Stop #1 - Iowa Welcome Center
Ok, so I realize that most people don't see this as a legitimate road trip stop, but my mom loves these places. Maps. Gift shops. Happy welcome center staff. She finds it fascinating. I'll admit, this wasn't part of my original plan, but it was obvious she wanted to take this in. I mean, a new map is essential. Ours was 3 years old! :)
Stop #2 - Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University
Anyone who knows my mom knows that she loves flowers. One of the first things she does when you come to the house is takes you out back to see her flowers. She'll say, "Aren't they pretty?!" with a child-like glow on her face. Any sign of storm and her first concern is her plants. So when I saw there was a 14-acre garden at almost the exact halfway point to Kansas City, I knew I had found our first (real) destination.
The whole way down, we found rainstorms, but just as we arrived at the gardens, the skies cleared up and we were able to enjoy a full hour of wandering the various gardens. I will admit, I wasn't really sure how much I'd enjoy the gardens seeing how my thumb is about as green as dirt, but they really were beautiful. They had an amazing variety of gardens and each one, I found myself looking a little closer at this flower or that plant. I must say, though, that my dislike of flying things was confirmed. We went into the butterfly house and I may have panicked when they flew at me. I'm sure I made at least one person smile.
Baseball love is in my blood...from both sides. I'll admit. The road trip was selfishly for me, but I knew it was also something Mom would love. She is, after all, the one who taught me to score the game.
The game was awful (we lost 13-0), but it was fun to take in a new stadium, compare to how the Twins function, and (try to) cheer the boys onto victory.
Game highlights? The drunk woman running through the fountain trying to escape security, and Jamey Carroll throwing a 1-2-3 inning. (He's normally the shortstop.)
Stop #4 - Hotel
Lets just say it was greatly discounted and the Police showed up.
After staying in the hotel above and getting next to no sleep, this stop was necessary. And lets face it - even if we had gotten a full 8-hours of sleep, this stop would have been necessary.
Stop #6 - Des Moines Sculpture Garden
4-acres of unique sculptures. And by unique. I mean, um...was it worth the stop? But, mom made someone walking down the sidewalk laugh as she posed for this picture and it was an opportunity to stretch our legs, so for those two reasons alone, I'd say yeah...it was worth the stop.
I'm so glad we were able to take this trip together. You get a lot of talking done in a 6-hour drive and found many reasons to just laugh together. I'm blessed to have the mom I do and can't think of a better way to cross off these two things from my list.