Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We’re back from Iowa

… where we celebrated my sister-in-law’s 50th Jubilee as a Sinsinawa Dominican nun. Pat is Mr. Sullivan’s oldest sister who left home to join the convent when he was still a toddler. We attended her 25th Jubilee and wanted to help celebrate this milestone with her at the motherhouse in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, just across the river from Dubuque, Iowa, where most of the family grew up.


Sister Pat, one of 18 Dominican nuns celebrating their Golden Jubilee.

murph and pat

Mr. Sullivan congratulating his sister.

nun habit

Mr Sullivan often reminisces that as a young boy he was frightened by Pat’s appearance when she would come home for visits dressed in her full nun habit, complete with long robe and a veil. The picture to the left would be similar to what Pat may have worn. The sisters in her order are no longer required to wear this habit, and Pat dresses just like anyone else.

murph sue 2

These pictures were taken of us at the dinner celebration at the motherhouse.


This is what most people think of when they hear Mr. Sullivan is from Iowa- CORN!! These fields are near the family farm, where many of the Sullivan siblings spent time during the summer months.

We spent part of one afternoon boating out on the Mississippi River.


It was a warm day, but cruising on the water certainly cooled us off! The bridge in the background connects Dubuque to Illinois.

IMG_0613 Our boating host, Harv, is a childhood friend of one of the Sullivan brothers. Mr. Sullivan and his sister, Theresa, are in the background.


Pogo is Harv’s dog, who loves to go out on the boat with him.

IMG_0610This house sits up on the bluffs on the Wisconsin side of the river. The person who lives there is the owner of the manufacturing company that makes all of those orange barrels we see on the highways in the summer!

IMG_0588One of the many casinos alongside the waterfront. And NO, I didn’t waste any of my money!


This old building once housed a the Dubuque Star Brewing Company. It has been renovated into a restaurant and a mini beer-museum of sorts. We dined there the first night we were in town. The building in the foreground is called a shot tower, which was used for the production of shot balls, which were used for projectiles in firearms. It is one of only a few shot towers that are left in the United States.

IMG_0646This is the pier where we started our boat ride.

IMG_0597We passed the convention center where an afternoon wedding was taking place.

IMG_0616The locks and dam coming downriver from Wisconsin.

IMG_0582On one of our driving tours around town, we spotted this newly built home, complete with a new roof made to look like the an old thatched roof in Ireland. Isn’t it just gorgeous? I’m anxious to see how the owners will landscape their lot.

It was a short, whirlwind trip of four days, and while we had a good time and a nice visit with our hostess and niece, Sara, I’m glad to be home. There is still a lot to be done around the house. Blinds to hang, carpet to shampoo, woodwork to be polished…

Later this week you’ll learn five more things about me that you may not have known. I’ve been tagged again, so stay tuned!


blushing rose said...

Safe, sound & had a ball .. what more can yo ask for! Well, maybe a vacation to rest up from the 'vacation'? TTFN ~Marydon

Lou Cinda said...

I'm so glad you had a good time! I love that roof too! Beautiful photographs!

Welcome home!

Lou Cinda :)

Lori E said...

I bet that house is just as interesting on the inside as on the outside.
In my dad's big Catholic family there were 2 of his sisters who were...well sisters and one of his brothers who was a priest.
My mother was also a nun(novice)but didn't take her final vows.

Florida Sue said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time, and your photos are gorgeous and interesting. I loved the Mississippi river photos and that is quite the roof. Welcome back!

blondiensc said...

Looks like a wonderful vacation, I especially love the boat ride, so many great sites to see! glad you are back safe and sound! XO

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hey Girl! I thought it was a little quiet west of me! Glad you had a nice little trip....wonder what that roof was really made of? Thanks for the tour of Dubuque!

Cathy said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip!!! Your photos are gorgeous!!!

I am glad that you are home safe and sound!!! I look forward to catching up!!!


Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Thanks for taking me on a vacation...loved your photos. Don't be a stranger.

Blondie's Journal said...

Welcome back, Sue and thanks for sharing pics from your trip. Congratulations to Sister Pat! Wow! 50 years. Just wonderful!!

Loved the pictures of your trip on the Mississippi. My father originated from Iowa but he has never really spoken much about it. I suppose I have some relatives walking around Dubuque, just looking like me...

I showed my husband the picture of the mansion of the man that manufactures the orange road things. It is a sort of pleasant pastime for us to cruise our lake (or any lake) and check out the homes of entrepreneurs. We liked this.

I wanted to thank you for the info on the lamps, I really want to get them fixed. And the candelabra I am going to leave as is unless it starts to tarnish badly, then I will spiff it up!!

By the way, I looked at your last post. Love all your garden fancies (the word I use for the fun things we stick in our gardens; statues, wrought iron fencing, trellises...) I too like to hang things on my brick walls...hey~they're walls!!


Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Sue, I enjoyed your visit to The Vintage Nest last night. :) Your short but sweet trip was so much fun to read about and congrats. to the Mr's sister. Since I haven't been by in a while I scrolled on down and read all the latest post. I love what you are doing in your yard. It makes the garden so much more interesting with little vignettes set up all around. Hope your neighbor enjoys it. Hope you have a sweet weekend. xo Lynn

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I love being out on the river (although I was on the Ohio River last week, not the Mississippi!). Your photos are making me nostalgic! And thank you, yes, I had a wonderful visit to Ohio! :)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Sue how good it was to see Iowa again...Girl I do so miss it...Now I loved that home WOW!! I bet it's going to be something when it's all done just look at that roof...Now Sister Pat is indeed a modern nun she was holding a cell phone ha ha!! Not like the nuns from St.Joseph school went I grew up...they carried a ruler to slap your hands with...Glad you are home and safe;;;looks like you had a fast and fun 4 days my friend...May you have a great weekend...I leave on the 27th for Grand babies and Texas YAHOO...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Betty's corner of the world said...

Hi Sue ... Well I've been gone for a while myself ...not on a wonderful vacation like you ..but here at home getting ready for my Mom's fiesta and of course enjoying all our family and friends from out of town .. I missed my blogging friends and your blog was one of the first places I visited ... I'm glad you had such a wonderful vacation and thanks for taking us along ... I needed that. :^)
And congratulations to you sis-in-law .. how beautiful.
Hugz and welcome home.

Lori said...

hi looks like you had a wonderful trip...i don't think i have ever seen pictures of Iowa that was nice to take a looks lovely there...thanks for stopping over to visit me...i am waaaaaay north and east of geauga county, smack dab in the middle of the snow belt!!!

Bill said...

Thank you for sharing this special occasion and for taking us along on the tour!

I appreciate the nice comment you left when you stopped by earlier. Have a wonderful Sunday!


Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

What a fantastic trip and some beautiful pictures! thanks for sharing them with us.


Susie Q said...

You had a fine trip didn't you? I loved seeing the pictures and am IN LOVE with Pogo and that thatched (look) house! : )
Your husband is gorgeous missy. YOU are gorgeous. You two together must turn more than a few heads.
Hey lady. I could really use a nice day out and some of that Elsa's Bad Juan. I did not call you yet 'cause the you know what hit the fan. My brother and sis in law have separated and things are just awful right now. Crappy way to end a vacation and come home to this! *laugh*
Mom is taking it hard, they are a mess and I am really sad. But, gotta do what ya gotta do huh? I would love to call ya tonight or tomorrow am. Brady got hurt at school today and that has been a whole day of that! My sis in law just got him into his pediatrician and Ithinbk he is fine but the kid was a mess. NOT a good day for anyone! BAD JUAN!!! Where are you when I need you!

Now I going back to look at your wonderful finds again. LOVE them. Those placemats are so unique and special. Love the tableware...

Love ya,

Susie Q said...

I just thought about the Heywood Banks song about Iowa...have you heard it? He is such fun to see and we all still sing that song whenever we drive through any countryside...

"Corn, corn, corn, corn, corn...look! A tree! Corn, corn, corn, corn....there's a barn! Corn, corn corn, corn...."

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sue, the Catholic school I attended as a child had Dominican Sisters. I have good memories of many of them. A 25 jubilee is a wonderful occasion --glad you and your husband were able to go.

Nice photos of you and Mr. Sullivan!

Hugs, Pat

Kathleen said...

I had Dominicans all through school.
I went to High School at the Dominican Mother house on LI.