Throwback Thursday: Family Travel Fun

When I was a kid our annual family vacation was the highlight to my dad’s year. A road warrior, dad was an unstoppable educator with a Diet Coke and the Big Chill soundtrack playing in the background. From museums to parks, we saw as much as he could cram into a day before my siblings and I would lose it. In the evenings as we delightfully swam in a hotel pool as he continued his planning for the next day’s adventures. I can still see him sitting with his giant atlas.

Family Vacation in Iowa

The whole family taking a short break before heading out in search of their next adventure.

My dad, an architect who mostly worked on malls, occasionally led us into places that he had worked on or wanted to check out. We had to look at the structure, the lighting, the storefronts, but we were not to go into any of the stores. Although he once made an exception and I still have the gift he bought for me and my sister to share.

“No Whining” button.

Yep! A button that says, “No Whining!”

As I’ve grown older I began to appreciate all the things my dad was trying to teach me on our vacations and found myself calling him to talk about cool places in Iowa. He has been my first phone call after I went on a tour of a unique building because he would explain to me, in a way that only he could, why that place was so very, very cool.

Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids

Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids

April is Architecture Awareness month. If my dad was still with us I’d love to show him all of the amazing places we are bragging about this month. From century old structures to new construction, I’m in awe of the amazing designs you can find across Iowa.

I can’t wait to take my kids to all of them – so one day they can have a picture as adorable (even if I do say so myself) as this:

Hitting the road


What places did your family frequent?

Colleen Murphy | Partnerships Manager

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