Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oceans and Mountains Iowa Style

Ron Burgundy and I took a business-type trip with some clients last weekend aboard The American Lady for a dinner cruise down the Mississippi. A quick trip - one of us packs intentionally; the other packs randomly in an old leather satchel with a zipper that doesn't work. Any guesses who's who?












It
wasn't exactly "down the Mississippi" as we know it - rather it was down a little then back up, in about the time it took 50 people to go through a buffet line of iceberg lettuce, canned corn, have a few barley pops, and enjoy the sunset.

Nothing like the day-long trips we used to take. With Twizzlers. And Chex Mix. With three sunscreened, life-jacketed kids.

Just the two of us, on the road toward the river.
And the obligatory stop at the Dyersville DQ.
We have spent weeks, maybe months, on the river over the years, if you add up all of the weekends of boating we did when the kids were little. We just haven't gone much in the past few years.

As they grew up, we heard "Can I bring a friend?"


Then a couple years later "Do I have to go?"

Then a couple years later "I'm not going to go."


Now it's "Dad, I'm taking the boat this weekend."

Left behind.

RB doesn't want to sell the boat because he's waiting for that time warp to take us back to when the kids were 8, 6, and 5 again. So for now, it pretty much sits as a driveway ornament, and we'd I'd certainly sell it if anyone made us an offer. Unfortunately, nobody thinks our good memories are worth as much as he does. This boat has never been my favorite one, even though it's a beautiful watercraft, and it barely has 100 hours on it.

Sleeps four. Head. Stove. Sink. Make us an offer.

It might be possible that I don't like it because he bought it a few years ago without telling me. And it's just too dang big for my liking.

"I gave the guy a low-ball offer and he took it. What was I supposed to do?"

Change your mind? Good thing I forgive easily.

He had to borrow a vehicle from the local dealership to go pick it up because we didn't have a big enough truck to tow it. And then next, understandably, we had to buy a truck to tow it.

So boatless but river-bound, we arrived at our hotel to be greeted with a gift bag. Is there anything as cool as a gift bag? And a great room in a historical hotel?
We boarded and cruised, I just kicked back, knowing I wasn't the one paying for the boat gas (though I would, just to catch a whiff of that smell...) and took in the beautiful Iowa/Illinois scenery. We often missed that as we were skiing, tubing, or eating Twizzlers. There are beautiful huge bluffs along the river. Iowa's mountains, if you will. And the sunset as the background to the IA/IL bridge. The lock and dam system that keeps the water at just the right depth for the barges to do their hauling is simply an amazing engineering phenomenon. And the beautiful width of what appears to be a calm water, with the raging current underneath. You can never have too much respect for the current in the Mighty Mississippi. It will send you down to the next dam faster than you can say Mark Twain if you're not paying attention. We went back Sunday afternoon and just gazed over the river, walking along the rocky shore. Ron Burgundy became pensive. Or prayerful. Or both. And then we drove home. Well, he drove. I slept.




He drives well with his knees, don't you think?
I always need a foot rub.

Tea today: Tazo Zen

13 comments:

gitz said...

Oh, I loved this... seeing the two of your smiling faces so happy just made me happier by accident. :) And the scenery... I swear when I go to heaven I'm going to be living on a cottage by a lake where I can sit and listen to the loons and soak in all of that beautiful creation.

Just a thought on the boat: we went skiing at Clear Lake every single summer Sunday growing up, and my Dad SO wishes he had kept the boat to go more with the grandkids. My brother has one and they go with them, but it's something about Grandpa wanting to be the one taking them. You may just want to hold off a couple years...

[and can I hire Ron for the foot rubs?!?!?]

sherri said...

Awwww...Loved your photos and this sounds like something we would love to do! Tell RB to float on down to SO. Illinois and we'll all meet up!

And the foot massage...could the guy get any more perfect?!

RB YOU da Man! (don't tell Big AL I said that!)

Annie K said...

I loved Dyersville! Field of Dreams baby! (I actually have relatives in Iowa and went to a family reunion there. In July. During the worst heatwave ever recorded since man was created. And I was 3 months pregnant with the worst morning sickness ever. But the people were friendly!) ;)

And how lucky are you to have a man that gives footrubs while he's driving. (sigh)

vanilla said...

As they grew up, we heard "Can I bring a friend?"
Then a couple years later "Do I have to go?"
Then a couple years later "I'm not going to go."
Now it's "Dad, I'm taking the boat this weekend."

Perfectly sums up the kids' years from ten to twenty in four short sentences.

RB wants to reprise the joys with the grandkids?

Helen said...

It sounds beautiful. And it looks beautiful.
It makes me want to take the same cruise. For real.

Beth E. said...

What beautiful pictures! I'm so glad you and RB got to get away and have some time to yourselves.

That looks like a very interesting gift bag...my boys would chow down on that in no time! ;-)

sherri said...

re: your Sherrific comment on my blog ( couldn't respond there because the publishers read it), but the reason they gave me the Harley night shirt was because they misspelled my name (and they KNOW how particular I am about getting the details correct! tee hee;)

Alix said...

Amazing post, Candy. I write about taking the boat out for a 4th of July vacay and say nothing. You go on a dinner cruise and say so much - and with such depth and beauty.

I so get the transformation from little kids loving the boating thing to them not giving a crap to them taking over. Too funny. You have a very keen sense of observation.

My husband just bought an Action Craft saltwater flats boat. He calls it the "BMW" of flats boats. It may be, but it's as comfortable as contorting yourself into a pretzel and calling it comfortable seating. At least you have a REAL boat with all the conveniences. I will say this... our boat goes super fast. And if you like your titties wrapped around your ears, that's a great thing. Otherwise? I'd prefer the "Yugo" of boats with a cushion and a cup holder thankyouverymuch.

Love ya girlfriend.

Beth in NC said...

Have I ever told you that my hubby has a bumper sticker on the back of his truck that says, "Is this Heaven? No it is Iowa!" Yes, he does. The man would move out there tomorrow if possible.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pictures. It looks like you two had a great time. Ok, now no foot rubbing while he is driving!!! I know your roads are straight out there, but safety people, safety first! :o)

Billy Coffey said...

Those are such good pictures, Candy. Looks like you both had a very good and relaxing time.

I swear if I never make it to Dyersville to see the field of dreams, I'll consider my life a failure.

wife.mom.nurse said...

Wow! looks like a terrific getaway. I really need to go back...it's been over 15 years. I love visiting my family in Dubuque.

That gift bag was so neat and the room beautiful.

Now the buffet...hmmm, not so much.

Glad you got to spend some time with RB, and a foot rub on the way...that's quite a guy!

:)

Happy 4th of July!

~Julie

Wendy said...

While it was a lovely post, lets just get down to brass tacks here. How do you get your husband to give you foot rubs all the time? Could you teach a class on it? I'd be greatly appreciative if you would.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

I first saw Dyersville on RAGBRAI in 2007. That is a really nice community. Good story and glad I found your blog!

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