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Gettin' a little artsy...

One of our favorite summer time activities in Iowa is the annual Des Moines Arts Festival. The festival is a wonderful celebration of art and community. In addition to artist booths, there are a variety of stages with entertainment, and lots of family/kid focused activities that you get involved in the art making process of the weekend. This year was especially fun as the weather was beautiful, we arrived early to beat the crowds, and Lexi is now old enough to appreciate the experience deeper than the fun music and yummy food. Even Brea was able to contribute to a fabric mural in one of the kid booths.

One of this year's activities was a huge interactive mural. Individuals, or in our case Lexi and I working together, could "color" a 12x12 inch tile that would be joined with others to create a billboard sized mural. We worked on a tile that will help make Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night (1889). Our section of the picture was just one of thousands needed to create the entire image. It was a fun collaboration.

In addition to contributing to a HUGE work of art, we got the chance at our 30 seconds of fame. Check out our short YouTube video on why we like living in the Greater Des Moines area. (A bit of a stretch since we live a full hour away!) You can view the Mavin family strutting our stuff here.

One of the other aspects of going to the Arts Festival that I enjoy, is it gives us a chance to be in downtown Des Moines, walking the streets and discovering places and things that you miss driving. One of our first finds, a great little coffee place called Ritual Cafe
. It's the type of place that makes me feel at home immediately when you enter the door. From the subtle hint of incense when you walk in the door, to the Tibetan prayer flags hanging over the counter, it's the type of place where I would find myself hanging out if I was a city dweller. While walking past artists booths in the festival area, we also discovered this huge old warehouse that now sales salvaged architectural items. Some of the items were in their original state, doors, windows, fireplace mantels and some items, I'm guessing those not in good enough shape to use as originally intended, had been made into to "new" items such as planters, coffee tables, and candle holders. Over all, one of those cluttered, winding collections where you could spend hours searching for just the right treasure for your home.

At the art festival there is of course food vendors. But as with many of these type of events the lines were long, in the sun, and the food greasy. We got the girls a couple pieces of cheese pizza to satisfy their hungry little bellies at noon, but Scott and I decided to wait and grab something after we left the festival. We figured we'd hit some place where we could sit down, at a table, maybe in the cool, and enjoy our lunch. As we were walking back to the parking garage we passed a place Scott had eaten at a couple times when he worked in Des Moines, South Union Bread Company. Yummy! It was well worth the wait and a great way to end a fabulous trip downtown.



ZWF said…
Aww wow so beautiful and adorable !!! Give my her love to her <3 she is cute :)

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