If you happen to be a Star Trek fanatic—or even if you aren’t—you probably know that Captain James T. Kirk is on the roster of proud Iowans. Granted he won’t be born for another 215 years, but the people of Riverside, Iowa haven’t let that stop them from celebrating their (future) local celebrity.Continue Reading…
Recently a friend of mine mentioned that she was surprised I’d never seen one of Iowa’s most well-known world’s largest seen: the wooden nickel. I’ve been to Iowa City enough times for work or to visit friends but I never tracked down the 18-foot diameter wooden nickel, located outside of Iowa City along NE Dubuque Street, just north of the Iowa River.
According to a KCRG report, the wooden nickel was erected in 2006 as a protest against county officials’ decision to raise speed limits in the area. Iowa resident Jim Glasgow spent more than six months creating the giant wooden nickel, which weighs in around 4,000 pounds.
World’s Largest Wooden Nickel, on Dubuque Street NE just after the Iowa River in Iowa City, IA
A few weeks ago our intern informed me that he had a new ice cream place I just had to try. While I should have been embarrassed that my love for frozen treats is obviously apparent at work, I was immensely excited to act on his recommendation.
Before cooler weather hit a friend and I made the trip to Classic Frozen Custard with high hopes. And let me tell you, we were far from disappointed. I ordered a “regular”—the smallest size offered—black raspberry custard and tried not to let my jaw hit the floor when my order appeared at the window.
For roughly the same price (under $3.50) as a take-home pint, the “regular” is just about the same amount of custard. Not that I’m complaining by any means—just know what you’re getting yourself into. While Classic Frozen Custard isn’t open year-round, there’s probably a few more days of frozen goodness to be had. I know that I’ll be trying the pumpkin custard next time I visit.
Classic Frozen Custard, 4000 SE 14th Street in Des Moines
Last week I wrote about my trip to the famous “American Gothic” house in Edon, Iowa. A town of just over 900, Eldon is one of the small town, Iowa gems I truly love. Before we headed to our final destination, we stopped off at a local antique and furniture renovation shop—Junk’e in the Trunk—and scooped up a few vintage treasures.
After finding out there was no pie to be had from the Pitchfork Pie Stand, we decided to sooth our disappointment (and hungry stomachs) with a trip to nearby Ottumwa for old-fashioned milkshakes from Rexall South Side Drug. At only $1.75 each—$1.80 if you want to take your’s to go—a shake at the pharmacy’s soda fountain and lunch counter is the perfect detour on a summer afternoon.
We also made a quick detour—literally—to the gravesite of Curtis King, the oldest man to enlist and fight in the U.S. Civil War. Keep your eyes peeled for this one—the only marker is a brown “Historic Marker” sign about 20 feet before the site’s entrance.
Last weekend a friend and I decided to take a mini road trip south to Eldon, Iowa in search of the house that inspired artist Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.” Less than two hours from Des Moines, the trip was the perfect length—peppered with stops along the way—for a sunny Sunday afternoon.Continue Reading…
En route to another road trip destination, a friend and I recently made a brief stop in Pella, Iowa in search of some authentic Dutch letters. Pella—a town known for its annual Tulip Time festival—is also home to the largest functioning Dutch windmill in the United States. Unfortunately it was Sunday so all of the bakeries, most of the coffee shops and the town’s historic village were closed.
But that didn’t stop us from wandering up and down the streets, snapping photos and enjoying our sunny Sunday morning. I just couldn’t get over how adorable all of the colorful flowers, intricate window trim and windmill-themed lace curtains were.
We’ll definitely be making another trip back soon for some delicious pastries and a windmill tour—plus I’ve already got next year’s Tulip Time festival marked on my calendar.
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…
a miscellaneous mixture or collection
I am a lover of spontaneous adventures and, in my personal opinion, there is no better time for adventuring than the summer. This year I made what I would consider to be a fairly large decision—I decided to stay in Des Moines instead of moving back home. So in honor of newfound independence and a summer that is sure to be filled with exciting adventures I decided that it was high time for a new blog.
Last September I documented the adventures I had in Barcelona on my “siesta semester.” But a few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to start a new blogging endeavor, I couldn’t seem to decide on a singular theme. As anyone who knows me well can attest, I tend to think in a fairly non-linear manner—or what some might classify as conversational ADD. That’s where the beauty of the “olio” comes in.
Meaning that this blog will likely be…
- One part Des Moines discovery,
- One part foodie reviews, recipes and DIY crafts,
- One (but most likely many) parts spontaneous musings,
But more than anything, Olio in Iowa will be 100% about adventures.