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Published: August 23rd 2009
Thursday 25th September (Day 31)
Boston - Davenport
We woke up fairly early in the morning and ventured down to the breakfast room. Our first experience here had been a bit creepy (the host of the place was really formal, and we sat around a large table with some other older guests, just kind of looking at each other, while music similar to the Munster’s theme song was playing in the background - we ended up with the giggles). This breakfast was much more successful and we met an interesting young couple from Louisiana. The guy was clearly an ex-college jock of some variety, and I was pleased that he completely slammed the stereotype that sportsmen are all meatheads (and shallow). Both of them seemed like really nice people, and were also quite interested in hearing about New Zealand. Being from Louisiana, they wanted our upcoming visit to New Orleans to be special, so they gave us heaps of advice about the different areas, and what was worth visiting and what wasn’t etc. It was an enjoyable morning, but we eventually had to get moving, so that we had time to drop the rental car back and get to
the airport, in time to make our flight to Moline, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities, where we were collecting another rental car and taking a short drive over into Iowa, to stay with my friend Kelly in Davenport.
We didn’t have any dramas getting to the rental car drop-off point, or the airport, and the flight to Moline was pretty short, although we did actually have to head South (in the wrong direction) to Atlanta, Georgia for our connecting flight back up to Moline. We picked up the rental car and drove through the city on the way over the Mississippi to Davenport. Thanks to googlemaps, we found Kelly’s house really easily, which wasn’t as far away as we had anticipated. We pulled up to a beautiful American style home (two-storied, with basement, attic and backyard) - it was pretty cool, and of course, awesome to see everyone again. You can see the blog for our previous trip to Davenport here
. Kelly and her family has moved into their own place since last time we were there, so we were looking forward to staying with them. We also got to meet Robbie’s Mum, Joyce for the first time,
which was pretty cool!
After hanging out for a while we jumped in the car and went down to Kelly’s work, where we met a few people, as well as Gene, form the shop next door. We just chatted in the carpark for a while and gave each other grief. It was pretty funny, and very relaxed. We headed back to Kelly’s for some dinner, and pretty much just milled around, talking for ages. It was so good to catch up again!
Friday 26th September (Day 32)
I had hoped to call my Mum today, as it was her 65th birthday (go Mum!), but unfortunately it didn’t work out. I managed to get some text messages through instead, which was great. We headed out around the place with kally and Robbie, and also Bradlee, who was home sick from school with an ear infection. We went to Walmart, bought some junk food, and even managed to find Vaughan some clothes that actually fit (yay!). We ended up at a place called Ross’, which was an older style American dinner with gigantic meals, including the Magic Mountain; a huge plate mountain-high with hash browns, eggs, cheese, pretty
much every breakfast item you could imagine, all kind of mixed into one. Most people don’t finish theirs apparently. Vaughan and Robbie both had a Mexican Magic Mountain. Vaughan finished his and people seemed mildly surprised - it was pretty amusing.
Later on we went over to Josh and Angie’s, and caught up with them and the kids (mostly Courtney). It was great to see them again, and we had a quick catch up before heading back to Walmart for some BBQ supplies and alcohol. I bought another bottle of Kelly’s favourite drink (Hot Damn!, which tastes like cinnamon) so we could share it. We picked Dustin up from school and just kind of messed around for a while.
We got back to Kelly’s and Robbie got the fire basket all stoked up (it’s like a small incinerator bin in the middle of the backyard), so that we could all sit around it later on when it got dark. People started showing up - Robbie’s sister (Jenny), partner (Dave) and son Tristan (and little Elijah), Josh, Angie, Courtney, plus of course, Robbie and Kelly’s kids, Bradlee and Dustin were also there, as well as Marty, who I think
is Angie’s brother. We had met everyone from last time, so it was pretty easy falling back into just talking and tearing around for the night. The kids played some type of game with glow balls in the back yard, and Courtney mostly sat with me, which was really nice. We took loads of photos, and the guys eventually fired up the BBQ as it started to get dark. The burgers, hot dogs and munchie food were handed out, and the drinks that had been sitting in ice in the giant cooler for a few hours were nice and cold by that time. It was an awesome evening with people everywhere, talking about every possible topic, and kids running around all over the place, just enjoying themselves. Thanks guys - sweet as!
Saturday 27th September (Day 33)
We got up in the morning and left Bradlee and Dustin with Joyce (Robbie’s Mum), and headed out in the car. Kelly and Robbie were trying to think of things to take us to, but we didn’t mind just hanging around. They took us down the road to a Chinese Buffet, and we spent some time there chowing down. There
was a really decent range of food to choose from, which was awesome. We were so full when we rolled out of there! We headed off on the I-80 for about 20 minutes near Walcott, Iowa, where we stopped at the largest truck stop in the world. It was actually pretty cool - so many trucks parked in the car park (which seemed to go on around all sides for forever) - there was accommodation offered nearby, with a truck wash, mechanics, truck museum and all kinds of things set up outside. The main building had all kinds of tourist items and knick knacks, as well as a food area and truck/auto shop. Several large trucks were on display inside, and you could sit in them for a photo if you wanted. It was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated, and I was really glad that we had been given the opportunity to go there. You can see more about it here
. Once we arrived back in Davenport we went up to a viewpoint on one of the hills that looked out over the city. The city is mostly flat and there is a lot of railway freight
always moving around, so we sat up on the hill in the sun for a while, watching the trains and just generally looking out over the city. It was pretty nice!
After a while we headed back out to Scott Country Park (where we went to last time we had come to davenport), so that Vaughan could have another game of horseshoes with Josh and Robbie. The girls (me, Kelly, Angie and Courtney) just mucked around while we watched the boys, and just chatted. I was grateful that it wasn’t quite as hot or humid as the previous time we had visited, and there weren’t as many bugs flying around either.
Eventually in the late afternoon the light started to fade a little and we thought we should head back. We picked up the boys and went to Taco Bell for dinner, where the guy behind the counter made Robbie a taco without any meat in it - it basically just had a tiny bit of cheese and lettuce. We got the giggles because it was pretty funny at the time, and Robbie went tearing back up to the counter to point out it out to the
staff, and to get another one. Taco Bell is Vaughan’s food weakness in the USA, so he really enjoyed his, and we eventually headed back to Kelly and Robbie’s for the evening, where Dustin decided to make a whole pile of mini movies on the digital camera for us. Josh and Angie came over later on, and we sat on the front porch listening to the crazy neighbour over the road, yelling to his music - classic!
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