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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekend in Omaha

At the beginning of November, the 7th thru the 9th, I booked a mid-day reward ticket with my frequent flier miles to Omaha, Nebraska.  I flew out of Dallas late Friday afternoon and Mia picked me up at the airport around 10 p.m. Friday night.  We headed downtown to her and Josh's apartment to drop my bag and the walked to Wilson and Washburn's for a late supper.  I hadn't eaten since lunch so I was starved and with them living right downtown everything is open and bustling with people.  We both had really good food and a cider beer then we headed down the street a bit further to a bar, Billy Frogs, to hang out for a bit and have a few more drinks to catch up.  We headed back to the apartment around 2 a.m. and then still talked in bed for probably at least an hour. 

 Billy Frog's
The next day I was so tired but knew I didn't want to waste the short amount of time I had sleeping in so we were up and getting ready Saturday morning at 8.  We got coffee downstairs from this awesome espresso machine that is free for the tenants in the building and walked into the blistering wind and cold to The Diner for breakfast.  This place was so cute and straight up old school diner.  The food and coffee were so good.  We both stuffed ourselves with breakfast burritos smothered in salsa verde and then shared a cinnamon roll.  After breakfast we decided to go to the zoo since Omaha's zoo is ranked #1 in the nation.  Mia pulled the directions up on her phone and it was 2.1 miles so I suggested we walk...that's not far right.  Well I think city 2.1 miles is way further than country 2.1 miles because it took us at least an hour to walk all the hills and fight the wind to get to the zoo.  It was quite exhausting. 

Once we got to the zoo we bought our admissions then headed straight for the indoor desert dome to warm up and see the sights.  There were the cutes prairie dogs and goat like deer called klipspringers.  The desert dome was a desert habitat to showcase desert animals, birds, and vegetation.  It was really neat.  Below the desert dome was the night kingdom and it had a ton of creepy crawlies, crocodiles, beavers, snakes and bats.  It smelled musty, felt damp, and would probably give you the creeps if you stayed too long. 

We also rode a ski lift over the safari animals and it was freezing but nice because otherwise we wouldn't' have gotten to see them since that portion is currently under construction.  They had a really pretty butterfly exhibit also that Mia really liked.  After finishing up the outside animals and exhibits we watched an IMAX movie over the South Pacific reef life that was really informative and pretty.  It made us want to be at the beach for sure. 
Once we finished up with the zoo we called Josh to pick us up because walking back the 2. whatever miles wasn't happening...our prairie dogs were barking. LOL  Back from the zoo we crashed on the couch to just unwind before we hit the downtown area again for dinner and more drinks. 

We ate a fantastic Italian dinner at Vivace in the Old Market area and we left WAY too full.  I love Italian.  After dinner we hit up Dublin's, an Irish pub, and just talked more and enjoyed people watching.  I wanted a bit of an early night since Sunday was my last bit there and I was getting home really late on Sunday night I didn't want to be even more exhausted. 

After Dublin's we made our way back to the apartment and stopped by a renovated hotel called The Deco and had a quick drink in their super modern and chic lounge, Encore.  We hit the showers then couch to try some Netflix since to Mia it was "so early" LOL  I didn't last 15 minutes before I woke myself up and moved to the bed. 

Sunday we did sleep in a bit more until 9 then were up and at breakfast.  Mia wanted to try the European buffet at the hotel down the street so we grabbed a quick bite there then headed downtown to rent bikes and go on a city tour.  The tour was self led...we went to Freedom park and down the Missouri river to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge that is on the Nebraska Iowa border. That was nice to see and we were in two places at once! On the way back we took a different route to take in more of the city and had a ride around the lake in one of the parks.  The bikes were really nice rides and way better than walking since we had our fill of that the previous day.  I loved riding all over the city and since the wind wasn't blowing our heads off like Saturday the weather was perfect. 

After our bike ride we still had a bit of time to spare so we just wondered around downtown inspecting all the old buildings and little shops.  We stopped back by the apartment around 1:15 so I could grab my bag and head to the airport.  I arrived in Dallas at 10 p.m. then home around 12:15 a.m.  I was super exhausted and drained when my alarm went off at 4:30 to go workout and start my Monday after my fast and furious fun weekend in Omaha but it was well worth it.
I was really impressed with Omaha .  There are a ton of little restaurants and shops to explore.  You can also tell that the city actually puts a lot of effort into making the downtown area pedestrian friendly and encourages people to get out and explore what is around them.  We passed numerous people running, walking dogs, and just meandering around on Sunday when we were bike riding.  Also something that I loved seeing in Omaha was the amount of historic buildings that have been kept up on the outside to keep to the original period and then on the inside re-purposed for offices, apartments, shops, and restaurants.  I think this is way better than destroying something with so much charm and history to simply replace it with modern glass and architecture.  Other than a few new banks and such the entire downtown area is original. 

airport reading and coffee drinking
This quick trip to the unlikely Omaha, Nebraska was just what I needed.  It was a nice reprieve from the crazy semester at school, a mid break from work since my vacation time was up and also just the amount of packed time to catch up with Mia.

Where will my next trip be....I hope over the seas!! ;)

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