Thursday, September 09, 2010
We had a mini-trip this week...an overnight trip to Dubuque, Iowa. We go once a year or so to the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium there. This visit was our first since they expanded and added another building with more river history and preservation as well as a splash play area and big aquarium.
We love going to museums right after school starts - it is too early for the field trip buses, and we get the whole place practically to ourselves. That gives us plenty of time and quiet to really explore, read, listen, look, absorb. My oldest is a very sensory sensitive kid, so this is necessary for us - he can go at his own pace without the noise, smells, and distractions of too many people!
Having time and quiet means we can really get into the exhibits too, and often get to chat in-depth with the people working at the different areas ... both boys spent a lot of time chatting with the lady at the touch tank about crayfish and river pollution, and we even watched them feed an alligator and huge alligator snapping turtle! We wandered for hours - there is always something new to explore each time we go, and we all learn so much.
While Dubuque is less than 2 hours from home, it is always nice to make it an overnight, and with my husband home for 2 weeks (woo hoo!) we decided to stay in an awesome hotel. We swam in the pool, spent time in the hot tub, the boys got cozy in the hotel robes (love!), we ate at a nice restaurant, played board games in the room, looked at the river and city at night from our window, and wandered the downtown area. Perfectly wonderful - spending time exploring with my favorite people on the planet.
Just from asking about the name of the hotel we were in, we found out about the history of Dubuque and learned about the tales of how Al Capone may have been tied to the this place. Of course getting little morsels of information about gangsters, prohibition, smuggling, racketeering, and how that all played into the history of a small midwestern city sitting on the Mississippi River...well, my guys are totally interested in finding out more!
So we are back home, re-charging, getting ready for the Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend. What a great little trip...can't wait for the next one!