Thursday, May 28, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend of Social Distancing

The warm weather has me missing our active lifestyle. I figured a long weekend was the perfect time for a day trip. I picked places we hadn't been to yet, things we hadn't done, and off we went. Our first adventure Friday night was getting the rental vehicle all packed up and read to go. Since I had to idea what was in store for us I had to pack a variety of clothing: an extra pair of clothes for us all, pants (just in case we needed them for hiking), hiking shoes and walking shoes, swimming suites, masks, extra socks, snacks, reading material, a playlist. The one thing I forgot were extra underwear for the kids (oops!), but they managed. 

Saturday took us to the countryside in Cumming, Iowa to Howells Tree Farm. There we spent 30 minutes snuggling baby goats followed by spending way too much on new flowers and plants. We all loved the goats! This was the first time we did their goat cuddling--I really can't believe we hadn't done it sooner. I tried to talk the minis into coming back another day for bottle feeding (the goats) but they asked to do another session of goat cuddling! We each had our favorite goats and we all left with funny stories to tell.

Goat cuddling took place in a greenhouse, so we didn't have to worry about the wet ground. Good thing too because we spent a lot of time sitting on the ground and letting the goats climb all over us.
I told Elizabeth to put her hair in a bun so the goats didn't get it...I didn't think once about my own hair. Big mistake! The goats kept JUMPING up to get my hair. They were also partial to my shirt. Weird.

Elizabeth wasn't too sure about the goats. She liked standing and petting them. She refused to hold them and didn't like that they kept biting her boots or her shirt whenever she sat down.

Elizabeth took most of our amazing pictures from goat cuddling!

This little girl, Clover, was our favorite. She was only a week old, brand new to "goat daycare," cried whenever someone got close to her, but cried when we set her down. Then she walked away and peed. That's why she was the mini's favorite.

After goat snuggling, we headed to southern Iowa. We checked out Red Haw Lake, hiked the lake trail (4+ miles, quite curvy, very few trail markers along the way, but a fairly even trail that was grassy most of the way), and played at the beach. The thing to do at this lake was fish. That's what 90% of all visitors were doing.

Pushing and attitudes at the start of our hike. Things turned around quickly with a few under-the-breaths "stop or I'll leave you here when we're done."

Check for frogs and fish. We've seen a lot of frogs, toads, snakes, and fish on our hikes lately.

Harrison discovered tad poles. 

Same kid also discovered broken bird eggs. He had to wash his hands in the lake after. As if that was cleaner!

The kids were having a grand time at the beach when mom had to pee. Thus our time at Red Haw Lake came to an end. The park bathrooms weren't open, so we masked up and went to the nearest gas station. From there I convinced everyone that we should go see the American Gothic house while in southern Iowa. I convinced them by bribing them with Steak n' Shake for dinner. So basically, we traveled an hour and a half to go to the Lake, another hour to the American Gothic House, about 45 minutes to get Steak n' Shake, then two hours home. Logical in my mind. 

In between the Lake and Eldon, Iowa to see the house, we drove through Albia. Along Hwy 34 we happened upon this memorial. After quickly looking information up, we learned it was called Welcome Home Soldier Monument. What a neat surprise in the middle of the Iowa countryside.

Books and journaling kept them busy while we traveled.

I've lived in Iowa all my life. I had never visited the American Gothic house, but I pictured it in the middle of a corn field with not much else around. Imgine my surprise when we discovered the house with IN town, surrounded by neighbors. In fact, a disc golf course sits on the opposite side of it with a bike trail running in front of the house. I was mindblown for a minute there. Our visit was made more special because the minis had learned about Grand Wood a couple of weeks prior in art class.

I wonder if we could visit all of them in one summer?? I feel another Tour in the works...

Gardetto's are a requirement for all road trips. The minis got in on it this round. They've been reluctant to try them up until this point! They've now discovered how addictive they are.

Matt surprised us when he said "we're making a quick stop in Mount Pleasant." He brought us to Sheaffer Park! The kids were excited to visit their very own park (it was just a grassy field), but weren't thrilled about the picture taking. I've decided we need a street sign that says 'Sheaffer Street.'

Burgers and shakes. Totally worth the bribe to see things earlier in the day.

Sunday we had a family grill out (in the rain) and then worked on projects around the house. We got the dog kennel picked up for the puppy, the basement cleaned (a bit) and furniture shuffled around. It was a bigger job than it sounds like. 

You didn't think we'd get a dog kennel and the kids NOT mess around with it, did you??

By Sunday evening the minis were playing school and math games in the playroom.

Monday got to be my "lazy day." I pretty much laid around, watched movies, and read books all day long. The oldest made breakfast quesadillas for us all and then they played in the rain in the afternoon. Hubs worked on electrical and installed new outlets in the homeschool room just in case we need to use that room as a school room longer than anticipated.
Breakfast quesadillas, complete with queso and salsa for dipping.

This is how long his hair has gotten. He called himself a troll as he danced in front of the mirror. This kid cracks me up.

They had to use the hose in the rain too because it wasn't pouring enough on them.

Not a bad intro to the unofficial start to summer!