Dear Des Moines,
Ten years ago today (ish), I packed up my bags, put on my very best Good Charlotte t-shirt and moved here. Sure, I skipped out on you for a summer or two, and ran off to Europe for a few months, then New Zealand for a few more, but I always came back, Des Moines. You grew on me in a way I never expected.
In honor of our tenth year together, I've compiled a list of my ten favorite things about you, you nutty little city, you.
1. You're where I met and married Hubs. Yeah, the house we met at was torn down and most of the bars we frequented back in the day are closed, but we both oddly ended up in the same place, at the same time and that place was here. Eventually, we hauled all our people out here and threw a real crackerjack of a wedding. It gives this town a little family history it wouldn't have had for us transplants otherwise.
2. You're where my favorite little house is. I own .75 acres of you and have made that little section of your city a cozy home with bright paint and lots of cat hair.
3. You have surprisingly good BBQ. And I appreciate that.
4. You still surprise me. Since I'd never had a decent bike or a desire to run anywhere but my little neighborhood stretch, I had no idea how awesome your trail system was until this summer. Having rarely ventured south of Grand, I didn't realize what awesome pizza was waiting for me at Tavern on Army Post Road. Someone is putting in an adult playground with a Tony Little-style Air Walker behind the Franklin Library for reasons beyond my comprehension. I'm glad you keep me on my toes.
5. You have good veggies. I'm sorry, but as a non-native Iowan, this whole gorge-yourself-on-sweet-corn-while-the-gettin's-good season is just precious. What could be more adorable than one cute old guy selling veggies out of his truck? Hundreds of them - one on every corner. Adorable, Des Moines.
6. You have good napping weather. This is crucial to my happiness. You provide me with excellent, snow-bunny napping weather during blizzards and sublime sunny-day snoozes, too. You got it all.
7. Tenderloins. I know it's wrong to eat a breaded pork tenderloin bigger than my face, but it feels so right.
8. Fifteen minute commute that I can do via bike once the Neal Smith Trail is done being resurfaced. Oh, holla!
9. You're a small pond, in a good way. In such a cozy little city, it's easy to get to know the folks running the show and easy to make a name for yourself. Who doesn't like that?
10. You're just pretty.
Here's to us, Des Moines! Thank you for being a damn fine place to be.