Holy moly did we have a packed weekend of food, drinks and laughs in Des Moines! [buckle up, this is a long one, folks! hopefully it can help if you ever travel to Des Moines!]
A small group of bloggers decided that since the Healthy Living Summit got cancelled, we should still get together. It’s weird to think about if you don’t have internet friends (or blends..blog + friend = blend), but these gals are some of my closest friends. Plus we all love food and fitness. Thus the zillion food/drink stops AND a little dose of active fun.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed the boatload of photos I shared with the tag #blendDSMtakeover. Yes, the weekend had a hashtag. Go check it out on Instagram and Twitter when you’re done reading this post.
I set out 3 hours later than planned and totally missed the Wholefoods tour Mollie so graciously arranged. I was busy running 3 miles (yay training!), taking pictures of these pumpkin beauties and just trying to get all the things done.
It was also a 4 hour drive and I thought it was 3…sigh.
I guess that just meant an hour extra of car singing!
Side note: When did I become the late person?? I seem to be chronically late now because I think I have all this time and try to be productive with it, then I end up frantically running around trying to plant my seat in the car to whatever I’m now running late for. Tips, anyone?? (Don’t say “plan better” because that’s why I end up ahead of schedule then trying to do more productive things!)
I did manage to show up in time for some Jethro’s BBQ. It was a fun, super casual atmosphere where I ordered a pulled chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries and some delicious fruity beverage that came in a mason jar.
We then headed back to Mollie’s apartment to play Cards Against Humanity. Has anyone played that game? I am so bad at it because I never want to offend anyone..and there are some offensive cards to say the least!
(Huge shout out to Mollie who let us all crash at her apartment and pretty much planned the whole weekend! That saved us all money and brain power!)
The morning started out by heading to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. It. was. ginormous! I used to work at the Omaha Farmer’s Market and I thought that market was getting big, but seriously the Des Moines one was crazy. I think we walked a couple of miles going up and down the streets.
It was a bit more chilly than I had anticipated in Iowa (a balmy 40 degrees F), so I needed something hot ASAP. I ended up ordering a chai latte with almond milk that absolutely hit the spot.
After more walking and searching, we found an amazing build-your-own breakfast burrito stand. The line was insanely long, but they were so efficient, I had my yummy egg, sausage and salsa burrito in no time. We also got to enjoy the street entertainment—a sweet little boy singing Jesus songs. (<-not offensive. I love Jesus.)
Lunch at Mullets (haha..mullets) happened VERY shortly after I chowed down my breakfast burrito, so I just ordered an appetizer that I ended up sharing. Kristin let us try a bite of her pizza and ohmygosh I am getting the WaiKiKi the next time I go..so tangy and sweet and savory…all the good things wrapped up into one delicious pizza.
I attended my second ever wine tasting with this lovely group of gals at Jasper Winery.
I am discovering that my palate is definitely changing and I can now tolerate red wines. I know, crazy. I even ended up buying a rose called Iowa Front Porch and only spent $20 on the entire experience!
Part of the experience involved picking Emily’s brain about various nutrition topics. The nutrition nerds came out full force, likely aided by the wine.
Since I barely ate at lunch, I got hangry and ate all of Kristin’s nut mix snack she had in her purse. Like I tried not to eat all of them but all of a sudden I looked down and they were gone. Sorry, Kristin!
Katie and I wandered off from where the group was hanging out watching the Iowa vs Iowa State game (yikes) to check out Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure (I bought another chai latte—yum– and a bar) and Crème Cupcake. Apparently Crème Cupcake was on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars…and rightfully so if their cupcakes were as yummy as their chocolate chip cookie!
I ate half while sitting and chatting about life with Katie outside in the sunshine and then we were off to get ready for dinner. (I was still hungry so I had a Luna bar—peppermint yumminess—before we left)
We went to Bar Louie for dinner.
While the company and food was great, the service and the way the restaurant was run in general was not. I can say this as someone who’s been in the food industry 6+ years…either bad management or they were horrifically understaffed. “Seat yourself” is a terrible idea for how busy they were and how upscale the place was. Just sayin.
I was so excited that both Katies and Alex wanted to run with me bright and early on Sunday! I was even more excited that Katie (Looking Forward) is doing a run-walk program..because that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do! The goal was 4 miles and we made it about 3.5 before we wanted to head into the warmth of Mollie’s apartment. Good enough for me!
Remember that half of a cookie I saved? Well, half of that was my pre-run food and half was my post-run food. Better than nothing?
By the time we made it to The Machine Shed restaurant for brunch, I was fairly starved.
Add in an hour of wait time and I was about to chew my arm off, but the food was pretty darned satisfying. I don’t think I talked for the first 30 minutes at our table because I was shoveling food in my mouth. We chose the buffet because I’m pretty sure we were all famished by then. They had an omelet bar, waffle station, amazingly flaky biscuits…basically anything you would imagine at a midwest country-style eatery.
I headed back with Mollie to pack up my stuff (everyone else had already packed up before we left for brunch…I had opted for a post-run shower 🙂 ) and hit the road.
A couple of hours into the drive I decided to dig into the food bar I got at the coffee shop.
It was such a yummy, healthy, filling bar that I just had to tell you guys about it on the blog. It’s definitely a meal replacement bar clocking in around 400 calories, but it was just what I needed.
I was so sad when the weekend ended, but I know we will be hanging out regularly via the internets! 😉
Here are all the bloggers I met up with so you can check out their blogs:
Mollie at Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life
Katie at Talk Less Say More
Alex at Alex Tries it Out
Katie at Katie Looking Forward
Emily at More Than Just Dessert
Kristin at A Slice of Mud Pie
Traci at I Heart TG Designs
Welp, I am headed out of town this weekend yet again!
This time it’s for my hometown Omaha, Nebraska for a high school friend’s wedding. Although I’m excited to see the bride and do fun wedding things (like eat copious amounts of wedding mints and dance the night away), I’m a little nervous to see some old high school peeps. I graduated with a class of 500+ so we definitely don’t all keep in touch. It won’t be awful, but it’s just one of those things where you almost want to make sure they are all impressed with where you are now in life…and I’m not quite sure they will all understand. Does this babbling make any sense?
Okay, I gotta run! Literally..5 miles before I leave today per my training plan! By the way I have a half-marathon training plan all ready for those who subscribe to my blog via e-mail as well as detailed instructions on how to use it. I will be writing up the monthly newsletter soon, so make sure you subscribe! 🙂
Do you have internet friends?
Have you ever been to Des Moines? What was your favorite restaurant?
PS I’m all about Pinterest this year, so I would LOVE IT if you could pin one (or two!) of these images!
Pin with me!
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