Friday, September 14, 2012

Couples Retreat

Let's just say we were wayyyyyy overdue for adult alone time away. We finally made special plans to do something over Labor Day. There were no kid commitments. There were a LOT of home commitments but we said they could wait as our marriage needed some nurturing.

Let me just say it was a WONDERFUL day away.

It started out by getting up early and driving about an hour and a half to a small town in Iowa. I had received a gift certificate for an hour massage so we both had hour massages that were great. While hubby was getting his massage I wondered around and found a "stuff" store that seems to be popular now and found a candle I couldn't live without.

I also got to spend a little time visiting with and old friend. We don't get as much time to chat these days so it was great to talk for a while.

Next it was off to the family farm. My dad wanted us to stop by and check on our "crack" gardening and to see how big the watermelons had gotten. Mom fed us lunch and we were off to new adventures.

First stop, Albert the Bull. Now hubby is a big guy - 6ft 3in or so and as you can see by the photo he looks tiny compared to this bull. I had not seen it since I was a kid so we had to try and find it. Luckily the town was fairly small and we found him after only 1 detour. I had some what I call "funny" photo poses with Albert but those might not be considered "funny" by others, so I didn't include those. Let's just say Albert is an anatomically correct and intact bull!!  :-D


Down the road a piece, (wow that is a phrase from the past) was a small park called Plow in the Oak. We  H-A-D to stop and see what that was about. Before we found the plow we stumbled upon this tree. I found it fascinating that it was completely hollow and still alive and doing well. Look I fit inside with lots of room to spare! What an old tree with so much knowledge and history hidden in its rings of life.

And here we have it - the plow in the Oak tree. The tree has gotten so large over the years that there is not much left exposed of the old plow. Still it was very fascinating how the tree just grew around this old plow that someone left leaning against a tree probably a century ago or more.

Before it got to late it was time to get our tails moving to the bed and breakfast we had rented for the night.  It was called Heavenly Habitat .  Now the name has meaning because this place used to be a Lutheran church!  The outside was still church-like but the inside had been completely renovated to be a bed and breakfast. They also had a "stuff" store in the basement which us and the other guests were allowed to browse through Sunday morning. It was fun and I of course had to make a purchase.

Here are a couple shots of our room:

I enjoyed the stay, innkeeper, and other couple that were guests that night. ***WIN***

Back to our journey...

After we arrived and checked into the B&B, hubby and I went for a bike ride. I wanted to see the town and since it was not a hilly town the bikes were going to get some use.

First we headed over to the city park. We happened across our first bridge. These are old covered bridges built in Iowa in the 1880's. This particular one had been moved from its original home to the park and restored.  I think that is hubby on the other side of the bridge on his bicycle... There was a nice park and small campground here. We also discovered this is the home of the delicious apple. It was also discovered here in the late 1800's.  I was having a blast discovering all this old history in a small town.  In case you didn't know, this town also sports the birthplace of John Wayne. That's nice but not worthy of my blog.

By now hubby was famished and thirsty. The innkeeper had recommended a sports bar for dinner so instead of going back to the B&B we just rode there on our bikes.  I giggled as I pulled up to the bar on my bicycle and hopped off like it was a Harley or something. We went in had a greasy bad for you dinner and some adult beverages. YUM.  After that we got back on our bikes and finished touring the town. We found some beautiful old Victorian homes and planned which one was going to be ours someday. Fun and silly couple kind of things. We needed it.

The next day, Sunday was back to finding more bridges. They were all within a reasonable distance so we saw them all but one.  I am sorry but I can't remember all the names of each bridge. You will notice they are all slightly different in how they look which makes them all the more fascinating to see.  This one here was rebuilt after a fire so you are able to drive on it. The others have been closed to driving but you are able to walk on them all and take pictures.

I just had to put this into the blog. EVERY time we go on an adventure, hubby ends up finding some low maintenance road to drive us on. All the bridges were located on dirty gravel roads!

This bridge name I do remember - Hogback Bridge. I grew up on a pig farm so the name stuck in my head.

The final bridge we saw was Roseman Bridge - of movie fame The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood. I loved the movie so I had to see it in person. It was worth it.
After this we headed home and back to reality but with smiles on our faces!

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