Monday, September 14, 2015

A Short Jaunt in Iowa

The day after I moved out of my home, my mom and I got in the car and we sped off to Iowa (I'll tell you why in a bit).  Well... we sped off for maybe 30-45 minutes.  Possibly an hour.  We had to make our first pit stop at the Largest Candy Store in Minnesota!  And really, it's not just a lot of candy in this place.  It's a lot of everything.  Soda (or is it "pop"?), puzzles... it's a whole lot of everything.

As soon as we walked in, we were a little overwhelmed by just how much stuff was in this one place.  I mean, just take a look.  In the picture, I wasn't that far inside of the front door.  You can't even see the other side of the store...

Here are some of the more interesting foods that I found:

Rows and rows of differently flavored salt water taffy

A whole section of Dutch food!  The treats!

Referring to the Larvets and the Ant Candy: Ew.
As overwhelming as Minnesota's Largest Candy Store is... it's a little bit magical too.  Mom liked looking for the candies that she had when she was a kid and I just liked looking at the weird flavors of everything this place had to offer.

So after telling ourselves that we would only spend fifteen minutes in this place, finding presents for some of the people in our lives that we like, and actually spending somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes in Minnesota's Largest Candy Store... it was time to say goodbye and continue on our journey.

So the reason that we were headed to Iowa is this: my mom's best friend from high school teaches eighth grade English (and a section of history).  For a while, we had talked about how I should come down and see how she works.  She's been a teacher for twenty-seven years.  Finally, we found a time that would work for both of us.  We'd come down on a Wednesday, I'd go to school with Beth (my mom's friend) Thursday and Friday, and then we'd go home on Sunday.

I don't have pictures from the school because of permission and privacy reasons, but I have the memories.  Both Thursday and Friday were under heat advisory.  This means that students had half days (unless they had sports, in which case they still had to stay and play sports, which is just dumb).
Thursday I mainly watched and I sorted files to finish getting ready for the school year.  I was happy to be busy.  I'm discovering that I'm the kind of person that is uncomfortable sitting and not doing very much.  Friday was a lot better because I got to "teach" a bit!  I finished up a lesson on personality types and learning styles (they were paired with colors) and I gave a spelling test on the names of the teachers the eighth graders will come into contact with this year.  It's harder that it sounds, some of the names, because it's apparent that some of the teachers have Dutch heritage by their names (Mrs. De Zeeuw, Mrs. Hoogeveen, etc.).  On this day, towards the end of the day, we put on music because the students wanted to dance.  Some of those kids have skills, seriously.

After school on Friday, it was hot, but not so hot that we couldn't go out and enjoy Orange City a little bit.  The cool thing about Orange City is that it's a Dutch bubble.  And they really market on that.  Everywhere you look, there are wind mills, signs in Dutch, and if you come in the spring, there are tulips everywhere (but right now, they're a little out of season).  So here are some pictures from my wanderings...

"Welcome to the Back Garden"
"See You, Come Back"

"Bridge to Orange City"

This is a telephone booth :)

After going home for a little while, we decided to go back out again to a little place called De Zoete Winkel, which in Dutch means "The Sweet Shop."  Driving past, I thought it was a candy store, but it's actually a serve yourself fro-yo place.  It was really yummy :)

Dancing to the music :)
This was a really fun long weekend (well, Wednesday to Saturday) and I enjoyed visiting my mom's friend as well as getting a chance to teach a little bit!

Thanks for Reading!


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