A Return to Normalcy

At last report, Mom, Hannah, and Matt had comfortably settled in to life at Hotel Hardinge, despite the relatively spartan living conditions of air mattresses, foam pads, unruly cats, and early mornings. With Missy leading them to new destinations daily, they were having a great time getting to know Des Moines. The Iowa State Fair was most certainly an eye opening experience for them, but we also let them explore downtown, see an I-Cubs game, and sip tea at Gong Fu.

Well, the weekend didn’t bring any rest for the weary! As I mentioned last time, Dad and Peg rolled into town with Fred and Erma last Friday. So that made for five east coast travelers in town! Without too many activities planned for Saturday morning, the girls all decided that no trip to Iowa would be complete without a lunch date at Thymes Remembered Tea Room in Perry. So that left the men to scramble and find the most manly place for lunch: George the Chili King.

The best place for Chili in Des Moines.

The best place for chili in Des Moines.

The rest of the weekend revolved around what I spend most of my time doing…playing guitar. Saturday night my “band” was playing for a 5k fundraiser at Living History Farms. Sadly, rain and thunderstorms passed through the area most of the day and into the evening, so the turnout for the race and after-show was a little less than all had hoped for. Needless to say though, it was still a rockin’ good time! Pics of the event can be seen on facebook. The fam then got a double dose of live music, as Sunday Missy and I played at Hope morning services. It’s so great that they all got to us doing what we do best live in person!

Well, I’m now here to say that Hotel Hardinge has officially closed it’s doors…um…at least until the next time the fam comes rolling into town! Mom, Hannah, and Matt packed up the Suburban this past Sunday after church and left for home (and Matt for his new home on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago). I could hardly believe that as we waved goodbye an entire week had passed since their arrival last Sunday.

Even though our house is now back to just Missy and I (and the two unruly cats, of course), we’ve still been enjoying the company of Dad and Peg. However, since they wanted the full airstream experience for their entire journey west (and Hotel Hardinge was already booked), they optioned to set up camp at the Florer farm. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a perfect spot for them right outside the shed.

The airstream fit in nicely at the Florer Farm.

The airstream fit in nicely at the Florer Farm.

Dad, Peg, and the girls on their patio.

Dad, Peg, and the girls on their patio.

With Missy and I both at work during the day, being at Florer Farm has given Dad and Peg a good chance to bond with the in-laws. They’ve become such good pals that I don’t even think they minded us not being there! We took Dad and Peg to the fair on Sunday, but we didn’t spend nearly the amount of time there as we did with the rest of the east coast crew (four hours compared to 14…). The rest of our nights were spent playing games, eating the last of the sweet corn, *ahem* chasing lost dogs *ahem*.

Well, Dad and Peg pack up the camp tomorrow and continue westward. Seemingly, they have packed up Summer 2009 somewhere in that pick-up truck as well. All our best laid plans have been carried out. Vacations have come and gone. Missy is back in school as kids return this Thursday. The house is empty again and a sense of normalcy will inevitably soon return. We will get into fall routines and…

Aahhhh..sorry! I don’t mean to bring the party down! This summer has been way beyond awesome and exceeded my wildest expectations…I just can’t believe it’s gone already! Well…I still have blogs to post on “Italy 09” as well, so I at least have that to still look forward to!

So long, sweet Summer…I look forward to meeting again next year!

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

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