Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Out of the mouths of babes. | Main | Our rockstar... »

To Iowa and back...

A wedding is such a beautiful thing - the combining of two lives, two worlds, two hearts.  And it's so obvious when two people are truly meant for each other and they are surrounded by a beautiful glow whenever they are together.  We were very blessed and honored to have taken part in just such a beautiful ceremony this past weekend in Iowa, and because it was not only Calvin's first wedding, but also his first road trip out of state, we took a couple of extra days to make it like a family vacation.  The trip went something like this:

Wednesday 4/9  7am (EST): wake up, finish packing and preparing the house for the pet sitter, leave, forget camera cord, come back, leave again.  IowaTrip1.jpg2pm (CST):  arrive in Chicago, miraculously find nearly free parking (cheaper than Ann Arbor's) on museum campus, enter Shedd Aquarium, spend more time climbing the steps in the amphitheater than watching the dolphins (to be fair, the dolphins only jumped once), have more fun getting a snack than watching the otters (to be fair the otters were sleeping), fall in love with the beluga whales (how many times CAN one two year old repeat the word beluga?), IowaTrip2.jpgfinally get interested in the sea creatures as we are LEAVING the aquarium.  5pm:  Leave the museum campus to pick up uncle Curtis and get dinner, get lost, twice, three times, get uncle Curtis, miraculously find free parking near his office, walk to dinner, QUICKLY order margaritas, walk back to uncle Curtis's apartment.  9pm:  settle Calvin down for the night (in the closet) and enjoy a couple hours of Rock Band before hitting the hay.

Thursday 4/10  8am:  Walk to breakfast, then back to apartment, then to car.  10am:  miraculously find nearly free parking on the museum campus again IowaTrip3.jpg(to be fair, this might have had something to do with the pouring rain and long walk, but we're not complaining), run to Field Museum, have more fun eating crackers than seeing dinosaur bones, have more fun watching people than seeing stuffed animals (well, who can blame him?  He's used to the zoo), have more fun seeing dinosaur pictures than dinosaur bones (hey, bones don't look like the dinosaurs he's used to).  1pm:  drop uncle Curtis off at work, get on I88 withOUT getting lost, spend an hour traveling only 20 miles and IowaTrip4.jpgwishing we HAD gotten lost.  6pm:  Arrive in Cedar Rapids Iowa (still CST), check in at the hotel, change clothes, unite with other arriving guests, book it over to Rachel's family's house, get there just before tornado sirens go off, book it to Rachel's family's house's basement, QUICKLY serve margaritas to whole group (tornado and all we had a great, great, great time).  10pm:  Back to hotel for night, tornadoes having been kept at bay, possibly by the constant siren usage.

Friday 4/11   8am: Get free breakfast in hotel restaurant, go swimming in hotel pool. IowaTrip5.jpg 11am:  Cortney goes shopping with the girls and get to manicures, Jon goes with the guys to get tuxes and ride the escalators in the mall several times.  3pm:  Calvin stays at the hotel with his grandparents while his parents go to rehearsal at the church.  6pm:  Calvin enjoys a riotous dinner at Applebees with his grandparents and uncle while his parents enjoy a really fun rehearsal dinner with the rest of the wedding party.  10pm:  Bed for Calvin, pool party for a handful of wedding guests who don't know when to quit (Cortney and Jon included).

Saturday 4/12   7am:  Get not so free breakfast IowaTrip6.jpgin hotel restaurant with whole family.  9am:  Calvin and Jon go swimming, Cortney goes with bride and bridesmaids for mimosas and breakfast.  10am:  Calvin and Jon are likely still swimming, girls go for hair and makeup.  12pm:  Girls return to house with plenty of time to fix any damage that has been done (this is a whole IowaTrip7.jpgother story in itself, and a funny one at that).  2pm:  Calvin is napping at the hotel with Grandpa, everyone else is at the church getting ready.  3pm:  STEVE AND RACHEL GET MARRIED, lots of happy tears are shed, lots of tissues meet their end.  4pm:  The wedding party drives to an outside location and spends an hour with the photographers and no coats in the 35 degree weather.  6pm:  Everyone convenes at the reception site (Calvin had already been there for some time enjoying his own appetizers), dinner is fabulous, IowaTrip8.jpgthe live band is amazing, Calvin seems to enjoy the drummer the most, and we all dance the night away (well, Calvin and his grandparents go home around 8pm).  12am:  Jon and Cortney arrive back at the hotel in time to join the after party at the bar there.

Sunday 4/13  7am:  Calvin drags us all out of bed and down for a not so free IowaTrip9.jpgbreakfast in the hotel restaurant.  9am:  Pack the car, check out of hotel.  10am:  Get to eat again at a brunch with the bride and groom and their families, enjoying one last chance to celebrate with the happy couple!  12pm:  Still waiting for the video we took to finish transferring to Steve's computer (the digital age? Got love it).  1pm:  Pull out of Cedar Rapids, stop at Herbert Hoover's Birthplace National Park (or something like that), where we add a stamp to our National Park Passport, IowaTrip10.jpgand Calvin gets a Junior Ranger pin, and we enjoy the beautiful, though still chilly, weather.  2pm:  Pull out of Westbranch, head for Illinois, not knowing yet where we will spend the night.  5pm:  Find a Holiday Inn, go in to ask about rates, while waiting for service stumble upon a magazine with an ad for a neat looking lodge inside a cool looking state park, call lodge and find out they are having a special and are cheaper than the hotel, immediately ditch the Holiday Inn and head for Starved Rock Lodge.  6pm:  check in at the lodge, go for a quick hike (oh so beautiful and including a wild turkey sighting), eat in the lodge restaurant (really fantastic food).  9pm:  put Calvin to bed, visit the hot tub, then visit the lodge bar.

Monday 4/14  8am:  Enjoy a fabulous free breakfast in IowaTrip11.jpgthe lodge restaurant, pack up and check out, then hit the trails for some fantastic hiking, see gorges, canyons, waterfalls, the river, and moss (Calvin's favorite thing to find while out walking these days), all while doubling our picture count for the entire weekend.  12pm:  Realize we took the long trail instead of the short trail and are at least an hour behind schedule, get lunch in the dining room, then hit the road for home.  The rest is history. 

Find a plethora of pictures in our Iowa Trip album


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

yay! Good story...still laughing over the tornado...and might need to beg some photo copies off you. They are great!
April 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.