One of my goals this year is to travel more; there are so many places to explore, so Brandon and I made a list of all the places we’d realistically like to travel locally (day trips) and nationally (overnighters) this year. Especially this time of year, I get stir-crazy and start daydreaming of white sand with rolling waves (granted, following @salt_escape on instagram is the main culprit for my beach lust!). So by planning one new-to-us excursion per month I’m hoping to tame my wanderlust and, in the time between our big vacations, find a few hidden gems within this landlocked midwest region! It’s my #12tripsin12months goal.
For January, we decided to stay local and explore the neighboring town of Kalona, Iowa! Because Brandon and I moved to Iowa City this past July, these neighboring towns are completely new territory for us. Turns out, this small town is a perfect match for my local foods and handmade-goods loving heart!
▲ First stop was the Kalona Bakery and I was really impressed with how delicious and fresh their donuts were! Brandon and I are donut snobs – we even had donuts in place of our wedding cake! Everything in this place is made fresh and from-scratch. so. stinkin’. delicious.
▲ The bakery also makes gobs of fresh pasta. That hallway has rack after rack of freshly made pasta sitting out to dry!
▲ Next door to the bakery was this lovely coffee and chocolate shop, Kalona Coffeehouse. And the answer is yes… yes we did stock pile some of those chocolate truffles.
▲ Kalona is known as the quilt capitol of Iowa, so locally-designed quilt patterns have been built into the sidewalk. I love the symbology represented in some of these patterns.
▲ Kalona Brewing Company, we will be back. And next time, I will eat all of the onion rings by myself.
▲ The thrift shopping, OH the thrift shopping! A wall of teacups, color-coordinated vintage glassware, and… a muff! As a kid I used to daydream of wearing a muff around, so, dream come true! Also, that blue hat in the background? Don’t worry, it caught my eye too. I was going buy it but it was way too small. I could spend a long time playing dress up in this thrift shop’s attic.
Learn more about Kalona, Iowa HERE.
This is post 1 of 12 in the #12tripsin12months series. Look for post 2 in late February!