Our second night at my sister and brother-in-laws house, we went to the Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival and saw the Shakespeare play, “Love’s Labour’s Lost”. It. Was. Awesome. The University of Iowa’s theatre group did their own interpretation of the play – it was absolutely entertaining. Now I see why my sister and her hubby make that a regular thing each year!
The next stop on the Iowa Tour was the Amana Colonies:
Not only did we visit the Colonies once, but had to go back again to get more fudge. And take a tour of the winery:
We enjoyed tasting some of their local wine (and gave me some ideas of what varieties to try my hand at) but the biggest surprise was how good Dandelion Blossom Wine is. Hubby and I were joking that we’ll have to let the dandelions grow in our backyard so I can make it myself.
Since Iowa’s State Rock is the Geode, we of course had to go ‘Geode Hunting’. We drove 4 hours to Keokuk Iowa where they are famous for the geodes just laying around, and after checking near a stream not too far from the Mississippi:
And only finding a few potentially promising ones, we went to an actual Geode Mine to dig geodes out of the dirt and clay:
We were obviously amateurs using the claw end of hammers to get the job done – especially when there were people there that had full gear with pick axes and a spot set up off to the side with food and water, chairs and umbrellas to create shade when they took a break from digging, and Indiana Jones hats. Too bad I didn’t take a picture. I did take a picture of our gang busily chipping away for geodes:
We had a great time in spite of the excessive heat, and my hubby and brother-in-law rented a ground pipe cutter and split open a majority of the geodes we collected – we got some really cool and unique ones. Those pictures will come later.
A few days later we visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium:
And toured the W.M. Black 1934 Steamer:
W. M. Black is a national landmark vessel that was once a working dredge boat used during WWII on the Missouri River. It was a lot of fun to step back in time walking around it.
We couldn’t leave out a trip to the Museum of Natural History:
From there we walked over to check out the Old Capitol Building Museum:
We had a great time acting like tourists and hanging out and relaxing at my sister and brother-in-law’s house. My brother-in-law spoiled us by taking his vacation to coincide with ours, and cooking us a gourmet breakfast each morning. Spoiled. Rotten. That was us.
We took them out to dinner to as a gesture of thanks for their awesomeness at hosting us – bet you can figure out which restaurant we were at:
The Nephew on the left just turned 18, the one on the right is 20. They were very cool letting Princess Nagger hang around them while we were there.
And of course vacation with the Princess Nagger wouldn’t be complete without some dinosaur excavation times:
But all good things must come to an end, so we had to head back across the Mighty Mississippi:
Princess Nagger kept trying to make a deal to have us stay longer, but finally resigned herself to the long drive home:
The two weeks flew by way too fast, and I imagine the rest of the summer will zoom by at lightning speed if last week is any indication. How’s your summer going so far?