the love hunt: vol. 1

we [as in the blog + I] are shifting our focus a bit. emphasizing more on celebrations. both big + small. for holidays. and even those just because. more on that to come later. in the meantime, I want to share with you ..

the best date idea.

it may come at an appropriate time of year, with valentine’s day around the corner, but I’m a firm believer in the unexpected. if you plan a date on valentine’s day, it’s you + the rest of america. if you do it on a random day, the surprise will not be expected, therefore that much sweeter.

this date is so much fun, for many reasons. it incorporates you + your significant others favorite places & a scavenger hunt of sorts. instead of all at once, we’re taking this step by step. if you follow along, you’ll be ready for a great date in no time. we’re calling this ..

the love hunt.

as you can imagine, when there is a scavenger hunt involved, a lot of planning takes place behind the scenes. don’t look at it like that. it can be a tad overwhelming. think of it this way ..a day filled with your favorite places for food + cocktails + fun. grab a map [aka: google] and put on your creative hat. we’re planning a scavenger hunt turned best date ever!

you’re going to need some a lot of scratch paper. jot down your favorite places + your favorite things to order/do there. the goal is to eat, drink, and do something fun. and if, at all, possible have it make geographical sense!

the love hunt [aka: the best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

I decided to focus my efforts on our favorite places downtown des moines, IA. I, even, included a few we had not yet tried, but had been wanting to. my list looked like this:

el bait shop. a craft beer lover’s dream, therefore my husband’s. why not start there? with a beer.

hessen haus. I knew we’d be hungry by this time, so we’d go to our favorite german bar for a scrumptious appetizer. this is only the beginning.

malo. a latin american restaurant, and the perfect place to get another appetizer + an order of tacos.

django. my husband is a big dirty martini fan. I couldn’t plan a custom date for him, without making a dirty martini stop.

up down. this an arcade bar. we’d never been, but spoke of going many times. think your grandparent’s basement filled with every game you can imagine + beer.

get to work on your list of places to eat, drink, and have fun.

meet me back here tomorrow, we’re writing + planning the clues.

das boot in des moines.

whenever the husband + I have out-of-town guests, or we’re thirsty, we find ourselves at the hessen haus. it is downtown des moines. and it’s a gem!

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

I may be the type of person that labels a place “a gem” based solely on the fact they sell german beer by the liter. or the boot, if you’d prefer. but there’s so much more to this place.

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

if you’re looking for a neat atmosphere ..this place is housed in an old train station, decked out fully as a german bier hall. tell your friends, it’s cultural. then have a liter of franziskaner [my favorite] or a german beer of your choosing, that’s cultural too. believe me, they have a lot of options.

if you’re looking for authentic german food ..look no further. if you’re not ..look no further. I can almost guarantee there is something for everyone here. can you say armadillo eggs? I cannot get enough of these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, filled with jalapenos + cheese.

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

want to have some fun? just wait for a train to go by on the tracks outside ..$3 jagermeister + apfelkorn. shots, shots, shots everybody! or pass the boot with your friends. or your husband’s family, like I did last summer. it really brings a family together.

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

and for those who measure a successful summer based on how many outdoor patios they visited ..add the hessen haus to your list. I measure a good time by the company, the sunshine + the size of my beer. just kidding. ish.

let me extend an offer ..if you find yourself in des moines on saturday in the summer, I will happily be your tour guide. we’ll take a trip to the downtown farmers market + cap it off with an afternoon spent on the patio, passing a boot filled with german beer, eating armadillo eggs. sound good?

hessen haus in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

see some of my other des moines favorites ..

like an ideal des moines weekend, a farm-fresh breakfast burrito, the one-of-a-kind zombie burger, a latin-inspired restaurant called malo, the state fair, my list of 10 must-do’s in des moines.

2014: year in review.

2014: year in review c/o LLinaBC.com

oh, 2014. you were one for the books.

we moved into a new apartment in des moines. • I accepted a new job in march. • in april, I attended go blog social [a blogger conference] in kansas city. • we had the most magical engagement photographs taken. it was my pinterest dream come true. • I got married. which I’m sure you probably didn’t even know, because I barely spoke about it. not here, or here, and surely not here. I may have even forgotten to share our wedding video. insert: an overload of sarcasm. • we added a sweet, little furbaby to our family + named him Sir Rigby. • we spent the holidays in chicago. •

top four posts of 2014:

hot buttered rum • 10 things you must do in des moines • DIY coasters • bridal sparkle •

honorable mentions:

apple cider moscow mules • DIY housewarming basket • the opening of pinot’s palette • date night at malo •

I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store. I am hoping for an amazing first year of marriage. filled with loads of traveling + adventures. more exploring the great city we live in. much health + happiness. and a lot of time with friends + family.

what were your favorite moments of 2014? what are you looking forward to in 2015?

happy monday!