July 30, 2013: Okoboji Day 1

Garrett enjoying Arnold's Park
Our long anticipated vacation started yesterday. It's all about the Lane's, the Brucker's, and the Brucker. Nine of us in total with seven journeying to Iowa's Lake Okoboji on Tuesday. The remaining two, my eldest and middle, will join after work on Wednesday.

After a noon start with well-rested kids, parents, and grandparent; we were on the road. We did make it over the Mormon Bridge and into Iowa before the first question of "how long until we get there?" The questions on the timing for lunch hit before we even got out of the driveway.

Grant, Donovan and Lily
First lesson on vacationing with many teenage kids; they eat often and a lot. Thus our first stop for lunch and our second stop for dessert. But not any ordinary dessert. We treated them to Wells Blue Bunny ice cream at the Ice Cream Capital of the World; LeMars, Iowa. All were happy with our sugary treats and we enjoyed a look around the ice cream museum as well.

Next stop was Remsen, my hometown. In all actuality, it was more of a drive-through. I pointed out my Aunt Kathy's house and my dad's barber shop. It also included a drive by my childhood home, the church, and my grandparent's house. Some places looked exactly the same and others, completely different.

Our stops helped break up our road trip. At least from my perspective. The beautiful blue Lake Okoboji welcomed us with open arms; albeit with cloudy skies. But all was good. We made it. I was back to my old stomping grounds while the Brucker's enjoyed scouting out a respite they didn't know existed.

Crescent Beach will be our home until Sunday with Arnold's Park, a close second. We bought the kids season passes to the amusement park so they can use on an unlimited basis during our time here. That was my trick from years past. After watching them run onto the park grounds with the prospect of unlimited fun, I quickly concurred that Arnold's Park was a hit. First stop was the wooden roller coaster with the bumper cars quickly following.

Today we journeyed, we explored, and we conquered. All in a day's work for the first day of a family vacation. Parents and Grandpa were to bed early. Hearing late-night laughing coming from the front room overlooking the lake was a warm reminder that all was well in the world. Even if it was past their bedtime.


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