Monday, August 11, 2014

Mini Vacation- Day 3

On Sunday we relaxed in our cool hotel and checked out at 11.  Also in the East Village and on my to do list: Zombie Burger and Drink Lab.  We got there right as it opened.  There was already a line to get in, but we were the last people to be seated before there was a wait.  If you noticed from the State Fair post I didn't write much about fair food.  The reasoning behind this is because finding food when I don't know where it is makes me irritable.  So we ate what was nearby.  However, Zombie was having a fair special.  So I got my burger with fried pickles on it (my fav fair food) and I got my funnel cake in the form of a shake.  Link got a cinnamon toast crunch shake after eating his kids meal.  It was a really neat place and they played the theme just right.  

After lunch we walked over to Raygun to look at their cool clothes.  (I used to carry them at Whimsy. )
Bryce got sales rack shorts and a t and Link got a t he liked so much he put it on right away.  It says, "you've cat to be kitten me right meow"

Final stop, Blank Park Zoo.  Link got a free pass from the reading program at the library this summer. So we just had to pay for adults, $11 each.  We also bought a kids pass for rides.  Link rode the train, carousel, camel, and fed the giraffes.  This zoo was great for a first memory zoo.  I was small but had only the best animals.  Sure it was missing a few favorites, but not much.  We started with kangaroos and ended with rhinos.  Oddly enough everyone in the family had animals on their shirt except me.  And two of the three had animals that matched zoo animals.  So I had to get pictures of that.

Mini Vacation - Day 2

We left Iowa City early to go to Des Moines.  Our first stop was the Iowa State Fair.  I ordered tickets in advance so we both got in for $8 and the kids were free.  I even found free parking.  In my anxiety to find a good parking spot I turned down a side street and realize that regular curbside public parking was hardly being utilized.  That saved us $10.

Once in the gates we went to the Little Hands on the Farm Station where Link got to pretend to be a farmer.  He was most excited when his crops sold at the farmers market, they gave him pretend money and he could go buy a bomb pop that "wasn't pretend!"  I want him to be more into farming, but he just doesn't care.  

Then we went to a Tiger show which wasn't anything special.  Well, except for the part where one tiger marked his territory and Felix and I got splattered with Tiger pee.  Can't say that has ever happened to me before.

Next stop was the sky glider and Link thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  Randomly passed by on the glider Karin and kids, Claire's kids, and Kate and her kids.  When we got off the glider we ate some BBQ and cotton candy while watching a mandolin contest.  We went up to the grape stomp to participate but realized there were no openings.  We watched it though and also played with the giant yard games.

Time moved quickly and we soon found ourselves at a show watching people get inside a giant blown up latex balloon.  We also took Link on the giant slide.  He showed no fear until the end of the slide.  He had gotten a little air on the last bump and I think that scared him.  Also ran I to Swanson family.

By this time Link was getting crabby so we went to check into our hotel.  All the hotels jacked their prices up to $250 a night at fair time, but I searched around and found one that either forgot or chose not to,  the Suites at 800 Locust.  This place was also a spa and very fancy.  We got it for $130.  It was gorgeous, had free wifi, crib, and complimentary made to order breakfast.

I purposely booked a hotel in the east village for a couple reasons.  The first reason was HoQ restaurant.  A farm to table establishment.  We had three course meals and drinks which made up the difference of what we saved on the hotel. ;).  I was one of those restaurants where every bite made your shoulders drop. 

After filling our bellies we went to reason #2 the Pappajohn Sculpture park.  At dusk it was absolutely beautiful.  Link ran out all his stored up energy (can you find him in the bottom photo) and Felix and I strolled among the artwork.  Totally free and totally wonderful.  These last two vacation spots were planned for Bryce and I.  I didn't want to keep planning all my vacation time around kid fun, but the best part was, the kids enjoyed it too.

Mini vacation- Day 1

This weekend I had to go to Iowa city for a work training so I decided to make a family vacation out of it.

I tried to find a place on couchsurfing, but with two kids it is getting a little tougher.  So I searched facebook, asked a few friends who lived in Iowa city and we had a couple takers, but one that could do both Thursday and Friday.  We stayed with Dana and Erik Lehman and their one year old, Owen.

Friday morning Dana recommended Deluxe Cakes and Pastries and she was spot on.  We had our first cro-nuts as well as yummy fruit tarts and chocolate pastries, etc.

Then I went to Hyperstream training and Bryce took the boys to the Iowa Children's Museum at the Coralville Mall.  $8 for kids and adults.  The museum didn't compare in size, but it had great things for them to do.  The most popular seemed to be the nuematic tubes that propelled air to move balls.
At lunch time the boys came back to the hygienic lab where I was and had panera box lunches with the rest of us.  Then they went back and had more fun.


When we returned to the Lehmans, we all went out to Oasis for Middle Eastern food.  Then we walked to the per mall for live music and stopped at every Herky sculpture in between.  We even found the one Naomi made with de Novo.

Sunday, August 10, 2014