Tag Archives: Dave

Okoboji 2014

We made our first family cross country trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Lakefield, and spend some time at the lakes in Okoboji. We were pretty nervous about spending 12 hours in the car, but the boys handled it like pros. Of course, having movies on demand help to pass a lot of Nebraska and Iowa corn fields.

We spent the first night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, which gave Grandpa a chance to introduce the boys to fireworks. We had a variety of poppers, snakes, smoke bombs and sparklers – all of which the boys found fascinating. While we were in town, we happened to catch the Lakefield fire department burning down a house. It was packed with hay and diesel before lighting it with torches. As you can see in the picture, it wasn’t long before we had a real inferno.

Then it was on to Okoboji. On the way down we stopped at the Go-Kart track near Arnold’s Park for some race time. The only cars the boys could drive on their own were pretty tame, and reminded them too much of bumper cars to be able to follow the “no bumping” rules. So we moved on to the big track with the grown ups for a few races.

Next we rented a boat and cruised around the lakes. Unfortunately, it was probably the coldest and windiest day you can imagine for an Iowa July. The waves were crashing over the bow and soaking us all to the bone, so we cut the trip short and headed back to the hotel for some indoor pool time.

On Wednesday we went into Arnold’s Park. The only downer was that the boys were too short to ride the “big” roller coaster. Fortunately, there were plenty of other rides to keep them occupied. The place is small, but luckily the lines were short and the rides were kid friendly. Evan and Alex even went on some of the upside-down topsy-turvy rides all by themselves!

On Thursday, Dave, Alana, Sophia and Will joined us for more Okoboji time. Alana rented a cabin on West Lake with a private beach. It was a very nice place – except for the mosquitoes! We decided to get away from the swarm and took the gang back for another day at Arnold’s Park on the 4th. Right around dusk, a major thunderstorm rolled in, scrapping the formal fireworks show, but several of the houses around the lake shore were kind enough to provide shows of their own.

Saturday signaled time to pile back in the car. Amazingly, the boys complied with minimal fuss. It was a long ride back, and we were all glad to be back in our own beds, but it was a great trip and lots of fun to see everyone. We’ll be looking forward to next time!

Spring Break in Pensacola

We took advantage of the second week of the boys Spring Break to fly down to Pensacola to visit Great-Grandpa Red, as well as Grandpa Dave, Grandma Kathy, and Uncle Andrew. After flying into New Orleans and making the 3.5 hour drive to Pensacola, we just had time for a quick visit with Great-Grandpa Red before heading back to the condo on the first night.

The next day, we went to visit the Aviation Museum at the naval base in Pensacola. As we pulled in, we found the place was swarming with tourists. We cam to learn that we stumbled upon a Blue Angels practice session, so we skipped the museum and headed out to the flight line to catch the show. What a thrill! During one of the high speed passes in front of the audience, a 3rd plane buzzes the audience from behind on afterburners. The boys nearly hit the ground, they were so surprised. It took them a few minutes to get their wits back, but eventually they both agreed that “it was cool.”

After another brief visit with Red, we hit the beach. It was a beautiful day, but the water was a little cold and choppy. Nevertheless, the boys had a good time jumping over waves and digging in the sand.

The next day, we took another run at the museum, where the boys were able to sit in several “cockpits”, and flip levers and push buttons to their hearts’ content. We went back to the beach in the afternoon. The second day was a bit warmer, but still not quite enough for swimming. We built some sand castles, including one with a “pool”, that we would watch flood and drain as the waves crashed in.

The next day, we were back in the car to start the trip home. It was a short trip, but we all had a great time, and the boys really enjoyed seeing the Phillips family again. On top of that, we managed to sneak in a brief visit with Grandpa Ashley, Grandma Barb, and a few of the cousin’s that were meeting in New Orleans before getting back on the plane. What a week!