Iowa Journals

Iowa - More Than Just Corn Fields

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A July 2007 trip to Iowa by MilwVon

Holmes Chevrolet Balloon Photo, Des Moines, Iowa More Photos
Quote: Summer is a great time to enjoy some of the sights around Iowa. Whether living here or visiting, be sure to explore our state.

West Peterson Beach

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Attraction

West Peterson Lake Photo,
Quote:
West Peterson Park is part of the Ames City Water Conservation District's water management system. It is a nice, quiet spring fed fresh water lake that is typically very clear and refreshing. Located on the NE side of the city, we have never found the park to be very crowded, even on weekends.The lake itself is relatively small and does have a boat launch although I'm not sure that we've ever seen boats in the lake. My guess is that the water is really pretty shallow throughout and that a majority of the lake is marked off for swimming, making boating really less than ideal.On one side of the lake is a very nice sandy beach that is in good shape in terms of the quality of the sand and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2007

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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Attraction | "Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino"

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino Photo, Des Moines, Iowa
Quote:
While David and I enjoy going to the casino to play cards (usually three card poker or blackjack) this trip was for dinner and to enjoy the outdoors at the horse track. With our nine year old guest Logan still with us, we thought he might enjoy seeing the horse racing.Prairie Meadows is a full service track and casino having undergone significant updating over the past year to improve their buffet and adding a fine dining steak house (AJ's). They have also improved the lower level of the racetrack where families are encouraged to bring children. Often they have special events especially targeted for young aspiring jockeys. For us, we used some of our casino points for the free dinner buffe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 4, 2007

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino
1 Prairie Meadows Dr.
Altoona, Iowa 50009
(800) 325-9015

2007 National Balloon Classic

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Story/Tip

Holmes Chevrolet Balloon Photo, Des Moines, Iowa
Quote:
July 27 – August 4, 2007Hwy 92 E of Indianola, IAhttp://www.nationalballoonclassic.com/I have always enjoyed fantasizing of flight in a hot air balloon. It must be so liberating to be lifted into the sky in a basket hoisted up by the warmed air flowing into a large balloon. For me, a bit of a wimp when it comes to heights, flight in a hot air balloon is truly a fantasy. When I found out that one of the largest hot air balloon events in the Midwest is held practically in my own backyard, I had to take in a day or two to enjoy the beauty of this sport. Yes, sport! I never realized just how much really goes into ballooning to include the competitions held throughout the USA f...Read More

Ames Straw Poll

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Story/Tip

Ames Straw Poll Photo, Ames, Iowa
Quote:
One of the summer fundraisers for the Republican Party, the Ames Straw Poll is traditionally held right here where we live in August approximately 15 months before the national election for the United State President. This year’s straw poll was by-passed by leading GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani and financially struggling John McCain. Of the candidates who have announced, most of the others were all here...Sam Brownbeck, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo were all here. Many provided bus transportation from all around the state to the Iowa State University campus for the big Saturday event.The Ames Straw Poll is felt to be important in the political process by s...Read More

Ames Straw Poll

Ames, Iowa

Adventureland

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Story/Tip

Adventureland Photo, Des Moines, Iowa
Quote:
With the nearest Great America Amusement Park some 200 miles away down in the Kansas City area, Des Moines’ Adventureland fits the bill for the under 14 crowd! I say the under 14 crowd because the rides at Adventureland are tame in comparison to the twisting, turning, and inverted roller coasters that have become a mainstay at most of the Six Flags venues. Six Flags Great Adventure near the Wisconsin-Illinois border, as an example, has 11 high speed coasters that satiate even the most veteran thrill seekers. Of course, the admission prices reflect the vast array of rides at $39.99! Here at Adventureland, there are two coasters... the Outlaw and the Tornado.While Adventureland advertises...Read More

Adventureland
305 34th Ave NW
Altoona, Iowa 50009
(515) 266-2121

Blackened Chicken and Beans & Rice Photo, Des Moines, Iowa
Quote:
Buzzard Billy’s – Des Moines, IA100 Court AvenueDes Moines, IA 50309PH: 515-280-6060Perhaps my favorite place to dine in Des Moines, Buzzard Billy’s Flying Carp Cafe is always a welcomed treat even though it’s an hour drive from our home in Ames. Located downtown on Court Avenue, this is one of many outstanding restaurants in the area.I was surprised to learn that this restaurant is one of several in a small chain that includes locations in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cajun cuisine is some of the best outside of New Orleans that I’ve ever had. The menu features all the usual dishes including po’boys, jambalaya and shrimp creole.When...Read More