We went out to the gorge with Nonna, Jeri, and Breeana, who came to visit. Bree and Norah had a great time exploring the river bed, We saw frogs, little fish, insects, birds, and some crayfish.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Near the Coralville Dam north of Iowa City, there is a place called Fossil Gorge. It is here that, in 1993, when floodwaters topped the spillway, thousands of Devonian fossils were uncovered in the river bed. Last year, in the floods of 2008, more of the bed was stripped away to reveal new fossils. Here is Norah exploring the now-dry riverbed for fossils.
A travelling band of ducks and their owner stopped at the fair to be an attraction. He was trying to do his act, and Norah kept running into the middle of the circle to pet the ducks. There were all dressed in renaissance garb--very strange but very cute!
The owner and his ducks are walking across the USA--maybe they will make a stop in YOUR town, too!
It's no fun to be in second place--especially when your sole "talent" is being the biggest boar in Iowa. This guy weighed 1,071 lbs, and was lying on the ground, shallowly breathing (poor thing!!!). He was out-weighed by about 30 lbs. Better luck next year!
I took a photo of the sign because you can see the owners: not Joe and Sally Q from Yourtown, IA, but rather "Commercial Edge Genetics!!!" In the future, all our pork will come from gargantuan pigs!
All my siblings (except Marco...) came out to Iowa with their significant others and children and went to the Iowa State Fair. As always, it was a great time--very crowded, but not too hot and lots of good (fried) foods. The best was the fried twinkies--they were very very tasty!
Here are Norah and James in the sheep barn. Norah is both intrigued by and terrified of sheep; at the Johnson county fair, one bleated right in her ear, giving her quite a scare. This one was much nicer, and Norah got to pet him.
We also saw a sheep-shearing contest--those guys were FAST, and they got extra points if they kept the wool in one piece.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
We had such a good time with Anna and Krista. Norah still talks about Anna and the things they did together.
It was great to reconnect and spend some time with Krista, too. I am so glad they were able to come out to Iowa to see us!
Anna took this photo of us! Not bad for a pre-schooler!
In 2007, my cousin Alice and her boyfriend Danillo came to visit, and we took them to Lake MacBride. I took a photo with Norah in this very place--she was only 1 or 2 months old!
Here we are again, 2 years later. The time has flown, and she is becoming a very funny little girl!
Nonna came for a visit in late July, and we went out to MacBride State Park to see the raptor center (where they have several recovering birds of prey that you can observe) and the lake. Here, Norah and Nonna are looking at a bald eagle that is soaring over the lake.
The next day we woke up early, checked out of our hotel, and drove up to Sonoma Valley for some wine tasting.
We went to a place called Kunde Estate, where we did a tasting, and took a tour of their wine cave--a cellar built underneath a big hill. The cellar holds something like 100,000 barrels of wine, and it was HUGE. They don't need air conditioning because it is underground and constantly about 55 degrees. Very nice!
Then, we were going to meet up with Peter and Liz, so we took the "scenic" route to Napa Valley for some more tastings. Here is Napa Valley when it first came into view.
Our favorite tastings of the day were at a place called "Saddleback"-it was relaxed, great wine, great atmosphere, and we WILL go back someday!
We then went to Golden Gate State Park and walked into the botanical gardens. There, we ran into this monster rhubarb plant. It was near and dear to our heart because this year all of our friends have had a bumper crop of rhubarb, so we have been eating rhubarb desserts, crisps, tarts, etc. all spring and summer! This sucker would make a LOT of rhubarb crisps!!!
Our day was not over yet...we hopped on a bus and headed for Alamo Square.