Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer in Iowa


We planned our trip to Iowa this year around Elaine's 20th high school reunion, so we missed out on corn fest, but we had a great time visiting everyone all the same. We made our customary stops in Cleveland on the way to and from Iowa to stay at Aunt Katherine & Uncle L's house, and had all sorts of fun playing baseball, and even playing with a few sparklers. Once in Iowa we had all sorts of fun playing more baseball in Grandma & Grandpa Z's backyard, playing with cousin Grace, and of course lots of swimming at the Pond.

The exciting new development at the Pond this year was the covered wagon that Uncle Ken just finished building to go along with the tipi. Uncle Ken gave us a ride in the covered wagon around the pond and back to the tipi, and thereafter Nora was quite adorable saying 'covered wagon' every time she saw it.

Since we were in Iowa for the reunion, we headed out to Des Moines over the weekend, but first we stopped in Ames to visit Thomas & Jen. Leanna and Troy were there too, so we had all the cousins, Owen, Nora, Ethan, Simon and Grace all together for a really fun afternoon picnic in Thomas & Jen's backyard.


After the reunion, we drove back to Eastern Iowa, and the epic heat wave of 2011 descended upon Iowa. Even the the Capital Weather Gang back in DC was tweeting about how hot it was in Iowa. The heat wave brought good and bad news. The good news was that with all the heat, the sweet corn was ready early enough for us to enjoy some, the bad news was that it meant that the night Owen and I were planning to spend in the tipi was going to be a bit more uncomfortable than anticipated.

On Sunday we had a big family bbq at the Pond, and it was great seeing everyone and eating some delicious Iowa sweet corn (Owen and I both managed to eat four ears;-). After the sun went down, it was way too hot for a fire, but we launched sky lanterns above the Pond, and watched them drift away into the night sky. Then after everyone left, Owen and I hiked back through the woods to the tipi. Owen was quite brave, and happily hung out in the tipi by himself with just a flashlight while I made a few trips back to the cabin to get all our gear. I was sweating buckets, but Owen happily fell asleep in the tipi without any problems. I eventually drifted off well after midnight, when the air finally started to cool. In the morning, Owen and I went fishing off the dock (though we didn't catch anything), and then back to the cool air conditioning of Grandma and Grandpa Z's.


We did a lot more swimming at the Pond the rest of the week of course, and the last real adventure of our Iowa trip was going over to Nan's house to see cousin Kendra's horses and chickens. Owen was particularly taken with feeding the horses, and Nora couldn't get enough of the chickens. She really was quite thrilled to see all the farm animals she reads about alive and walking around right in front of her.


Sadly our Summer Iowa trip is over now, but we'll be back again for Christmas this year (Owen is really hoping he'll be able to play ice hockey on the Pond), and next summer we'll be back for corn fest 2012.

(click here for all the pictures)

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