Sunday, August 11, 2013

Iowa! (Are you excited?)

I was on vacation all last week.  It went WAY too fast and I am not ready to go back to work.  Jimmy and I have long been planning a trip to Des Moines.  Why, you ask?  Well, I left a little tidbit out of this post.  I also gave Jimmy tickets to see Owl City in Des Moines!  It was a little Parker-less getaway.  My parents kept him for a couple days and we road tripped it to Iowa!

We left early Friday morning, stopped at Holiday to gas up and get coffee.  After a minor (or not so minor) coffee mishap, we were on the road!  First stop was in Owatonna!  Adam Young of Owl City is from Owatonna so I thought it was a fun little homage to him!  We had breakfast at Costas' Candies and Restaurant.  It was a cute little Greek inspired diner in downtown with great reviews.  It certainly lived up to the hype.  Jimmy opted for a traditional breakfast, while I went a little out of the box with a gyro omelette with pita and tzatzikii.  Then we walked around "central park" and took in some of the culture (this is funny if you know how small Owatonna is.)
Next stop was Austin, MN.  Home of Hormel and SPAM!  They have a free SPAM museum and that was a good enough excuse to stop!
The SPAM wall in the entrance has 3500 cans!
SPAM was first released in 1937, but really took off during WWII when it was sen overseas to help feed the troops.  Jimmy helped to feed the troops by hoisting a crate of SPAM.
I took a shot at canning SPAM for myself.  It was a game where you fill, bake and label 6 cans.  At the end it tells you how many cans the plant could produce in that same time.  Plus, I got to wear a fancy white Hormel coat.
That was the last stop before Des Moines.  We had a couple hours to burn before check-in so we headed to a local mall for lunch.  We also stopped by the Apple Store since it's Jimmy's favorite place!  We have now been to Apple stores in 7 states!
We checked in to our hotel and rested for a while before gathering our things for the concert.  We went to a local hot spot for dinner, Zombie Burger.  They had 20+ burgers, ranging from typical to outrageous.  Jimmy and I went pretty safe, although his did have goat cheese.
The concert venue was amazing.  It was the Simon Estes Amphitheater on the Des Moines River.  It was a fun outdoor show!  Echosmith was the opening act.  They are a band of 4 siblings, age 14-20.  They had a great sound and I could see them going places.
 Owl City came on one the sun went down.  We were pleasantly surprised by the diverse crowd.  There were teens, families, even a few senior citizens (those may have been Adam Young's grandparents.)  It truly was an all ages show!

 We woke up Saturday and walked to the Des Moines Farmer's Market for breakfast.  It is HUGE!  10 square blocks of produce, baked goods, crafty stuff and food stands!
 I had biscuit and gravy, which was delicious!

 I also came across a cute little ice cream sandwich truck.  I am a sucker for snickerdoodles and this was phenomenal!  A great way for end a great trip!
On the way home we stopped on Ames to visit my "little sister" Emily.  We ate at Hickory Park which has been an Ames institution for over 40 years!  Our food was wonderful and they have a bajillion flavors of ice creams and sundaes and malts and shakes!  Plus, it was cheap!  I recommend you all stop here on you next drive down (or up) I-35!

 Sorry, this was kind of a long post...Here is my special parting gift!  We had fried SPAM for breakfast this morning.  It was my first taste and it was pretty good!  Thanks for sticking will my stories and pictures!


  1. That looks like so much fun! I'm glad y'all had a great time :)
    My parents went to the Spam Museum before, but it's nice to see pictures of it. I also told them about the diner in Owatonna in case they want to give it a try before I get up there again ;) I also had no idea Adam was from Owatonna. How neat!

  2. You and Jimmy have had a worldwind of a month! This trip looks like it was so much fun! I had a great idea after reading this ... I think we should plan a "couples trip" sometime. Maybe a cruise? :)