Archive for Vacation

Water Park Adventures

Ben loved it. Timothy was not so sure.

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Ben loved floating around the Lazy River on a double inner tube with Eric. Looks like quite the regal ride, huh?

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Timothy was… OK about it as long as he was on me and we didn’t get caught in the wave pool (which we did) and we didn’t get dripped on (which we also did). See that cave in the picture above of Eric and Ben? Dripping, all along the cave wall, a good half of the width of the river. A fan of the dripping, he was not.

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These huge green tubes below? Waterslides. Outside the building. Which you go down in those same inner tubes you use in the Lazy River. They start and end inside the waterpark and they’re totally enclosed and comfortable. They’re really swirly and wet, but not too fast. Ben’s reaction to his first go (on a double tube with Dad again): “That was FUN.”

Above photo is from the website of the Radisson Hotel, attached to the Waterpark, since I neglected to take any of the outside myself and trying to describe this without a picture is… not as easy. Oooh! They also have a picture of inside the slide!

And this watery blur is Eric landing back inside in the pool at the bottom of the slide. Despite the fun verdict and numerous pleas from mama-with-a-camera, Ben refused to go one more time for a photo.


This picture is some totally random dude, not Eric, but Eric did try this. Boogie boarding — surfing on your stomach with a half-length board while the water is pushing you uphill, a bunch of people are standing watching, and you’re trying to retain your balance and dignity. (Dignity which most of them lost as soon as they stood up and had to hitch their shorts back up.)


It was fun. We basically spent as many hours as we could there, given our one night stay and the opening hours of the park. If we ever have a need to spend a night in or near Minneapolis again, I’m pretty sure I know where we’ll stay….


The Drive to Minneapolis

Some photos from the day we drove from Iowa to Minneapolis. It was about a 4 – 5 hour drive.

We saw a LOT of these windmills at a few spots on the drive. Hundreds. And lots of farms like this — a house, a new barn, an old barn, and a grain silo. Most of them have some shade trees around the house, though.

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The boys looking grumpy. And one looking sleepy.


The boys holding hands. Awwwww!


Running around and swinging at the park in Mason City, where we stopped to have lunch and stretch our legs.


Daddy trying to teach Ben by example how to swing by himself.


And finally, we ended up at our hotel, and there were these awesome beds that the kids were really excited about!



Fun in Iowa

After we all recovered from the bug, we did manage to enjoy ourselves somewhat.

These are koi fish in a pond where the kids can feed them at the Des Moines zoo. They were seriously so densely packed that it looked like they were climbing over each other, even out of the water, to get to the food.


More pictures of this on Eric’s blog here, here and here.

Timothy loved the sandpit in the kids’ area.


Both of them loved running in and out of these tunnels into/under the prairie dog exhibit. Tim had a little easier time of it since he could stand up. 🙂


And of course, since there was a train, we had to take a train ride. Both of them enjoyed that.

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Then there was some fun at the park in Indianola, too, one day.

Climbing and jumping….

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Swinging and sliding….

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And little brother wanting to imitate big brother in everything.

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Boys Dressed Up

Going back a bit….

Here are the boys at Eric’s cousin Phil’s wedding in Iowa in May. Feeling miserable.

Laying on Daddy’s lap during the ceremony.


Wandering up and down the outside aisle, not wanting to be with us, but not wanting to be far away either.


Deciding to just lie on the floor and be done with it.


Totally asleep in the pew afterwards.


They were so cute, all dressed up. Too bad we all felt so awful. These are about the only pictures we got.

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Our Long Strange Trip

Timothy had started throwing up the day before we left. He seemed mostly fine on Thursday. Until the flight. He was cranky and yelling and crying and wanting to be held but then lunging for the floor. He finally slept for a little while, then woke up and threw up all over him and me. Immediately the pilot says “Sit down, we’re beginning our descent.” Great. We sit down and strap in and try to change his clothes and my shirt. Then Ben throws up all over himself. So Eric had to get him cleaned up and changed.

We got off the plane, Ben was a limp lump, basically wanting to lay on the floor while we got our bags and our rental car sorted out. He threw up again in the parking garage on the way to the car.

Our plan had been to arrive in Minneapolis at 8pm (6pm for us), get our car, get dinner, put the boys in jammies and drive for four hours to our hotel in NW Iowa. Arriving around 1am, 11pm by our body clocks. Totally do-able.

Yeah. Not.

None of us wanted dinner.

Half an hour out of Minneapolis I threw up.

Half an hour later, Eric was starting to feel woozy, so we decided to stop at the next town and find a hotel room. Which was a damn good idea, because as soon as he’d got us a room, Eric threw up too, right in the parking lot.

We spent the whole night taking turns throwing up in this random hotel, all four of us miserable and hardly getting any sleep.

And then there was diarrhea.

It got better, slowly. We made it to the original hotel eventually, on Friday afternoon, made a brief appearance at the rehearsal dinner Friday night. Then Ben threw up again.

Saturday morning, I had a throbbing miserable headache on top of everything else — hadn’t had any caffeine in two days what with that whole not-keeping-food-down thing. So I tried some hotel room coffee. My stomach sent it right back up, but I guess it was down there long enough to help my head, at least.

We made it to the wedding, barely. Ben slept through nearly the whole thing. We lasted maybe half an hour at the reception with Ben looking increasingly miserable and weepy. It had been 12 hours since he last threw up, and he’d eaten that afternoon so we thought he was doing better, but as soon as we got back to the hotel, he did it again.

It was a waterpark hotel, and Ben was sooo very very excited about the waterpark. We were supposed to be there for three nights, plenty of time to go play. But we didn’t get to go once.

The rest of the week was less eventful. On Sunday (Mother’s Day), we drove 3 hours to Indianola, the town where Eric’s uncle and grandma live, and managed to do three days worth of pukey laundry and have dinner with Eric’s parents before they left. We’d mostly been avoiding people up til then.

Then we just hung out in town for 3 days, went to the zoo, played in the pool (just a regular small swimming pool, no waterpark, but still fun), went to the park, that kind of thing. All the other relatives had already left and the ones living in town were working. We made brief visits to Eric’s grandma each day, but not too long because a) it wore her out and b) watching the kids in her place wore us out.

Then, the best part of the whole darn trip.

We had booked a hotel near Minneapolis airport for Thursday night, before our flight on Friday, to avoid a four hour drive + flight in one day. Just some basic hotel.

Well, we changed it. I googled for waterparks in Minneapolis and found the Water Park of America, even nearer the airport and even slightly cheaper for a room. We booked it.

We were there when the water park opened at 4pm, and we played for 4 hours. And went back the next morning for 1.5 hours. Ben LOVED it. Tim was not so sure, but it was definitely the highlight of the trip for three of us.

We’ve been home for over two weeks now, and we’re only just getting back into a groove. Or, perhaps I’m the only one who’s taken this long to recover. But I’m finally ready to start posting photos and updating again.

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Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation in Ireland, North and South. We’re behind, so there’s one big album of the pictures


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Our Iowa Trip 2006

We spent the last week of July in Iowa, visiting Ben’s great-grandma and other family members. It was really hot while we were there, up to 105° on the last day, so we spent a lot of time indoors. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

We visited the local county fair where Ben got to see and climb on lots of tractors, and where we saw the Phils (Eric’s uncle and cousin) in their car and truck races. Ben loved that – he sat happily to watch them for nearly 3 hours! Of course, crashes, car fires, fire trucks, tow trucks and cars that had bits falling off made it all very interesting for a little boy.

We also watched (and chased) the Balloon Classic Mass Ascension (more photos on Eric’s site), saw the parade, spent a lovely day at Phil and Judy’s lake house, and just generally enjoyed hanging out with family. Ben had fun with his two second cousins, Lance (3) and Anna (1). The boys had a very serious conversation about tractors at one point.

This album is a little longer than recent ones, sorry. (17 pictures, not too bad.)
our iowa trip 2006

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