Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market opening weekend

On May 1, 2010, we went to the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market's opening day!

The Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market happens every single Saturday, rain or shine, from the first Saturday in May, to the last Saturday in October. It runs 7:00 AM to Noon each Saturday during it's spring-summer-early fall season.

It is a HUGE farmers' market, with 200+ vendors from around Iowa, music, food, fresh produce, hand made artwork, and just lots of fun. Thousands of visitors stop by each Saturday.

We like going because it's fun, family-friendly, and Livie enjoys it as much as we do.

However, since we were at the first Market of the season, it was absolutely PACKED! There were thousands of people there by the time we found parking and got there, and it had already been going on for nearly 3 hours.

This crowd was massive on opening day - it was almost difficult to walk through. The crowd goes all the way to the courthouse (the building with the clock on the bell tower). Look how crowded it was:

Packed streets for blocks, all along the Market area:

It was so crowded, people kept bumping into us. Just imagine how crowded it was when somebody bumps into a bright orange BOB this color:

We like getting there around 9, but this weekend, since it was opening weekend, there was no parking nearby due to the huge crowds. We had to park quite a way away (probably over a mile away), near the Iowa State Capitol building. Good thing we had the BOB because that would've been a lot of walking for Livie, and one of us would've had to have carried her most of the way. 

We ended up getting some great stuff - artisanal ciabatta bread, fresh tomatoes, garlic, Dutch letters (a pastry), Dutch cinnamon-apple-pecan bread (which was great as French toast).

Plus, I got some artisanal robiola di mia nonna goat cheese from Reichert's Dairy Air - not the chipotle chevre (my favorite) that we normally get, but the robiola - the only kind they had left. They were all sold out of everything else! 

I also a wedge of famous Maytag blue cheese!! This stuff is good.

Oh, and we got Livie's favorite - cherry popcorn - popcorn coated with cherry flavored "candy" (like caramel corn, but cherry, not caramel).

Livie's enjoying her cherry popcorn. 


Plus, Livie and I shared an El Salvadoran pupusa, a corn "tortilla" stuffed with beans and cheese, and topped with a "cole slaw" and hot salsa. It was SO good. (Livie didn't eat the hot salsa, because man-o-man was it spicy! Yee haw, was it spicy! But so, so good - the spicier, the better!)

Andrew ended up not getting one of his favorite breakfast burritos - the line was crazily long. So he ended up getting a breakfast sandwich at another vendor. Still very tasty, and as filling as the breakfast burrito. 

Oh, and of course, we got some of the "shaken" lemonade that's so tasty. It's freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup shaken with ice. Very tasty. 

We checked out some bright flowers:

After a couple hours, we headed back to the car. Livie promptly fell asleep on the walk back, simply because it took us a while to get through the crowds and down the street, away from the cordoned off Market area. Then we had to walk about a mile back to the car.

Here's the view when we're almost back at the car, a few minutes after Livie fell asleep in the BOB.

Because Livie fell asleep, I decided to walk to the State Capitol building, so we could look around at it. I figured that Livie needed to sleep, and walking around in nice weather was good for Andrew and myself, and sleeping in the BOB was good for Liv. 

Plus, I thought she might wake up and then I could show her the Capitol, and maybe even go in and look around at all the historic stuff. 

No such luck . . . she slept the entire way. But I did get to snap a few photos of the exterior. 

Iowa's beautiful State Capitol building, exterior:

Another exterior shot:

Here are the grounds (the "front yard" so to speak):
They have a number of picnic tables and trash cans - it would be a nice place to eat lunch one day.

Andrew is "posing" in front of the Capitol, holding the BOB's handle while Livie sleeps:
We tried taking the popcorn bag out of her hand so she wouldn't drop it, but her grip tightened (while she slept) each time we tried to take it from her.

One more Capitol photo:

Liv ended up waking up just as we got back to the car, after our stroll to the Capitol. Maybe the next time we're in the Des Moines area, we'll head inside and show her around. It's beautiful, filled with history, and my favorite part - it has the Iowa State Law Library with beautiful spiral staircases. One day, I'll have to take pictures from the inside so I can share the beauty.

1 comment:

dogbo said...

Agreed! The crowd on Saturday was unbelievably large.

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