The weekend before last, Bug and I went to Iowa. Yes, Iowa. You see, my bestest friend Randall lives there with her husband. She hasn’t lived in Florida for almost 4 years and I had never been to visit her. I’ve gotten to see her when she’s been here visiting her Mom or when she flew home to host my baby shower, but had never been to her new home. So, Bug and I went. I will probably get around to writing about flying by yourself with a 2 year old at some point, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about a barrage of pictures documenting the fabulous trip we had. Randall (or Randi, as I have called her since we were 5) and Nick showed us a grand ole time.
Bug and I arrived on Friday afternoon at 11:30 Iowa time. 11:30 Iowa time = 12:30 Florida time = 30 minutes past lunchtime and 30 minutes until naptime. We went and grabbed lunch in Le Claire and then snapped this picture. This was obviously past naptime.
After a nice nap (for Bug & Mommy), we played on the back porch with Bug’s new best friend Winnie (sorry, Ben) & blew some bubbles. Then we took Winnie to the dog park and played on an awesome playground. Bug loved this thing that spun ’round and ’round. He’d get really dizzy, fall down and then want to do it again, of course. That night, after Bug was in bed, Randi & I left Nick at home and went out for a girl’s night. We haven’t had a girl’s night with just the two of us in, ummm, years. Like 4 years. It was amazing. I had the best bacon I’ve ever had ever at Duck City Bistro. I’m doing my best to recreate it. I’ll share when I have it perfected, but it involves brown sugar, black pepper & twisted goodness.
Saturday morning, Bug fell down the stairs. Gave me a heart attack. THANK GOD he was okay… just a little bump on the forehead. We went to this lovely farmer’s market that blows farmer’s markets in Sarasota out of the water. All kinds of super yummy fruits & veggies & crepes & cake pops & flowers. Also, an entire booth of just radishes. I didn’t realize so many kinds of radishes even existed.
After the farmer’s market, we headed to the John Deere Pavilion. Oh. My. Goodness. If you are ever anywhere near Moline, Illinois and you have a toddler… go here. It was awesome. They have big tractors with all of the buttons & levers still inside that the kids can climb in. They have an area with tables full of tractor toys to play with. They had someone helping kids with an arts & crafts activity. They had freshly hatched baby chicks. They had a gift shop with more tables full of toys to play with… plus the gift shop actually had really reasonable prices. We obviously bought a couple of tractors, but don’t tell Bug because we are saving some for his birthday! After a nap, we helped Aunt Randi water the flowers, which resulted in playing in the hose. THEN, we went to Whitey’s and had delicious ice cream. I had salted caramel and almost died and went to heaven.
Randi had a babysitter all set up for that evening, and we all went out for dinner & drinks with Randi & Nick’s group of friends. It was super fun and their friends are all wonderful, sweet people and I am so glad that I got to meet all of the people I hear Randi talk about.
Nick is the golf pro at the beautiful Pinnacle Country Club. We went to see him on Sunday morning. I don’t think I’ve talked much about this, but Bug LOVES golf. He has these little golf clubs that we (the Easter Bunny) got him for Easter that he plays with every. single. day. He’s played with them so much that they are now bent. Going to a golf course was very exciting for him. Nick drove us around in the golf cart up and down hills. Let’s be reminded that we live in Florida, where there are no hills. Bug kept saying “go fast!” Randi & Nick gave Bug his birthday present early… a good set of just-his-size golf clubs, complete with a tee & a hole! Couldn’t have asked for a better gift. Nick set it up on a fairway for Buggy… and he was in heaven! That afternoon, after nap, we went to another playground, where Bug sat a swing like a big boy. Well, he sat on a swing like a big boy long enough for Mom to get a picture. Then he promptly fell off. That night, we grilled out at the house & sat on the back porch with a bottle(s) of wine and gabbed for a couple of hours.
On Monday, Randi had to work, but Nick had the day off. We went back to the dog park and the playground and then went to lunch with Randi at work. She works in the admissions office at the beautiful St. Ambrose University and she gave us a tour of the campus. We had to fly back on Monday night, and it was very sad to leave. At the end of every day, Bug said that the favorite part of his day was Aunt Randi. And, he talked about Winnie the dog for days after we got home.
It was so wonderful to spend so much one-on-one time with my Randi. We’ve been friends for 25 years and have been through so much together. It’s weird to think that she lives so far away and that up until last weekend I didn’t know what her house looked like or who her friends were. Now I know that her house is adorable (as only Randi’s house would be) and her friends are fantastic. It’s weird to me that although she met Eli a few times, she had never really been able to spend time with him… and he didn’t know her. Now, when he sees Randi & Nick’s wedding picture on our fridge, he yells her name. I am so thankful that even though there are a lot of miles in between us, we can still sit on a porch together now and then and drink wine and talk about books and kids and life for hours. Yay for best friends and random trips to Iowa.