Iowa: The Heartland of America

Back in June I made the trek up to Iowa for my sister's wedding, which was exciting but I also had no idea that it'd be so stressful.  The only thing I was doing was driving my brother's '67 Chevelle back to the house since it was the getaway car for the newlyweds which sounds like a pretty easy job but there were also about 20+ schedule changes made, so I didn't fully know what was going on until the night before.  All in all, pretty normal for a wedding.  As much as I love attending them, the stress levels was enough to make me thankful that I have zero interest in shooting weddings.  It also helps that I love dressing casually too much and I can say with confidence that suits are more of a "dependent on need" type of clothing. A little about Iowa for those that either have never been there, didn't know it existed or confuse it with Idaho on a regular basis, it's centrally located in America.  South of Minnesota, East of Nebraska, West of Illinois and North of Missouri.  It's #1 export is corn and I must say, it's delicious.  You haven't really experienced good sweet corn until you've had it from Iowa, trust me.  Their annual state fair is one of the oldest in the country and is also something you need to see before you die.  Minnesotans will always say theirs is better because of the sheer size of it, but everyone that knows what they're talking about knows that Iowa's is supreme.

Enough about State Fairs, onto my trip.  I left Arizona really early in the morning so I could land in Omaha around noon, because I thought to myself that an early morning flight would let me avoid the crowds so I could get through security faster.  Guess who was wrong?  I know Sky Harbor isn't anything like O'Hare, LAX or hell, even MSP but for being on the "ghetto" side of the airport there were a surprising amount of people flying out.

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Lots of people checking in so they can leave

For obvious reasons, I didn't take many photos going through security as I wanted to make it to my destination without being hassled by TSA thinking I'm some sort of terrorist.  Obama, if you're reading this then I can assure you I'm just some joe schmoe that lives in AZ.  After making it through security without having to be frisked I was able to make the long walk to my gate.  I always like people watching in airports because it's always fun to guess people's life stories as they're passing by.  People in suits, people with kids, etc.  Thinking like that really makes me realize that everyone has their own unique story that goes along with them.  I was leaving AZ in sunny conditions, as per usual but I had a layover in Denver and didn't realize just how bad it was getting there.

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Nice and sunny out, but you can see that it starts turning

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Holy schnikes!

Who knew the weather would be pissed off at Colorado?  Regardless of the weather I was still able to take off on time and made it through with minimal turbulence.  After landing safely in Omaha and being picked up by my brother we made the 2 hour trip to Des Moines which was a nice change of scenery.  After a while you kind of miss seeing all the rolling hills and trees.  You know, green vegetation that's alive instead of the barren wasteland that people call a desert.

After getting to our destination and catching up with family, my brother and I were tasked to driving down to Pella to pick up a few things.  Pella is a great little town, it's very Dutch and if you didn't see the neighborhoods you could mistake it for Holland.

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Pella has an awesome vibe to it, very low key.

Skipping ahead, we went to the wedding rehearsal which was fine and all, but the Deacon was a...well I won't use the word I want to actually use, but I'll let your mind wander from there.  Also realized being in there that churches only have two temperature settings: Ridiculously Warm or Blazing Hot.  We were fortunate enough that the kind Deacon decided to bless us with Blazing Hot.  Thanks for not turning the AC on in the middle of Summer, jerk.

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Neat old church

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Taken from my discovered sniper nest, groom and best man

The wedding went fine, the food was great and I even got free drinks, despite it not being an open bar.  High-five if you like free drink vouchers too!  After all those shenanigans were done with it was time to head out to the farms which is a tradition among my brother and our best friend Jake from high school.  Poor Jake started school on the worst day imaginable:  Beef Stew day for lunch.  Inauspicious start for the dude.  Safe to say we all immediately became friends when he started.

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It was gorgeous out, despite it not being ideal fishing conditions

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Jake tearing around on his brother's dirtbike...trust me, we're responsible

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Ok, maybe we aren't all that responsible...but look at me go!

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Best shot out of all three of us, seriously.

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Pew pew pew!

Despite my love for Minnesota, I can't say I've ever really had a bad time in Iowa.  While I don't recognize it as home anymore it'll always have a place in my heart and I always look forward to my trips there.  It holds a lot of memories there, good and bad but it's good to know I'm always welcome there whenever I want to visit.

I'm moving in about a month, so the updates for this might even be longer than normal since I'll still be trying to get settled.  I may look calm and collected on the surface, but I'm getting nervous for the move!  Minnesota, here I come!