Lusterville and Lobsters

A Collection of Travels, Musings, and Literature.

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Why I love Des Moines

Travel doesn’t have to mean a long flight and a hotel. Sometimes, you can find neat things right in your own backyard! One of our favorite places to visit is Des Moines, Iowa’s capital.

Why I Love Des Moines, Iowa

HISTORY: Des Moines wasn’t always the capital of Iowa. It was originally in Iowa City, and you can still see the old capitol building there today. It moved to a more central location in Des Moines in 1857. Des Moines is French. Don’t pronounce the “s.” And it translates to “the monks.” Continue reading


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Maquoketa Caves

Did you know you have some pretty amazing places right in your own backyard? I’ve lived in Iowa for most of my life, and to top it off, I lived within a couple hours of one of the coolest places in Iowa. The Maquoketa Caves State Park, one of Iowa’s State Parks, contains more caves than any other state park in the area.

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Let’s jump out of a perfectly good plane!

About three months or so into our dating, I told my now fiance, Marshall, that I was going to skydive. “You are welcome to come, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” I told him. To impress me, he said yes. And it’s been one of our favorite memories.

We went with a group of my friends to a teeny-tiny town in Iowa that you’ve never heard of named Brooklyn and a company called Skydive Iowa.

There are many papers to sign and a slightly hefty price to potentially tossing your life out the door. (Because what if the parachute didn’t open?!) But don’t worry, we went through a safety instruction and did a tandem jump (meaning we were strapped up with a professional instructor).


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Color the Wind Kite Festival

Once a year, when the lake is frozen over, the little town of Clear Lake hosts the Color the Wind Kite Festival. Since it’s beginnings in 2001, the festival has grown to be the largest event of its kind in the Midwest. The kites range in size from tiny to gigantic. It’s so fun to walk around on the frozen lake and watch them fly in the wind. It’s often difficult to have outside events in Iowa, but this is one activity that is worth braving the cold. Plus, it’s appropriate for all ages.

You don’t even realize how big some of the kites are until you are standing underneath them. These magnificent  creatures sail in the sky when the water is frozen. They are amazing! The whale was my favorite. Enjoy!

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