First off, Travis and I moved to Des Moines. For those of you who have no idea, it's in Iowa, and it's pronounced DUH-MOYN. No "s" sound (it drives me crazy when people pronounce the "s"!).
Travis got into the podiatry school there and he started classes last week. It came down to the school in Phoenix and the school in Des Moines, and we decided Des Moines would be best for us right now. But, it was a bit hard to let go of all of the marvels that Phoenix has to offer (*coughGREATSHOPPINGcough*). I have not been unhappy with Des Moines, yet, but I do miss some things about Utah. I made a little list of things I've noticed is different about Des Moines and general things I miss about Utah:
- People in Des Moines are really friendly. They definitely live up to the Midwest friendly stereotype. People you hardly know talk to you like you're best friends. And I thought Utah was friendly! At first I thought it was weird here, but it's nice making new "friends" and getting compliments on your hair and shoes pretty often. :) I'm starting to do the whole talking-to-strangers thing, but as I've said to Travis, I better remember to turn it off when I head to Lil Rhody. People in Rhode Island look at you like you're mentally ill if you talk to someone randomly.
- I miss wide parking spots. Utah has made it easy for those are parking challenged (me). In Des Moines, like in Rhode Island, I have to back up and straighten out a few times in order to get into a spot.
- Along with wide parking spots, I miss suicide lanes. Like in RI, the roads in Iowa are narrow. If someone's turning left, he or she blocks the whole lane since there are no suicide lanes.
- I miss Cafe Rio! And Five Guys. But there's a Chipotle nearby. :)
- People here seem OBSESSED with fried anything. At the state fair, they were selling fried oreos, twinkies, candy, and butter. Yes, fried butter. Gross.
- Shopping in Des Moines is MUCH MUCH better than I imagined. When we were considering Des Moines, I looked at their malls' directories online. One mall had basically just Sears. Ugh. But I came here and discovered the good malls and stores. And the amazing thing: they always have my size! In Utah, that never happens. They're always sold out of the cute clothes or sold out of my size. In the Orem/Provo area of Utah, the clothing stores are always ravaged, so you better hit the stores once the merchandise arrives. Not a problem here. Win for me.
- They have beautiful parks and awesome bike trails in Des Moines. Travis got me a bike so we go on bike rides together. I can also do my running on the trails (and they kindly tell me how many miles each trail is!).
- If you want to be an Olympic gymnast, train in West Des Moines. On one of our bike rides, Travis and I rode by Chow's Gymnastics and Dance. That's where Shawn Johnson trained and Gabby Douglas currently trains. You've probably seen Liang Chow if you watched any of the Olympic gymnastics. Maybe I should enlist so I can learn how to do a cartwheel.
I'm also really excited to travel to nearby cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha, and St. Louis. Travis and I already went to Kansas City and we had so much fun. We went to their outdoor city market and ventured around downtown.
While Travis is in class, what have I been doing? I've been working. My internship with the Joseph Smith Papers Project ended, but I got hired on as a contract worker. I edit stuff that goes on the website, work on research for glossary terms, etc. I get to do this all full-time from home. I'm so lucky. The only sad thing is that I don't get to see my awesome coworkers all the time anymore. I seriously worked with the best people. Since I'm at home all the time (I feel like a housecat) we re-upgraded to Netflix instaplay, and I now have my favorite shows and new favorite shows to keep me company. Seriously, Whitney watches the best shows and has got me into the most awesome shows. She got me into Dr. Who a while back. Now it's Drop Dead Diva. Love it!
Travis and I also made a trip back to Rhode Island to visit family for a bit. We had a lot of fun and were sad that the trip was so short. I got to see friends, go to a Red Sox game, and play with my adorable nephews. I can't wait to go back and see my family and friends again!
While I was in Rhody, I was able to discover the awesomeness that is Alex and Ani (I know I'm a bit late to the game, but they don't have Alex and Ani in Utah and Iowa). Alex and Ani is headquartered in RI and is very popular there. It's also growing in popularity everywhere else—celebrities from Sandra Bullock to Taylor Swift wear the bracelets. My mom got me the Red Sox bracelet and the anchor bracelet, while I got the "T" bracelet ("T" for Travis) and the heart bracelet. I love their bangle bracelets because they have the cute charms on them and they are expandable, meaning that you can get them around your hand easily but then they tighten back up when you have them on your wrist. Each bracelet also comes with a specific meaning (printed on a card that comes with the bracelet). I've always been a bangle bracelet lover since Laura and my days of visiting Spectrum on Thayer Street in Providence. We always got free bangles just for going in (and at the risk of hearing the store owner babble on and on). I have a ton of bangles, but none of them stack up to these bangle bracelets.
Here's a picture of my "charmed arm" as they call it (the gold bracelet is not Alex and Ani, it's from my grandma):
I know my arm looks creepy from this angle. Don't stare at it for too long ;)
Here are a few of my favorites that are on my wishlist (my birthday is on Thursday. . . .)
Wearing a stack of bangles has been a trend for a while now and I don't see it going out anytime soon—especially with these cute bracelets.
I'll be back later this week with some awesome tips and some great new recipes I've tried.