Friday, July 3, 2015

Iowa Vacation, Again

When we asked the kids what they wanted to do for vacation this year, the twins started chanting, "Great Wolf Lodge! Great Wolf Lodge!", but Henry just quietly suggested that we should go visit Great Grandma Daume. My Grandma isn't getting any younger at 96, so figuring she would enjoy some time with her great grandkids, we loaded up our comfortable and efficient Honda Pilot and headed west.

Since Iowa typically isn't the most amazing tourist destination, we tried to add some fun activities on the way there. We only did a short drive on Friday, stopping at Indianapolis so we could visit the children's museum on Saturday:

The kids all love Playmobil, so it was fun to see a life size figure:

We checked out the dinosaur section, then headed through the style section. Kate always has style:

but Sam can rock it too:

They had a Hollywood section:

where we saw the Fonz's leather jacket:

When I was about five, I was the Fonz for Halloween. Since I was very blonde at the time, no one understood it until I said "Ayyy!" and gave them a dual thumbs up.

There was a big Hot Wheels and racing exhibit, this is Indianapolis after all:

The boys' favorite thing was probably this water exhibit:

Henry was happy to see some football stuff as well:

While I was excited to find the actual whip and hat used in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

We actually signed up for a membership, so we'll come out ahead if we take one more trip this year. That will be a good motivation and excuse for a wintertime road trip. As members, we all got to ride the carousel for free:

We left the museum after lunch and continued west. At this age, the kids are just excited to stay in hotels, where they can enjoy the pool, breakfast buffet, and luggage carts:

Sunday was father's day, and I was geeky enough that I had looked up our lunch spot in Des Moines a week in advance:

Yes, they still have a Cici's Pizza open in Des Moines, which 80% of the family was excited to see.

Iowa is a huge state for windmills, and we finally stopped to visit the rest stop that is just short of my Grandma's exit to see their turbine blade on display:

where they also had a playground (which is a tie in to my blog overall theme in case anyone except my mom is still reading at this point):

We all gave the bouncing balance beam a try:

We spent a couple of days visiting with my Grandma, who was excited to see her great grandkids (and grandkid):

She lives in Adair, where the claim to fame is the site of the first moving train robbery, by the Jesse James gang:

Adair also has an old school playground that still has a merry-go-round:

We don't have any of these in Dublin, so it's the first thing the kids run to at the playground. We also visited Freedom Rock:

Leaving Adair, we headed to Greenfield to visit my Aunt and Uncle. They moved to town from their farm, so no tractor rides this time, but the kids still had a good time:

The first night in Greenfield, we got reports of tornados and softball sized hail tracking our way, so we spent some quality family time in the basement. Happily, nothing much happened in Greenfield, and at least the basement was roomier than the McDonald's bathroom shelter from our last Iowa visit.

The next morning, we walked up to the soggy Greenfield city park, and sure enough, another merry-go-round:

We also hiked around Lake Greenfield. Actually, Jodi, Henry, my Aunt and I hiked, while the twins stayed at the playground with my Uncle Larry:

We don't have tall slides like this in Dublin either:

By Thursday morning, we were ready to start the drive home. Jodi (not me!) suggested we just drive straight through, which we ended up doing. The kids were amazing for this trip: we only had two bathroom stops besides lunch and dinner stops, and with a half hour of stopped traffic in Eastern Indiana, we were on the road about 13 hours... but the kids were mostly great for the whole trip, just watching videos and playing games with their stuffed animals. What travelers, we'll have to reward them with a more exciting vacation next time!

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