This weekend, Corey and I went back in time to our alma mater stomping grounds. After making a pit stop to design our wedding bands (which was a success aside from all the options I now need to evaluate and decide on!), we trailed on to Iowa City. We were welcomed with 90 degree heat and humidity….we were missing the lakefront breeze in Chicago! Despite the heat, we still managed to make it a memorable and fun weekend. We hit up all our favorite spots beginning with:
Short’s Burger & Shine
An upscale burger and bar joint that quickly became our regular spot back in college. Short’s has a thorough menu highlighting a creative variety of burgers (think fried eggs, sautéed mushrooms, chili, etc.) which are also served with hand cut french fries (the best!). We had the friendliest waitress who wanted to hear all about how we met when we were in school and served us a beer on the house to celebrate our upcoming wedding. This particular instance of sincerity and kindness opened my eyes and proved to me that people really do want to do good in this world.
Next up, we strolled around popping into some of our favorite shops:
While we did not own a vinyl turntable in college, Record Collector was always on my radar. Since we now own one, we made a point to stop in and check it out. Verdict: we loved it. I personally love the small city record stores because there is a greater chance of finding a hidden gem. I was close to purchasing Jeff Buckley but refrained from purchasing at the last minute. I’m feeling confident I will find it on our next city adventure. White Rabbit
This was a favorite of mine back in school, but there were in a different location. I learned that White Rabbit is now in its 4th location and still going strong with community support. It is an art and apparel store, selling an unparalleled variety of locally made goods as well as new + vintage clothing, jewelry, cards + paper goods, etc. I found myself a great swing dress to combat the HOT temps we are getting throughout the Midwest and a romper by T.I.M.I.N.G that will make its debut this 4th of July weekend at our friend’s lake house!
Last stop was dinner at Iowa City’s newest addition:
Iowa Chop House
We had a great experience at Iowa Chop House – everything from the skillet 3 cheese macaroni we shared and our main entrees: salmon filet accompanied by rice pilaf, green beans and hollandaise sauce and the rack of lamb accompanied by quinoa, sautéed mushrooms, apple and balsamic pan sauce. Sounds pretty delicious, right? We sat out on the patio in the scorching heat which made for a comical evening (for those of you who know us personally know that we don’t do well with extreme heat!). Nonetheless, it made for a good laugh. With our wedding on the horizon, it was refreshing to go back to where our relationship roots started. I often need to pinch myself and remember to take all these small moments in and continue to be present, something I will never stop working on. If we always wake up thinking of what will happen that day or what we expect to happen that day, we will never be holistically satisfied. It is important to take life in strides which is humorous because that is exactly what I think life is…a massive stride of success, learning, fun, mistakes, excitement, disappointment, sadness, and the list goes on and on.
I am learning, even if slower than others around me, that life is one big adventure and we get out what we put in. Go the extra mile to make someone else happy…or even just yourself. Get up and dance. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Be present and keep learning, even if that means making several mistakes. Love fearlessly.