This past weekend we drove to Des Moines, to visit with my FIL and go to the Iowa State Fair.
The fairgrounds are huge! We had lots of fun, though Caleb and I decided we weren't going to ride on a Sky Chair again anytime soon. :) It was a little too high for us. (that's Roger and Calvin in the red chair in front of us)
We saw a lot of stuff. There was an old one room schoolhouse, a little farm, the quilts (of course! great home ec stuff, I took pictures for inspiration), the Department of Natural Resources exhibits, and great food! We had pork chops (my mother says Iowa pork is the best, and she is right!), fried cheese, onion strings, ice cream and shaved ice, lemonade, funnel cakes, and David had a grinder (some fancy kind of italian sandwich). There were fountains to play in and lots of pretty gardens scattered about. We did NOT get to see the butter cow this year, though.
The tractor and farm equipment display is always popular with the boys. Calvin kept wanting me to take pictures of him in the tires. :) These machines are so big, it's just amazing. You can climb into just about any of them and pretend to drive. There also was a display of a fighter jet cockpit that the kids could climb in, and that was popular too.
On Saturday night we went to the Grand River Rodeo, in Grand River, Iowa. David's great aunt and her family own it. It was wild to watch these cowboys and cowgirls rope calves, run barrels, and ride the bulls. (let me tell you, I am SUCH a city girl!) In the middle of the show, they have all the kids come out for a calf run. They line up all the kids on one side of the arena, and put 3 calves on the other side, with little pieces of duct tape stuck on them. Then they send the kids running after the calves! It is so funny to watch, and it was really muddy. Kids were getting stuck in the mud, losing shoes, and getting filthy. Calves were getting stuck too. Calvin ran so fast and is so light I don't think he sunk in. He managed to get two pieces of duct tape! Afterwards, each child gets one dollar (that I'm sure the rodeo gets right back as they all run up to the concessions to get candy and sodas) whether they get any tape or not. Then they all rinse off at the water pumps, and get the rest of the grounds muddy. :)
We came home last night, stopping in New Glarus on our way home, in order to visit Albion Swords. Unfortunately, they were closed, but now that we know where they are, I'm sure we'll be going back soon.