30 August – 2 September, Perfect mid 70’s and sunny – and of course 30 knot winds on the return trip across South Dakota

We went back to Iowa to visit my folks for a few days. They had a trailer that had just been sitting at my Aunt Kay’s house for 20+ years and earlier this spring my Mom and Dad said we should take it.  We offered to buy it but they said, “Happy Anniversary!” and insisted we take it.  We shipped some tires to Iowa and planned to be there for a few days to get it fixed up to drive back here.  Mom and Dad had different plans, however, and packed the wheels and put on the tires.  My Dad and brother Bill rigged up a light bar so we would have brake and turn signals.  A day or two before we left, Dad called and said, “Your trailer is ready to go!” 

So we drove to Iowa and went to Kay’s place where we met up with my sweet Aunt and my cousins, Dave, Patty, and Bruce.  They helped us get the trailer hooked up and we went to lunch at the Beef ‘n Brew in Mapleton, Iowa.  Kay recommended the hot beef, which was a huge open-faced beef and mashed potato sandwich…..so dang good!  We didn’t stay long and I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of my aunt and cousins, instead I took a picture of their cows.  I can’t help it, my phone likes cows!img_1864img_1863

We towed the trailer down to Council Bluffs and went to Mom and Dad’s house.  The drive through the western Iowa Loess Hills was beautiful.  The trees were in full summer bloom and the corn was super tall and looking good.  When we got to my folks’ house, my Mom made an apple pie with apples from the tree in their back yard.  It was so good, it would have definitely won a blue ribbon in the Iowa State Fair, but we ate it so there would be no fair entry this year!  It was great to hang out with my folks and catch up at their house.  The weather was perfect and we sat in the backyard enjoying the sunshine.  img_1865

The next day, we met up at the Ameristar Casino and had breakfast with Mom, Dad, and Bill.  Bill looks great and it was fun catching up with him, but the visit was too short.  We did hang out with Mom and Dad the rest of the day and for dinner we took Dave to Christie Crème, a local joint that makes a traditional Iowa favorite:  fried pork tenderloin sandwich.  Dave was impressed. Oh, and my superstar Mom made a ton of chocolate chip cookies for us and for the workers building our house.  Some of the cookies made it back to South Dakota and the construction guys were very excited….I’m not sure what happened to the rest of those cookies.

Are you noticing a trend here?  I just want to warn anyone planning to visit Iowa that you should not be on a diet! And if you’ve never been to Iowa, late August/early September is the time to go.  It is really beautiful and you will understand that line from that Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams:  “Is this heaven?” “No, this is Iowa!”

So after a much too short trip, we headed back to the Black Hills.  We had clear skies and a 30 knot wind out of the south all the way across the great state of South Dakota, but we love it here and it felt like we were coming home.  It was a very successful trip.

What can we say; we are so lucky to be related to so many nice people. Thank you Mom and Dad for the trailer.  We will definitely use it!  Thanks to Kay, Dave, Patty, and Bruce because I know you all helped them get that trailer road-worthy, and you stored it forever.  It was really nice to see you all and we hope you will come visit us when we have a place to host you!  Thanks Bill for helping Mom and Dad, and it was great to see you too!  Come up here and help me figure out how to set up some bee hives!  Mom and Dad, we love you and hope to see you soon!img_1868img_1867