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As you might remember, I took a road trip to Iowa last weekend to visit my friend (and super awesome published author now!) Rena Olsen. GO FIND HER BOOK IT’S OUT IN THE WILD NOW! THE GIRL BEFORE!

The Girl Before on the shelf at Barnes and Noble!

The Girl Before on the shelf at Barnes and Noble!

SEE?!?!?!! I went out on Tuesday and found it!

The Girl Before on MY book shelf!

The Girl Before on MY book shelf!

You can have your own! A great book! A fabulous thriller, I wanted to slap and hug the main character at the same time. Clara grows as the stories of her past weave through the present, the two story lines mirroring each other. A horror lover, I found the real life terror of human trafficking truly scary.

Anyway… I wanted to share moments of my weekend with Rena. I HAD SO MUCH FUN! And it was great to spend time with her (really, she is a terrific friend and person!) before the craziness of this week hit…you know the week of HER DEBUT RELEASE and her launch party this weekend at a local bookstore. I got to go to that bookstore! And LOOK…

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I won’t be there in person for the party, BUT I WILL BE THINKING OF RENA ALL DAY!

Let me share snippets of the weekend.

We stopped here for lunch one day…

Logo for Zombie Burger restaurant.

Logo for Zombie Burger restaurant.

Dude. Yummy burgers and milkshakes! And ZOMBIES!

A super cool candy store called Rocket Fizz blew me away with the awesome.

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Strange flavored sodas…like

Dragon Drool

Dragon Drool

How do you catch the dragons to collect their drool?

And…

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Made from…Martians?

Who knows. I won’t be trying it either…too scared.

There was also a selection of Dr. Who stuff like this…

TARDIS lunch box

TARDIS lunch box

Which I didn’t buy, but buying three books at the bookstore made up for that.

I got to meet Andrea in person! A friend from Twitter, we have bonded over Dean Winchester and horror movies. We laughed. We hugged. YEA!

Rena took me to her church Sunday morning and, dude, it was like a rock concert. Music. Lights. A big TV screen. A drummer in a glass cage…I know, but they let him out, so don’t worry. Pretty inspirational words happened, words that made a lot of sense to us. To remember what’s important, to hold onto who you are, that brief moments of glory fade…that to reach goals it’s not about trying but training. I need to get into that training stuff. Good thoughts! Ones that helped me find peace with me, which is always good.

We went to a super neat-o movie theater to watch Jason Bourne (I do feel guilty for seeing it without my hubs and son, who want to see it and haven’t) where they served me a very yummy lunch. And after we stopped by this store full of stuffed animals and I couldn’t help but pose with this walrus in honor of my Walrus Writers group, who meet on Skype each week to critique our work and have fun.

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Rena drove me around downtown Des Moines, here are a few pics…

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We walked across this bridge! Pretty cool!

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If there hadn’t been kids taking up all the swings, I would have swung on this fishing rod playground.

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There might be a pic of me standing on that center raised spot acting like a goddess…yeah…

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Hearts for Rena!

Hearts for Rena!

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There might be a pic of me petting the bison head on that statue as well…

View from the Capitol

View from the Capitol

The Capitol building

The Capitol building

And I might have found a Poke stop and collected some Poke balls…possibly caught a Pokemon…because it’s fun!

I also had a brief moment of fun in a sprinkler and was brutally attacked by another sprinkler, but we don’t speak of that.

I will end with a smile because of lots of grand memories I will cherish.

It's Rena and me!

It’s Rena and me!

 

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