Sunday, August 28, 2011

Visit Report
Altoona and Des Moines, Iowa

Today I will post a summary of our visit with the Griffin's of Altoona, Iowa.  My Bride and I recently enjoyed a three day stay at their new home.

We arrived in the evening after a day journey from Saint Louis, Missouri.  We dined on a delightful Supper of "Chicken Grillers" which were baked to perfection.  They were made by a local food market and were Very Good.

Later that evening we visited the Neal Smith Wild Life Refuge and saw Elk, Deer and Bison.

The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast of Bacon and Waffles with Sunny "D" Orange Juice.

We visited the Freedom Rock West of Des Moines

We then visited the Iowa Veterans Cemetery off of Interstate 80 as we returned to Des Moines.  A power window malfunction tested the ability of my knuckles to recover after being pinched.

Our next stop was the Iowa National Guard Museum at Camp Dodge which is North of downtown Des Moines.  This Museum caused a lot of emotions to come forth.  I was able to ring the Ship's Bell from the USS Des Moines. 

We viewed Saylorville Lake behind a large Dam on the Des Moines River.

We enjoyed a late Dinner at Smash Burgers.

We then enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with the Griffins at their home.

We enjoyed a Mongolian BBQ at Hu Hog in Clive Iowa, which is near Des Moines.

The next morning after another delightful breakfast we visited the Des Moines Botanical Gardens and walked the Robert D. Ray Japanese Gardens as well as the People Bridge near the Wells Fargo Arena.

We visited Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa and enjoyed a delightful Supper at Hickory Park Restaurant also in Ames.  We all enjoyed delightful "Blue Bunny Ice Cream Treats.

We enjoyed a relaxing evening with our Host, the Griffins and prepared for our departure the next morning to Northeast Iowa.

I make this Post in great detail because our Host, Marv and I served on the great ship, the USS Ranger (CVA-61) in 1963.  He kept very accurate records and has an entire collection of memorabilia from his tour in Ranger.  I have a copy of the cruise book and the Shellback Certificate.  I know that Marv will keep a copy of this Post because he is a very thorough record keeper.

Thank You!!!

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