Chapter 3: Devil’s Den

I grew up going to Devil’s Den on the weekends for swimming and hiking. It’s fantastic state park about about 45 minutes from Fayetteville, my home town. I took the boys during spring break and then we all went on this recent trip. The above photos is of a tired Lewis and his momma atop the gorgeous Yellow Rock trail. And here’s a gorgeous spider we found:

Here are Jess and the boys exploring the dry river bed

Arthur and Jessica were especially fascianted with all the old crumbling structures along the back roads in Arkanasas. So we stopped and explored one. There was actually a little stack of papers nearby with a poem someone had written that was inspired by this little house. I wish I had saved it and shared it here, it was great.

It was a hot, tiring day, as evidenced by the passed out nature of everyone in the car on the way back.

Chapter 2: Home of the master tickler

We made it Nanna’s house in a couple days and spent a solid four days bumming around my home town of Fayetteville, Arkansas, riding scooters and getting back tickles.

And sitting in the hot tub:

And cooking

Josh even made it to town, a highlight for our whole family. Here he is with ma and the girls at the farmer’s market.

Mama’s good friends and neighbors Kelly and Donna gave the kids another tour of the spectacular ball museum in their home (see it here). They’re amazing musicians and just came out with a new CD called Once a River that’s getting all sorta good press. Here’s Donna giving the kids a tiny concert on her big harp-like instrument:

And on Nanna’s front porch:

and lastly, what the hell is this?

Chapter 1: Mosquito onslaught and a phallic sculpture

This is the first of few posts detailing our recent vacation. We started our road trip heading south towards Iowa.

Jessica was determined to stop at some fun stuff along the way–we even downloaded a couple apps that alerted us to odd attractions nearby. Our first exciting stop was at some mosquito breeding State Park in southern Minnesota. We planned to make a lovely picnic lunch but I swear, the moment we stopped and opened the door dozens of mosquitos went after all that tender young flesh. It was brutal and scary for everyone. Jessica loaded people up with ungodly amounts of bug spray but they kept coming. So we raced through sandwich prep and I took the van and zipped around the parking lot with the windows down to get the mosquitos out. Then rolled up all windows and loaded up kids for speedy evacuation. Then a couple hours later we had much more fun at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines. Here are a couple photos from that.

Epic vacation

We just returned from an epic 2-week vacation through the south and midwest. Had many wonderful times together as family and spent time with just about everyone who is important in our familial lives. I’m tempted to just post a gazillion photos here and be done with it. But, our kids look at the blog sometimes. They like to remember things. And so do I. So I’m gonna try and make a series of posts this week and next that capture different parts of our trip starting with the beginning.
Here’s a random photo I love of Lewis and Bailey at the cottage in Wisconsin.