Will her ticker stop?

Is it safe to surprise someone who is 80 with a birthday party where 80+ relatives from Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee come to a Holiday Inn Express under the guise of a Swim Meet?

When you have a tenacious Grandmother like Grandma Tripp, you sure do!

Surprise 80th Birthday Party

Our trip to Iowa was long (700 miles one way) and short (Thursday-Sunday). We started off Thursday night after My Lovely and Talented Wife’s meeting and we intended to stay in Lexington. However, due to an unforeseen Foos Ball Tournament in the area, the hotel we wanted to stay in (to get maximum points) was sold out. So we kept going.

My Lovely and Talented Wife had gotten one of those cell phone cards for your laptop, so that you can be online where you have a mobile signal. So, we were traveling I-64 in Kentucky, surfing to find Hotels online and calling them. Kentucky has it going on… Not only is it (apparently) the foosball capital, but there was a horse show (naturally) and a Hot Rod show in the general area, so we drove close to 30 miles outside of Lexington, called 10 hotels and finally found a Ramada (screw points) that had some space.

The Ramada was decent hotel… spacious and clean. Only minor thing was that the continental breakfast was small, but it was a free continental breakfast, so I won’t complain. We made the rest of the trip to Moline that day and arrived in the early evening. Thanks to the Absolutely Fabulous Uncle Chris, we got a great rate at the Radisson in Moline, right across from the Tractor Mecca of the World, John Deere Commons.

The party was at 1pm on Saturday and we planned to go to the John Deere museum in the morning. It did not disappoint!

John Deere Musuem

So we ran just a tad bit late getting to the party but we did wait a little for the party celebrity! She was very surprised! Not a clue…

So we are eating and the kids are playing and being that it’s 1:30, that’s nap time for The Younger. So he’s getting cranky and tired and lays down on the floor. We pick him up from the floor and he’s on my wife’s lap all comfy.

Then, in a matter of 3 seconds, he sits up and immediate throws up everything using his mom as a catch for most of it. Yeah, “that kid” again! Needless to say, He felt better but not that great. We tried to clean up as much as we could and the Absolutely Fabulous Uncle Chris took her back to hotel (about 20 min drive) to clean up.

The party started to wind down and shift to the pool area. Eric was entertaining himself with the big fish in the lobby’s aquarium and the fact that “real” trains would pass by a mere 100 ft from the hotel. When Jen and Chris got back, the kids donned on the swim trunks and the three of use headed into the pool. The Elder (4) started to do some basic flailing in the water that resembled doggy-paddle. Sure enough he was getting comfortable in the water. Danger Boy aka “Stitches” aka The Younger was having a fun time doing gymnastics on the metal pole that went along with steps into the shallow end of the pool, plus he was jumping into the pool into my arms.

It was sure nice when they wanted to get into the hot tub, but they would get out and go to the regular (read: COLD) pool. Being that I am hoping for a Father of the Year award, I got out of said comfortable hot tub to provide parental supervision in the less comfortable and less bubbly pool.

We were invited to back to Grandma’s house to visit but The Younger wasn’t feeling all that great and he was tired. Plus daddy needed his Driving Rest for the next day as we planned to leave at 9am to make it back around midnight.

We did leave at 10am EST and drove without incident on the road. However, no road trip isn’t without some “Road Story”.

At one of the rest stops in Illinois, Jen and The Elder went to the bathroom and then Me and the Younger went to the bathroom. When I returned, there were 50 or so flies hanging out on the car. It was insane! They were all over the place and on the other cars as well. I did my best to shoo them away and as we were leaving the rest stop there were about 10 that we still on the car! 30mph, 40mph, 50mph and we lost 1 or 2. 60mph, 70mph and we still had about 5 hanging on for dear life! It looked like the wind would sheer off their wings, but they hung in there, having a great joy ride. I guess since we as humans fantasize about flying, Flies dream about driving. Jen has pictures of the flies.

About 30 minutes outside of Louisville, it was getting time for dinner. We broke out the laptop and surfed to Olive Garden. Although Olive Garden is a wheat pasta haven, they do have a Gluten Free menu. So what did we do? We surfed the website for the menu, figured out what we wanted then called the Louisville Olive Garden and placed our To Go order. When we arrived, it was ready and we just ate in the car in the Olive Garden Parking lot. So it worked out great!

The rest of the trip went fine and we arrived about 12:30 or so… tired but glad to be home.

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon