No Harm Done

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And...we're back!

It was a short trip away from home. Just one night in a hotel. A mini-break, as Bridget Jones would say. We'd planned it for 3 weeks, and were looking forward to meeting M.'s parents and relaxing with the kids.

The boys were terribly excited and daily counted down how many more nights until we'd leave. They'd tell all sorts of adults in their lives about our trip. "We're going on a vacation!" they'd squeal to the piano teacher, the pastor, the doctor, the grocery store clerk. Pretty much anyone they met.

"Oh really?" the adult would say politely. "Where are you going?"

"Iowa!!!!" the boys would chorus.

Inevitably, the adult would turn to me with raised eyebrows and an amused smile. "Iowa? Really?" Most likely they thought, "All this fuss and excitement for Iowa?"

"We're going to meet their grandparents there and spend the night in a hotel," I'd explain.


I think the boys' high expectations for the weekend were met. We had a fantastic time. Really. We packed a lot of activity into those two days, and had a great weekend.

After meeting Grandma and Grandpa we high-tailed it over to the capitol building just in time to make it for the final tour of the day. I was a little surprised at how many other people were there for the tour. I'd expected that we'd be the only ones there, and that the tour guides would be thrilled just to have someone new to talk to. I was wrong, though. We made for a pretty large group.

The capitol was beautiful, inside and out. As we drove up to the building, the littles thought we were going to see a castle.
Across the street from the capitol building was the Justice Building. When Colson heard that, he became very animated. "I want to go there! I want to go to the Hall of Justice!" Once we made it clear that the Justice League would not be there, his interest disappeared.

Inside the capitol was just as beautiful. At the end of the tour, everyone climbed up to the top of the dome. 130 steps up a spiral staircase. Colson and I waited at the bottom and waved at the faces that eventually peered over the safety rail. This is a shot up into the dome, and you can sort of see M. and his parents at the railing. As high up as they are, it's still 150-200 feet further to the top of the dome.

I think our favorite room was the law library. Ornately decorated, well-lit, and filled to the brim with books. Spiral staircases were at each end of the room. The stairways connect to each of the 5 stories of books.

Balconies upon balconies of books. I tried to capture one section from top to bottom. You can see Colson sitting on M. 's shoulders at the bottom of the photo.

Outside we examined all the statues and played on the vast lawn. This photo leads me to believe that my boys may need to take some sort of course in gun safety.

I've never seen a statue of Christopher Columbus before, and I certainly never expected to see one in Iowa.

The next day we spent at Living History Farms. Living History Farms is a very large historical interperative museum . We started the day on a journey through agricultural history of Iowa. A tractor-shuttle dropped us off at a replica of a 17th century Ioway Indian village. From there we hiked to a primitive Iowa farm. After exploring the cabin, grounds, and livestock, we moved on to a 1900 farm. There were several people on hand at each site, in costume, to describe their chores and way of life. All the workers were so good to the boys, explaining things to them and bringing animals over for them to see.

We spent some time chatting with the blacksmiths who were working on various projects.

Here's a view of part of the 1875 town. This was just a small part of the town.

At one point in the day, we took a tractor ride around several of the local (21st century) businesses. The boys were told to remain seated, but Colson quickly scooted around the trailer on his seat and positioned himself next to the donation box.

A close-up:

There was more: much driving time, lots of swimming at the hotel pool, and a sweet time at Build-A-Bear. The time went too fast.


At 12:02 PM , Blogger Frankie said...

I am really thankful you blogged about your mini-vacation. I go to Ames/Des Moines about once a year to visit relatives and have thought of visiting the living history farms but haven't done it. It looks great so I think we will.

I've driven by the capitol many times but had never even thought to go on a tour -- thanks for the great idea.

I've been told Des Moines has a wonderful science museum which we want to hit someday as well.

At 9:27 PM , Blogger Dy said...

You did pack a lot into such a short trip. The cannon shot and comment cracked me up.

And that library? By jove, I think I've found the design for our next addition to the house! I want that! WOW. Of course, the fiction section is a little weird. ;-) (Ha, I know, only I find myself funny sometimes...)

Welcome home.

At 3:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a mini vacation. It was so packed it sounds like my real vacation, LOL. I really enjoy the build a bear store. I think its so cute. Did the boys just have so much fun? They are holding a sweepstakes for someone to be in the next Alice Productions movie. You should enter the boys, they are precious!!!

At 7:54 PM , Anonymous Melissa said...

Oh! When did you get Colson's hair cut? He's not a toddler anymore!

I enjoyed your pictures.


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