Oh, how I wish you all were here...we had such a fun day. Cedar Falls is a wonderful place to live:: bike trails everywhere, fun parks, fishing everywhere, friendly people, community activities that are open to everyone.
A little geography lesson:: Cedar Falls sits on the Cedar River which flows south from here to Cedar Rapids...makes sense, right? The falls, from what I've seen, are controlled with a dam and the drop just northeast of downtown is not significant. The small downtown is charming with eclectic and cute shops. It would be a great place to walk around for an afternoon. I keep driving through and threatening the babes that we're going to stop and go into the Crazy Girl Yarn Shop. Actually, not a threat...it's a promise...so buck up, kiddos.
The University of Northern Iowa campus is tucked in between where we are staying and the downtown. Panther fever is everywhere...basketball fans know them as their men's team made it to the Sweet Sixteen in March.
Miss Penny, the coordinator, had 8 stations set up in a big art room...and each station had a least one or two projects to make. My sensory self time-traveled back to elementary school with the black lab tables splattered with paints and clay and the smell of tempera. There was tracing, decoupage, paper crafts to make wands and flowers, bookmarks with stamps and make your own drawing into a puzzle. She had easels set up with paints, a shaving cream table with dinosaurs and trucks, and a table to plant seeds in our decoupaged flower pots. She encouraged the kids to travel the room from table to table or to stay in one place if they fancied. Bug was more excited than I had seen him in a while, which is a relief...he and I have had a couple of rough days.
We gathered to walk through the sculpture garden outside and she read Eric Carle's The Little Seed. I became my annoying self with my snappity-snap shutter...capturing moments, shyly explaining that we homeschool and I need to document our art experiences....which I do...but it was a glorious morning.
We said our goodbyes, pledged to be back and traveled on down the road to a park on a sunny hill...biding time until we could meet Sweet Daddy for lunch. Another mom from the class had the same idea and as we chatted, she shared some other community nuggets...playtimes and storytimes and drop-in exercise classes. Those things make such a difference in this life on the road...we could sit in this hotel and stare at each other or get out and soak up the life here.
What a treasure.
Tomorrow, we have a BIG adventure planned...maybe more for me than the babes...so I'll be annoyingly, obsessively taking pictures again.