For the occasion of my brother’s wedding, we caravanned down to the American Midwest in Mel’s parents’ two silver Hyundais, sharing the driving between us.
After 32 hours of driving, separated into 2 days’ journeys: a 20 hour trip and a 12 hour trip, the Goodall family found themselves in the gem of Muscatine, Iowa.
Upon arrival, I was surprised and delighted to find out that the city is located along the Mississippi River. For some reason, this minor detail escaped mention in any of Jer’s postcards. It didn’t take long for us to conclude that the town of Muscatine itself is really quite a charming place.
Rich in history, and with lovely aesthetics, this town of 30,000 people has kind of a New Orleans vibe to it. Perhaps it’s the Mississippi connection?
The town of Muscatine itself is referred to as “The Pearl of the Missippi,” as there once existed a fully functioning and thriving pearl button factory in the heart of Muscatine. The button factory has since been turned into a classy restaurant, still known as “The Button Factory.” We had lunch there one scorching afternoon, and it was an enjoyable experience.
The reunion with our long lost brother, Jeremy, and his Iowan sweetheart, Sarah, was indeed a joyous one. Though we had conversed with Sarah over skype a couple of times, this was our first time meeting ger in real life. She is a really awesome girl, with a vibrant and fun personality. It’s cool to hear someone speak so highly of your brother… who used to shrug off your efforts to converse and be friendly (you know how kid brothers can be), but now apparently plans cute dates and has turned into a real sweetheart. It’s encouraging to hear that my brother has grown up to become a pretty great guy. This is all to say that we really like Sarah, and think she will be an excellent addition to the Goodall family.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen or hung out with Jer. With him living in the States a few years before we left, we haven’t seen a lot of him, which is a bit sad. Evidently, he’s changed a lot from the brother I used to know while I still lived at home during high school. All in good ways. While he unfortunately didn’t make the MLB draft this year (as I had hoped for), he did find himself a pretty incredible girl and put a ring on her finger. He seems really happy, and as his sister, this is the greatest thing I could want for my brother.
I couldn’t let this rare occasion of the entire Goodall family reunited to slip away without a family photoshoot. So I made everyone wake up super early (in an attempt to beat the heat) and convene at 7:15am for a photo session. They were pretty great about it, although I we were unsuccessful in escaping the deathly heat and humidity that plagued the entire Midwest region that week. But I’m sure everyone would agree that it was all worth it. Right, guys? I mean, we did come away with some pretty great shots.
My favorites from the shoot were probably these sibling shots at the brick wall (thanks Dad for pressing the shutter button). I feel pretty blessed to have such awesome people as siblings. Too bad we are currently living in 4 different cities and 3 different countries. But I suppose it makes it all the more special when we get together again.