Thursday, July 10, 2014

Glimpses of Iowa

A few days ago I wrote about my home state of Iowa and how little people know about it. I'm not ashamed of Iowa. I actually think it's a great place. Everything is so green. People are really nice. There is history among people. Things move slower. Kids have more space. Not just physical space but mental space. People value people. Things are just things. There is a strong visible contrast between California and Iowa in so many ways. When I go back "home" I always feel like I'm detoxing from all the filth I am exposed to every day. California isn't the root of all evil. I know it gets a really bad wrap. However, I think we are the target for a lot of marketing and ideas that are hard to continually brush off. You can't help but fall prey to the constant messages. I never realize how different things are until we go somewhere else. Then you realize it's kind of sad the way we live in a big city.

Iowa is filled with small towns. We don't have beaches or historic monuments. No great mountains or forests for hiking. It's mostly just flat open land and fields of crops. But every small town has it's claim to fame, even if it's a silo that everyone tagged. I find that super endearing. Pella (pictured below) is filled with Dutch history, architecture, and my favorite baked goods! Every year they hold a tulip festival and the town quadruples in size. It's a big deal. Put a town like this in California and it would be a huge tourist attraction people flocked to on the weekends. You'd never find a parking spot and they'd charge you $4.00 for a bottle of water. But in Iowa you can walk down this canal at 1:40 in the afternoon and there is no one around. I love that!

Posing in wooden shoes in front of a gigantic windmill. 
Can this be anymore quaint?!

Just outside Pella is the famed Red Rock Dam. If your ever in the area, it's a must see! And if you go when the water's up, you're in for a real treat. Everyone in a 15 mile radius keeps tabs on the water levels at the dam. My kids loved the dam too. They kept asking all kinds of questions. Is there a dam bathroom? Or a dam snack bar? They liked all the dam trees and dam animals we saw. Oh believe me this can be carried out for an entire vacation. My husband still expresses his disappointment there were no dam churros. I told him 'Churros must be a California thing'. 

We even saw a dam deer.

Catfish as playground equipment. Only in Iowa?

And these skies. These unpolluted incredible shades of blue skies.
I'm not sure if Iowa will ever be our home again but it will never lose its appeal.
I feel so incredible fortunate to have been raised here. To call it home even if it may never actually be my home again. Just because it feels so comfortable and refreshing every time we come back.



  1. I've never been to Iowa. It is gorgeous though!

  2. You pretty much described why I love Missouri. I'm as freaking estatic about going in a couple weeks. Seriously, I'm super excited.

  3. One of my co-workers commutes in from Pella, I'm just outside of Cedar Rapids. I honestly can't imagine a more perfect place to live (other than winter). Iowa is an amazing state.

  4. What a pretty place, I have never been to Iowa but it looks amazing.

  5. I've never thought about visiting Iowa before. You've convinced me with your pretty pictures!

  6. We drove through Iowa on our way to PA. It was beautiful! I'm a farm girl, so I loved seeing all of the corn fields and silos. But wow - the lightening there is CRAZY!