We had a GREAT time in Iowa, and Steven absolutely loved spending time with his great grandpa. He went around saying "gappa, gappa, gappa" every time Grandpa was out of sight. When Grandpa went outside, Steven stood at the door and kept asking "back? back? back?" He's still asking for him today, so we spent time looking at the whole 10 pictures we took. I can't believe how much that kid loves looking at pictures. He gets so excited and keeps signing for more :)
We really didn't do much while we were in Iowa. We scrapped going to the zoo because we got in so late on Wednesday (actually Thursday morning) that it didn't make sense to get up just for the zoo, and it was way too cold to go any other day. It was nice just staying in, though. We were able to relax, and Steven was able to take all his naps on schedule.
The trip home, however, wasn't quite so relaxing. We went to the early service at church on Sunday and then left after lunch at Perkins. We drove for about 1 1/2 hours when I noticed that we lost sound on the radio. Soon other things started dying, and the battery light came on. Less than 5 minutes later, we were on the side of the road in a completely dead car. We called AAA and Grandpa (a car magician) and waited for a tow truck. In the meantime, a police officer came and waited with us with his lights flashing in hopes of slowing down the cars flying dangerously close (didn't really work, but it was worth the effort). We were very nervous since we had two (thankfully sleeping) little ones in the back seat.
It was a good thing that he was there, though, because the tow truck only had room for two people, not four. Somehow that information didn't make it all the way to him, but the kids and I were able to ride in the police car while Mark rode in the tow truck. The kids and I were dropped off at a cheap but very clean hotel recommended by the tow truck guy, and Mark went with the car to the repair shop.
Grandpa met him there, having left his house as soon as he got the call. It was perfect timing, and he was able to help Mark get a new battery and install it. They then came and got the kids and me, which I wasn't overly thrilled about because I was quite excited about the outlet mall directly across the street, and we took off again. (Yay for the hotel not charging us despite the ground in cheerios in the carpet!) Three hours later, we were back on the side of the road.
This time we had the car towed to a dealership and unloaded most of our luggage into the truck cab (in which Steven, Michelle, Mark, the driver, and I were also in). I had already made reservations for us at a hotel (thank you GPS!) and got a reduced rate after telling my whole story :) We got dropped off at the hotel and dragged all our stuff and two kids into the lobby. Then the guy can't find our reservation. I tell him who I talked to. He said that I talked to the hotel next door. They were owned by the same person and had transferred the phone number from one to the other but never got it updated in any phone book (or GPS).
We dragged everything and everyone back outside, using the luggage cart from the hotel. (We promised we'd bring it back, and they guy just felt sorry for us!) We took a short cut and probably took out part of a bush, and finally made it to our room. Steven was now wired, of course, so he and I went to get ice and took the very very long way. By the end, he was stopping at all the doors and asking for daddy :) We finally made it home Tuesday without incident after getting a new alternator.
What a trip!