Trip to Iowa

car seatSix hours in the back seat of a car with a two-year old... sound like fun? Actually, we had a great time!

Cars, trucks, AquaDoodle, and a Dora the Explorer DVD filled the time.



The Home Place

After checking into the hotel, we drove by the two houses where we lived in Urbandale back in the 1970s. We were amazed at how much the trees had grown.

house in Urbandale

We also drove by the schools and down to the Urbandale Pharmacy where we used to bicycle to buy candy.

Urbandale pharmacy


Trip to Carroll

The next morning we drove northwest to visit our Grandma Bolger in Carroll, Iowa. On the way, we stopped to watch a fire department practice event. Alex loved watching the fire, water, and fire fighters.

fire truck

This was Alex's first trip to visit his great grandmother. We had a nice visit.

Alex and Grandma BolgerAlex and Ruth

Below is a great photo of four generations. Alex, his mom, his grandmother, and his great-grandmother.

4 generations

We took turns taking Alex on short walks outside. In the photo below he's learning to be gentle with ants.

Alex and Grandma Bolger


Swan Lake for Earth Day

TadpoleAfter lunch at a local cafe, we drove to Swan Lake State Park to participate in Earth Day activities.

Alex enjoyed holding the huge tadpoles.

TadpoleAlex and Ruth


Coon RapidsCoon Rapids

On the way back to Des Moines, we drove by the old family farms and stopped at the family cemetery near Coon Rapids, Iowa. Alex enjoyed exploring and looking at the flowers.

Mom (below right) is standing in front of her stone. It's never too early to "be prepared."

Coon RapidsCoon Rapids


boots drinkingBreakfast in Urbandale

Dad drove up from Kansas to join us. While in Urbandale, we went out for breakfast at the IHOP.

Check out the video of Alex feeding the monkey boots.


Bolger Get Together

Before leaving Iowa, we had a family get-together at Uncle Alan and Aunt Joleen's house near Des Moines. Joleen set up an Easter egg hunt for Alex and some neighbor children.

Coon Rapids

We always have fun when the Bolgers get together. In the photo below, Janice is acting like an alien trying to steal Alex... okay, you had to be there. Or, you have to know the "evil" reading teacher aunt Janice to understand.

Al's house

slideDrive to Illinois

On the drive to Illinois, Annette, Arrion, and Alex stopped in Iowa City to check out the recent tornado damage and see where Arrion was born. They also stopped at the house where they lived when Arrion was a baby. Finally, they visited a cemetery north of West Branch where their ancestor was buried.

Near the border, they promised Alex that they would stop at a McDonald's for lunch. They spent about 30 miles asking Alex if he saw any signs for McDonalds. This adventure resulted in two cute videos: McDonalds: What's for Lunch and McDonalds: Found it. They were all excited when they finally saw a McDonalds. Annette and Arrion really wanted to go to the Maid-Rite across the road, but they'd already promised Alex time at the playground at McDonalds.

Our last stop was a cemetery in Farmington, Illinois to visit another family cemetery. The Wilsons served as conductors on the underground railroad in the 1840s. Alex left a row of flowers on the Wilson stone.

Line of flowersLine of flowers


Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 4/06.