Mona Gets Around
All in all, she's the total package. So why was she hanging out at my house? In ... Iowa?
A few months back, the powers-that-be behind the uber-cool Moxie Media asked me - ME! - to play hostess to their mascot, Moxie Mona. It seems Mona was traveling around the blogosphere, visiting bloggers all over the United States ... and they needed someone to show her around Iowa. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
I'm reppin' what people call the Quad Cities. The QC is made up of - you guessed it - four cities: Davenport (where I live), Bettendorf, Rock Island, and Moline. Although Rock Island and Moline are in Illinois. But we're only separated by the Mississippi River, and we co-mingle a lot. (Even though the Iowa side is infintesimally more awesome.)
Anyway, it's always nice to show people that there's more to our state than this:
Of course, that IS part of our state - a big part, actually - so that's where we started. And Mona, though appreciative of the view, was all, "This outfit is so not cornfield-friendly." Apparently the corn silks were making her itchy. Who knew?
So we took her to someplace much more cosmopolitan: the John Deere Pavilion.
Moline, one of the four Quad Cities, is the headquarters of John Deere. (You know, the green lawn mowers and farm equipment?) The John Deere Pavilion is an agricultural museum, and Mona checked out the tractors and combines and such. She's a California girl, so I didn't expect her to know much about farm equipment ... but she nearly got us in trouble when she busted out her mad heavy-machinery-operating skillz.
When she was all "farmed out" we took her for some more sightseeing. First to the Centennial Bridge, the gateway between Davenport and Rock Island (and the site of a SPECTACULAR fireworks display every Fourth of July) ...
... Then on to The District, the arts and entertainment hub of Rock Island, where she made a new friend (because, as it turns out, she has a "thing" for guys in fedoras) ...
And since I was hugely pregnant, Mona let my husband - even though he wouldn't be caught dead in a fedora - take her out to the ballgame. The Quad Cities River Bandits game, that is, at Modern Woodmen Park.
Then we showed Mona to the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, where the Celebration Belle steamboat just happened to be paddling its way through the beautiful waters.
And we finished off the day with a little gambling. Because people in Iowa know how to par-tay. Mona won like ten thousand dollars, and coolly pocketed the cash somewhere in that teeny bustier of hers like it was nothing. She didn't even look bulgy afterward (which is totally not fair, because I could carry a postage stamp in my pocket and look like I've gained ten pounds). Oh Mona, how do you do it?
Mona took charge in the delivery room, securing my IV, once again amazing us by pulling a random skill from her hat - er, tiara.
There were so many other things we could have experienced. I mean, our corner of Iowa is more than just corn: we have culture! There's the Figge Art Museum, the Putnam Museum of History & Natural Sciences, Vander Veer Botanical Park, the Quad City Symphony, the little specialty shops in the historic Village of East Davenport ... the list goes on and on. But Mona's touristy sightseeing was cut short by one big, little thing: the birth of our son, Coby.
And she proved to us that she's got a way with the opposite sex. Or with kids. Or both. Just look at how calm and tranquil our new son became in her presence!
I think Mona totally dug Iowa. Itchy cornsilks and all. But being the diva-in-demand that she is, it was time for her to move on to her next location. (And to tell you the truth, I was getting a little weary of fending off the paparazzi that stalk her all the time.)
Ciao, Mona. Or as we say here in exotic Iowa ... bye.
If you'd like to see where Mona's been, or follow her to her next adventure (and find some sweet new bloggage in the meantime), check out her home at Mayhem & Moxie - her entire itinerary can be found there.
Happy trails, everyone! Y'all come back now, hear?