Monday, June 20, 2016
Summer In Iowa: Week 1
Last week was my first week of summer vacation. I love that as an adult I have (almost) an entire summer off of work. This year I've decided that my girls are old enough that I can no longer excuse my lack of cleaning on their neediness. I've already done a bit of deep cleaning with more to come.
And, I've decided that I'm going to make a conscious effort to check a few things off each girl's bucket list they compose each summer.
So far in Week One, we've had a fun time.
1. Picking strawberries. I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but picking strawberries is the opposite of fun in my book. Back in high school I picked strawberries for a few hours each morning one summer to earn a little extra money. My hamstrings have never been the same, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for this type of work.
However, I took the girls to pick strawberries at Heartland Farms on Wednesday morning (the location of the torture I endured in high school) and we all really enjoyed ourselves. We left with just shy of fourteen pounds of strawberries, and hours of baking ahead of us.
Each girl tried a recipe involving lots of strawberries, and we will be forever indebted to my mother who took half of our haul home and froze them for us.
We may not have museums to while away hot summer afternoons, but we do have strawberry patches where we can make memories.
2. Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City - Big Sister and I feel like regulars at this Indie Bookstore, but Middle Sister and Little Sister get to Iowa City far less frequently and have no real memories of this bookstore. It is an absolute treasure and yesterday we spent some time selecting a few books to enjoy over the summer.
3. Hurts Donuts - while we were in Iowa City we took the recommendation of friends and visited Hurts Donuts in Coralville. Their offerings are many. All are unique. The Bart Simpson. The Slim Shady. The E. T. The Homer. The Cookie Monster. The Jesus. Moose Munch. Little Timmy. We purchased a dozen for a donut loving dad at our house.
4. Whitey's Ice Cream - Big Sister found a list of the ten best ice cream places in Iowa. Whitey's tops the list, so while we were road-tripping yesterday we had to try it for ourselves. The good news is it tasted great and we still have nine more ice cream places to taste test.
5. Black Angel - Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City- It's hard to road trip without connecting something to books and literature. Here Lies Linc by Delia Ray was a Cedar Valley Youth Reads pick a few years ago. On our Friday road trip we listened to this book on audio, and then visited the Black Angel at the cemetery we had just heard about. It was a short side-trip to what we had already planned, but I think it will make this book more memorable to the girls.
I'm not sure where we're headed this week for fun and relaxation. I've got a few ideas that I'm working out in my mind, so we'll see how this week unfolds.
If anyone has some suggestions for some not-so-popular, off-the-beaten-path places of interest in Iowa, I'm all ears.