|Wed, 06 Jul: A nice leisurely 105 mile run from Amana to Grimes (a "burb" in the northwest sector of Des Moines), Iowa. Our route was via US 151 to I 80 to IA 141. We are staying at the Cutty RV Resort, a huge 500+ site resort that is affiliated with the Coast to Coast Network. They also honor the Passport America program, which means we get 50% off the published rate (good thing as this "5 Star Resort" isn't really worth the full price).
The park is very convenient with our family who live in nearby Urbandale. After settling in and having lunch we met with Carolyn and got a tour of their new home. We then went with her to the airport to meet Kristy, Bob's niece who flew in from California for a visit. We'd last seen Kristy two years ago in Lake Mills, so it was great to spend some time with her. We stopped for dinner and then back to Carolyn's place. It was ten P.M., which is way past our bedtime, so we headed home.
Thu, 07 Jul: We met Carolyn & Kristy at a nearby Cracker Barrel where we were treated to breakfast by Kristy. We visited for most of the morning and finally had to split as Kristy had to "hit the road" for other family visits. We returned to the coach for lunch and some R&R.
Later in the afternoon we met at Carolyn's, and she drove us to the care facility where Allan is staying. It was a bittersweet visit as we were able to clearly note the toll the year has taken on him. We took him to dinner at South of the Border, which is his favorite. Following dinner we returned him to the facility and then back to Carolyn's.
Fri, 08 Jul: We visited Bob's brother Allan for a while and then did some Costco shopping. Bob's niece Stacy and her young-uns Chandler & Travis arrived late afternoon. Carolyn picked them up and we met for dinner at a local BBQ, Smokey Ds. Very good BBQ and we took home a pile of leftovers. The kids were really zoned out after a day of airline ordeal, so we split early so they could hit the sack.
Returning to Carpe we spent some time visiting with our next door neighbors, Dan and Nancy, who were new full-timers. They have a nice new Georgetown and had dozens of questions about full-timing. Given that we're "old hands" (har, har, har), we were able to share all of our mistakes with them. Hope we didn't scare them off...
Sat, 09 Jul: Today is the third anniversary of our moving into Carpe Diem. Or, as our calendar states: "Anniversary of 'Someday has Arrived' ". It has been a great three years and we would not have changed a thing...
Sandi left early to meet Carolyn & Stacy for a visit to Des Moines Farmer's Market. Carolyn drove to downtown Des Moines, where several blocks of downtown were blocked off for the market. It was a very impressive market, and the most popular stalls appeared to be those that were vending $5+/cup coffee concoctions. Sandi bought some tomatoes, but enjoyed the "scene" (complete with busters, mimes, and other "artsy" types).
In the evening we converged at Carolyn's place where her daughter and grand kiddies joined us for an excellent dinner. The four kids managed to raise the energy (and decibel) levels by several orders of magnitude. We old folks survived and had a nice visit.
Tomorrow morning we'll head for Forest City. We enjoyed our visit to Des Moines and, despite its drawbacks, will revisit the Cutty Campgrounds for our next visit.