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New Year's Resolution: Cutting Out the Word "Actually" as a Proud Iowan

Posted on January 7, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Once in a while we like to feature guest or shared blogs that really catch our attention! Today we are featuring a well known Iowa Blogger, the Iowa Galivant!  Click here to view his original post. It's actually very good! ;)

New Year’s Resolution: Cutting Out the Word “Actually” as a Proud Iowan

Jan 5, 2016

Posted by jayjaygeorge in Gallivant Milestones and Moments, Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits 

Tags#IowaProud, #roadtrip, #teamgoodvin, #theiowagallivant, #ThisIsIowa, #traveliowa

Travelers all over the world seek destinations they’ve never been to and rely on locals and folks that know the terrain. There’s different degrees of expectations no matter where you go. Whether its a internationally well-known locales with top notch restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Or the the “not ready for prime-time” rural wineries, the route 66 motels you’ve seen on old postcards, and the small group of lights you see in the distance from your busy lodge that seem to draw you in. All destinations are worthy of your description. When you describe your travels to others what words do you use? There’s the obvious range of vocabulary that’s used from ecstatic reviews to harsh criticisms and everything in between. One word is used quite frequently that few pick up on, but isn’t necessarily a positive thing to say even when you think your’re dishing out a compliment. That word is “actually.” A lot of people, including me, drop this word with no thought on how others will interpret what you’re saying.


“I could have done without the “actually” part…” Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic when hearing praise for his last documentary.


Perhaps you think I’m over analyzing this or picking a topic to be overly sensitive about. And perhaps you’re right. But I heard about your boyfriend and from what I know he’s “actually” good looking. How’s that hit your ears? Because I went to your sister’s house for dinner and her family “actually” behaved and the food was “actually” pretty good. Hey…..those were compliments. Right? Kinda…

“Oh, dear…you actually brushed your hair this morning!”


That word can penetrate your ear canal with the sharpness of an ill-fated f-bomb at times and leave you wondering when the conversation will reach its much needed conclusion. However, the pitch of “actually” is much lower in a casual setting while describing places and locations. We in Iowa are proud of our state. As I’ve said before, without the Hawkeye State, the world doesn’t eat. Period. Now that’s pressure if you ask me. One thing we need to improve on is bragging. Our international agricultural contribution is second to none and we’ll never waiver from that debate. Mostly because there isn’t one for the most part. But, there’s so much more to this state that is kicking butt day after day and it is up to us to keep up the momentum. Without using that one word. If folks from outside our state say “actually,” then so be it. As proud Iowans we need feel okay with correcting them and ourselves when it happens. Imagine these conversations…..”We went to Napa valley and we actually had some great wine.” Well duh. It’s California. “We actually found a great place for BBQ when we went to Kansas City.” Yea. That probably took you 5 seconds. “The view at the Grand Canyon was actually amazing.” You don’t say! I’m sure these things are said, on occasion, but don’t they sound off to you? Then why do some of us say it so much and let others get away with it when it comes to our state? I think it’s because we don’t brag enough. You heard me. BRAG! Brag more!


I caught myself saying it last summer. “Monie and I visited Fort Dodge and we actually had some great local wine.” Why the hell did I say that? What was I expecting to have from award-winning winemakers. There wasn’t a sign outside of the tasting room that claimed to have the best fermented rhubarb ever straight from our antique bathtubs. And why can’t we expect to find outstanding local spirits in Iowa. French grapes grow exceptionally well here, the demand for Iowa whiskys goes up every year, and master beer makers are flocking to Iowa with new breweries popping up the whack-a-mole game. Why? Because it’s one of the premier areas for this fine crafting industry and entrepreneurs think some of the traditional places in this country don’t have the same panache as they once had and it’s better in Iowa. Damn right! And that’s not all. Not even close! You like charcuterie? Some of the world’s best comes from La Quercia in Norwalk. Looking for Italian sausage? That’s cute that you think Chicago is where to go. Graziano Brothers in Des Moines ships all over the state and you don’t have to wait for the next Cubs game as an excuse to get your fix. The best is right here in Iowa. And then there’s Vermont. They had a good run with their White Cheddar, but they may want to stick to downhill skiing from here on out. Milton Creamery in Van Buren County lapped them years ago.


I’ve been up and down the Mississippi River. New Orleans, The Twin Cities, Saint Louis, Memphis. I’ve had a blast in these towns and a few more here and there along its banks. All have their own unique history with the great river. If you’re looking for the country’s best Mississippi River “experience, ” then look no further than the border between New Albin, IA and Keokuk, IA. There is not a stretch of the river that better prepares you for the history and importance of the Mississippi. Truly a history buff’s best friend. Wisconsin actually has some scenic areas too. Ohhh here come the emails!



I know what you’re saying. “JayJay, why stop now? You’re on a roll!” (Mmmm…rolls…;) I’m not going to stop now. As long as I have Peaches n’ Cream Sweet Corn running in my blood, I’ll never stop boasting about my Iowa home. We have a bucket list the size of Adams County Speedway and we tend to take quite a chunk out of it this year. We’re going to the best brewery, star trek festival, bike tour, jerky producer, cheese house, haunted hotel this country has to offer. Don’t think for a second I can’t squeeze that in to a weekend. Let’s actually do this. See you on The Iowa Gallivant!

Categories: Tourism

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