My husband and I have both been on vacation this week, and we decided to travel to Des Moines, Iowa for a little getaway.
We started by stopping in the East Village where we had lunch at Lucca. The soup of the day was Butternut Squash, which was made with wonderful Italian seasonings. Hubby had the Sausage Bolognase, and I had the Salmon Creme ... all cooked perfectly and served oh-so-quickly for lunch.
We picked-up a few new seasoning blends at AllSpice, a piece of art at From Our Hands, and a few Christmas gifts at RAYGUN before driving to our next destination, the Des Moines Art Center. They didn't allow any photos inside the Art Center, but we did capture one of Flat Carina (aka Flat Stanley) who has been traveling with us on our adventures this week.
We loved both the layout and the content at the Art Center ... and bonus, admission is FREE. We saw works by Picasso, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Lucian Freud, Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, and so many more.
The special exhibit was GRAVITY AND GRACE: Monumental works by El Anatsui ... in my opinion, his works alone were worth the visit. We talked with one of the volunteers about the exhibit, and he said each museum told to use their own interpretation in how they display the pieces. It was amazing all of the different textures and designs he could achieve using discarded bottle caps.
In looking at the pictures from the Brooklyn Museum's displays of the same pieces, it is fun to see how different the pieces look depending on how they are hung. This article in the New York Times speaks of the evolution of his design. It was so inspiring ... it made me want to think more about creating with unexpected found objects.
These are pictures of one of my favorite pieces from the show (this is from the Brooklyn Exhibit)
And here is how the same piece looked in Des Moines (flipped so that the silver moves from left to right ... and with many more folds).
We finished with supper at the Raccoon River Brewing Company. We shared their small onion ring appetizer, which were thin and perfectly cooked (and consumed before I could even think of photographing). For our main meal, Hubby had the Bangers and Mash.
I had the Tuna Appetizer (coated with Sesame Seeds) which they cooked perfectly extra-rare (aka barely warm on the outside & still cold on the inside) with Edamame.
We started our second day in Valley Junction. I really loved their greenery displays on the sidewalks ... especially how they incorporated dried hydrangea blooms into the design.
I spent quite a bit of time at Heirlooms By Design (kudos to them for having several comfy chairs positioned at the front of the store where Hubby could sit and read while I shopped). They had a wide range of products that were well organized by theme.
They also had lots of beautiful samples on display to inspire, like these gorgeous cards combining stickers, die cuts, and snowflakes (yes, those products came home with me, except for the Memory Box Deer Die cut which seems to be sold out everywhere).
This store is definately worth a stop if your'e in the area.
Next we headed back downtown to check out Fong's Pizza for lunch. This restaurant has been on my wish list for some time, and it did not disappoint.
We had the Iowan (on top) with BBQ pork, Canadian Bacon and Corn, as well as the Crab Rangoon Pizza ... both were on thin white crust & where amazing.
Unfortunately, freezing rain started to fall and the roads were getting slick, so we stayed inside the rest of the afternoon reading and relaxing.
We did venture out to Joe's Crab Shack for supper ... so much seafood and oh-so-good.