One of the things Ryan and I discovered at the beginning of our relationship is that we both *love* surprises. Anything that is good is made great by making it a surprise. Whether it's the anticipation or the thrill of a sudden reveal, surprises are fabulous.
In that spirit, Ryan planned a special little trip for us this weekend. A surprise trip. :) We took off Friday afternoon and spent the evening relaxing, reading, and watching a movie in Moline. Ryan and I both looked at each other at one point and had the same thought - isn't it great to not have something to do...to be away from our lists of to-do's at home. Saturday brought a Target trip(!) before heading to Le Claire, Iowa, home to American Picker's Antique Archeology. Mike and Frank weren't in, but we did see some of their "picks."
This was followed by a delightful lunch on the patio of the Candlelight Inn in Clinton, Iowa. This blessing was amplified by the near-perfect weather that is oh-so rare in August.
We then grabbed some ice cream on our way to the big surprise of Saturday - spending the night with friends, Tim and Hannah, and their precious newborn, Amelia!
Sunday morning we headed east to my final surprise of our trip...the Starved Rock Lodge's Amazing Race!!! A more appropriate destination/activity I could not imagine. There was definitely a little nervous energy radiating between us as we received our backpacks and instructions for the day. Eight teams of two to four people received their first clue and we were all off running. Through the venture we climbed to Starved Rock, were mentally challenged by identifying facts and mathematical tasks, deciphering clues, and running around to various businesses in nearby Utica, Il. I hoped for an eating challenge, as we may have excelled particularly in that area. But alas, no ice cream challenges. We finished the race second, but had there been an award for most fun, we would have taken it.
In the end, it was a great surprise. But it was the company that made the trip perfect.