As I’ve mentioned before, visiting our friends and family has been an integral part of this journey of ours. We stopped in Clinton, Iowa to visit our good friends Ryan and Kelli. They had space next to their house where we were able to park the RV. We got to use their shower (YAY for long, hot showers), do laundry, share meals and lounge in their quaint, historic home. I really should’ve taken pictures of their place. Kelli has an amazing eye for décor.
Before arriving at their house, we spent the night at the Living History Farms, once again using our Harvest Hosts membership. The stay is a secluded spot in the parking lot. The manager that I spoke to before we arrived was very accommodating and even set out cones for us so that no one would park in the area and he even stopped by to say Hi. It was never an issue with other vehicles as no other cars even came close to us. But it was nice having the cones just in case. Once the girls went to bed we hung outside under the stars and were greeted by a rambunctious group of raccoons. After we startled them away, it was relatively quiet and peaceful. The next morning there was promise of rain, but we ventured to the farm anyways. Luckily, the rain never hit us. The farm is an outdoor museum and highlights life in the Midwest from 1700 to the early 1900s. There are villages, cabins, farms, a town and it is all interactive with live demonstrations throughout. The kids were even encouraged to be involved. The man working in the store patiently answered all of Lilly’s questions about the different machines and what they were used for. It was a great experience for all of us. This is what Roadschooling looks like.
The fun didn’t stop there. Once at Ryan and Kelli’s we were treated to views of the Mississippi. We played at parks along the river, had dinner with family, hiked on the family farm, enjoyed spotting lightning bugs, tinkered around with guitar playing, frolicked in a field of sunflowers, saw the widest part of the Mississippi and spent hours on the tree swing in our friends’ yard. The girls and I climbed the stone stairs of the Eagle Point Park castle and were treated to stellar views of the river. Kelli and I rode the bike path along the river. And we went kayaking along the Maquoketa River. Just her and I. It was an amazing experience, for lack of better words. We shared lots of laughs. We also saw the oddest and eerie thing: about 15 vultures hanging out on the banks of the river while 2 sat perched high in a tree, 1 with wings spread wide. They were all very still and silent. Anyone know what that was about?
While we were at their house, Jeff and Ryan did the install of our inverter so that we could wild camp without using the generator as often. Unfortunately once it was installed we found out it was defective and had to be shipped back for troubleshooting and repairs. So, once again, we were without the use of our battery bank that Jeff had installed many, many months ago. Good news is, that we got it back, installed and it is now working correctly. Hooray!
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again I’m sure; we are so grateful for our friends and the memories we get to make with them.
**EDIT to add, Lilly also lost her very 1st tooth while we were here. It fell out on the table and was a hilarious. She literally almost lost her tooth.