Monday, June 8, 2009

First Visit to Momma's Hometown!

(from Terri)

We have finally caught up with our post-vacation chores and errands and ready to share about our recent trip! 

We had an amazingly relaxing and enjoyable vacation back to my hometown area, the Quad Cities (Bettendorf, IA/Davenport, IA/Moline, IL/Rock Island, IL).  I was thrilled to bring Radha to my hometown, show her some of the sights, sounds and tastes of the QCs, and have her spend some long overdue quality time with the Wiley side of the family.

It was our first plane trip with Radha, and the longest car ride yet (we flew to Chicago and picked up a rental car there).  Ro and I were both a little anxious about the trip, but our mantra was, "Go with the flow."  To our happy surprise, Radha was a very mellow and happy traveler, and charmed our fellow passengers.  On the way there she didn't sleep much on the plane, but ended up napping the entire 3 hour drive to my dad's place!

Some of our trip highlights were:
  • The visit to Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL:

This is the same zoo I went to as a kid.  I was happy to see major improvements in the years since I've been there, but saddened to learn that the long-time matriarch elephant, "Kathy Sha-Boom" died a few years ago.  Radha had a blast; it was her first experience at a zoo ever!   She jumped with excitement during the train ride and especially seemed drawn to the giraffes (I wonder if she made the connection from her toy giraffe at home, or the painting of a giraffe on her wall that we show her every morning after she wakes up?)

  • Trip to Shady Lakes Campground in New Windsor, IL (about 30 minutes south of the QCs) where we took a dip in the pool and lounged on the patio of my brother-in-law's family's camper.
What do you mean the water's fine?   Brrrrrrr!

Splashing in the pool with her Aunt Danelle at my brother-in-law's family's campground pool. Too bad it wasn't warmer out!

  • Walking around Black Hawk College (across the street from my dad's place).  Radha is weighing her college options already.  ;)

  • Walking on the Ben Butterworth Parkway that follows the Mississippi River.   Radha saw the Mighty Miss for the first time, in addition to a huge gaggle of geese.
  • Barbecue with relatives at my cousin Jesse's house with great food (my Grandma had made an awesome rhubarb cobbler), great company and lots of animal entertainment.   Jesse and his wife Helen have one dog, one puppy, and several cats.  The dogs gave Radha lots of kisses.
  • Lots and lots of playtime with Grandpa Cody since we stayed at his place.  She had grown a lot since he last saw her last summer!
  • Radha also got to meet one of her great-grandmothers, my Grandma King.  Don't they look like they've known each other for years?

One afternoon was especially hot, so Radha cooled down on the patio in just her diaper, splashing with a bowl of water and some kitchen toys.  The simplest things!

For the entire set of trip pictures, take a look at my Flickr set here (warning: there are a bunch of food and toy pictures that not be of interest to some of you!)

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