Grace Wu

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Stop #2: Decorah, IA

Before I left New York, I was freelancing at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. I found out that my co-worker, John, was leaving the magazine and moving to Iowa. He told me that his fiance’s family is from a small town in Iowa and he would be moving to a new job nearby at Seed Savers Exchange. Funny enough, a month earlier, my sister had send me an Instagram post from Seed Savers about an internship at their farm.

I looked up the location of Seed Savers and realized it was only a couple hours from Hollandale. I knew I’d have to come for a visit. I went to visit John and his now wife, Erica, in Decorah, Iowa over the July 4th holiday.

They had just closed on a house in Decorah and moved in a few days before I arrived. I got a tour of their house and met their CUTE puppy, named Hudson, a Boston Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier mix. Erica’s cousin, Bryan, also had just moved back home to Iowa for a few weeks before moving to San Francisco. We all could relate about big life changes and moving to different places.

On Friday, we went to visit John at work. Seed Savers has a beautiful visitor center with two gardens flanking the building. One is a garden started by one of the co-founders of Seed Savers, Diane Ott Whealy, and the other garden is a display garden that showcases some of the plants that are grown from the seeds they sell. They cultivate a mind boggling 890 acres.

After our Seed Savers visit, Erica, Bryan and I went into town to grab lunch at the Community Co-op and then checked out the public pool. It was hot that day and it felt great to jump in an outdoor pool. I hadn’t been a pool since last fall! I even went down a pool slide for the first time (I know, 😱).

For dinner we drove out to Luna Valley Farm where they have wood oven fired pizza on Fridays. It was delicious, on par with pizza in New York. After dinner, we drove up to a lookout point behind John and Erica’s neighborhood, where you could see the whole town.

The next day, we went to the park for free yoga. In the rush of moving from New York and preparing for my long trip, I had pretty much stopped doing yoga the past few months. It was a simple, straightforward class, but it reminded how out-of-yoga-shape I was! It was a good reminder to take a few minutes of every day to do some simple yoga stretches like Sun Salutation A or side stretches.

It was great to see John and Erica again and to get a taste of what their life in Decorah will be like. I can’t wait to see the before/after photos of the house renovations!

Seed Savers Exchange — Diane’s Garden

Seed Savers Exchange — Diane’s Garden

John and me at Seed Savers with his sweet new ‘93 Ford Pickup

John and me at Seed Savers with his sweet new ‘93 Ford Pickup

Hudson: the most adorable puppy ever

Hudson: the most adorable puppy ever