Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Sunday Spent Exploring

 We tried out a new to us hiking spot Sunday and loved it! Before we get into Sunday, I just can't skip Saturday as it was a pretty great day too. We spent Day 1 of our weekend having little friends over for a play date, getting lots of writing in, cleaning, and organizing done. Saturday night I treated myself to a night out with an "old" friend. 

 I actually put on a bit of make up and did my hair up. I had enjoyed Creme Cupcakesnumerous times in the past, but Saturday night we tried out the dessert lounge for the first time. The dessert lounge consists of a separate menu that pairs specialty desserts with cocktails (or coffees or teas if cocktails aren't your thing). I had a chocolate raspberry cheesecake paired with a (quite strong) champagne cocktail.  My friend got a cake with melted peanut butter in the middle (omg, was it amazing!) paired with a martini. I can't believe I haven't tried this out before, but it's on our places to go to for our next date night.

                                            We were enthralled with this drink being made here.

 Sunday morning we headed to Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt for some hiking and sight seeing. This was unlike any hiking trails that we've taken the kids on (so far). This was mostly marshy areas and also had some prairie reserves. It was amazing. The coolest part of our time there was seeing a few Great Blue Herons fly across the water. Truth be told, when I first spotted it I screamed because it looked huge as it flew away as I walked right past it. I had never seen one before and was quite taken by them. The kids and I went on a "heron hunt" the rest of the hike. 
The bridge that we're standing on was constructed in 1910 and holds quite a bit of history. The kids could have cared less about the history of the bridge, they just thought it was cool that they could see the old Skunk River through the floor boards.

It was interesting to go from marshy wetlands to dry prairie filled with bumble bees, goldfinches, and flowers. There were some amazing views during our hike, however we didn't get to go too far as the trail we were on just kind of disappeared thanks to all of the heavy rains Iowa has gotten this summer. By the time we made our way back to the start of the trail, the kids were hot and tired. This is definitely on our list of places to explore this fall in slightly cooler weather.

 After our hike we stopped for lunch (the fish tanks kept the kids entertained) and spent the rest of our afternoon playing at Adventure Bay water park.

It's hard to believe this was the second to last weekend before school starts. We've had a lot of fun this summer. We spent a lot of time at Adventureland and Adventure Bay, hikes, pools, and restaurants. My favorite time to explore Iowa is coming up: fall, which means gorgeous hikes!