For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.
It was approaching midnight in Rio de Janeiro and we were completely lost. We had only arrived 6 hours ago, and in our quest to find some fun none of us had paid attention to the name of the hotel. Or the street it was on, or the phone number, or anything else that might help us find our way back. We were at the mercy of the “Marvelous City.” Continue reading
It’s summer again, and the city pool is open and filled with splashing kids. Next to me is a mom wrestling a panicked child who seems convinced that she is trying to drown him; he is screaming, terrified, and refusing to get even one toe in the water. She finally lets him go and he runs away.
My kids are the opposite. They’re under the water more than they are above it, Continue reading
After several minutes sitting alone on the bottom of the pond watching bubbles float up from my regulator I felt a sharp tap on the back of my head. I thought my scuba instructor, Craig, had returned without me noticing, but when I turned around there was only a small fish floating in front of my face. A Bass maybe? Continue reading
“I won’t get divorced again. If I decide I don’t like you someday I’ll just run you over with the car.”
That’s what I told my now-husband (I think it was our second date) and he agreed. No kidding. It makes our marriage a truly life-long commitment because the only way out is to die, accidentally or on purpose.
Jason and I first visited the island of Cozumel in 2012 as part of a mission trip group with Friends of Cozumel. After we came back I wrote a trip review forIndependent Traveler complete with hotel, restaurant, grocery stores and entertainment information, as well as our first drift diving experience. I rediscovered it today-talk about nostalgia! Continue reading
Did you know that when he was born on May 26th, 1907 John Wayne weighed 13 lbs?! The celebration of his 107th birthday is underway this weekend in Winterset Iowa, and I decided to go see it for myself. Continue reading
I am an RN, and I work for a temp agency so I go a lot of places and see a lot of things. On my last shift I saw one of the most horrendous things I’ve ever seen. Here’s a hint: it wasn’t anything gory. Continue reading