Funny note- Anthony wanted a haircut, so he dashed at 9 to get a haircut at the SuperCuts across the street. Yes, that left me and four kids alone in a hotel room to pack and get ready. Methinks I deserve a pedicure for that one!
When he got back we loaded the car and headed out. I was the navigator the whole trip (well, Waze was!). Anthony would just listen to the instructions on Waze and drive where it told him! Ha, I do NOT operate like that!!
A few days before Anthony mentioned he had never been to Field of Dreams before (and that is by far one of his most favorite movies ever being from Iowa and loving baseball!). Since we were driving from northeast Iowa to southwest Iowa, I figured at some point we would have to be semi-close to it, so I looked it up. Much to my surprise we were only 20 min away from the hotel!!!!!!
We got in the car that morning and I entered it into Waze and we started driving- and Anthony had no idea! He got on a couple work calls, so that distracted him enough to not really pay attention to signs or anything like that. But as we got to the turn off, he was about to take another call. I said, "Babe, you can't take that call" (we were about five minutes out). He said, "Yes I can. And I need to." I just looked at him and said it again. He looked at me funny and said, "Oh geez. Where are you taking me now?! I'm not getting out of the car for a dumb picture!" I told him he WAS and that he would want to. We went back and forth a few times, then he said, "Wait! Are we going to Field of Dreams?!!?" And I cheered and said yes and he was PUMPED! It was like Christmas! The best surprise!!
Needless to say, it did NOT disappoint! It was truly beautiful and so awesome to see in person! Anthony absolutely loved it!
We continued on our trek- I'm not going to lie, it wasn't as fun as the drive the day before. The scenery was a little flatter and a little browner, the kids were a little more restless, and since we had people we wanted to get there and see, we were a little more anxious to just GO. But it was a beautiful day and for the most part, the kids were wonderful! We did stop in Iowa City to University of Iowa- Anthony had never been and wanted to see it. It was a nice campus- very spread out so kind of hard to navigate! But it gave us a chance to stretch our legs and grab some lunch!
We finally got there and saw cousins and aunts and uncles. We had pizza and built a fire! Everyone was wonderful to us and the kids were in heaven! We stayed at Anthony's Aunt Mary's house and she and Roy were beyond hospitable! Food and toys galore! Anthony's parents and sister and her kids met us there and it was fun to reconnect with them too!
Uncle Roy helping Molly with the sparkler!
The debate was on and Anthony's dad was into it! :)
Unfortunately Anthony's grandmother was in the hospital and had surgery a few days before we got there. So we didn't get to spend nearly as much time with her. And Anthony's mom was with her quite a bit so we missed her, too!
We woke up the next morning and it was COOOOOOOLD. We played around their farm and breathed in the fresh Iowa farm air.
As the day went on it warmed up. We went into town and visited Anthony's grandmother at the hospital (she looked AMAZING by the way! Wow!), and played around the farm. We even hit up Chick fil A with all the dads in tow- and these dads certainly aren't used to being at Chick fil A during lunch and the chaos of the playground- ha!
As the girls went down for naps, Anthony caught up on some work. Jay was just playing around outside and Uncle Roy asked if Jay wanted to go help him combine some corn. He said it would be about an hour or so. I was a little hesitant only because that's a long time in the cab of a combine for a kid with nothing else to do, and Jay and Roy didn't know each other very well and I thought it might be awkward for one of them... Well, they got back and I'm pretty sure Jay had the best two hours of his life! Ha! He had a BLAST with Roy and combining and learning how to farm! Roy said he was pretty sure Jay didn't stop talking the whole two hours! But it was so good for Jay- what a special experience! And Roy also said it helped him stay awake. I didn't think about but sitting in the cab of the truck for 10 hours a day all alone just going up and down rows of corn does have to be quite hard and exhausting... So i bet the change of scenery really was great for him!
They had four farm kittens- and Charley Kate and I were SLIGHTLY obsessed!
That night we had a huge fish fry with tons of family! Anthony's cousin Rob is the greatest fisherman and he caught a bunch of Walleye for us to eat. Aunt Mary made a mean breading (well, Brenda made it from Aunt Mary's recipe!) for the fish and the guys did a great job of frying it up! I roasted some fresh veggies from the garden and Andrea baked some delicious bread and cookies! I ate so much freaking food- it was so so good! Old fashioned fun! (and only one picture- grrrrr!)
Kelsey's first campfire!
The next morning we went to Brenda's family farm where she grew up. We saw their beautiful land and house. It. Was. Cold! Then we headed up to the hospital to see Anthony's grandmother again. She looked even better and we got some pictures with her! Then I dropped Anthony and Jay at Rob's house and they went fishing for the morning (it was really all day long but I had no clue... I thought it was a couple hours of fishing. Needless to say there were some words exchanged and we both thought the other knew what the other was thinking and we learned valuable lessons in communication that day!). Meanwhile, the girls and I played and hung out!
At the farm!
Kelsey meets Grandma Peggy.
I love this lady so so much! She has a heart of gold!
The girls played dress up!
That night we had a big family reunion "Peggy's Party" in honor of Anthony's grandmother. Unfortunately, she was in the hospital and couldn't even attend her own party! Boo! But we had it anyway and pictures are set to come soon! Brenda got a photographer friend to come out and take pictures of each individual family in coordinating shirts! Cute idea and I'm anxious to see the pics!
The kids had a BLAST with their second cousins! I'm so thankful for all these sweet relationships from this week. You'd think they'd all been best friends their whole lives. Isn't that the wonderful thing about kids? They just pick up and have fun!
We had the best time with Anthony's family. They were so wonderful and so willing to drive and come see us. They are always up for a good time! It was such a great week with both families- we couldn't have scripted it better if we tried!
The next morning we packed up and headed out the door- we were flying out of Kansas City and needed to get on the road! Once we got there we drove around a little bit and saw the Royals stadium and the Chiefs stadium (right next to each other!). I was pretty impressed with both! And so fun they are next to each other! Jay was thrilled he got his "tour of stadiums" on this trip! Ha!
We got the rental car checked in, we loaded up our pack mule Anthony, and headed to our gate!
Watching the Aggies lose to Alabama, me holding Kelsey (of course!), CK being wonderful, Jay being excited, and Molly screaming about something.
The kids were actually awesome on the flight home! We were all starving when we landed (8 pm!!!! Did I tell you it was TWELVE hours of traveling that day?!!?!?) and so we ordered pizza on the way home from the airport and it was delivered a few minutes after we got home!
It was SOOO nice to be home. The trip was a blast and I wouldn't have changed one single thing. But there is something about putting your head on your own pillow in your own bed.
Memories, fun, family time. My favorite things. Can't wait for the next one....