Sometimes when traveling through an area the best places to stop are all at the same place. There are towns that are blessed with amusement parks and museums and others just have great shopping. Shopping can be one of the most entertaining yet most expensive things to do while traveling. You have the advantage of finding great local stores that carry merchandise that can’t be found anywhere else. The downside is that you have to spend more money on top of your traveling budget making the trip even more expensive, and depending on what you buy it can add additional cost for gas or shipment back home. Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa yet the best shopping is actually in West Des Moines which is right across the river. The town was established way back in 1846 by a single man named James Jordan who left the main town and pitched his tent to the west. He began building a house and grown the tower during the civil war James even offered his house as a stop in the “Underground Railroad.” This town of West Des Moines served many purposes over the years and was a stop along the main railways. To this day it is a train town and its best feature is the Valley Junction. Valley Junction is a one stop shop. It has everything you would want. It has great restaurants, shopping, and it’s the local watering hole as well. Valley Junction is a great place to stop and spend a day shopping or just admiring the local shops and art.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has the best rental cars in town, their cars and trucks are always new and in great condition. Its quick and easy to get started just select a location to the right.
While traveling I try and find places to eat that aren’t run of the mill. Types of food that I haven’t seen before and want to try. While in West Des Moines I round a place that fits that category and was surprised to find this restaurant here. Mi Patria serves up the only Ecuadorian Cosine I have ever had the pleasure of trying and I’m sure that if other places served food like they do it wouldn’t have been my first experience with Ecuadorian food. While enjoying the food I got to talk with some residents that surly were not from Ecuador but enjoying the food despite. Taking with them reaffirmed the fact that Mi Patria is a local favorite and the community was surprised by the flavors in the food at first but has loved it right from the start. Mi Patria was established in March of 2010 by Cesar Miranda who has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant business. His food is rich with flavor and filling. The flavor is great because its not burning hot, It gives some heat but isn’t overcoming and great for people like me who can’t take hot sauce very well. One of my favorite dishes was absolute beautiful and I was very surprised by the taste. Tortilla De Yuca is what its called but its not what you would expect. It looked like 3 think pancakes with onions and peppers on top. It wasn’t very appetizing at first considering it was our appetizer but after the first bite I learned that it was Yuca and not a pancake which made all the difference when my teeth sunk into it.