Editor’s Note: Video compilation at the end. Click through to website for best viewing.
The best part of the entire trip is that Monkey is now back with us. The family had been missing a vital cog, and now we’re back to running on all cylinders.
The trip to Iowa was to celebrate the marriage of our beloved niece, Teresa, and soon-to-be nephew, Jeremy. They’ll get their own post since we all had such a great time at their wedding.
On to the rest of the weekend.
The four of us at home drove up on a Thursday. Buds found an awesome coffee shop/bakery for us in Paducah, KY that will become our official stopping spot going forward.
We learned when we still had a couple hours left in the drive that my brother, the father of the bride, had taken Mom to the ER due to breathing difficulties. She and Monkey had both managed to catch colds on their flight to Iowa, and Mom’s coughing was making her short of breath.
A breathing treatment and a stare-down with the ER Doc when she informed him that she WAS going home meant she and my brother got to her house a couple hours after we arrived. Her granddaughter was getting married, and she was not missing it. So, there.
She did feel much better and with a full day to rest before the wedding she was in good shape.
It was so good to see Monkey! She loves her time at Grandma’s where it is peaceful and comfortable.
Friday was a quiet day, but Friday night was an adventure! Teresa and Jeremy (With parental help) had a fantastic, weekend-long event planned. The gift bag included the wedding brochure so you knew what was going on:
As you can see from the brochure, Friday night was for the State Fair.
First, a little background.
The Iowa State Fair is an institution. Over one million people a year visit this 10-day event. (One million is a lot in Iowa!) My dad and I would go to the fair nearly every day together when I was a kid. I grew up a fair kid and I adore the fair.
My kids love the fair. They’ve never gotten to spend every day there, but we used to celebrate Monkey’s birthday with a day at the fair, and we had a blast.
Despite all this, Buds doesn’t much care for the fair. He’ll go for a day out of love for me, and that’s about it for him.
New family member, Jeremy, loves the fair, too. (Another reason to adore him.) Hence, T & J decided to have their “rehearsal dinner” at the fair grounds. It was awesome!
Teresa made sure to taunt Buds on Facebook just a little:
I took her vision as a plan.
Our family didn’t ride the party bus to get there, but we met up with various family members as we walked the fair grounds and chomped on our chosen snacks.
The children fondly remember “Little Hands On The Farm,” so after we had satisfied our appetites for pork tenderloin and fresh ice cream, we headed there to relive some memories.
We also had to fit in a ride down The Big Slide:
And a visit to the baby animals:
We also decided a ride on “Ye’ Ole’ Mill” was in order. I loved this ride as a kid, and it’s as dark and spooky as I remembered.
We had a chance for a family photo while we waited.
About this time the sky was starting to darken, and I wasn’t too keen on being caught in a downpour.
We made it back to Mom’s before the rain began, and the rest of the wedding party got a little wet, but still had a fantastic time. It was a great beginning to celebrating for us.