It’s still summer-like weather here in the land of eternal summer, a.k.a. Singapore, but autumn is surely settling in over the midwestern US of A. Iowa, to be precise, where we spent a couple of pleasant months this past summer. Nyan got to spend a ton of time with Grandma and Grandpa, who spoiled him rotten as only grandparents can do! There were so many activities, so many books to read, so much gardening, so many trips around town and around the state…. here’s a look back at just some of them.
Cookies: The boy loves to bake cookies almost as much as he likes to eat them. (Fun aside: we just got our oven fixed here in Singapore, and Daddy has promised Nyan that they will make cookies together very soon. Daddy asked him the other day, “What kind of cookies should we make?” Nyan’s answer: “Truck cookies! I want to make truck cookies!” Okay then…)
Model trains: Grandpa set up a model train layout in his office, and over the course of the summer, he and Nyan slowly put it together, with buildings, a stream, trees, a tunnel, mountains, roads, and of course trains and track. Here’s Nyan painting the tunnel:
And here’s a look at the layout itself, early on, as Nyan directs Grandpa on where to place the buildings:
Fast forward six weeks or so and check it out:
T-ball is, for our non-American readers, basically baseball with training wheels. Rather than trying to hit a ball that’s been thrown at you, you just swing the bat at a ball that’s sitting on top of a pole. Grandma and Grandpa got a T-ball set for Nyan. Verdict: he’s about as talented at baseball as his father was. (Which is to say, not at all.)
Toy museum: Did you know there’s a National Farm Toy Museum? Mommy and Daddy did not. But Grandma and Grandpa did. And they also knew Nyan would love it.
Trainland USA: In Central Iowa is a place called Trainland USA, a museum of sorts that’s devoted to model railroads. Daddy went here a few times as a boy and has always wanted to return. He didn’t make it this trip, but on one of Daddy’s business trips out of town on this trip, Grandma and Grandpa took Nyan. Lucky little guy.
Cousins: He also hung out with “Grandma Barb” (actually Daddy’s cousin) and his cousins Faith, who is just a few months older, and Faith’s sister Madison, who’s a few years old. (They’re Grandma Barb’s granddaughters, which makes them… some sort of cousin many times removed to Nyan, we guess?) They went on a massive trip around central Iowa, including an aborted trip to a zoo (it was raining) and a stop at a huge fishing and outdoor sports store, which included lots of fishing reels to play with, as well as many boats and all-terrain vehicles to sit in and pretend to drive.
Bowling. That same store also included a bowling alley, of all things, so they all bowled a round. Okay, Nyan didn’t score that great — last place, to be precise — but it was his first time! (And, let’s be honest, it’s not that much behind Daddy’s average bowling score.)
Build-a-dinosaur. Near the end of our stay, Grandma and Mia took Nyan to the Build-a-Bear Workshop as a birthday present. That’s a store where kids can choose how to personalize a teddy bear or other stuffed animal, and they make it for you right there in the store as you watch. Nyan chose a dinosaur, whose name he decided is either T-Rex or, if the mood is right, Dinosaur. He’s usually far more creative with his animal names; I guess he wanted to go back to basics.
Not a bad way to spend a couple of summer months, all in all.