There’s just too much going on in this post to come up with a more creative title. Iowa Trip, part 1 was the best I could do. And trust me there will be at least part 2 if not 3. 🙂
While Alex was off in Alabama at SOS (squadron officer school) learning how to be a leader, Owen and I hung out in Iowa for a few weeks. I had help with Owen coming out my ears and it was the most relaxed I’d been in a looooong time! It was a very enjoyable trip!
He spent a lot of time with his grandpa Dennis in the fields farming. Owen LOVES farming with grandpa. He climbs up into the tractor’s jump seat all on his own and will even ride around with the seatbelt fastened! There are very few things in this world that Owen will sit still for! He even knows how to the turn the key to start and stop the tractor. Which he may or may not have done while cruising down the field in the combine. Heh, heh… Alex’s mom and sister and I stole Owen away from grandpa and farming for a massive shopping trip to the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Owen HATES shopping (big ugly cries the moment we turn into a store, kind of like his father) but I still managed to do some damage despite his protesting.
The MoA has an awesome aquarium, which provided some very welcomed entertainment for fish boy.
We had Mexican for lunch, one of only 20 or so times I ate Mexican while I was in the states.
With it being fall and all, my parents and I found a pumpkin patch and apple orchard not far from home that we thought Owen might enjoy. And believe me when I say, he did.
The weather that day was the epitome of fall and we warmed up with a hot cider while Owen pushed the pedal tractors around for nearly an hour. And no, I’m not exaggerating. We couldn’t tear him away from the biiiiig trucks that he could push. Fortunately, they have a wide variety of farm animals and there were ducks.
They had an enormous corn pool for kids to play in but my little neat freak wasn’t too into it. He walked through it with my mom but mostly just sat there and picked the pieces of corn off his clothes.
Had I known he wouldn’t have really cared for it we would have skipped it all together. We quickly found out that he has a slight grain allergy and was running a low fever within hours of playing in the corn. Fortunately, nothing came of it other than a fever, itchy nose and eyes for a couple of days.
Owen led the way through the hay bale maze and got them rather stuck. I had to direct them to the exit otherwise they could have been in there for days. It was a doozy! You could just see the top of his little nugget above the bales.
The giant balloon jumpy thing was a big hit, he had so much fun running around on it, but he’s just a little too small – he about flew right off several times.
He also enjoyed the tractor races.
My dad took him down the giant slide and I so badly wish I had the whole thing on video because the way it all played out was hysterical. My mom and I and other spectators were laughing so hard…
Maybe you just had to see it to find it as funny as we did but they came shooting out of the tunnel, then dad’s hat blew off, then they somehow made a 180 before coming to a stop facing the wrong way. It all happened in a matter of seconds and I still get the giggles just looking at the pictures.
We took a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch and Owen got a front row seat to watch the giant tractor wheels, of course.
He picked out the perfect pumpkins (he had to have two) and we got back on for the rest of the hay ride. It made a little loop around the gorgeous farm grounds and everyone enjoyed the ride. Well, except me. Because it turns out you shouldn’t wear leggings when sitting on a hay bale.
We stopped in the restrooms so I could pick the hay out of my pants and then grabbed a few items from their store. I’m still dreaming about the cherry jalapeno salsa…
We stopped for a quick picture with the sign on our the way out and we were already noticing that Owen was feeling a bit feverish by this point. Poor kiddo, he was such a trooper.
We stopped for lunch at Noodles & Co because I can’t eat there often enough and went home for a nap. He had a tough night fighting the fever and itchy, puffy eyes but the sleep definitely helped.
The next day we took him to Reiman Gardens so he could see the train exhibit. It was in the conservatory room which is at least 100 degrees (or so it felt to me) so I couldn’t stay in there long, but Owen would have lived in there if we’d let him.
Seeing Owen’s reaction to the trains prompted my dad to get out his vintage Lionel train set when we got home. He had one as a kid and many of the cars were in tough shape (the old steam engine still works perfectly, though). He’s replaced most of the train over the years and has a really cool setup. Owen had an absolute blast playing engineer with grandpa! And I think the feeling was pretty mutual for grandpa… 🙂
Of course, no visit to Iowa would be complete without a daily Mustang ride.
I’ll stop here because Owen is just waking up from his nap, but check back soon because I’ve already got another post lined up for later this week.