As we neared the last part of our road trip, we took a turn north from Kansas City. We drove to Des Moines, Iowa, to spend the night before heading on to Madison, Wisconsin. I had admittedly low expectation for Des Moines, but we had a really nice evening in our downtown Airbnb.
Des Moines, Iowa
We left Kansas City after lunch and arrived in Des Moines around 5 pm to check into our Airbnb in the center of downtown. I found a very cool listing for a penthouse condo in the historic Kirkwood Hotel building. The Kirkwood is connected to the Des Moines skywalk, an enclosed walkway that winds more than 4 miles through downtown. The weather was chilly and overcast, so after we dropped our belongings off we began a trek through the skywalk. It was extremely underwhelming, to be honest. The skywalk was not well maintained, and was quite dingy in many areas. It passed through an abandoned mall, which was both interesting and creepy! I told Brandon it looked like a set from “The Walking Dead.” Still, during Iowa’s harsh winters I imagine the skywalk is a wonderful protection from the elements.
We walked a few blocks outside on our way back to the Airbnb, and stopped in at Court Avenue Brewing Company for Brandon to grab a beer flight. We had planned to eat dinner at Fong’s Pizza, but were feeling a bit weary from the road trip at this point. We decided to grab some groceries at the local Hy-Vee and enjoy a night relaxing in the penthouse. The next morning, Brandon took the skywalk to Bruegger’s Bagels to pick up breakfast while I checked in on some work. We left before lunch to start our drive to Madison.
I was excited to visit Wisconsin solely because of cheese. There, I said it. Our very first stop when we arrived in Madison was Fromagination. I love cheese, but I’m no expert. The staff at Fromagination was so kind, and helped select the perfect cheese board for us, based on my very non-technical descriptions of what I like and don’t like. I have never been so overwhelmed and happy at the same time. We also picked up a few cheeses to bring home. I carefully guarded them all the way home, across 870 miles.
After our stop at Fromagination, we checked into our hotel for the evening. Then, we explored the waterfront before driving back into downtown for a late dinner at Graze. We enjoyed our meal and each other’s company so much that neither of us took any photos. After dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest up for our next day in Chicago.