- Always pack a hat. In the winter, a knit hat will keep you warm and take up little room. In the summer, a brimmed hat will keep the sun off your face. In either case, it will save you when your hair-straightening iron doesn’t work in the trapezoidal electrical socket you found in your hotel room.
- Bring a travel first aid kit with the following: ibuprofen (or other pain killer), decongestant, NyQuil, bandages, hydrocortizone cream. You will not believe how often it will come in handy. (I can vouch for the hydrocortisone. I didn’t have any on my last trip and I got bit by something and I itched like crazy and thank goodness a passenger had some. I will never travel without it again!)
- Don’t forget your camera charger. You will go through that battery in a second, esp. when your friends insist on flipping through all of the photos that you just took in order to relive something that happened five minutes ago.
- Don’t pack clothes that require ironing. Heck, don’t buy clothes that require ironing.
- Do not go into a McDonald’s. I don’t care if you are scared and starving – McNuggets are NEVER a viable option. If you need fast food, at least hit up a regional chain.
- Buy that delightfully grotesque souvenir, even if you don’t know whom to give it to. Odds are, you will think of someone for whom it would be perfect. Worst-case scenario, you’ll keep it for yourself. Which is a really great worst-case scenario.
- Never carry your wallet in your back pocket, and never carry your purse on just your shoulder.
- Take notes. As much as you believe the contrary, once you get home you will not remember your tour guide’s name, or the artist whose worked you loved so much, or even the city where you stayed. Write it down!
- If you have an inkling that you should be taking photos of something, take them.
- If you have an inkling that you should not be taking photos of something, don’t take them.
It’s summer, so it’s officially time to head out for fun and festivals across the U.S. The ISU Young Alumni Council recently sat down and compiled a list of events and locations that will spice up the sizzling days ahead.
Crossroads Art District
6-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month
Explore local art vendors, sample the cuisine from the various locally owned restaurants, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Admission is free
Richard L. Berkley Park (Downtown Area)
Thursday, July 4, 4-11 p.m.
Come enjoy our nation’s birthday with live bands, carnival games, and one of the largest fireworks shows in the nation.
Admission is $5
Hot Country Nights
Power and Light District
Every Thursday through September, 8-11 p.m.
Enjoy free country concerts from artists like Gloriana, Jamey Johnson, and Billy Currington in the heart of downtown Kansas City every Thursday.
Admission is free.
Chicago Pride Parade
South along Broadway to Halsted Street, south on Halsted to Belmont Ave., east along Belmont to Broadway, south on Broadway to Diversey Parkway, east on Diversey to Cameron Drive in Lincoln Park
June 30, Noon
Celebrate Chicago’s vibrant LGBT community
Admission is free.
Pitchfork Music Festival
Pitchfork Music Festival presents over 40 bands, highlighting the best in new and emerging music. The festival offers a wide array of activities beyond the music, with 50 individual vendors, as well as specialty fairs, the fest supports local businesses and economy, and promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole.
Admission is $50 per day or $120 for a three-day pass
Wrigleyville Summerfest offers plenty of tasty food and beverages to be enjoyed, plus many local vendors showcasing their products and services. Not your average festival, Wrigleyville Summerfest features a Kids Zone with interactive games and family-friendly activities during the day in addition to the live music, beer, and savory flavors that Chicagoans know and love.
Admission is free, but a suggested donation of $5 will benefit Resurrection Luthern Church
Deep Ellum Outdoor Market
Dallas Arts District
Every third Saturday of the month, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visit a more eclectic side of Dallas with wood working, vintage apparel, jewelry, ceramics, home decor, and food trucks.
Admission is free.
Rockford City Market
Water Street, near the Rockford Register Star, Carlyle Brewery, and Runner’s Image
Every Friday through Oct. 11, 3-8 p.m. (3-7 p.m. after Labor Day)
Tons of local vendors, bands, and restaurants See some of the great businesses you didn’t know about in Rockford. Check out some local food and beverages while you’re there.
Admission is free. Bring money to eat and drink.
Explore Scott County Park
Open year-round, explore 1,280 acres near Davenport, where you can enjoy nature trails, five miles of mountain biking trails, five modern campbrounds, canoeing and kayaking at PRIDE Lake – a new 8-acre, 15 ft.-deep lake, golf at Glynns Creek Golf Course, and 12 shelters and picnic areas located throughout the park.
80/35 Music Festival
Western Gateway Park
Enjoy the outdoors, see a variety of different bands, and maybe discover a new favorite among the 40 national, regional, and local bands that will be performing, including David Byrne & St. Vincent and Wu-Tang Clan
Admission is $39 in advance, $49 day of the show for main stage events; free area also available.
July 20, 3-7 p.m.
Sample more than 450 types of beers from 150 brewers. Unlimited beer samples, be first to try new products, and limited release specialty beers around the state and country
Admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Basilica Block Party
Basilica Church/Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Come check out some awesome music outdoors in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Match Box 20, Goo Goo Dolls, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and more will perform
Admission is $60 for one night, $100 for both.
Cy-Hawk Golf Outing
Victory Links Golf Course, Blaine
July 20, 1:30 p.m.
Come battle against the neighbors to the east as you and fellow Cyclones take on Hawkeye alums in the 8th annual Cy-Hawk Open
Admission $60 for ISUAA Members, $68 for non-members. Deadline to register is July 15.
ISU Alumni Wine Tasting
Palouse Winery on Vashon Island
July 27, 5-8:30 p.m.
Enjoy gorgeous views of the Olympics and west side passage while sipping on a deep red or a bright white and listening to the sounds of a local band. Hors d’oeuvres and snacks will be served, and you will have the chance to mingle with plenty of Iowa State friends.
Admission is $20 for ISUAA Members, $30 for non-members. Deadline to register is July 18.
ISU Golf Tournament
Wellshire Golf Course
July 12, 11:30 a.m.
Presenting the 24th Nearly Annual Iowa State Alumni Golf Tournament! Come for the fun and the chance for glory and great prizes as you compete with fellow Cyclones at the historic Wellshire Golf Club.
Admission is $75 for ISUAA members, $85 for nonmembers. Deadline to register is July 1.
A Taste of Colorado
Civic Center Park
Aug. 30-Sept. 2
A Taste of Colorado stands proud as the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 250 marketplace artisans and vendors, seven stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and western heritage of the region.
Admission is free, but tickets must be used to purchase food, beverages, and carnival rides.
Ty Stafford (’11 advertising and speech comm) was a freshman at Iowa State when he started a video blog under the YouTube username IroningMyUnderwear. Ty credits life in his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, as giving him a structured creative outlet. “I truly feel that another side of me was released while living in Ames,” he says. On his video blog, he told embarrassing stories about himself and ended up building a following of more than 20,000 – giving him a platform to advocate for such organizations as Dance Marathon and helping him get an internship on the TV show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Today he makes his home in Los Angeles, Calif., where he continues to explore his creative passions.
So, what are you up to now?
I work for Red Bull as a digital TV/video specialist. Basically I run strategy for Red Bull’s global YouTube channels and other third party video outlets (Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, etc).
How did ISU help lead you to where you are now?
What I have found is that people on the west coast go bananas for Iowa State alumni when it comes to job searching. It’s not just boastful speaking from a proud student; Iowa State is recognized across the U.S. as a hardworking student body. Going to ISU was one of the first things that my current boss was impressed about in my interview. It has also given me the opportunity to mentor other current ISU students who are interested in finding a job out on the west coast who may have thought finding a job out here was too “far-fetched.”
What is your favorite ISU memory?
Wow…That is tough. I feel like pinpointing one specific memory would cheapen my experience as a whole. The overall amount of personal growth both physically and emotionally, the friendships built, and the amazing opportunities and tools ISU gave me to thrive all roll into one dream world of a memory…BUT, if I HAD to choose, it would be winning the finals of Greek Week Karaoke and stripping down to nothing but a speedo in front of thousands of students, that was pretty liberating. You can see the performance here if you like, ha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW2_cBHjb18
How do you “live Iowa State” in your everyday life?
Aside from sporting ISU gear on a weekly basis in L.A. and making sure to bring up that I am proudly from Iowa in every new conversation I have, I think it’s the unspoken values that Iowa State taught me that live strongest in me. What I have found through my adventures is that Iowa State truly is a unique student body. I have yet to see a more involved and selfless student body as a whole than at Iowa State. It is with this same selfless attitude that I try to personally live my life by.