While it sounds like we missed some amazing fireworks here, this past holiday weekend presented an important opportunity to make a return trip back to my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, to see my father. Due to COVID, it had been over a year. We did see the Macy’s fireworks display on TV and saw some from our hotel room, but some videos of the Crystal Lake fireworks were spectacular!
This also presents an excellent opportunity for an extra special introduction as the first of the Over the Line articles. While McHenry County is an amazing place and it is certainly the primary focus of McHenry Life, even we acknowledge that there is a world outside of McHenry once you cross over the line…or in this case, several county and even state lines!
It also presented an opportunity to share some very special things. Nearly every trip back to Des Moines involves at least a quick run through the Des Moines Art Center and a meal, if not several, at Tasty Tacos.
The Des Moines Art Center is still, amazingly, free to the public and features a wonderful collection that might surprise many. While I’m sharing just a small sampling here, a number of these have been in the collection for decades and were some of the first works of art I was introduced to growing up. And if the art isn’t enough, the buildings feature amazing architecture and also are part of a wonderful park and rose gardens (though not looking their best due to the drought conditions).
Tasty Tacos is more than a few restaurants…it’s an institution. Founded in 1961 by Richard and Antonia Mosqueda, it is still family-owned and operated. Their flour tacos may be unlike anything you’ve ever had…fluffy flour shell, seasoned beef and beans, lettuce, and shredded cheese, to which I highly recommend topping every bite off with their homemade hot sauce! I’ve been known to eat there multiple times over a weekend trip home. Now if I could only figure out how to get one to open in McHenry County!
Bonus: And then Jill pulled a special surprise. After a recent childhood memory recollection of a very unique candy bar, which we discovered is actually still produced, she happened to pick some up on one of our stops on the way to Des Moines. The Twin Bing from Palmer Candy in Sioux City, Iowa, is perhaps a rare known treat even in Iowa! Everyone should try one at least once!
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How about you?
Okay, so apparently, I can’t take a squared-off photo! But let’s forget that for now. So, when you need or want to get out of McHenry County for a bit, where do you like to head?