About this project
This is a blog about things to do in Iowa.
More specifically, it’s about things I like to do in Iowa. And it’s about challenging myself to do things I haven’t done before and go places I haven’t gone before.
My main goal is to do something every week and write about it. As I said in my first post, it’s sort of like the Julie and Julia project, except without the rich sauces.
Here are my other goals for the blog:
• Celebrate Iowa’s uniqueness and charm
• Showcase the small towns and agri-tourism that people expect to find in Iowa (it’s not a cliché when it’s real)
• Explore the unexpected side of Iowa: the cultural offerings, the cities, the really fabulous food that’s NOT on a stick
• Venture outside the state once in awhile, and blog about that, too
Wish me luck!
You should know this first: I am not a native Iowan. I spent nearly 40 years living in Missouri.
I moved to Ames, Iowa, in 1997 to work for the Iowa State University Alumni Association as the director of communications and editor of VISIONS magazine. It was a bit of a hard sell, but in the end, my husband and kids came along.
I was actually born in Independence, Mo., the home of Harry Truman. His house was very near my junior high school. I caught a few glimpses of him walking the neighborhood with his Secret Service agent.
I moved to Maryville, Mo., in 1977 to go to college at Northwest Missouri State University. I met my husband, Dave, there. After we graduated, we worked in the newspaper biz for a couple of years. Then I got a job working at Northwest as the director of publications. I learned so much from that job! I was there 15 years. I must have put out a few thousand publications during that time. It was pretty intense.
In the few years that I have been an Iowan, I have way more state pride than I ever did in Missouri. I am not sure why that is. But I really fell in love with the state. I even wrote a love letter to Iowa in the magazine one time.
It’s funny, because even though I grew up thinking I was a Big City Girl, living in the Kansas City area, I think I live a more sophisticated life in Ames. For one thing, I have grown to hate the suburbs. Give me a big city or a small town any day…but please, no Generica! In Ames – and in Iowa – you can find some of the best food, the best art, the best theatre, the coolest events. And you don’t have to fight the traffic to find it.
So, I am a happy Iowan. From this launching point, I have traveled to many western and northern European countries, to Russia, India, South America, and all 50 states. But some of my favorite travels are right here in Iowa, or just a little bit north in Minnesota.
I said this was “about me,” so I should tell you that:
• I have been a happy vegetarian for many years.
• I have four cats. (I know. Too Many Cats.)
• I still have the husband and two kids – one graduated from Iowa State in May 2010 and works at the ISU Memorial Union in Ames; the other works at The Iowa Stater restaurant, also in Ames.
• I love to collect stuff, and I have amazing collections of holiday candles and mid-century plastic holiday decorations.
• I like to hike and walk on the trails in Iowa and Minnesota.
• I am getting older, so I don’t walk as fast or as far or as high as I used to.
• I’ve been to New York 16 times and I’ve seen 44 Broadway shows (and counting!)
• I’m not a big sports fan, and I’m not really into politics
And, I once caught a salmon with my bare hands.