Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Fossils and Playgrounds and Other Fun Things

 On our first full day back in Iowa, we went to some of our favorite old familiar places. First we went to the Fossil Gorge, which was only a few minutes away from our old house. I have a lot of happy memories of bringing the boys here when they were little. Plus, it's a cool prehistoric spot to explore!

This is an ancient sea floor!

A baby waterfall 

A baby cave

A baby doll 😘 

It's so neat to think about how hundreds of millions of years ago, this was the bottom of a tropical sea.

Look at that! A very old and historic imprint, just sitting there in the rock!

Then we went to the playground at the boys' old elementary school, which was a really great little school that we still miss. If we hadn't moved, this would be Sam's final year there. 

John spent time with his friend Isaac that day. They became friends at this school when they were in 5th grade. Now they were almost in 11th grade, but playgrounds can still be kind of fun even at that age.

Sam looked in the woods for a mysterious log that used to haunt him and his friends. 🀷

That afternoon, I brought the boys and Isaac to the North Liberty pool that they used to have so much fun at. The Iowa City area has really fun public pools, something that Massachusetts is very much lacking in!

The boys liked being able to use a diving board again.

John's sequential three-picture backflip off the high dive.

And Sam's simple but classic pencil dive

After the pool we went down the street to one of our favorite ice cream places, Heyn's. Their ice cream is so good!

"Forget love, I'd rather fall in ice cream" 🍦 This is mostly accurate for me at this point πŸ˜„

That evening, we visited Brody's grave. I still miss that feisty little cat so much.

His grave is under this tree. It's a nice, peaceful setting.

And finally, before we headed over to a barbecue that was being held in our honor by good friends from our old ward, we went to the boys' favorite playground. It just happened to be across the street from our old church building too, and up the street from the recreation center where they did so many activities when they were little. Needless to say, I was feeling very nostalgic. (And I still am as I put this post together!)

It was so good to be back! Even though I'm really glad to be living in Massachusetts again, there is definitely a part of me that wishes that we'd never moved away from Iowa.