Take Me Out to the Skybox

There’s nothing better than a road trip to kick off summer! Last Friday, Ed came home at noon and the girls had an early dismissal from school, so we loaded up the minivan and drove to Des Moines. When Ed mentions that we’re headed to Iowa, people ask why. The simple reason is that my dad and step-mom live there. However, we are really glad to have an excuse to go to Des Moines. It has all the advantages of a big city without all the traffic. And most of the downtown parking is FREE! If you’ve ever parked your car in downtown Chicago, you know this is a BIG DEAL!

Road Trip with Kids
Not my minivan, and not Des Moines, either!

We love going to an Iowa Cubs game when we’re in town, and this year, we did it right. My dad has always wanted to rent a skybox, and this year he took the plunge and splurged on one! The ballpark is right where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers meet. The skybox could fit up to 20 people, so my step-mom’s family came along with some family friends.

Sec Taylor Stadium
Principal Park

Lily loves watching the game with Ed, but Emmy was concerned about only one thing: how was she going to get her cotton candy if we weren’t sitting in the stands? She even took a picture of the cotton candy man with my phone!

cotton candy man

Emmy didn’t need to worry; one of the cotton candy vendors came up to the skyboxes selling cotton candy door-to-door. That’s Emmy’s kind of service! We also had a personal visit from the Cubby Bear.

Iowa Cubs mascot

But what about the game? If you’ve never been to a minor league game, they are a lot of fun. There are a lot of activities to keep the kids entertained; they shoot T-shirts out of a cannon and have other things to watch in between innings. Principal Park is such a nice stadium. Of course, we love Wrigley Field, but it’s not as clean and kid-friendly as Principal Park. As for the game itself, the ICubs scored a lot of points and won!


What a great way for us to kick off summer! How are you kicking off summer? Link up your post here, and be sure to visit our other Spinners!

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Next week: Summer Reruns During the summer months, most television shows are reruns. Share some of your favorite TV shows that you love watching, even in reruns OR “rerun” one of your favorite blog posts from the past!




Sculpture Park

Sometimes it seems like we are always “driving by.” With two little girls in the back seat and places to be, we don’t have patience to pull over when we see something interesting. We might comment on it–“Oh, that looks interesting”–I may take a mental note that will soon be forgotten, and on we go.

Even without children, Ed and I would drive by interesting places without stopping. Once, we were vacationing in North Carolina. I saw a sign for a street full of art galleries; I wanted to stop, but Ed wanted to keep going. We’ve never been back, and I’ve always regretted it. Perhaps it would have been a tourist trap, or perhaps I wouldn’t have cared for the art. Maybe I would have loved the galleries and would have spend the afternoon drenched in beauty. I wonder.

horse sculpture

In Des Moines, there is a sculpture park downtown that we have often driven by but never stopped to visit. My aunt thought the girls would enjoy the park, and so instead of driving by this time, we stopped and parked the car. The sculptures are surrounded by wide open grassy spaces, perfect for kids to run around in. Climbing on the sculptures is not allowed, but there are plenty of tall, grassy hills to climb and run down.

The sculpture that takes over the landscape is a large white figure made from a scramble of letters. Hugging its knees, it sits nestled in a green bank.
white letter figure

The creepiest sculpture is a giant spider, tall and…well, spidery.
spider sculpture

Two figures, one black and one white, bring to mind rook pieces on a chess board. They are actually backs of snowmen, one black and one white.

Just down the street as we walked closer to downtown Des Moines is a meandering fountain. It was so hot and humid that day that my aunt promised the girls they could wade in the cool water. It wasn’t just the girls who dipped their feet into the water…the adults took advantage of the fountain, too.

An article in the Des Moines Register which features the Pappajohn Sculpture Park has details and photos of all the sculptures in the park, and we missed seeing some of them because of the heat. Hopefully, the next time we go to Des Moines we’ll be able stop and take another look instead of just driving by.