Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Our new home.

Our first night in Des Moines and there were thunderstorms continuously throughout the night.  We decided to camp at a State Park just 7 miles out of the city to save money.  So there we were hunkered down in our tent hoping that nothing would happen.  We are pretty experienced with camping in the rain, somehow every time we decide to camp, it pours on us.  So, we knew that the storms were coming when we arrived.  We worked efficiently to set up camp, make dinner, start the fire (Jarrett had quite the time starting it in a puddle but was successful), and organize the car.  Just in case, we put all boxes and items into the front seat of the car.  This cleared out the back in case we needed to sleep in the car.  Maybe we should have, but we stayed in our tent that night.
Empty!  This may not seem like much,
 but the Prius is normally packed tight.
(We are, after all, living out of it for
 2 months).
Our second night was almost more exciting, we had dinner and went to a movie in town.  Found a great gluten free restaurant, Tally’s.  They used the best pasta we have ever had.  It is an Italian brand, Schar gluten free penne pasta.  Jarrett had the mushroom pasta, rivaling our GF pasta place in Portland, and I had chicken and mashed potatoes.  Both were super yummy!  Then we saw a late showing of Super 8, a cheesy movie in the theatre, to ride out yet another thunderstorm.  At this point our evening almost got more exciting than night #1.  We drove back to our campground at 12:30AM only to discover that the gates closed at 10:30PM.  As we pulled into the drive to think about what we were going to do next, a cop drove up.  He asked if we were lost, we told him our predicament, and he moved on.  Looked like we were going to walk (only about ¼ of a mile) but in the dark and with no flashlights.  The flashlights were all in the tent!  So, Jarrett decided to try the gate, and it wasn’t locked even though a padlock was hanging from it.  Whew.  We opened the gate and drove in!  Crazy adventure adverted.
Jarrett's successful fire
(a puddle of water was at
 the bottom of the fire pit).
The focus of our time in Des Moines was apartment hunting.  We set up as many appointments a day as we could, and if we got stood up we checked out one of the complexes that allowed pets.  Our 3rd day of appointments turned out to be the productive one.  Both places we looked at were super cute, decent price range and had different sets of perks.  We chose the less expensive place that was farther out of town.  Ironically, this place is just up the street from where we camped the first two nights.  I am looking forward to getting our things moved and setting up.  Of course, I have to wait until the last week of July for that… but that is coming very quickly.  We welcome anyone passing through Des Moines to visit us, we will have a 2nd bedroom and would love to see friends during the school year!

Me in a sculpture at a Des Moines park.
 Des Moines is smaller than we thought; it has lots of hills and lots of trees making it very pretty.  Many buildings are made of brick which adds to the charm.   The rivers were at capacity or slightly overflowing so some roads were closed.  Even with the closed roads we figured out the main ones to use to get around the city.  I have to say that the West side of Des Moines is much simpler than Portland to drive in J  The East side, where our hotel was the third and fourth nights, is composed of knots of freeways.  Each one connects large cities, Chicago, Kansas City, etc. and for some reason they all meet in Des Moines.  That is okay, we will be spending all of our time on the West Side between school and home.  

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