Blogs from Des Moines, Iowa, United States, North America - page 4


North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines December 3rd 2008

Well world, I'm still here, biding my time until my next European adventure. These days I distract myself from my Italian daydreams by working to finish up another semester of college in Iowa, but I can never ignore those memories for long. As I approach the one year anniversary of my departure, it's only natural to reminisce... January. An airport taxi hurtles me through the streets of Florence, Italy. I tumble nervously around in the backseat, gripping my seatbelt for dear life as the tiny car whips around corners and rockets down narrow alleyways. I squeeze my eyes shut as we pass a bus by mere inches and desperately wish I knew how to yell “Are you INSANE?!!” in Italian. The driver steers with one hand and turns to ask me yet another incomprehensible question. I ... read more
Tiny Sidewalks
Fresh Fruits
Italian Shoes

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines October 14th 2008

Travel destinations often have their genesis in very modest settings, and so it was that I was sitting with a friend on a public bus in Ottawa, talking about the San Diego Zoo, when I saw a sign for a special fare for bus tickets within North America. As my mind drew together two related threads I began to work the logistics of the possible journey. As every traveler knows the two most essential things for a journey are time and money. My summertime contract was about to run out, leaving me with both of these things in excess. But after a little bit of research there was nonetheless one daunting aspect of this journey - the trip to San Diego would be over three days spent continuously on a bus. As a frugal traveler ... read more

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines May 30th 2008

Fri 30 May: Spearfish SD - Luverne MN - Fort Dodge IA We awoke to the fresh rain-washed smell of a South Dakota spring morning under nearly clear skies, with the last of the mountains we'd need to cross in stark relief on the horizon. Judy made an early morning run back to the Wal-Mart to replace her camera, which had gotten dropped in Walla Walla and had finally given up the ghost Thursday night (mercifully lasting just long enough to let her capture the Devil's Tower images!). The guys wolfed down a pretty good Holiday Inn breakfast while Judy scrawled postcards and we all finally sent our thank-you note to the nice people at the Comfort Inn who put up with us in Walla Walla. Ruth, who had stayed with Cousin Becky (the prospect of ... read more
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Bill's Sturgis SD Overflight: Hog Heaven!
Mount Rushmore

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines November 21st 2007

That's my new motto. It's been brought out this year in response to the way in which the Christmas sleigh has overrun the Thanksgiving turkey. Now, I like Christmas as much as the next person, but I happen to believe that Americans should spend equal, if not more, time and effort towards preparing for and celebrating Thanksgiving than they do for Christmas. Why, you ask? Because Thanksgiving is truly a national holiday, available to celebration by every single American. Christmas, in contrast, is a religious holiday celebrated by only part of our population (albeit the majority). Thanksgiving should be the time when we come together as a nation and celebrate our common experience of being American, our common stuggle (either by us or by our ancestors) of learning to survive in and find a place in ... read more
Irina's Wedding
The Puppy We Didn't Keep

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines October 19th 2007

It's a tragedy. Here's a link to an article about this horrible deed. We're all morning the loss of Eric and the injury of Annie. Anyone who was ever greeted by their shining, smiling faces on the way to the State Fair (which is pretty much everyone in Iowa) is in mourning. Ok, obviously we aren't really in mourning, but seriously, whoever did this, you should be ashamed of yourselves! Taking out an innocent little bovine and ruining the State Fair experience for thousands of children across the state! Shame on you!... read more

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines September 20th 2007

Here I am, back in the U.S.A.! It's very strange trying to adjust back to my own culture. My stomach doesn't like the food, my mind is on language overload, and even after 3 weeks, I can't get over how terrible American television is. Seriously. I'm quite excited that I'm back in Iowa for the autumn. I haven't been in Iowa at this time of year for 11 years. I had forgotten how beautiful everything is during harvest season. I really do live in a Grant Wood painting. When I first arrived, everything was still very green. But, one week later, it all started to change. The corn turned golden brown, the beans turned mustard tinged with purple, some of the fields have been harvested so they are the black of good Iowa nutritious soil (a ... read more
Autumn's here!
Penoach Vineyard

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines September 6th 2007

On Tuesday, August 21st, I left Rapid City heading for the “Life on Wheels Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa. Once I had left the Black Hills area there isn’t an awful lot to report about South Dakota. The scenery is quite blah! I stayed overnight in Salem, South Dakota, a weather front came through during the night and it was drizzling a bit while I was packing up, but nothing too serious. The drizzle turned to rain around the South Dakota/Iowa border—then the rain turned to downpour and by the time I got to Sioux Falls I was in a deluge. Fortunately about five miles later the Iowa Welcome Center appeared and I sat there for about 30 minutes thinking “welcome to Iowa.” Fortunately I ran out of the rain, but from the weather forecast I ... read more
Mormon Bridge
Des Moines Area Community College

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines August 20th 2007

I have a little over two days left before I board my flight for Italy. My flight leaves at 10:00 a.m. from Des Moines. I will have two lay-overs. One in Chicago and another in Munich, Germany. My girlfriends mom, Bobbi, will be joining us for a week. We decided to go over a week before classes start to get used to everything! I have got almost everything all packed up. I plan to spend the next two days going through my long lists of supplies and neccessities. This is a little different than going on a weekend trip!! ... read more

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines August 1st 2007

My name is Charles Blake VerPloeg. I am a junior at Drake University double majoring in Accounting and Entrepreneurial Management. I am concentrating in Business Law. This fall I will be studying in Florence, Italy through Institute of Italian Studies at Lorenzo de' Medici. My lovely girlfriend, Sylvia, will also be coming with me as she continues her education here as well. I am almost completley ready....I think......I hope! I've gotten my plane tickets, my insurance, my passport, my visa, etc. There is so much more than I ever expected to be involved in going abroad. I will admit, it can get very stressful at times, especially if you have never been anywhere outside of the U.S. before. Everything is so new to me! It has been a great experience so far, and I haven't even ... read more

North America » United States » Iowa » Des Moines June 9th 2007

I am back, in one piece. On the last flight home, Wayne Co. Detroit airport lost my luggage, which was a less than jubilant return after a long, long flight. Fortunately, after some discussion, it was returned later that night. Good deal. I was scared of my own bad luck, and had packed everything important but dirty laundry in my carry on, so it wasn't a huge scare. Without waxing weary, wiser traveler... the airports in the United States were disturbing because of how rude they were to foriegners. When we flew in China, no one knew any words past hello & a garbled thank you, but everyone was so kind & polite even if they had no idea what we were saying. The attendents in the states were rude, condescending, and curt almost across ... read more

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