Last weekend, I traveled to Iowa City with Henry and Carter to have a fun weekend with family. Vish had planned a golfing weekend with his friends up north for the Midwest Ryder Cup, while we headed south to Iowa. I decided it would be easier to spend 10+ hours in the car with Henry and Carter, than spend an entire weekend trying to keep them entertained.
Leading up to the weekend, Carter and I had a lot of fun picking out plenty of snacks for the trip. I think I enjoyed this activity more than he did. We headed down on Thursday evening and the first part of the drive was very pleasant — Carter watched a movie and Henry slept. After a dinner stop, both children decided sleeping wasn’t a top priority. Luckily for me, they both changed their minds at 10:30PM, 20 minutes away from our final destination.

On Friday, we headed over to City Park for a picnic play date with my good friend Megan and her two adorable kiddos Wyatt and Mia. After a delicious lunch, we headed over to the main attraction – the iconic City Park Rides. I took Carter to these rides a few years ago and, to this day, he still remembers the train and the red plane. At 75 cents a ride, I decided that I could splurge on treating our entire group to a ride on the train. Henry, Taylor, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bill, Carter, Wyatt, Megan, Mia, and myself all piled in. After two laps around, Carter and Wyatt both exclaimed that it was the “BEST TRAIN RIDE EVER!!!”. It wasn’t quite as exciting for the rest of us, but definitely worth the 75 cents. Wyatt, Carter, and Mia then proceeded to the Merry Go Round and the Airplanes. Finally, before heading out, Carter and Wyatt were very brave and decided to try out the Ferris Wheel. All-in-all, this was one of the highlights of the weekend. Carter was very happy about meeting a new friend, Wyatt, and he loved going on all of the rides. I love to see him enjoying some of the same things that I did when I was his age, and making new friends with some of my favorite people.

Boys on the Best Train Ever

Taylor and Henry

Uncle Bill and Henry

Merry Go Round

Megan and Adorable Mia

Ferris Wheel

Friday evening, we got to spend time with Aunt Carole, cousins Alicia and Hans, and adorable Gus. Henry and Gus were definitely partaking in some strong parallel play activities, being very careful not to interact but only mimic each other. They were two wiggly for me to get any pictures. I am excited to see these two little buddies actually playing together at future family functions.

On Saturday, we decided to brave the not-so-sunny weather and go to the Coralville swimming pool. I might have been pushing for this more than the kids, because I wanted to show my older brother how brave his little sister was in going down the infamous Toilet Bowl water slide (see picture – it’s just like it sounds). It was really fun to have Nathan along with us, because Carter really enjoyed showing off his swimming skills to Uncle Nathan. Henry enjoyed sitting in the shallow end, splashing around with Grandma. After three times down the Toilet Bowl, and a quick snack, it was time for lunch and naps.

Toilet Bowl

Snack Break at the Pool

On Sunday, my family was headed to Clear Lake to spend some time at Uncle Mark and Aunt Laurie’s lake house. Since Clear Lake is the halfway point back to Minneapolis, this worked out perfectly for me, because I could have some adult company to jam out to the Big Hero 6 Soundtrack with. After we arrived at the lake, Carter was hesitant to get in the water at first (exhaustion from a fun sleepover with his cousin Calista might have contributed to this). After some much needed encouragement from his Uncle Nathan, he decided to try out the flat banana (cousin Grace’s terminology for the large yellow flotation device). Immediately, Carter was very happy that he decided to hop in the water. Thanks to Uncle Nathan, he was jumping off the dock and swimming around in the lake, having a blast. With Carter having fun, Uncle Nathan decided that Henry should join in on the fun. Next thing I knew, Henry was splashing around on the flat banana. At that point, I decided to join in on the fun (and bring Henry a swim diaper to avoid any embarrassing situations). Before we had to head back to Minneapolis, Carter got to go for a ride on the jet ski with Uncle Nathan. This was easily one of the highlights of his weekend, as he got to go “really really speedy, and really really far” on the lake. I knew everyone had fun, especially since Henry was asleep before we pulled out of the driveway.

Everyone enjoying the Flat Banana

Grandpa and Henry — before Henry loses his clothes

We missed Vish on our fun weekend, but both boys were in heaven hanging out with two of their favorite Uncles, all of their grandparents, and cousins. I had a great time spending so much time with my brothers, future sister in law, and parents and re-experiencing some of my favorite parts of Iowa City with Carter and Henry.