Prior to moving to Iowa, I had never been to a state fair before. This year was my second Iowa State Fair experience and I have to say, it was even better than the first.Continue Reading…
Des Moines is a city blessed with many movie theaters and the Fleur Cinema is, without a doubt, one of my favorites.
I’ve already been to the Fleur three times this summer, and each times it was to see a fantastic film:
- First, it was “Hysteria,” starring Maggie Gyllenhal and Hugh Dancy, about the invention of the vibrator
- Then Wes Anderson’s latest darkly comedic, “Moonrise Kingdom“
- And most recently, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking movies I’ve seen in a long time
With reasonably priced tickets (about $8 depending on the time you see a show, only $6,50 if you go before 6 p.m.) and the possibility of cheesecake and wine accompanying my movie-going experience, there’s really no downside of this non-traditional theater.
Fleur Cinema & Cafe, 4545 Fleur Drive, Des Moines
There, I said it.
Over the past few weeks I’ve gotten a lot of mixed responses when I’ve told friends, family, co-workers, you name it, that I’ve decided to run a half marathon. Continue Reading…
A few friends and I have been talking about taking a moonlit paddle around Gray’s Lake from some time now, so a couple of weeks ago we all pulled out our planners and penciled in our next adventure.
Thankfully by the time Wednesday night rolled around, the heat had finally relented and we had the perfect evening for our paddle. For only $6 we were able to take to Gray’s Lake on the craft of our choosing (in this case, a four-person peddle boat).
If you’re planning on hitting up the moon float for a date night, get there early: two person canoes and paddle boats were hard to come by when we arrived.
For a full schedule of Gray’s Lake moon floats, check the Des Moines Parks & Recreation website.
Gray’s Lake, located off of Fleur Drive near Waterworks Park in Des Moines
For the most part, I’ve found that beautiful cities are typically even more beautiful after nightfall, and D.C. was no exception.
From an orange moon hovering next to the Washington Monument, to Lincoln sitting stoically atop his pedestal, a nighttime stroll through some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks was easily one of the best parts of my trip.
If you know me, you know that I can’t say no to a good pun…or a good slice of pizza.
On Saturday night, I met up with a friend after a long day of exploring and checked a slice of New York style pizza off my must-eat list with a trip to We, the Pizza near Capitol Hill. I stuck with a basic slice of cheese and a tall glass of the restaurant’s own microbrew – both of which were phenomenal.
If you’re still hungry after your pie (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t have a second dessert stomach?), head next door to Good Stuff Eatery for an incredible milkshake. [I highly recommend the Salty Caramel Kiss].
We, the Pizza, 305 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington D.C.
As if the Library of Congress wasn’t enough to make me have major heart palpitations, I did some serious nerding out at the Newseum.
The seven-story news mecca has everything from the front pages of every major newspaper around the world to a super cool temporary exhibit about the FBI.
Some of my favorites included a display of all of the Pulitzer Prize winning photographs since the 1940s, and the museum’s “history of news” collection.
Since museum food isn’t known for being particularly well-priced or delicious, I stopped off at a tiny coffee shop called Peregrine Espresso for a large coffee and an even larger cinnamon roll before heading into the Newseum.
Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington D.C.
Peregrine Espresso, 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington D.C.
On my first full day in D.C. an old friend and I took the metro to Georgetown in search of a tiny shop made famous by the TLC show “DC Cupcake.” If you’re ever in the gorgeous Georgetown neighborhood, Georgetown Cupcake is definitely worth a visit.
Thankfully we had time to peruse the day-specific menu while we waited in line outside the cupcake shop. I finally decided on Milk Chocolate Birthday – a “classic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cake topped with a milk chocolate buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles” that ended up being the perfect choice.
Like Georgetown Cupcake on Facebook to learn the “secret flavor” each day. The first 100 people to whisper the name of the cupcake get their treat for free!
Georgetown Cupcake, 3301 M Street NW, Washington D.C.
On Thursday I said so long to Des Moines and hello to Washington D.C. – if only for a few days. The trip was a great mini-vacation to visit old friends, explore a new city and eat some truly delicious food.
While I had never been before, D.C. quickly became one of my favorite cities. I strolled across the National Mall, geeked out in the Library of Congress, chowed down in DuPont Circle and admired townhouses in Georgetown.
Of all the discoveries I made, my favorite was definitely Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe – one part independent bookstore, one part after-work bar and bistro. And if you happen to be hungry, head up the road to Lauriol Plaza for a modern spin on Mexican cuisine – where the swirl margarita and shrimp & crab enchiladas were absolutely to die for.
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C.
Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th Street NW, Washington D.C.