My Aunt Julie and I practiced the art of wandering this past weekend. We chose a quaint town in Northern Iowa. The two of us checked into our hotel and set out to wander the shops downtown. If you haven’t been to Decorah, Iowa you are missing a quaint town with shops, eateries, hotels and art. Most business in this town are “Mom and Pop” shops, same with the restaurants. No chains located here.
Our first stop was Ruby’s a cafe and catering business. The aromas of fresh baked bread, homemade foods and an atmosphere that feels like home drew us in doors. We found ourselves in a small cafe with residents of the town bringing in family to meet the waitress and the cook. Our waitress greeted us like family and spoke to us throughout our meal about her thoughts, her life and listened when we spoke. We dined on homemade chicken pot pie and brought home a loaf of fresh back chocolate chip zucchini bread.
We then decided to wander through the shops and walk off that scrumptious chicken pot pie. Agora Arts was filled with jewelry, paintings, decorative towels, cards, watercolors and more. My Aunt and I enjoyed the watercolor paintings with poetry and sayings. The jewelry sparkled and was well made. Purses in the window with wire handles wrapped in plastic tubing. The leather-work was masterful.
Sparrows Candles & Gifts was amazing! The scent of fall candles greeted us as we entered the quaint shop. The owner behind the counter with a smile welcoming us in and to feel free to look at and touch the items in the store. Being a tactile person I appreciate being able to touch items before purchase. There were up-cycled purses, candles, scarves and so many items we were surprised each time we looked a new spot in the store.
We wandered and viewed the art on the business walls. The art in the park area. We ended our wander at Blue Herron Knittery. So much yarn! We were in yarn Heaven! The two of us love to crochet and try different yarns with our creations. I believe we could have stayed here happily for days. The owner was friendly and told us about Thursday evening crochet with the ladies from town. Currently, they are working on an afghan.
The downtown area is filled with a plethora of shops and eateries. Driving around town we saw the most beautiful Victorian homes and Bed and breakfast establishments. We were amazed and the 40 some odd places to visit while in Decorah from arts to hiking, kayaking, bookstores, pottery….the list continues.
We enjoyed our afternoon of practicing the wander. There is nothing like time to wander and see what there is to see and experience along the journey.
Until next time, enjoy the journey, create and laugh more than you breathe.