Friday, August 8, 2008

My summer vacation

I spent most of July in Iowa, with a little side jaunt to the Florida Keys - photos coming soon, I promise! Mostly I hung out with Dad at work every day and covered a lot of miles. I love just hanging out with him while I'm home. We get to talk, relax, see cool things...

There's a new drive-in theater going in between Estherville and Spirit Lake and we got to watch the construction evolution. Dad's company helped pull the screen down from the old Chief Drive-In at Estherville and transport it to the new location at the corners of 71 & 9. The owner hired in two cranes to raise the screen and we just happened to be driving by with some extra time up our sleeves, so we pulled in to watch. It was threatening rain and wind for later in the day so the crews were working hard to get things done fast!

They got about this far and then things kind of stalled out so we trekked off on another adventure. Later that day on another drive past we saw that htey had her up and were working on securing it.

They did get done before the rains hit, but the rains did come and those cranes were in about 2 feet of muddy puddles - don't know how they got them back out as fast as they did!

The weather really cooperated for the most part while I was back. Most days started off relatively cool and warmed up to comfortable temperatures. There were only a few days with stinking high humidity and excessive heat, so I thought that was lucky for July. We also had a few bouts of rain - some of them torrential like this day that flooded the Estherville streets in a matter of minutes

But even that didn't last very long and within a few hours we were back to some nice weather again. And it did make for some amazing skies and light afterwards

I kind of like when we'd get a few clouds in as the Lake House still has the best sunsets anywhere, I think.
From the driveway side

and from the lake side

I haven't been back to the Lakes to see all of the flowers in the side garden bed for a long time, so it was nice to have some pretty days to show it off

and I still love the personal touches, like Dad's airplane!

My favourite activity while I'm back is simply to be with my family. Dad and I try to stop in to visit with Grandma most days when I'm there (he stops in most days all the time!) and I love sitting around and chatting, looking at photos and searching for the mysteriously lost hearing aide! My Grandma is fantastic...I only hope I have half her energy and strength when I'm 90+! Heck, I'd like to have as much go-get'em as she has now and I'm not even 40 yet!

My sister, Cat, lives not too far from Dad's so she and her hubby, Mike, drove down to spend a day with me in the Lakes area. It started off pouring rain and we were thinking we were going to be stuck inside, but as we searched for a lunch spot, the skies cleared, the sun came out and the day turned into a beautiful one, if a bit muggy. We decided to hit the links for a friendly game...well, mini-golf and maybe not so friendly - those two are fierce in competition! LOL We ended up playing at two courses - the easier Ranch course followed by the more challenging Pirates course at the amusement park. I love the decor of the Pirate course

Cat & Mike wait patiently for the group ahead of us to move on. This course was far busier than the one at the Ranch

Mike and Cat both concentrated on making their shots count

The outcomes of each game were pretty predictable on my end - I suck. My score was the same on both and I lost well and truly both times. I am happy to say that the margin of my loss was significantly smaller on game two, though! Cat won the first game by several strokes, and I think she just edged Mike out on the second game, but I might not be remembering that right! It was fun, whoever won (or lost)!

After two exhausting rounds, we headed for a walk-around at Arnold's Park. It's pretty small so didn't take long. We checked out the still free House of Mirrors

Cat loved her long legs, while I wasn't so crazy about my really short body!

It was a great day and I'm glad they were able to take some time to come down!

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