A Love Letter to Des Moines


love letter to Des MoinesDear Des Moines,

You and I have been through a lot. I have lived most of my life in the comfort of your surrounding area. I have to admit that when I was young, I didn’t appreciate you. I was a stubborn, spoiled little thing who thought I could do better than you. I felt as though I was better off somewhere else.

I didn’t like that you were in the middle of nowhere, that you were a dinky little town with not much going for you. I hated your winters (truth be told, I am still not a fan of those) and thought they were a deal-breaker for me. But, oh, has my opinion changed about you over the years.

Thinking back on my younger years, I still fondly remember catching the bus to go downtown and visit my grandmother at work. I remember walking along the river and going to “Rocket Park”, the Capitol Building, and the Science Center as exciting days with my family. I felt safe walking to my neighborhood park and to school, something I definitely took for granted at the time.

During my high school years, Des Moines provided a place for friends and me to have fun, a safe place to hang out, a downtown filled with adventures “scooping the loop” and finding a cozy restaurant to grab a bite to eat. We also felt pretty darn fancy eating at 801 Grand before the prom.

But, dang, Des Moines, look at you now!

You have aged quite well over the years. I would have never called you “cool” before I moved away to college and didn’t come back. But now that I have been back for almost six years, I will definitely call cool. I might even throw in a “hip” and “happening” in my description of you as well!

The number of amazing restaurant choices that are at our fingertips is overwhelming! In the category of food, the amount of festivals that are being put on each year, and your Downtown Farmer’s Market is enough to keep the restless busy every weekend.

I am loving the fact that you are bringing in more art, music, and theater than ever before and have managed to attract a lot of businesses we used to have to travel to bigger cities to enjoy. There is never a lack of new things to do and new places to go, but you have still managed to keep that small city charm, hospitality, and sense of security.

The opportunities my kids have for their education here are amazing. As a mom, seeing my children flourish and have the choices they have in school brings a smile to my face. I feel there is no better place to raise them. Thanks, Des Moines for all that you have done for me and my family, and all you continue to do to help me feel confident in knowing that this is the perfect place for us.

Jennifer Gordon George
A Des Moines Mom and Superfan

I Love Des Moines, iowa

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Jennifer is a single mom of two boys. She does her best to get to places on time, despite being a chronically late person and the fact that neither she or her boys are morning people. She recently went back into the classroom after staying home for nine years to raise her kids, and she credits her sanity and success at this endeavor to the fact that she has incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. She also has a network of single moms that truly “get it” and who encourage her on a daily basis. When she’s not hanging out with her kiddos, Jennifer enjoys writing at a coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or catching up with friends.


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