Vacation Summary – Fun in Iowa

I know you’ve all be waiting breathlessly to hear more about our exotic vacation in Iowa.  Since I have a bajillion pictures, I thought today I’d give you the Readers Digest version of our trip:

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!

They wouldn’t let pictures be taken during the play, so I had to be content with taking a picture of the stage prior to it starting.

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:

(L-R): My nephews, Princess Nagger, my sister, hubby, and brother-in-law

Princess Nagger trying to do some rock climbing - because she saw her scale the rock wall...monkey see, monkey do.

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:

Princess Nagger had fun pretending to pilot it:

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:

Princess Nagger was anxious to see if there were dinosaur bones:

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:

Princess Nagger with my sister Kimn

My Nephews

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.

Hubby (in the foreground making a face for the camera), my brother-in-law patiently waiting for his food.

And of course vacation with the Princess Nagger wouldn’t be complete without some dinosaur excavation times:

And of course some dino egg hatching:

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 home:

With lots of beautiful scenery:
The rest of the trip home was kind of a blur:
Until we crossed the state line into PA:

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?

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About Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

After 20+ years in the Corporate World and years of infertility, Princess Nagger made her miraculous appearance and I chose to become a SAHM and WAHM - I love every minute of it. We added Little Dude through adoption, adding a whole new dimension to our family. We have an eclectic mix of pets: dogs, cats, birds and fish. I love to cook and try new techniques to turn ordinary into extraordinary. Crafty by nature, I take on a lot of unique projects and enjoy seeing the end result. My favorite, of course, is making my own wine out of fruits and grapes. Experiments with water currently underway. I blog about the joys of parenting, family, friends, life, love and anything else that strikes my fancy. I do enjoy doing reviews and giveaways for products I use, believe in and can stand behind.
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17 thoughts on “Vacation Summary – Fun in Iowa

  1. What a great description of your trip (love the photos – the one of the dogs looking out the window cracked me up). How fun that you could stay with relatives, too, and of course get spoiled.rotten. LOL.

    I enjoyed your trip right here with you.

    By the way – this is the first time I’ve seen your new design – love it! How are you liking Thesis?

  2. what an amazing adventure you had! bet PN loved all the dino digging! and did you bring us any fudge? smiles.

    excellent pics!

  3. looks like a wonderful trip…I cant believe summer will be over soon 🙁

  4. I had a picture of nothing but cornfields in my mind. This was way better! It really sounds terrific, Stacy.

    Leave it to PN to find a way to fit some dino time in!

  5. It sounds like you had an amazing trip! My kids love rocks and would have been over the moon about the geode harvesting.

  6. Two weeks is a perfect amount of time isn’t it? You got some time with your sister and her family and you all spent time together doing some tourist stuff. It sounds ideal to me. So glad you all had a great time and are home safely. Is it very hot at home like it is here?

  7. Pingback: Vacation Summary – Fun in Iowa — Stacy Uncorked graduate university

  8. Looks like you had a blast! (I actually have no idea which restaurant you were at. ???) Whatever you do, don’t lose the blueberry wine recipe! After John tore into the bottle, it was done within 2 nights! (It usually takes us weeks to make it through a bottle!) Thanks again for the basket, I loved it and we’ll be ordering more wine soon! (The jelly? GREAT in peanut butter, sayeth John.) 🙂

  9. Oooooo, Iowa! That IS really exotic.

    Actually, I have never been to Iowa, but the photographs are beautiful. And, Iowa is quite a progressive state, surprisingly enough.

  10. Summer is flying by! Thats for sure. Looks like you had a blast, but it is always nice to get back home!!

  11. Awesome pictures. Sounds like you had a wonderful time visiting all those places. My great-grandparents use to make a dandelion wine. It does feel good to be home doesn’t it?

  12. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. The geode mine seems like something my kids would love. Although not sure if small children and claw hammers really mix. 😉