Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Weekend In The Far West

Click on the picture to see all of the photos from Des Moines
Well it wasn't really the Far West like China or anything...but it was offically the furthest west I have ever driven, so it's the Far West to me!

Des Moines, I must say, I never would have visited if it weren't for Super Blogger StevieB, so for that I give thanks. He and his "herd" (their word, not mine) traversed mountains and rivers and streams to drive from Denver to Des Moines, while I just had to cross some flat plains and a big river called the Missississississippi (I can never remember how many iss's there are and plus I like saying mississississississ).

I got to town early in the day (since I only had a 5 hour trip) and spent the afternoon walking around a mostly desolate downtown - I couldn't tell if it was always like that or if it was because it was a Friday and everyone decided to take the afternoon off to start the weekend. We stayed at the fabulously historic (i.e. old) Hotel Fort Des Moines, and even though it was old it was a beautiful hotel. My room was huge (I upgraded to the suite so I had two rooms), with a kitchen area, living area and huge bathroom, it even came with free internet access!

The boys got to town late in the evening and after a bite to eat we headed off to check out the bar scene.....or what we thought the bar scene would be. Growing up in a small town I sort of knew what to expect but I was actually quite surprised...the gay bars aren't gay bars at all, they're gay bars that have a LOT of straight people in them. Now don't get me wrong, I loves me some straight people...but don't they have their own bars? I guess that only goes to say that the Gay Bars in Des Moines ARE the place to be - so I could only imagine how lame the straight bars are.

Fortunately, I had a whole crew of muscle bears to keep me occupied. Since Stevie B and I already "knew" each other from the interwebs, it gave me a chance to get to know the rest of his crew. Everyone was friendly, funny and HOT - I felt like the ugly duckling amongst them - it's fun hanging around with the Hot Boys!!! During our "discovery" phase it turns out that one of the guys was actually from Pennsylvania, and grew up about 20 miles from where I lived - what a small world!!!!

Saturday we applied the George Bush "Shock & Awe" approach to our descent into the culture of Des Moines. As we walked around a huge farmers market that took up a good 10 block area of downtown, I don't think we saw ANY other homos. After a light lunch Shawn and I headed off to get some culture at the local art museum - only to find out that the downtown branch was just that....a branch. So we jumped in the car and drove out to the real Museum, where we were quickly suprised at the vast and varied collection of Art that Des Moines has. The museum was half "classic" and half "contemporary" with each side of the building designed around the art it was showcasing - I was very impressed. After we got back, StevieB's boyfriend - Fuzzy - and I went for a walk to go look at a big church that had a rotating cross on the top of it.

When we got to the church we found that one of the doors was unlocked and the place was empty, so Fuzzy (who happens to be a trained organist) jumped at the chance to play some showtunes on the huge pipe organ. Well he didn't play showtunes so much as he played Tocata in Fuge (you'll have to look it up, but I knowy ou know it) It was VERY cool to be sitting in a huge, dark church with the only light coming from an amazing stained glass dome that was bigger than any I have ever seen. On our way back to the hotel we stopped off at another church where he got the chance to play another organ. I tell ya, that Fuzzy's an organ playing fool - very talented and quite the showman!

We returned to the hotel and I tried to grab a quick nap - but that didn't work, before I knew it the boys were knocking on my door to grab a pre-show cocktail. Everyone was dressed in their finest and all were excited because we were going to see Dixie's Tupperware Party. I mean, that was the purpose of this whole trip after all!

Two of the boys were in on a big surprise though - the tickets they bought for the show were not in the audience like the rest of us peons. No, they were going to be ON THE STAGE with Dixie during the entire show, sitting on nice big comfy couches, while hoping that Dixie would be "nice" to them and not make too much fun. I was super jealous as I sat there in my front row seat!

Dixie's show was FABULOUS - I really don't know how to explain it other than it's a laugh riot. You think you're going in there for a nice show where you get to sit back, relax and maybe have a few laughs, but it's quite the opposite. Dixie is a loud mouthed Southern woman who has no problems wagging her finger at you and telling you "no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no" when she asks you if you own Tupperware. She intereacts with the audience by running up and down the center aisle and across the front, it was almost like being at a Gallagher Concert without the need of plastic wrapping. No one is safe from Dixie, she was grabbing unsuspecting men and pulling them up on stage to demonstrate a can opener and forcing a raffle winner to demonstrate how she would tickle her spouses testicles - ON STAGE!!!

Dixie was a delight, I haven't laughed so much or so hard in a long time. She took it pretty easy on the boys on the stage by only referring to them as "homosexuals" (which I think we were the only ones in the audience). The audience consisted primarily of housewives, women with their girlfriends, a few women with their suprised husbands and a huge contingent of retired folks (who didn't want to laugh but ended up having the most fun).

Even though the show was a laugh a minute, the best part came after the show when Dixie invited all of us to have dinner with her, we were a bunch of lucky boys!!!! We sat in the restaurant until 12:45am, laughing, joking, telling stories and forcing Dixie to share all of her secrets, it was FABULOUS!!!!!
Unfortunately since we were out so late, we decided to call it a night and get back to the hotel for some sleep. Morning came too quickly as the alarm went off at 7:40am, I tried to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and headed down to the lobby to say goodbye to my new found friends! We all hugged, said our goodbyes and they jumped in their mini-van and headed back to the Far Far West! I went back upstairs, grabbed my suitcase and headed out the door myself! 5 hours later I was back home, while the boys were not quite halfway through their journey.

I can't wait to hang out with the boys again!!!!!


Marty Mouse said...

Wow, what a great getaway trip. When you mentioned you got there early, and walked around the empty downtown, I imagined Edward Hopper's paintings of a quite small town streets. Loved the pictures you took. Especially the stained glass dome at the church.

What happened to Flo? Did she survive the weekend?

Oh, and ML, I can't believe you felt like the ugly duckling in the group. You are by far one of the hottest guys, period!!!! I am sure Flo would agree.

P.S. Did you get my comment about the Itunes MP3 download? Its on the comment before you left on the trip. Hope it still works.

CanadianSwiss said...

That sounds like such a fantastic weekend! I love interactive shows like that. If "Five guys named Moe" happend to cross your way, go see it. It's a musical that I saw many years aogo in London, but it's fun. They interact with the public on stage and then also come to the bar during th break.

PS: I've noted the dates you're in A'dam. I'm sure we can fix a meet-up ;)

Michael said...

@MartyMouse - it was very "hopper-esque". Flo survied the weekend, she spent most of the weekend holed up in the Spa at the hotel....well it wasn't so much a spa as she sat in the bath tub and farted the whole time so she thought it was a spa! I did get the iTunes comment - you're a doll!!!

CS - It was fun, I'll have to keep my eyes out for that show. Will be FABULOUS to meet up with you and Orange-X!!!!!!