I think I’m finally at the point where I feel like I’m mostly recovered from the 4th of July trip. As I previously mentioned, we made the 12 hour trip back in one day and to say that it was a long one would be an understatement. I think our families were more stressed about it than we were. At the end, we were just tired. I made it to work on time the day after we returned so I was quite proud of myself.
The drive up to Iowa was done over two days. We traveled at a leisurely pace and it was very uneventful. I had forgotten how pretty the mountains of Oklahoma are! Traffic was not bad and I felt comfortable sharing some of the driving time with Michael.
We had stopped in Joplin, MO when I totally had one of those ‘I’m becoming my mother” moments. As Michael gassed up the car, I noticed something interesting near the end of the front parking area. It was an ampersand sculpture, which I later found out was placed there since this particular Kum & Go is the first in MO with this new Market prototype.
Anyway, I totally made Kiddo pose with it. I am so my mother.
He did not understand what all the fuss was about, but he was a good sport.
We arrived on Saturday in Des Moines, where we met up with Michael’s father and stepmother. We had a nice dinner and I thought we’d be settling into the hotel for the night when we noticed there were a lot of classic cars parked in the side lot. Kiddo is totally a car guy so we asked the front desk clerk about it. There was a show going on that weekend at the fair grounds but she said the owners were allowing hotel guests to join them that evening for a social type gathering.
So we went down and had a look around. I have many more pictures of the cars, but this one is special because the car is a 1932 Ford Model A! (Kiddo did his major report last year on Henry Ford).
The next day we drove out to Clearlake, IA to the family cabin. It’s a beautiful area and I feel very fortunate that we got to spend so much time right on the lake. Quite a few family members were there so we stayed in town (all 8 beds were taken), and had a lot of fun.
Michael took us into Mason City, which is his hometown. I had heard a lot about Mason when I dated him in high school so it was nice to have the time to really go see the places that are important to him. We also stopped over in the town his mother is from. We took a picture with the “Welcome to Algona” sign and sent it to her.
Because I am my mother, AGAIN.
We ate ice cream at Birdsall’s, an old fashioned ice cream parlor. We stopped at The Music Man Square (River City is Mason, if you’re wondering) and the Surf Ballroom (the site of the last concert of Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and J.D. “The Big Bopper” Richardson).
Kiddo went out in the boat for the first time and even got up the courage to ride a jet ski with Michael! We watched the fireworks from the dock and I cherish the conversations I overheard between Kiddo and Grandpa M.
More pictures, naturally:
Yes, that is a picture of him standing next to corn in the field. I figured it was appropriate.
My two favorite non-Kiddo pictures are these:
I thought the juxtaposition of Grandpa M reading his paper and Michael reading the news on his iPhone was interesting. The second picture is actually a reflection – I took that photo sitting inside on the other end of the room. I was quite surprised that one turned out as clearly as it did.
And before we went home, there was this:
It’s a Viking (my family is Norwegian) and it’s a painted rock! So perfect! (Ha!)