Hands down, the best part of this road trip was visiting my Grandmother in Iowa yesterday. It has been way too many years since I have been to her house in Iowa and I missed it. Everyone needs to by spoiled by the Grandmother once in a while, right?
My grandparents bought their house in 1958 and raised my dad, aunt and uncle in the house -- and I don't think it has changed much. It certainly hasn't changed since I was a kid. It still smells the same, feels the same and has all the same treasures throughout. Everything I remembered was still exactly how I envisioned it.
When I woke up in the morning the table was perfectly set with a delicious breakfast waiting. Fresh fruit salad, fresh coffee and fresh bagels. It was like I had died and gone to heaven.
Her kitchen is my favorite room in the house because of the glass bottles. I love the color and light the bottles bring into the room.
She has glass bottles lining the windows across the living room too. I remember thinking as a child that they were the most beautiful colors I had ever seen.
I finally asked her where they all came from and she said that the bright bottles were from a monthly flower club she had belonged to. She explained that once she had a few bottles, she got hooked and started collecting them and eventually other people started contributing also.
Anyway, once we all done with breakfast we finally ventured out of the house. First stop? Isabel Bloom, of course. Remember when I wrote about my family's huge collection?
The store was full of fun statues but check out Mr. Owl. My Grandmother is a smart lady -- she got Marissa the brand new owl design, aka the gift of wisdom. (which she desperately needs)
Grandmother hooked my up with a new design too, called Forever and Always. Aren't the birds cute? It's like me and The Canadian with wings. And feathers.
This is Bubbles. He's next on my list of Isabel Bloom's to purchase. (ps - my birthday is coming up...hint, hint)
Right down the street from Isabel Bloom is another Quad Cities landmark. Lagomarcino's is a family run business that has been serving fountain drinks, homemade candy and delicious ice cream sundaes since 1908.
We stopped in for lunch but only so we could justify ordering ice cream.
Ummm, that's right. I had a Strawbunny Shake. Don't be jealous of my marshmallow ears.
Grandmother had a hot fudge sundae. You can't see it but there is a mini pitcher of fudge too.
Marissa had a real, live banana split. She figured the fruit cancels out the calories. (see the pitcher of fudge?)
And where did we go after Lagomarcino's? To Whitey's, the other ice cream parlor in town.
What?! We needed ice cream to take home for a midnight snack! Don't judge. It's the best ice cream you'll ever eat.
So, next time you're driving through the Quad Cities in Iowa be sure to stop in and grab some ice cream. And invite my grandmother along while you're at it. You'll be glad you did.
Bye, Grandmother!!!! I miss you already!
(fact: every time you leave she stands in the driveway and waves her apron goodbye.)