More Adventures In Iowa

While we were in Iowa, Artie’s sister Kelly and brother-in-law Tom drove from South Dakota to spend a few days visiting. We were so excited to see them and catch up. The first full day they were in Iowa, we visited Ledges State Park. Artie, Amelia and I had been there before and loved it and we enjoyed it just as much this time. We practically had the place to ourselves and spent a couple hours walking and hiking through. This spring we’ve been trying to build Amelia’s stamina so that we can start hiking more and she proved to be a trooper on this day.

Amelia leading the way while Artie and Kelly catch up talking.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

The road through the canyon is closed (and it was closed a year and a half ago when we were there last) due to flood damage. The Des Moines river regularly floods this area. It’s hard to tell, but the stream runs along the ledges at the left, then crosses in front of Tom, Kelly & Amelia in the picture, then continues back to the left along the ledge in the center of the photo.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

You can see where people have carved into the soft stone.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Collecting artifacts and exploring. Her favorite things to do!

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Don’t attempt to question the logic of a three year old. Maybe that’s her way of building stamina.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Uncle Tom graciously let Amelia use and carry his binoculars for a while. She loved it.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Hiking back up to the top.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Hiking along the top of the canyon now.

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

Hitching a ride after making him go back to our last resting spot to retrieve that very. exact. stick. because you know, it’s so rare and all in those woods. (Falls under the “don’t attempt to question the logic of a three year old” rule.)

4/5/13 Ledges State Park

And then, the following day, we all headed into Des Moines to the Science Center of Iowa. This was a pretty fun place. We started out in the smaller kids’ area which included this vegetable stand/conveyor belt which all the kids were attracted to. It has several cranks which moved the conveyor belt (with fabric veggies the kids place on it) and I think Amelia would have been happy to play in this one spot all day.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center

Now we know where he gets his cuteness!

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center

4-6-13 Elizabeth & Desmond

An exhibit of Sue, the best preserved and most complete fossil of a T-Rex ever found (from South Dakota nonetheless).

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (14)

4/6/13 Uncle Tom discussing Sue with Amelia.

A toothy profile.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (16)

The temporary tattoo which stayed on her arm almost three weeks before I finally scrubbed it off.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (17)

Getting ready for her own dino dig.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (20)

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (21)

We spent a lot of time in their physical science room since it not only interested Amelia but captured the curiosity of the adults in our group.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (32)

Artie and Amelia built their own paper rocket which they launched to see how far it would go.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (39)

Will it fly? Yes, it did! Artie’s perfectionism paid off. 🙂

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (40)

They had this ramp with a bunch of Legos and wheels scattered at the bottom. The kids made their own vehicles and then raced them to see whose went straightest and fastest. I’m proud to say that Amelia was really good at this. While Artie, Kelly and Tom were busy generating electricity, she came back to this all by herself and ended up racing with three or four 8-10 year old boys. While they made complicated, fun looking vehicles, Amelia made simple (sometimes with just a few pieces) vehicles which beat the boys almost every time. It was fun to stand back, let her figure out what to build and watch her interact with the other kids.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (45)

It all started so innocently…

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (46)

4-6-13 Kelly building her dam to most efficiently generate power.

This hydro-electric station got the adults’ attention. Later in the afternoon, as we were getting ready to leave, the room cleared out a little and made room for Artie, Kelly and Tom to play. The goal was to direct the flow of water in such a way to generate the most electricity, which was displayed on a board above the exhibit. At first they worked together, and then a little competition started.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (49)

4-6-13 Amelia helping the water along.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (53)

4-6-13 Ashmore concentration right there, folks!

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (58)

4-6-13 I think Artie left Kelly with 3 blocks to work with…

And while they were busy, Amelia pretty much went swimming. She left with her sleeve and half her shirt soaked.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (59)

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (60)

4-6-13 “I wonder if I can get my whole arm wet…”

They got the water moving pretty quickly through their dam.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (61)

Got bored playing in the water and went back to racing Lego cars.

4-6-13 Iowa Science Center (68)

It was so much fun to spend time with them and I’m so glad Amelia got to see her Aunt Kelly again. The last time, she wasn’t quite two, so I wasn’t sure how well Amelia would remember her. We can’t wait for our next visit, whenever that will be (hopefully with the three of us in S.D.!)

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