Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weekend in West Des Moines

This past weekend was one I have been looking forward to, headed back to my hometown of West Des Moines with a ton of plans with so many girlfriends. A girlfriends' weekend!

I hit the road early on Saturday, 6:30 a.m. in fact so I could drop my son, Noodles off (ha ha! - okay, my Pug) at doggie daycare for his own fun filled weekend. He could have stayed home with my husband, but Eric had a work trip to Mexico planned, which got cancelled at the last minute, but by the time he found out, I was in Des Moines and he was in Minneapolis and Noodles was safely checked in at Woof Dah. But it worked out okay because Eric was able to golf and go to a demolition derby at a county fair without having to babysit a dog all weekend! Okay, I don't even know what to say about a demolition derby, not really my scene! But one of his employees had a car in it.

The first thing I did when I got to Des Moines was stop at Hungry Hobo (now Hungry Boyz, what???) for the #24 baked potato with melted cheddar and sour cream. I used to go there all the time when I lived in Des Moines & their menu board hasn't changed. Still #24! :-) Once I had my potato, I took it over to my friend, Pam's house and hung out with her while she had a garage sale. That girl had a lot of stuff, but she has two houses so that explains a lot.

I couldn't stay long before I had to fly off to meet Leigh Ann and Jodan at Wine Experience. Leigh Ann is my friend from way back and former roommate and Jodan is my friend from Minneapolis who moved to Los Angeles last fall and now she is back in the Midwest, living in Ames and going back to school. She wants to be a doctor! She is "on a break" with her boyfriend so to speak just like Ross and Rachel, so I wanted to spend lots of time with her and cheer her up and introduce her to my other friends.

We had a couple of glasses of wine and then the two of us walked down to Cheesecake Factory to meet my friend, Bev, who was really probably my best friend in high school, but we lost touch & I haven't seen her since she was in college and she invited me up to school for a party. She married her college sweetheart who was actually at that party--but that was the last time I saw her. Through the wonder & miracle of Facebook, we have re-connected. She has really become a soccer mom (and I don't mean that in a negative way). She has 3 kids and is just so calm at how she manages them. I admire her calm. (I wonder if she takes Xanax? Kidding!!!) I hope we stay in touch now.

We all had a really fun lunch and then it was time to split up and I had to go check into my hotel. Jodan went back to the hotel with me while I tried to recurl my hair--it was all curly and fetching earlier, but as soon as I hit the Iowa humidity, the curls kinda fell out! So I fixed my hair, freshened my makeup and then it was time to meet Amber for sushi. Only problem with that was I was stuffed from Cheesecake Factory (a grilled cheese, fries with ranch and 3 glasses of wine will do that to you not to mention the baked potato).

We went to Waterfront Seafood Market - I have not been there in ages! I watched Amber eat her sushi and Jodan had a big piece of choclate cake. I skipped the food and alcohol and just had an Arnold Palmer. After dinner Jodan had to head back to her place because she has a little Chihuahua, Chloe, who needed some attention and Amber and I went back to Jordan Creek to see a movie.

We chose "Charlie St. Cloud" with Zac Efron. I will be honest, I probably would have rather seen "Ramona and Beezus", but I really, really ended up liking this movie. It wasn't what I expected at all. I thought it would be sad and probably kind of stupid, but it was actually really good. It was the kind of movie you think about days later. It was sort of magical and romantic and Zac of course is easy to look at - hee!! It made you think differently about death. You will just have to see it.

After the movie, I said good-bye to Amber and went back to my hotel. I had to do the treadmill for about 45 minutes because I ate so much food! So it was close to midnight and I am in the hotel gym working out--go me!

Back in the room, I read for awhile and then finally fell asleep. My BlackBerry had died and I forgot to bring my desk charger, so I was able to text Eric briefly but we didn't even get to talk!

The next morning I was up early--watched a really good movie on HBO about a woman who had brain cancer. It wasn't depressing--again another movie about death that made me look at things differently--she lived her life with joy and love and beauty, even though she was terminally ill.

Then on that note, I was off to have brunch at West End Diner with Pam and Jodan and my other friend, Laurie. They have the BEST hazelnut coffee. I have been wanting to drink more all week! After breakfast, Jodan and I browsed around Jordan Creek for awhile but then she had to leave for her brother's house and I wanted to do just a little bit more shopping on my own. I went to Valley West (Younkers & Von Maur) and then back to Jordan Creek (Younkers again) and then finally to Dahl's, my favorite old grocery store to get some spring salad & pea salad and some Anderson-Erickson products. If you aren't from Iowa, you probably won't know what I mean, but AE is the best dairy ever!!

Then time to drive home. And it seemed to take forever because of road construction. I had a really wonderful weekend and shockingly I barely took any pictures, which is so not like me and NONE of my friends. NONE. What was I thinking??? No pictures of my old high school friend! No pictures of Leigh Ann & she was the one who mentioned that we have to get a picture together. But I will be back!

Here is what I did take though.

Younkers. My favorite department store back in the day. She's Younkers, She's You - ha ha!

On The Border - Eric's favorite Mexican restaurant - we don't have this in Minneapolis--he only gets to go when we are in Des Moines, or if he is in Philadelphia or San Diego for work. I took this to send him just to make him envious! He is obsessed with some kind of chicken fajita salad.

A picture of me that Pam took at brunch on her cell phone. Teeny & blurry - Pam has kind of an old school cell phone!

Me, all curled up before they fell

The first place I ever worked - West Towers Building, Federated Insurance, snapped as I drove down 235. Gosh, I had a crush on one of my bosses there!

Road construction in Minnesota & several mile backup- gah!!!!

Me with my stuck in traffic expression

Noodles - happy to be home after his busy social weekend!

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