Saturday, July 07, 2012

Trip to the Near South - Lost Island

We started our day by saying "goodbye" to the Hilton staff. It was a beautiful hotel and aside from the coffee faux pas (which they quickly fixed when I mentioned it) we thoroughly enjoyed our two nights.

We headed south into Iowa and the terrain finally started to look substantially different from home (although it's still pretty flat). The presence of windmills is one of the most obvious differences. We have passed hundreds of them over the last couple of days. Leora makes jokes about having terrible headaches every time we pass one of these giant turbines. The other thing I can't help but notice is the omnipresence of corn. It is everywhere.

About 1pm we arrived in the city of Waterloo and made our way to Lost Island Waterpark where we ate the last of our bagels and fresh veggies from the cooler.
The cost per person is far less than the World Waterpark in Edmonton -- $23.50 vs $37. This was definitely a step up, both in terms of variety of slides and general ambiance. Considering it is a "water" park, there was a conspicuous lack of free, fresh water, yet no shortage of grass huts selling bottled water, pop and liquor. Fortunately, I filled our water cooler with ice before we left the Hilton in Minneapolis.

I left my camera and phone in the van for the first 3 hours so that I could participate in the fun with Leora and Anwyn. I was glad I did. It was blazingly hot and it felt just incredible every time we rocketed through a wall of water or plummeted backwards down an unexpected waterfall. I did eventually get tired of sliding and grabbed my camera for some fun that involved a little less stair climbing.
My favourite -- 1/2 roller coaster, 1/2 waterslide
This giant cone was the girls' favourite
Still having a blast after their 10th time down.
I finally dragged them out of the park just before the gates were about to close. We got a LOT more entertainment value for our money than at the Nickelodeon park yesterday. I certainly enjoyed it more.

We had fast food veggie burgers and fries on the road and are now falling asleep in a seedy EconoLodge in Debuque. Despite many signs declaring it "smoke free" and a stern warning from the woman at the front desk, I was surprised when I had to remove a plastic bag from over the smoke detector when we arrived.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, consider sending someone to look for me... perhaps you should start by calling the fire marshal. Really, you shouldn't worry. I'm sure the 4 four-leaf clovers we picked at a rest stop two days ago will see us safely home.

As per my promise, the photos continue in the same gallery as before.