Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Omaha

Duane arrived just a few hours late for his flight from RDU.

He flew Frontier Airlines, which we had never used - inexpensive and it all worked out fine in the end. We're pretty laid back travelers.....

After a good breakfast at the hotel, we all hopped in Rafe's big club-cab pickup and headed out into the Nebraska country-side for a trip to the Strategic Air and Space Museum.

It was still very warm, but you got the idea that cool weather is on it's way soon.

Very nice museum - they obviously have a lot of "pull" with the NASA and military officials since they have lot's of cool items on display!

This building was built around this SR-71. It's huge! It's on pedestals - we are actually on the upper floor.

All the usual suspects out in the hangars - I snapped lots of photos, but I'll just include a few.

Haha - lots of cars also - a DeLorean - funny that we had seen one just a few weeks ago in Oriental. Haven't seen some before that in years!

They had some of the aircraft open from below so you could walk up into the "bomb" areas.

A nice B-25. The Asheboro museum used to have one of these so it's particularly recognizable to me (I'm not very knowledgeable about old military stuff.....)

Eaven wanted to ride the crazy gyro ride....he and Teresa had already ridden the enclosed "roller coaster simulator ride" which made T more than a little queasy.

No way was T going to ride this thing with him. Duane, on the other hand, was a good uncle and played along.

Crazy people!!!

Here's a car that Duane said Kevin would enjoy seeing - all the cars were in terrific shape.

This little jet is actually a golf cart! That would be fun going down our runway at home!

Being the Air AND Space museum, they also had a hangar with a lot of space items and info.

These are the actual "pod racers" that they used in the Star Wars production. They are cool but lots of the stuff that looks like wiring and buttons are really just glued-on junk when you look up close!

One of our shuttle van drivers told us we needed to go walk on the "bridge to no where". It's a pedestrian bridge between Nebraska and Iowa. One of these days, there will be something on the Iowa side - but right now it just leads to an open field. Really cool bridge though and the citizens seemed to be enjoying it.

Aren't we cute out in the wind?

Some silly dirt-bike riders playing around and showing off.

They even mark the state line.

We went out to eat at a place called Omaha Prime - the guys all had what looked like fabulous steaks, I had some really good grilled salmon. Teresa, of course, had a bunch of veggies!

On the way back to the hotel, we couldn't help a few silly rides down the slide again!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm a puppy Grandma!

Just in case you hadn't heard...Miranda and Richard adopted "Axle" yesterday from the Wake County animal shelter. He is a sweetheart!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

We loved the Omaha Zoo so much that we had to go back another day. Really, we only saw about half of it the first day and we wanted to see a Imax movie too.

First up was the aquarium. Very nicely done - all the usual suspects - beautiful underwater scenes.

We wandered around - there were some prairie dogs loose in the zoo - cool little dudes - they were free to roam where ever they liked.

Then we were off to see some of the bigger animals. An elephant, of course. Looked happy and healthy.

And some antelope. This baby was just a few weeks old.

Rode the chairlift a couple of times for a neat overhead view.

We had a little free time before the IMAX movie came on, so we went back into the aquarium. Caught this perfect shot of an angel fish. Nice to be able to do this with out all the SCUBA gear!

Dinner was at Roja's - a nice mexican restaurant with a theme - red, of course!

The obligatory group shot - aren't we cute? (remember, Duane's not here yet, but it would have been even cuter if he was!!)

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped at the wonderful little park with a couple of fabulous metal slides. Eaven found a roll of wax paper that someone had left - really makes the slide slippy!

This is an action shot of him just off the slide - and right before he tumbled to the ground!

Yep, it was fun!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Omaha - Zoo day

I will have to say that Omaha Zoo absolutely is the best zoo I've ever been to!

We spent the entire day there - took our time and noticed all kinds of things.

Their "rainforest" was superb!

One of the first things we saw was a pond of my favorite fish (we have several hand-me-down cichlid fish from Miranda and Richard). They are bright colored African freshwater fish.

This photo really doesn't do int justice - there were literally thousands of the fish in a huge pool.

There were dozens of species of monkeys. All extremely healthy looking.

Ugh - a vampire bat - yes, that is real blood.

Now, there is this joke about the "man-sized" fish that I swear I saw on one of our BVI SCUBA dive trips with Sharon and Buddy. No one else saw the fish. So, of course, they make fun of me for the tale.

Here, at the Omaha Zoo, I actually saw several "man-sized" fish.

I took this photo so that you could see the huge parrots on the trees above and the "man-sized" fish in the pond below.

They are actually Arapaima Gigas - in case you want to look them up - the largest fresh water fish.

I must at least say something about the trees. All the greenery in the rainforest dome is real. The trees, however, are man-made out of steel and concrete. But they were absolutely fascinating! They were so real and detailed, you really thought they were genuine. A wonderful artist was at work with these. The scale here is hard to see - but this tree is probably 12' diameter at the base.

Next up was the desert dome.

Again, beautifully done.

The monkeys were all behind wire fences - but they did truly look happy. Or lazy...

This is a sun bear. He was cool looking!

Even the tigers looked happy.

We didn't make it through the whole zoo! So, we're going back tomorrow. Now it's time for happy hour!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I made it to Omaha uneventfully - Duane will follow in a few days because of work....

Because Duane wasn't going to travel out with me, I decided to change my flights and head out early.....and following is a map showing how Continental Airlines routed me...seems ridiculous! But, I just read,relaxed and enjoyed myself for the uneventful 9 hours!

We took off at O-Dark-Thirty! Pretty sunrise.

Sun still rising as we approached the very fall-like Cleveland.

Next up was a sprawling Houston airport. 15 minutes of taxi time to get to the terminal!

And Omaha at last! A much bigger city than I was expecting.

We immediately started exploring - our hotel is right in the old downtown section.

Cool brick roads are everywhere.

There's a wonderful park nearby

Pretty fall colors

Ended up the evening with a dip in the hot-tub! More later!