Thursday, May 26, 2016

Iowa Stubborn

My artsy take on the Meredith Corporation headquarters
Some of our favorite people live in Iowa. Husband's favorite most-older brother and his lovely family live there, as well as my mother's favorite brother's family, so we have made many, many a trip to our northern neighbor state over the past 30 years. And each and every time we passed the border into Iowa, I had to break out my rendition of "Iowa Stubborn."

The Boys, needless to say, loved it.  I'm assuming their rolling eyes and pained expressions were indication of delight.

I sang "Ooooooooh--there's nothin' halfway about the Iowa way to treat you" last week when Husband and I spent several days in Des Moines. For his 60th birthday present, he had decided to not have a party but rather to apply those party-hosting funds toward a woodworking seminar put on by his favorite magazine. (Well, his favorite magazine is Sports Illustrated, but a punt/pass/kick weekend probably isn't the best choice for a 60th birthday.)

Do you see why I love this man? It's was his birthday, but I got the present! Three days in a hotel with knitting and Netflix and naps, then evenings spent with my sweetie. It's my idea of the most perfect vacation ever.

I managed to bestir myself to go to the famous Des Moines farmers' market, which was just a block away from our hotel. Oh, my goodness, people. So much wonderfulness.

Only Husband's reminder that we would be at least 48 more hours without refrigeration kept me from buying All The Vegetables.

And I did give up some sleep to take a 7 a.m. tour of the Meredith Corporation headquarters. In case you don't recognize that name, I'm pretty sure you magazine readers recognize their products. Better Homes and Gardens. Family Circle. Midwest Living. Woods (of course). The list of magazines they produce goes on and on.

We got to see the test kitchens and where they do their photo shoots, and learned that in a lot of ways they are just like us:
Namely in the ways that make us forget to unplug the iron.
I got to eat multiple times at my very favorite restaurant chain (Panera, because I'm high-brow like that) while reading a book that made me laugh out loud

Half a spicy Thai salad, half a winter corn chowder and a great book. Perfection.
Then I got to spend the evenings with a guy who smelled like wood shavings and wasn't above braving Des Moines's maze of one-way streets chasing around a pedal bar that we thought maybe we had imagined seeing. 

Nope. It was real.
It was a fabulous four days, which I would happily repeat and repeat and repeat.

You really ought to give Iowa a try.


  1. This is a genuinely compelling review of Iowa.

  2. Born and raised in Des Moines and living 30 min north in Ames to raise my family, I whole heartedly agree with your review. Thank you, and glad you enjoyed your visit!