Cedar Rapids welcomed us with tumultuous windy and crazy tornado skies - the likes of which Shane had never seen before and Kirstin was ready to grab passports and head for the basement....false alarm.
The following morning (Tuesday July 8) we drove 1.5 hrs to Aplington, IA - population 1000 - through the tornado ravaged town of Parkersburg, IA. The destruction was absolute; a path a mile long and 200 yards wide (see pics - they cant even begin to describe).
We spent the remember of that day with Shane meeting Kirstin's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc - lucky him. We also saw lots of corn :)
Then back to cedar rapids on Wednesday for Shane meeting more wonderful family,where Shane toiled over opening 3 bags of salad and onion cutting for dinner.
Today we toured some of Cedar Rapids, some of Kirstin's childhood homes and the flood zone. Then in the afternoon we were off to volunteer flood cleanup. We spent 3.5 hours in a family owned commercial jewelry store ripping up layers of flooring, tearing down elevator shafts and ingesting mold spores - followed immediately afterward by showers and cold beers.
Then the gastronomical delights of leftover yummyness, after which Shane started having issues with Kirstin's family lol - but seriously. After dinner we were treated to the angelic vocals and the melodic instrumentation's of kantirocks - Kirstin's mom's band...see www.kantirocks.com
for pics of Kirstin's favorite mom.
more to come- stay tuned.
The Chicago Art Institute was fabulous, days of intricate and priceless art to be perused in countless hours. To be followed by drinks at the John Hancock building and a really fun end of the night at Streeters Tavern which Shane does not remember (see pics of beer pong). After rough morning and 5 hours on the train westbound - we met up with Kirstin's mom and cousin Blake in Mt. Pleasant. then continued on to Cedar Rapids where Kirstin's mom's A.D.D. kicked in and she talked about 3 things at once (it must be hereditary).