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Omaha Travel Blog

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So last week I asked the people I knew here who have lived in Nebraska what there was to do in Omaha... they said NOTHING... except for the zoo and you need a full day to experience it, not 2 or 3 hours.  So I did some research and really didn't find anything... so I figured we'd get there and just mill around.

We were driving on I-80 and I saw about 3 buildings popping up over the horizon.  Is that Omaha?  It can't be... I thought it was quite a large city... well, apparently it wasn't.  We drove in... I had about a gallon of gas left in the car---which is impressive I got from the twin cities to Omaha in one take in a honda civic... Which is a funny story because Valerie asked me how much it would be in gas.

I didn't think that anywhere had a buck fifty all day parking in the US... I guess Omaha does!
  I told her $60... she looked at me and said for each person (there would be 4 people)... I said no... in total... between $60 and $70 UDS.  She gave me this blank stare... but how she asked.  Uh... in a honda civic you get between 35 and 42 MPH on Highway... I did get 42 MPH a couple of times... which is exciting.  Oh... well, she said she'd pay me after it was all said and done... she didn't believe me!

But after the gas we drove across the lot to a hotel and looked at the brochures.  It was interesting... apparently there's not much to do according to the travel companies.  Because all the brochures were for other places (except the zoo). I saw one brochure that caught my attention... it was for a Mansion on a Hill Museum in Ogallala, NE; which is 7 hours away.

I didn't go here, but the smell coming from this building made me want to eat here... maybe next time
  There were also some brochures for Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota which is about 10 hours away and some brochures for Iowa and a whole book for Council Bluffs; which is where we went for dinner.

So we decided to park and walk around.  We found a parking lot on north 13th Street and I started cracking up.  Matt and Valerie looked at me like I was from another planet and asked me what was so funny.  Well, in downtown omaha, parking is $1.50 for all day!  They didn't understand... I explained to them in Pittsburgh that parking in the city on a work day will cost $16 a day and in Philly it costs $10 (for the cheap stuff in China Town... $15 to $20 if you want closer to the city) and in NYC it is about $10 and hour to park in a lot!  A buck fifty a day is unbelievable!!!

Well, getting out of the car I smelled this sweet, suculant aroma.

apparently this is a tower in Nebraska... hmmm... not too sure...looks a little short to me!
The smell was coming from a building called the Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill... I looked at Valerie and Matt and told them next time we're coming here to get some food... they looked at me like I was crazy again!

So the one thing we all agreed on is that it sucks that we work weekends because of retail because it would've been so cool to come down here during the March Maddness NCAA College Basketball tournaments!  Even if we didn't get to see the game it would've been cool to enjoy the tailgating festivities. The games are a couple days from when we went... sign... I always miss the cool stuff.

So walking around the city we see this statue in the shape of an "O!"  This is art work that is in the metro area for the next year or so and there are many of them around.

the view of the Quest Center a couple days before the march madness games
  I guess a lot of cities are doing stuff like this, Pittsburgh has dinosaurs around the town, the Twin Cities has snoopy statues around (because Charles Schulz who created the Peanuts comic strip is from Minneapolis) and Erie, PA has fish sculptures around and I don't know what other cities have what. But it makes for a good scavenger hut while on vacation... it's like playing the license plate game while driving.  Valerie and I jumped at the chance to get our picture with it... too bad we didn't see anymore around.

We looked at the map we got at the hotel with all things to do 7 hours away from the city and decided to check out the old town which has shops 'n at.  My goal by going here was to find some postcards... my mom has a postcard collection and my grandparents always enjoy postcards and this is how my dad and I communicate by sending a postcard of where we're at.

  we see a visitors center and walk it; expecting to find postcards.  We're warmly greated by a nice older lady... have you ever noticed that older ladies seem like great candidates to be at visitor centers or museum tour guides?  They have great stories and love helping people.... But she asked us if we needed anything... I asked if there were any postcards.  She said no... only at wallgreens drug store and the Hilton hotel!  See I don't understand.  Where I come from you can get a postcard from every postal zip code in the Pittsburgh area... and besides Minneapolis and St. Paul the only other town I've seen postcards for is Bloomington, MN because of the mall of america!  I don't understand it... but it's sad because there are a lot of towns I want to send postcards from to my friends because they live in the same town somewhere else; like Altoona, IA and Altoona, PA or Rochester, PA and Rochester MN, or Buffalo, NY and Buffalo, MN and Lancaster, PA and Lancaster, MN.
.. there's also a Bruno, MN and my grandfathers name is Bruno... so I guess what I'm going to have to do is order postcard paper, buy a portable printer and make my own....sigh.

She asked us why we were in town and how long... when we said 3 hours she was confused.  We told her we drove down from the twin cities to get dinner in Council Bluffs... she looked even more confused. But she told us about the plays that were going to be coming to town and encouraged us to come back soon! 

As we were wondering back to the card to go to walgreens we saw the Hilton and I went in there.  I aske the guy at the desk about postcards and they had them for a dolloar a card!  Yikes... for a place that has $1.50 all day parking you would think postcards would be a quarter.

  But I bought 5 of them and Matt and Valerie started walking out the door.  Hey where are you going I asked them... they said back to the car so we can leave. I asked about my postcards and they told me to fill them out in the car.  Uhh... who ever heard of filling out postcards and sending them from a different city; infact I still have cards from NYC and Orlando that I never filled out so they're still with me!(so if anyone would like a postcard from those 2 places with a Minnesota postmark on it let me know & I'll mail it out).  Man I feel sorry... they looked so bored as I was writing... but I did bring enough stamps for them too.  But they said their families wouldn't enjoy them... how sad they don't appriciate such a small joy in life.

 

hklasek says:
Come back to town for the College World Series this summer! By far it is Omaha's best "event" all year. If you're ever back in town let me know. I can point you to some great Omaha restaurants.

In 3 years there will be a new baseball stadium right by the Qwest as well.
Posted on: May 21, 2008
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