Unfortunately, I have found that not many people are inclined to visit Iowa. Despite my growing love of this state, even most winter days, it is not a tourist destination and not on people’s radar. So for that reason, I am always super excited to have visitors, even when I know they are visiting “despite” where I live!
My mom planned her visit while Adam was going to be in Argentina on work so we could spend some girl time together and I am so glad she did! She brought her new 10-week-old goldendoodle puppy and he was a hoot! So much energy packed into such a little (but growing) furball! But even with the puppy distraction, my mom and I still did some exploring and hit up the best food spots in Ankeny!
Their visit started on Wednesday, the same day Adam left for his work trip. I left work a little early to get home and meet up with my mom as well as to say goodbye to Adam before he caught an Uber. I was very quickly made aware of the difference a puppy makes to a home dynamic! Mom had introduced Brenner to Banks, but waited until I was home to introduce Rooster. At only 4 years old, Rooster can still be overly excited and rough so we wanted to make sure there would be enough hands to contain him.
The meeting went perfectly! Rooster was crazy but gentle enough to not scare or hurt Banks. They had so much fun chasing each other around the yard! Meanwhile, Brenner quickly realized that having a puppy around meant no personal space and he was not a fan!
After the pups met and Adam headed off to the airport, mom and I went to Fong’s to celebrate Pi Day. We split a crab rangoon pizza and had a couple beers but then decided that it was the perfect night for a fire and went to Hy-Vee to get supplies before heading home to put the pieces together.
And by supplies, I mean smores ingredients…
It took my mom a bit to encourage the fire to stick but it finally caught and we enjoyed some sugar, red wine, and cool spring weather! I am ashamed to say I was a little hungover the next morning but I am going to blame dehydration and smoke inhalation!
On Thursday my mom met me at the office before we went to Ephemera to discuss save-the-dates and wedding invitations! Who knew there were so many decisions to be made and variety of choices?! We spent about an hour going through paper and print options, books of designs, and discussions on the variety of blush flowers out there. I was fully overwhelmed by the time we headed to Lucca for lunch and then I went back to work to finish out the afternoon.
That night we went quickly to the Des Moines outlets in Altoona for my mom to pick out some jeans. She found some great skinny black jeans at the Levi’s outlet and we were soon on our way to Taco Hangover in Ankeny. It was my second time at Taco Hangover and I must say, I am a fan! The flavors of their sauces are great and they have so many different margaritas! I had two tacos: cajun shrimp and mushroom. My mom had a combination platter and a coronita! Her favorite!
That night we started watching Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and I was quickly addicted but we went to bed early. I had a meeting on Friday in Cedar Rapids so had travel on my mind.
The next morning I went to OTF at 6am (3 weeks strong with going every weekday!) and heard from my mom mid-class that Banks may have come down with an ear infection. So instead of leaving her without a car, she decided that they would come with me to Cedar Rapids and try to see a veterinarian while I was in my meeting. Unfortunately, Cedar Rapids was short on appointment times and mom and Banks spent a couple hours in my car but he is so good in the car that he just napped the whole way and didn’t seem to be too bored!
On our way home, we stopped in Coralville to sneak Banks into the mall while Mom and I enjoyed Zombie Burger! I was providing the full healthy experience!
My vet in Ankeny was able to get Banks in that afternoon and he was diagnosed with an ear infection. We took him home with meds and assurances that he was going to 100% in no time! After tucking him in for a nap, we met up with Madeline at Rio Nail Bar Salon in Ankeny for pedicures. It was my first pedicure in Iowa! Mom and I went with a spring-y green and Madeline painted her toes hot pink. All of us are hoping for spring!
That night I made chicken salsa in the crockpot and we had chicken quesadillas for dinner, plus chocolate bars for dessert. All paired with red wine! Our binge watching of Handmaid’s Tale continued, I am so glad I read the book before seeing the show but really enjoyed how they expanded upon the storyline and developed some of the more minor characters.
Saturday we woke up to snow! Banks loved it and couldn’t decide if he wanted to eat it or roll around! He is such a fan of the cold weather, the snow did not bother him at all.
After grabbing coffee, I made breakfast for us and we watched a little more Handmaid’s Tale. Around noon we headed to the district for some exploring. I had arranged for a dog sitter that afternoon so we had some time without having to worry about being home every three hours for Banks. After checking out all the open stores at the District (and I bought a springtime romper…), we went to WineStyles for a drink. While there we looked through a couple wedding magazines and discussed wedding styles, upcoming decisions, etc.
After the District we went to Uptown Ankeny but since we arrived around 4:30, most of the stores were closed already. After checking out the knitting store, we decided to go to Firetrucker for some drinks and live music. While we were both hoping for some St. Patrick’s Day festivities, we were surprised to find that the music was more blues-style than Irish. But we still enjoyed it! After playing Battleship, ordering in deep dish pizza, and enjoying a couple beers, we went back to the house and finished the night with Handmaid’s Tale.
Sunday I volunteered at the church cafe, with mom hanging out in the cafe couches while I worked. Then we went to church before heading home. I made breakfast for us and then Madeline, her husband and pup came over to meet Banks! If I thought our house felt like a zoo before, each time you add a dog it exponentially increases the chaos! They hung out for about 30 minutes while we systematically separated out the dogs to maintain a level of civility. Afterwards Banks had to take a nap and we went to the store to get supplies for chicken and dumplings. The rest of the afternoon was spent with mom cooking for me and finishing up season 1 of Handmaid’s Tale! Mom finished just in time to pack up and I drove her and Banks to the airport for a 5:30 pm flight.
Despite the chaos of 3 dogs, the silence when I returned home was deafening! It was a great visit but never feels long enough. Loved having my mom and Banks around and looking forward to seeing them again in April!
You tell me:
- What was the highlight of your weekend?
- Do people in tourist destinations always have company??