OK, admittedly this wonderful Los Angeles Times piece is technically not a travel story.

But it is set at a travel destination, and a nearby one at that: the Iowa house where Grant Wood's iconic "American Gothic" was painted.

The writing is marvelous, and the saga is sweet (and bittersweet). Be sure to check out the video.

Not sure I'd be crazy about the tourist intrusions, but it's moot because I wouldn't fit up that stairway anyhow.