Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rome, Italy for the Day

So, I haven't posted in a while, but in March I was asked to join Drake University's study abroad students who were heading to Turkey.  Ooooobviously, I said yes.  It was a nightmare journey getting there, I mean, I literally stayed awake for just over 36 hours, because I can't sleep on an airplane and I can't waste a perfectly awesome opportunity to travel when I have a super long layover.  My first layover was in Chicago, which was eight hours long.  I landed at 8 AM and had my dad pick me up so we could explore the city.  At 4 PM I was back at the airport to spend the next 13 hours flying to Rome, Italy.
     The plane was delayed an hour, and I only had two hours in-between flights, which ended up not being enough time.  I missed the next flight to Istanbul and the airline had rescheduled me on the next flight, which was nine hours later.  Ok, I'm sitting there, at Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport with nine hours and nothing to do.  I grabbed my bag, my passport, and two girls I met on the plane and headed out to explore.  We received some incredibly confusing directions to the Colosseum and left.  Needless to say, I would rather spend nine hours eating gelato at the Colosseum any day.

Besa, such a bright, spirited girl, perfect
personality for adventure.

I NEVER thought this is what I would be doing during my Italy layover.  I was so thankful, for once, for my ticket transfer.

The boxers made me giggle.

When in Rome!

Taking the subway to get back to the train station.
Thankfully, we found the train station after being completely turned around and confused for longer than we expected.

I would say we had an incredible day, completed with lemon and strawberry gelato.  I've always wanted to try it, but not until I was actually in Italy. Blessed!

Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market

We had a super awesome time with our friends at downtown at the farmer's market.  There is so much yummy goodness I usually end up dragging all my heavy bags back to the car.  There is always live music, live performers, and lots of healthy treats.  We found so many great photo opportunities for Faith, Charlie, and their friend, Melvida, to pose with.  I love the mixture of art, fresh produce, and fun, I think you'll love it too!

Yes, that is a giant dutch letter….i'll take one to go, please.

My mouth is watering just looking at the pic.

There is something about farmer's market flowers that make my heart leap.

Especially the mixed wild flowers.

This guy's tap dancing was fantastic!
Enjoying a Twinkie, minion cupcake
on the way out.

The market is from 7 AM-Noon every Saturday going on now through October 25.  If you want a list of vendors, a map, or anything else about the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market just click here!

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

We haven't been to the Omaha Zoo for a few years and it's only 2 hours away from us, so I decided we should jump in the car and go.  It was just as much fun as I remembered, we used to go annually with my husband's family.  It wasn't busy at all, so it was even nicer.  The zoo is known for so many things, but one of our favorites is the Desert Dome.  It's exactly what it sounds like.

The aquarium is pretty new and it was incredible.  The kids spent a good 30 minutes watching the penguins, Charlie loved "high-riving" them as they torpedoed past the viewing window.  I loved the photo opportunities at the floor length shark and stingray tank.  The kids seemed to be interacting with the rays as they swam up to the edge of the aquarium.

The kids laughed and said this fish looked like Gru from Despicable Me.

Classic Omaha Zoo picture.

 The Lied Jungle is the biggest indoor rainforest in America.  There was so much to see, monkeys everywhere, bats occasionally scaring me half to death, parrots, HUMONGOUS fish, koalas, and anything else you can think of that lives in the jungle.  Unfortunately, the little cross bridge was closed, but that's pretty cool, the classic 'Don't Look Down' wooden bridge is another fantastic photo opportunity.

I hate that you can't really see them, but my husband is standing in the bat area, there were, literally, hundreds of bats flying all over the place and hanging in a big cluster just above us on the wall.

Ultimately, it was a fantastic day, the kids loved everything and they both ended up passing out before we even left the parking lot, which wasn't a hassle to exit.
 If you're interested in planning a visit to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo you'll find plenty of information on their website right here!