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A Weekend in Des Moines, Iowa (The Iowa State Fair)

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What a weekend!  I met my boyfriend in Des Moines for some quality time together.  Being in a long-distance relationship is by no means easy.  So whenever we get the chance to spend even two days together, we take it!  As per usual, we ate delicious food, drank delicious beer, and had a grand time together.  It is so nice spending time with someone who has interests that are so similar to your own.  We very rarely have to compromise on where we will eat or what we will do when we are together.  Things seem to be working out pretty nicely for the both of us 😉

des moines 2Both Jeremy and I woke up super early on Saturday morning so that we could make it to Des Moines by 9 to hit up the Farmers Market.

des moines 3The Des Moines Farmers Market was recently ranked #2 in the country and I totally understand why (Omaha was #6!).  We had a blast walking around, checking out all of the vendors, and sampling delicious food.

des moines 5I was not able to buy any produce since I was not going home until the next day, but I made sure to buy a green smoothie.  It was deeeelicious!

des moines 8After our adventure at the Farmers Market, we headed to a Midwestern staple: the Iowa State Fair.  Jeremy had never been and the last time I went was years ago, so we figured it was a must-see.  We arrived around lunch time and went straight towards the food.  I found a vendor called Veggie-Table that was totally right up my alley.

des moines 9I ordered a veggie corndog (which I was SO excited about!) and Jeremy ate a foot-long regular corndog.  My veggie corndog was delicious and it honestly tasted exactly like what I remember regular corndogs tasting like… or maybe better!

des moines 11We also split an order of fried vegetables.  In the mix were onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans.  We both agreed that the fried green beans were the best.

des moines 14After lunch, Jeremy and I hunted down the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.  We stayed here for a couple of hours.  No surprise there, right?

des moines 13One of the beers that I drank was called Farmer Johns.  I made sure to choose it since my dad’s name is John and he is a farmer.  I figured it was rather fitting.  It was also delicious!

des moines 16After our drinking adventure, we went to check out some of the adorable animals at the fair.  I fell in love with several of the horses, including this beauty.

des moines 17We also really enjoyed petting, loving on, and talking with the sheep and pigs.

des moines 18No trip to the Iowa State Fair would be complete without a visit to the Butter Cow.  Pretty amazing, right?

des moines 19Before heading out, we shared a salted pretzel with cheese.  We needed something to soak up the beer, right? 😉

des moines 21Once we checked into our hotel after the fair, we quickly got ready for our dinner reservation.

des moines 23We ate dinner at Raccoon River Brewing Company.  We started with an appetizer plate of artichoke and asiago cheese dip, bread, and veggies.  This was seriously delicious.

des moines 24For my entree I ordered the Sir Paul McCartney veggie burger.  This was probably the biggest veggie burger I have ever eaten.  It was also super delicious.  I ate every single bite and was slightly stuffed at the end.  I ate a side of hand cut slaw on the side which was just okay.  I did not end up finishing it since the burger was so huge.

des moines 22I washed everything down with a tangerine wheat beer.  I liked it but I did not love it.  It was slightly too sweet for my taste.

des moines 25When Jeremy and I go to Des Moines, we always stay at a hotel downtown so that we can go out for drinks, walk back to the hotel, and not have to worry about driving.  Before we hit up el Bait Shop for beers, we stopped at Court Avenue Brewing Company and tried something new to us: Moscow Mules!  I got a pineapple version and he ordered a peach version.  We both really liked them, but I think we decided that we will mostly be sticking with beer in the future.  My tastebuds just cannot handle the sweetness as much as they used to be able to.

des moines 26Despite staying out until about 2 a.m. Saturday night, we still made it up in time for the continental breakfast.  I was pretty impressed with what the Hyatt had to offer for their breakfast.  I had a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter and honey, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit.  It was the perfect breakfast after a night of drinking.

des moines 27We finished out our weekend together with lunch and a movie.  We ate at one of my favorite Des Moines restaurants, Gateway Market.  I ordered my usual, the vegan Bahn Mi sandwich with a side salad.  We saw the movie, Into the Storm, and I really enjoyed it.  I am pretty fascinated with weather so it was definitely my kind of movie.

I had a great weekend in the best state around, Iowa.  I hated when it was over.  Hopefully I will be back in Iowa very, very soon!

Do you do anything fun this past weekend?

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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul August 11, 2014, 7:25 am
    Ohh I love veggie bahn mi! I'll have to get that next time I'm in Des Moines! What a fun weekend! So much yummy food! And all those animals are adorable. And your top is super cute! Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...My Fitness Goals (that aren’t weight related)My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:05 pm
      Yes!! You definitely need to go to Gateway Market. They have a million things that are veg-friendly and deeelicious!
  • Jessie August 11, 2014, 8:32 am
    You know what I adore about you, Hannah? How fun & adventerous of a person you are. You aren't a blogger whose afraid to kick back with a few beers & good food. You don't have regrets & thoroughly just have such a well balanced life. Good for you <3 Jessie recently posted...Bad Blogger Award Goes to MeMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:15 pm
      Thank you so much for saying that, Jessie! It's funny because I was totally NOT that person a year ago. I worried a lot about being "perfect" and had a lot of food guilt. It still creeps up every now and then, but I am SO much freer and happier now :)
  • Katie @ running4cupcakes August 11, 2014, 9:58 am
    So nice that you were able to spend the weekend together. Scott and I did the long distance dating thing the entire time we were dating - so I know how much that sucks sometimes! I also love Des Moines - so many things to do but not a huge city - and the Farmer's Market is THE best. Love it. :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:17 pm
      It is definitely SO tough at times!! I'm just trying to remind myself that one of these days it won't be that way... hopefully sooner rather than later!
  • Joanna @Makingmine August 11, 2014, 10:42 am
    Ah, looks like the best weekend! Jeff and I are planning on going to the fair next Saturday, and now I'm even more pumped! Joanna @Makingmine recently posted...year 2My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:18 pm
      I bet you will have so much fun and will eat a lot of great food! Make sure you check out the Iowa Craft Beer tent!
  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health August 11, 2014, 11:01 am
    what a fun time you two..i love how that burger looks, i always have bad luck when it comes to veggie burger. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health recently posted...Juicing For BeginngersMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:19 pm
      It is definitely MUCH more difficult to make veggie burgers that look that good. I need to learn their ways!
  • Emily @ More Than Just Dessert August 11, 2014, 1:16 pm
    The fair is probably my favorite memory about growing up in Iowa. :) I think that sounds like the PERFECT way to spend a weekend with your guy! Emily @ More Than Just Dessert recently posted...Did You Know? Friday Linkup — Surprising sources of High Fructose Corn SyrupMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 3:21 pm
      It really was a perfect weekend! 'Gotta love Iowa! :)
  • Angela August 11, 2014, 8:26 pm
    How did you two meet? Can you do a post on it?
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 9:18 pm
      We met at work actually ;) I was still in college and I moved to Omaha for my job that I have now... hence the long distance.
  • Alexis @ Hummusapien August 11, 2014, 9:06 pm
    OMG that veggie dog...#alllllthedrool!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 11, 2014, 9:19 pm
      Um... yeah! It was awesome!!
  • Ashley August 12, 2014, 6:15 am
    What a fun sounding weekend! Between the farmers market and state fair ... looks like a great time! That Bahn Mi sandwich looks delicious! Ashley recently posted...Bourbon Baked Peaches with Oatmeal CrumbleMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 12, 2014, 1:07 pm
      It was seriously the perfect weekend. Any weekend with good company, good food, and good drinks is a winner in my book :)
  • Brittany @ DulceVie August 13, 2014, 1:06 am
    I have never been to Iowa before, but after seeing these pics it looks like a lot of fun!! That corndog pic also looked really good. I haven't had a corndog in forever! Brittany @ DulceVie recently posted...Tea Talk TuesdayMy Profile
  • Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life August 14, 2014, 9:38 am
    Yay! so glad you had fun in Des Moines! I love it here!! You visited a few of my favorite spots, too! Gateway Market is a good one and the farmers market is THE BEST!! My daughter and I are headed to the fair tonight. Going straight for the cheese curds stand first! :) Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life recently posted...What I Ate Wednesday {July eats edition}My Profile
  • The Veggie Table August 14, 2015, 9:16 am
    Thanks for stopping by The Veggie Table last year at the Iowa State Fair. Glad you liked it and you took some great pics! Hope to see you again this year. We have a new Golden Fried PB&J which you really have to try - it's delicious!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 14, 2015, 9:57 am
      Unfortunately I will not be able to make it this year, but that fried PB&J sounds super delicious!

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