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party in the usa: iowa

October 7, 2009

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i woke up in lincoln bright and early and hit the road. i kinda wanted to check out omaha, but it was time to move on to a new state, so we kept driving. we would have driven straight through iowa, when would we ever be in iowa again? i had to check out it out, so i consulted my handy dandy AAA guidebook for points of interest along our route and found two quaint towns to visit.

first up, elk horn. this charming town is located on the western end of iowa just a few miles off the interstate. the town is “the largest danish rural settlement in the US.” cool, right? i also love how they have an asian kid on their town website.

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velkommen to elk horn.

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elk horn’s main attraction is its authentic danish windmill. long story short: back in the day, the townspeople raised a whole bunch of money to take it apart and bring it over from denmark. and then spent even more money to reconstruct it piece by piece.

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like a life sized mini-golf course 😉

then it was back to the interstate for more of this:

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hfcs in the making…

my second stop in the lovely state of iowa was to the amana colonies which honestly sounded way cooler in the guidebook.

the amana colonies are a set of seven villages that were home to a german religious sect that lived a communal lifestyle until 1932. i don’t really understand what that means either…but i was hoping it’d be either an amish community or a hippie commune. what it turned out to be was a big tourist trap disguised as a cute lil’ village of german themed souvenir shops.

there were a bunch of different haus-es and this one was my favorite “haus”:

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choc1 choc2

peanut butter fudge was sampled, and purchased 😀

my second fave was the bakery where i picked up lunch.

i got a turkey sandwich made on homemade hearth oven baked bread with turkey from the amana smokehouse.

amana sandwich

it was pretty darn good.

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dessert was even better.

say hello to the lucy brown cookie.

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isn’t she gorgeous?

chocolate

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amana bakery

the crispie in the first pic intrigued me, but as you can see in the second pic, there was only one cookie left- so it had to be good! i also use this technique when picking out wine.

the lucy brown cookie turned out to be a frosted, rich, decadent brownie in the shape of a cookie. there was no fruit in it (maybe one raisin- but i may have imagined that), but it was full of walnuts and chocolate chips.

that cookie was the perfect sweet finish to my time in iowa.

next stop: chi-town!

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