Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iowa Trip 2008

DSCF1029 This is pretty much snapshot of Nirvana! After vacationing in the tourism hotspot that is the state of Iowa, Team Stinson is settled back in to work-a-day life in East Tennessee.

Our trip to Iowa this year was one of the better ones we have had! We got to do a bunch of stuff without ever really feeling like we were trying to squeeze in too much. After a long day of trial in Lewisburg, Tennessee, on Friday, August 1, we got on the road very late, only to be met with Nashville rush hour traffic.

Because I was playing in a golf tournament in Center Point on Saturday at noon, I was trying to push through and get to Iowa without having to stay somewhere overnight along the way. That hope was dashed as I watch the clock in the courtroom turn around and around. This realization was made worse knowing that Suni was having to entertain Waylon all day. We ended up having to stay in a disgusting hotel north of St. Louis due to the fact that Waylon began screaming at some point after we turned off the interstate and headed through Missouri. (We decided that we would never drive to Iowa again, but we’ll forget by next year just how hellish the car travel can be).

We made it to Center Point with half an hour to spare the next morning, arriving at Rolling Acres with the 53rd rendition of the Backyardigans’ Fly Girl episode blaring on the DVD player. Suni and Waylon were off to see Grandma, and I hit the course with Tim, Seth Rosendahl, and Tim’s neighbor. Seth also appeared now and again, his fleeting presence always foreshadowing some strange occurrence [see next sentence]. After a lousy, but always fun, round of golf, replete with the thuds of entire golf bags hitting the ground and beer cans with mysterious holes in them, it was party time at the Whiteheads. Great stuff, as everyone had their kids there, and it was good to see everyone.

We stayed with Suni’s mom while we were back. Waylon loved the puppies and his first taste of Iowa corn [below, right]. We went to the Iowa State Fair, which is pretty much heaven on earth. Check out the picture below on the right – “Pork Chop on a Stick.” Need I say more? Waylon was a big fan of the turkey leg; I liked the deep fried candy bar. I hope that we make going to the fair a family tradition. It’s just a great atmosphere.

pork chop on stick DSCF1005

After the fair, we went to visit Nichole, one of Suni’s college friends just north of Des Moines. Her husband, Jay, cooked a great dinner. As you can see, Waylon loved playing with their two little girls. Grace took Waylon down the slide over and over and was just really good with him. I think Waylon got quite an education! All in all, it was a great day! Jonnie’s boyfriend, Dan, and I played golf the following morning at The Legacy, a very nice course in Des Moines.

We got back to Cedar Rapids in time the next day for me to hang out with the Whiteheads and, later, Brandon and Monica Hahn. (Mama crashed early). Our evening started off at the Hacienda, that great bastion of Mexican cuisine and a Cedar Rapids landmark. (Thanks for dinner and drinks, Tim and Jaime!) Then it was back to Center Point (or just “the Point,” in certain circles). We had fun hanging out, and I thought called a taxi to take me back to CR, but oddly enough, the driver that showed up to get me looked a lot like Jaime Whitehead. It was a very kind thing to do.

Another great day was spent up at Tim and Sandy Ford’s place up in Delhi, Iowa, on the Maquoketa River. It is always so much fun up there, and this year was no different. Waylon is doing much better with his life jacket now that it fits him a bit better. Here is Waylon with his Grandma on the boat.

boat w grandma driving with tom

The only sad part of the trip was seeing the utter devastation in the wake of the flooding from back in June. Words are simply inadequate to describe how bad the damage truly is. I could not bring myself to snap any photos at all, but there is ample supply on the web.

I will probably post some more pictures in the next few days, or hopefully Suni will. Thank you so much, everyone who made our trip back to Iowa the highlight of our year again!

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