Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Much Needed Vacation

 Our eight days away the week prior to Easter consisted of a two day drive to Illinois and Iowa to visit our daughter's family and my husband's mother and sister. Two days there, two days home, and five wonderful days with family.
The above photo is of my husband and I with daughter Kelly.
We spent afternoons and evenings in she and her husband's home visiting with them and the grandkids.

 The photos are somewhat out of order, but I was too lazy to move them around in the proper order, so this post simply is what it is.
One day was spent shopping with my daughter and eldest granddaughter in the local Target store as we looked for birthday gifts for a younger granddaughter who turned nine years old two days after we left to return to Virginia. 
This photos was followed by a girly lunch at Panda Express.... yummy rice bowls for each of us!

 Our son-in-law enjoys flying his drone, so we walked across the street to a local ball park where my husband took in a drone flying lesson from the pro. 
 He enjoyed it and is considering the purchase of a drone for himself after he closes down his consulting business at the end of this year.  The man will certainly need a hobby or two to keep him busy!

 Sorry for the lighting in this photo, but notice that fun was being had by all just prior to the grandkids heading off to bed and us heading out the door for the evening.
 Hmmmm, I think this bridge was between West Virginia and Ohio.  
The photo is a bit crooked, but the bridge was completely straight.  LOL

 The best hotel we stayed in had a cute ducky washcloth.
 This was a view of the small pond outside our hotel room where we stayed for five nights while in Iowa.  The skies were gray, but that is totally springtime.  It can be sunny and warm one day, and a winter sky with cold temperatures the next.

 David and I with the grandkids.  I LOVE this photo!!
 This is David's sister and her husband in Illinois.  We went out for an Italian dinner with them after spending the day with David's 87 year old mother.  I didn't take any photos of her that day because she did not want her photo taken. 
 Another view out our hotel window in Iowa.
It was a quiet hotel considering it sits directly next to a highway, and the local train's whistle only woke us up one night.
Man was it ever loud.  But the hotel was super nice and we had a breakfast included in the cost of the room each morning.
 This is our youngest granddaughter who is TOTALLY in love with her grandpa and loved playing 'Badland' on his iPhone.
She rocked!

 Grandson, Anthony, gave us a saxaphone concert!
He played great and afterwards we applauded his playing skills.

 Granddaughter, Madeline, was in the play Sherlock Holmes which I attended with my daughter and thoroughly enjoyed.
 We also drove to Clear Lake which is where my daughter's family spends a bit of time camping at during the summer months of the year.  There's a walkway, and a nice park there also, as well as a sandy beach.  It was windy that day, but the weather was almost balmy.

 Here's lovely Meredith at the lake.
She has EXACTLY her mother's hair at that same age.

 What a joy she is, and she is the birthday girl who just turned nine this past week!

 The backside view of our hotel.

 We drove to Algona, Iowa, where I attended High School, and where my granddaughter was to have had a track meet, but the weather turned cold and threatened heavy rain and possible hail so the meet was cancelled.  We stopped at a small recommended restaurant in Britt.  The food was delicious.  As you can see, every small town in the midwest has a grain elevator so I had to snap this shot.

 Once in Algona, I had to capture this grafitti on the sides of a railroad underpass.  There was grafitti back in my day, but never quite this much.
 Since the track meet was cancelled, we spent some time at a small, sweet coffee shop which also connected to a wonderful gift shop right next door through an arched doorway.

 And, daughter and husband began an online search for local play parks where the kids could run off some energy before returning to the van to drive back home.

 Took this shot at our favorite hotel in Lafayette, Indiana on our way to Iowa.  We hooked up the laptop and watched Doc Martin on Netflix.  Totally love that funny show, and cable movie picks at hotels are just not to our liking.
 I wore my bright orange jeans and inexpensive gray tennis shoes from Target for the long two day drive home.
The orange brightened my day.
 This shot was of my husband driving home as we passed through Kentucky.  You can see the steam cloud from a nearby nuclear power plant not too far away.
 A couple of photos as we drove through West Virginia.
Talk about curvy, mountain roads and more semi trucks than you can count, all driving like super fast and crazy!
I drove until I could no longer take the stress of what seemed like dangerous mountain driving, and then I turned the wheel over to my husband.
He was a bit stressed driving the area also.

 A snapshot of myself early on in the return to home drive.
Still a smile on my face when we were in Indiana.

It was a super nice trip and we absolutely loved being with family, but the next time will be by plane and a rental car after we arrive.  We didn't mind the drive, other than West Virginia and the curvy mountain roads.

Happy Easter, Everyone!
Hope your spring is as gorgeous as ours this year!
Saying goodbye was hard, but it's good to be home once again.


  1. Looks and sounds like a great time away . . .
    Hampton was where I grew up . . .
    you might have been near there when you went to Clear Lake
    Fun to go back home, see family, isn't it!
    Beautiful and handsome grandchildren . .
    the sax concert and seeing your granddaughter in a play must have been a treat.
    Happy Easter . . . rest of the day!

  2. You have a beautiful family and it looks as though you had a wonderful time! Happy (belated) Easter!