So my partner and I took our first trip sans baby. She’s almost two, and he has left plenty… I’ve had one babe free trip to my homeland of Georgia. So a weekend without her was very much long overdue. I hadn’t been to Des Moines before, Tyler went to Iowa State which is about 30 minutes from there. A couple of his college friends were getting married pretty close to the same weekend we did a year ago.
First stop, West End Salvage if you are familiar with HGTV, you’ll recognize this name right away. For everyone else – They had a show where they would repurpose antiques into funky new pieces. I’ve always wanted to visit their building! This is literally a dream if you love antiques and quirk. I was SO happy to get to explore all 4 floors without a baby running loose. Parents know, shopping with a kid is typically just chasing said kid… not much looking is accomplished. The pictures are of their adorable coffee shop, all the tables and chairs are for sale of course.
Do y’all SEE this staircase? Windy as hell and goes on and on with all the exposed brick and piping… Yup, weird lover of old buildings here. Also, note the funky green themed room. A favorite color of mine, so this was peaceful to stumble into.
Top left picture — Trying to show how LONG the space is on each floor. I literally was a kid in a candy shop. Some of my fondest memories with crazy Mama Surgent involve antique-ing with her. Its one sure-fire way that I can unwind… Spawns creativity for me as well. Do y’all see these giant corbels?? Hands down, the most corbels I’ve ever seen in one location. Most of my time junking, you find maybe one neat one but hard to actually find in pairs. Moment of silence for this craftsmanship…
Their very top floor had doors, bathroom fixtures, misc wood items… Basically a good place to go for materials. Look at this creepy yet beautiful door… Theres a man in it! She’s a man, man!!
Lunch time was calling after climbing all those stairs, I previously had asked friends where to go for food, Zombie Burger was highly recommended from not only one but quite a few people. So, yeah… If you are into walkers and REALLY good food. This place is fantastical. Let me just say, they were packed when we went it but we sat at the bar, another thing I miss about not having a baby. Ordered our food and it came in under 10 minutes. The food is essentially gourmet style burgers and a long list of intense sounding milkshakes, spiking optional. We got the two girls one cup. (I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone of that video) Either way, burger was cooked to perfection, the peanut butter chocolate shake was killer… You MUST order the fries with the cheese sauce and thank me later. Dip fries in milkshake… because, childhood memories.
We also stopped into a place called Sticks. The above two left pictures shows a small portion of their work. Wood items that are engraved and painted. Insanely gorgeous. The oven mitt in another gift shop made me really smile. I’m terrible.
When we parked near Zombie Burger, I spotted a shop that had “Greatest Store in the Universe” written boldly alongside the building. Clearly, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to stop in there. RayGun is the shop, and its filled with unique apparel and hilarious shit. There is NO other way to explain it. I didn’t get the whole “Raygun” on the shirts etc… so asked an employee who didn’t explain hardly anything to me about the shop itself or how it came about. So, from my research, this guy started out of college selling shirts on the street in Des Moines… turned into a shop which has spread to Iowa City, Kansas City, and Cedar Rapids.
They have a ton of hilarious items as well as items for a good cause. I believe Hillary spoke there, so lots of “resist” items and my favorite feminist items. From their website, they have raised over 20k for Planned Parenthood. (WOW)
They had a whole section of science themed shirts for kids, which I loved… but back in the kids corner was this tiny RayGun door. Couldnt help but wonder in. How COOL is this!? A spot for the chilluns’ to play while you spend too much money on funny things!? Seriously genius and adorable. Que the — When I was a young kid, I had to sit for hours on end with NO electronics or toys… *womp womp womp*
So — Koozies guys. They are my thing. As much as I love shopping, I am pretty cheap so koozies are something I can’t ever pass up… due to the low-cost. THERE WAS AN ENTIRE WALL OF KOOZIES… A COLLECTORS DREAM AMIRIGHT!? The one thing that got me really excited, was the knitted ones. I got one at a Braves game years ago and havent been able to find one similar since. Clearly, I had to pick the most ridiculous one, which was the pug in a tutu with its tongue out.
The resist kitty, the Abe Lincoln on a T-Rex Freedom one, the Lake of the Ozarks — All were my take homes from this store. One simply can’t go to a wedding without a handful of koozies.
The wedding we attended was at the Scottish Rite Consistory, the building itself dating back to the 1860’s. The ceremony was held in this gorgeous auditorium. Really a beautiful historic building. My date in the right picture…
Here is a rare picture of me with my hair down and doled up. Quite the rarity these days… Middle is of the succulents they had at our table to take home, as well as koozies! Also, major shout out to the couple for using my legal last name. I didn’t take my husband’s name and get quite annoyed when people use his last name. Perhaps, I should start sending people glitter bombs with their maiden last name or to men with their wives maiden names? Ha. Petty, yes… but why should anyone care?? You took your husbands last name? Wonderful. I couldn’t think of signing my name differently after nearly 30 years of having it. Plus – I like it…. I digress. (Maybe a future blog post in the making?)
The wedding was fun, but let me tell y’all. I simply can’t hang anymore. Drinking isn’t really my thing… unless, my close friends are around. I don’t do well without sleep, so we left and headed back before the actual wedding was over. You know who the young parents are at a wedding when you see them trickling off early. They know the value of sleep. What I really was looking forward to, was the hotel bath tub. A luxury.
For serious – My old apartment in Roswell, Ga had no tub. For 6-7 years, I couldn’t take a bath. When we moved to the Midwest, our rental had one… which was a dream. The house we purchased… No tubs. You’d think it would be something on my list… but no, I forget how to girl the majority of the time. After a night of heels, and a lot of walking in a new city… This bath was calling my name. The things you can’t fully appreciate, until you don’t have access to it anymore.