memorial day weekend in iowa

so as i've said so many times, going back to iowa always opens an emotional can of worms for me. des moines is a tangible place where i made some decisions that were life decisions, decisions that are still showing consequences years later. and it remains that i CAN go back. i could move to des moines today and have an amazing social structure set in place and ready to roll. which makes it really easy to visit and then spend six hours driving home and daydreaming about my friends' houses and marriages and what it would be like to have some of those questions answered.

answering to no one but yourself is almost always amazing but sometimes very daunting.

so iowa. my friends and i have all moved on from trying to make iowa trips an extension of college, thankfully. we play like adults now! i started out the weekend by heading out on friday and having dinner at Rocky & Kortney's with Paul and Laura. the five of us each took turns with the updates - i've been to nicaragua, R&K have been to india, P&L have been literally all over the country in the past year. They are all the kind of people i love to know, people who enjoy being engaged in the world and the everlasting beauty of it.

saturday was the first farmer's market of the season! which was HUGE, the market is one of my favorite things to do in des moines. i met up with julie and elizabeth and we decided to go despite the POURING RAIN.


after the rain we dried off at elizabeth's and went down to winterset, iowa to see julie's home and new hood. it was, like, almost an hour of country road and then this sweet little town square and some suburbia. we had lunch at a place called Cooking From the Heart that boasted the original tin ceilings


we also swung by a wedding dress shop for julie!!!


and as noon moved into afternoon, we found a great park to bum around in


elizabeth had to peace out after that - for the rest of the afternoon julie and i took her dog to a forest reserve and we just walked and talked. kind of our specialty. it's those quiet hours, the dinner or the forest, the impactful time that i love my friends for. i can't believe how lucky i am to know who i know and love who i love. iowa's become a litmus place for me, somewhere i can go to recalibrate with people who know me so well.


so possibly the most entertaining thing about being in winterset for the memorial day weekend is that it's
A. the birthplace of John Wayne
B. his birthday weekend
C. a town wide party


aside from all the cowboy hats and the local john wayne film festival, julie and i went for ice cream around 11pm and the place had been overrun by the Duke's entire family line, in town from california


can you spot the Duke? ;)