It’s been a whirlwind since leaving Jack’s, both good and bad coming our way.
The best was arriving in Iowa to visit Dan’s mom, Helen. We drove over 6,200 miles, and it was worth every mile. Dan was so happy to spend so much time with her, and the kids were thrilled, too. Since we lived with her in 1998, it feels like home to me.
The picture below is Nate’s birthday present a little early. His new bike came from Bike World in Ames; same shop I bought mine in 1999 to do RAGBRAI. Thanks for the great service, everyone!
One of the nice things about being in Iowa for 17 days was having time to take care of the little things… like hair cuts. Julie S. did an incredible job on Nate and I – and I wanted to bring her with us she was such a cool person! Serenity Couture in Ames, Iowa – spa, hair, Aveda products- they have it all. There’s my ad – spread the word ! Thanks for the referral, Diane!
The weather hasn’t cooperated with our sun-loving ways since Big Bend, and Iowa was no different. We were freezing and wet for the first week, with the added insult of moving into the Quonset hut every couple days so we wouldn’t get hail damage. Just us and the farm machinery in a cozy little hut. Thanks for letting us share the space, Larry!
The hard part about being in Iowa was realizing that our expectations were a little too high… and not remotely possible, given the circumstances. We spent a lot of time with Dan’s family, and that was great. So fun to see Josh’s kids’ playing!!! Then our kids decided to focus on finishing up school, so that kept us busy. We didn’t do the capitol or a single science museum, and we only visited the library once. We’d been to all of it before, and no one was in the mood. We did eat well, however, and Dan and I think we each gained about 7 pounds eating out and on Helen’s good cooking. Thank you for feeding us, Helen!
The picture below is Dan’s brother Larry at the end of combine ride for Eliza. As Nate said, the combine is nicer than our cars. It has everything – GPS, A/C, music, plus a bunch of farm stuff that’s probably necessary to his work. So fun to ride with him as he planted corn, 18 rows at a time, 35,000 seeds per acre. After planting, the rain continued, so that’s good. I couldn’t fit the combine in another picture I took of Nate and Larry – it’s too big. Thanks for the ride, Larry!
We knew it was going to be hard to leave Grandma’s, but the lack of sleep from the tornado warning of the night before and the promise of seeing our beloved Kresse’s made getting on the road a little easier. We headed north on I-35 and arrived at a campground we’ve stayed at before. We have fond memories of meeting Gary here in 1998, and watching a camp trailer fly by the restroom we were all huddled in during a storm. I pulled Eliza on my bike to her first zoo visit around the corner. This trip was to be calm.
Haha. Dan put the rear slider out and I happened to be standing on the front end of it and watched as the cable broke. Since then I’ve logged over 7 hours on the phone, trying to get service. We can’t put the slider back in, and can’t drive it. Even if we could, the local Monaco dealer doesn’t have time for us until June 1st. Or we could drive to South Dakota on June 14th. Neither one of those works for us. So tomorrow a genius from a local shop is coming out, he’s got the cable oack that Coburg overnighted, and someone there will walk him through the installation that he’s never done before. Wish us luck.