OPINION

Around the world in three hours

Cesar J ToledoSports Reporter@cjtheperrychief
Around the world in three hours

Food, music and drinks. What better way to get to know your new surroundings than by taking a trip around the world? Figuratively, of course. For my family and I, around the world meant attending last weekend’s World Food and Music Festival.

It’s been a little over a month and we are still adjusting to our new environment but one thing we can appreciate and take advantage of is all the weekend festivities offered. My wife Melissa does an amazing job staying up to date with the numerous events (and I’m not saying that because she might read this later). This past Saturday we were privy to delicious food, refreshing drinks, and eclectic music - downtown Iowa-style.

On a chill Saturday afternoon, with a baby on one arm, diaper bag on the other and a packed stroller, we walked through the festival’s entrance only to make a beeline to the ATM, where we were

robbed. A three dollar fee? Are you kidding me?! That just meant we had to make every dollar we had left count. So up and down we went savoring as much ethnic food and adult beverages as our bellies could carry. Melissa and I both thoroughly enjoyed Mama Lacona’s dollar sample of Cavetelli with meatball. “E” Stato cosi buono! That definitely won’t be the last time we sample something from this Italian eatery. The wife also suggested we take a gamble and let our palates savor cuisine from countries we never had to opportunity to try. We had Turkish gozleme, Ethiopian injera, and Greek chicken skure. Don’t ask me how to pronounce these dishes but they weren’t half bad.

After a few more tastings we were parched so we needed to find something to quench our thirst. Water wasn’t gonna cut it especially after we saw the long beer tent calling our names. The Czechvar certainly did the trick. It is a Czech Republic brew made with roasted malts and floral bohemian hops. What a smooth and refreshing beer! If you’ve never had one you should give it a try as it will not disappoint.

After an hour or so we heard the familiar sounds of Latin music and headed toward the stage where dance studio “Salsa Des Moines” was performing a variety of numbers. Even though we’re 1,500 miles away, their music and dance routines made us feel close to home.

Eventually we made our way to the dessert area. To be honest, nothing really wowed us but I have to say that Stam’s Chocolate and Thelma’s Treats were definitely our favorites. Nothing says lovin’ like a snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich. And Stam’s white chocolate was to die for.

Eventually, we called it quits as the little one had had enough and wanted his own tasting adventure. As we headed home we talked about how we still missed Athens, Ga., but that these events help in soothing our homesick hearts.

If you attended the event let me know what you thought of it. What did you like the most? What advice can you offer on helping our family become more assimilated with Iowa?