Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Fun Weekend at the Blogville Awesome Retreat - Part One

What a weekend and trip we had! 

Little Jester had his first trip by car.  He wasn't so sure as we went north to Iowa. 

He rode in the front seat on the first leg of the trip to Keosauqua, Iowa, where we 
were to meet friend Deb and her girl, Stella Rose Long. 

Lilly had to stay home, she is too old to go so far... and Daddy actually took her to a kennel for three days, since it's hard for him to get up and down the stairs here.  And yes, she really did look this sad when she realized she was staying home. 

He called to tell me she was glad to see her friends she made six weeks ago, and did very well. 

She got to come home before we did, on Sunday afternoon. 

So... off we went. 

We made a stop an hour into the drive.  It was hot, so I walked Jes and then decided I had better run into the restroom myself.  This was the part that scared me the most, putting him back into a van getting hot fast, and someone taking him.  I found two other folks walking their dogs at this stop. 

 This was our second stop... the "Amish" Welcome Center at Lamoni,  Iowa.  I am showing you the Maid-Rite end of it, the welcome center is to the left.  We got a good piece of broasted chicken, some caramel popcorn, and a new Iowa map. 

Keith and I stopped here frequently when we were going back and forth regularly in the past. 

I was getting a little confidence that Jester was going to be a good traveler at this point, and also ran into the same people who had been at the first rest stop.  They were very encouraging to me. 

There were several private rest areas in Iowa... if I were close to a secondary road, I would do this for travelers.  

It had a lovely picnic area, big trees, the little church... and ... a RESTROOM. 
It was a privy-restroom but spotless and plenty of tissue. 

It was a peaceful place to stop. 

Two hours later, we were meeting my friend Deb and the beautiful 
Stella Rose Long, and as you see, Jester got right into the thick of it. 
Maggie and Gussie, the other two pugs, were in the kitchen in prison

We also met Mama Weinie and the +Four. 

(the only one who held still) 

Jester had a good stretch as Deb loaded the back of the van... and then we 
set out for LeRoy, Illinois... remember, I forgot Illinois lay in between Iowa and Indiana! 

Does that view of the van from the hatch side tell you anything about 
how much was packed?  

Since I had only driven the van one time, about six weeks ago when we went to Iowa to see Keith's nephew play... can I tell you that it was a learning curve to open the doors with the hand held unit????  We were constantly opening and closing the wrong doors, and Jester sat like a ROCK when we did. 

And off we went again. 

Deb drove us across the mighty Mississippi... thank HEAVENS. 

I'm getting dizzy just looking at it. 

And we ended up that night at the Holiday Inn Express. 

Stella Rose Long had never traveled either, and her sight is fading, unfortunately... but she was also a trooper and adapted to our trip very, very well! 

Ooops... a little blurry, but you get the picture  Jes relaxed immediately, we had no idea he would be so calm about the travel. 

We were fortunate in that there were good places to walk the dogs at each of the three hotels, and... that Jes is used to going to the bathroom on a leash. 

So, that ended our first night. 

Tomorrow I'll show you our first visit at the Blogville Awesome Retreat, 
at Brown County State Park, in Indiana. 


  1. Looks like you had a great trip. Glad all went well and you are back home safely.

  2. Looks like your drive took you through some beautiful country side! It was so nice to meet you!

  3. That's great that he did so well. He's a super dog. Smart and a very cute boy too.

  4. So glad we got to meet you and Jester, too!

  5. Oh Jester you must have had a blast traveling around with mom
    Lily & Edward

  6. I laughed at the kitten picture. Thank you for being such a good wingman. stella rose and momma
    p.s. fanks mrs. mary ann for letting me sits on your lap a lot

  7. Hey Mary Ann and Jester...woohoo we saw your leaving for the BAR post and now your traveling to the BAR post.
    Your pictures are beautiful. We were thrilled to meet you and Jester.
    Hugs madi and Mom

  8. OMD Jester... we are sorry that Lilly had to stay home. BUTT you can tell her about every single second of the FUN TIME we all had... We Loved meeting YOU and Stella Rose...
    BAR was the BESTEST thingy EVER. Can't WAIT to see MORE of YOUR Pictures...

  9. This trip was a chance of a life time -- wasnt t?
    So much planning, and it all turned out okay.
    Lilly did good at her kennel too!


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