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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

A very special trip to the Hawkeye State

Updated: Jan 4

"In Iowa, we take care of people. That's all I think I need to say." ~ Steve King


My work team at the hospital had a very unique opportunity to visit a children't hospital that is doing some really fantastic work so we can grow our own program. I was granted approval to take 9 physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists to visit the University of Iowa in Iowa City and here's how it went:


Day 1:


Our first day was a very early travel day starting with a 0200 wakeup call and a 0300 pick up and a 0500 flight. We were all on the same flight so we were all exhausted together, but were able to witness an amazing sunrise. So totally worth it!



We arrived in Denver ahead of schedule, got breakfast and then headed to our next flight to Cedar Rapids. Lucky for us, while it was cold and there was a dusting of snow, the weather was overall perfect and we didn't have to worry about any storms.


We arrived in Cedar Rapids, got our luggage and rental car and headed to the hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Iowa City. It was a great place to stay! Nice rooms, very comfy, friendly staff, decent breakfast and spectacular location with so much great shopping, yummy restaurants and the university and hospital close by. There is also a free shuttle that goes to many nearby places, like the hospital.


After checking in, we headed to a late lunch at Micky's Irish Pub which we all really liked.





Then we walked around town a little. I loved the Christmas lights.




Then back to the hotel and to a late dinner at The Vue which was at the top of our hotel. Great atmosphere, food, drinks, and views were stunning.







Then it was time for bed and we were all exhausted!


Day 2:


Another early morning. We met in the hotel lobby for breakfast and then headed to the hospital for a day full of awesome lectures! The hospital is beautiful.





At the end of the day we got a tour and it did not dissapoint.





We got to go to the 12th floor press box where you can see the Hawkeye Wave and the UofI Kinnick football stadium.



Then off to another delicious dinner at Pullman's.



Then more admiring of downtown lights and other sights and off to bed.





Day 3:


Another early morning and hotel breakfast. And since we were leaving this evening, we had to pack up and check out of all the rooms but mine. So everyone put their stuff in my room and we shuttled to the hospital.


The day started with more lectures that went until noon. The view from the conference room:





What an awesome 2 days here filled with so much learning that we can't wait to take back to our hospital!!



We then headed to lunch at Pullman's again and hung out there for a while until it was time to go to the airport.



Cedar Rapids is just the cutest little airport and check in was a breeze.



It was a quick easy flight to Chicago. The lights were so beautiful in Chicago!!




Then a quick layover and a very long flight to Sacramento. But we made it home just before midnight.


What an amazing trip!!!

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