We had one relatively uneventful day the entire trip. That would be this day. It was a welcome day.
You can't go to Iowa without going to a farm, right? My aunt, Stacy, lives on a farm and breeds greyhounds (there is a big dog track in Dubuque). We took the kids to the farm and it was like going to a free petting zoo. Good thing it was free because Reagan didn't actually pet anything. She loves animals. Really, really loves them. From afar. Like way far afar. Get her up close to any animal and she freaks out. I think we are going to have to start taking her on field trips to Pet Smart to get her a little more used to animals. Getting a pet to get her over her fear is just not going to happen.
But before we headed to the farm, we took a visit to the cemetery where my beloved Grandpa, "Pop" is buried. I hadn't been back to Dubuque since he died six years ago. It was bitter sweet to visit his grave site.
Then we went to Eagle Point park. There is a spot where you overlook the river and you can see Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa all at one time. But the kids don't care about that. They just want to know how good the playground is. I think it passed the test.
Finally, we made it out to the farm where we spent a good portion of the day. They have something like 90 dogs (including three litters of puppies), a litter of kittens, a bunch of chickens, a turkey, cows, bats, raccoons, horses, and who knows what other critters roaming around. It is paradise when you love animals. It is your own personal hell if you don't. Reagan loved running around and watching everything from a distance. But here is how she looks when someone shoves a kitten or puppy in her face to touch.
While we were there, I spent some time working on my aunt's computer. She has teenagers that like to go places they shouldn't on the internet. Hopefully, I took care of that for her. I was able to forbid specific sites, put on an adult filter that would block sites containing certain content, and I locked out the computer between the hours of midnight-7am. My aunt can override the blocks at any time with her password. The kids can't. And it even sounds a nice little alarm and records all of the blocked sites they were trying to get to. I think a few kids are going to get a talking to before too long. If you are in need of some parental controls for your home, try this free service: http://www1.k9webprotection.com/ It seems to be pretty user friendly and pretty customizable.
I can't take credit for all of these photos. My sister Megan took some of them. I think there is a Nikon D80 purchase in her future. She got a hold of my camera and she was hooked.