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Family Weekend in Iowa

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Last week after being suspiciously absent from the blog and social media,  I am back from spending a week in Iowa with my family. Last week my grandmother died at 99 years of age. As a family, we mourned our loss and celebrated her life simultaneously sharing memories and spending time with each other.

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The time we sprung her from the assisted living facility she lived in for a convertible ride around town:

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My grandmother lived in a small town in central Iowa, Eldora. The town itself is pretty adorable and is the home of the beautiful Pine Lake State Park.

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I rode RAGBRAI (the week-long bike ride across Iowa) through here a few years ago biking with my aunt and spending time with Grandma after our 70 miles biking through the cornfields of Hardin County.

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My grandparents used to own the movie theatre building, funeral home, and furniture store in town so we drove around pointing out the places we remember. For me it was when as a little kid, I stepped on a piece of glass and had to get stiches- ouch!

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Funerals are synonymous with food and we did some old fashioned Iowa-eating. No trip to Iowa would be complete without a giant pork tenderloin sandwich bigger than one’s head.

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Look at that normal sized bun! Hilariously mismatched against the gigantic cutlet.

We also ate taco pizza – an Iowa staple! I really like taco pizza from Happy Joe’s because it is another acceptable way for me to eat chips for dinner. Grandma always preferred BLT pizza but loved going to Happy Joe’s lunch buffet when we came into town. I loved it too.

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On the way to Eldora for the funeral we stopped at a gas station and found pickle/cream cheese/beef wraps. I was excited enough to take a photo of them but not actually purchase. If on a roadtrip I would have been so happy to find these!

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Grandma had tons of photos of us and it was really fun to go through them. I especially liked this one:

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I am the child that who dressed themselves that day. My sunglasses match my jellies at least and I assume my feet/legs were cold- hence the knee socks. Yikes!

My siblings, mom, and I all got to spend lots of quality time together this past weekend because of Grandma and we are meeting up again next weekend to start the Christmas holidays but this time in Phoenix.  More soon!

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