayed past closing time. Great Iowa hospitality: the perfect end to a great day.