Mark and I took an amazing road trip 2.5 hours north to the beautiful and amazing city of Omaha, Nebraska. We weren't sure exactly what to expect being that Nebraska is one of the reddest states in the country, but a blog I read wrote up a pretty neat artsy summary of Omaha, and I was intrigued. http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/12/design-guide-omaha-nebraska.html
I have spoken to a few people, mainly guys, on Omaha and they all told me "YOU HAVE TO VISIT THE ZOO." Never in my life have I been told to visit a zoo by more than one guy. I did a little research on the zoo and it was just recently voted by readers digest as the best zoo in the country. Which I think is a pretty monumental achievement. http://www.omahazoo.com/
We started our trek on Monday morning, stopping at a cute little antique mall in b.f. Missouri. I bought a weiner dog salt and pepper shaker, Mark bought a beat to crap record... all in all, a success!
We had perfect weather all the way into Omaha, and went promptly to the Omaha zoo. It was only $11 to get in, and everything is inside. We were able to see the desert dome- its the world's largest indoor desert. It was NEAT! We spent a long time walking around in there. You can see more pictures on our flickr site www.flickr.com/runaroundrachel. It was amazingly beautiful inside, with a desert climate. We were one of maybe 10 other groups in the entire dome... it was nice to be alone most of our tour. It pays to be able to go on a Monday before xmas in the middle of -2 temperatures. :)
Our next stop was the aqarium. It has the largest tunnel in the US. It was 70 feet of acrylic dome that you can walk through that was full of sharks, fish, rays, turtles, coral, it was beautiful. http://www.omahazoo.com/index.php?p=animalsexhibits&s=scottaquarium Mark and i spent some time just hanging out in there. We were able to be in there alone, which was amazing!
We had a ray just playing with us, it would get right up on the glass next to us and sort of follow us. The sharks were full of personality too, and spent a lot of time showing off how beautiful they were. There was a neat jelly fish exibit in a tube with a black light on them. A penguin and puffin exhibit. The penguin were laying eggs while we were there, but we didn't get to see it.
We got back on the road and we had an idea about stopping at a restaurant we saw on Diners Drive-ins and Dives. Its an Italian joint that makes their own sausage and ricotta cheese daily... it looked AMAZING... of course we got there and the place was CLOSED! D'oh! We decided to just hit a local pizza place that we saw on the blog.
We drove into Old Town Omaha to find the pizza place and it just so happened that the record store Mark wanted to go to was next door. We went to Zio's pizza, which is a local favorite. We ate pizza and Mark got a meat ball sandwich and they were both awesome.
We walked around Old Town and went into a ton of cute boutiques and record stores. Mark bought a few records, I got the new Belle & Sebastian cd. We wandered to the next street and saw an antique mall, which we wandered through. We hit a few more stores and walked out side and it was a blizzard. We were inside for maybe 10 minutes and came out to an inch of snow. We promptly got in the car and began our drive home.
We drove 35-50 for the first 60 miles of our trip because of the harsh snow. Once we got into Missouri, the snow miraculously stopped and the weather was perfect.
It was a good day!