Last weekend we (my husband, Roy, and I) traveled to my hometown of Omaha Nebraska for our last (and technically, only-real) visit of the year. It was short (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon) and last-minute (Roy is changing office locations and his new office means different hours/days off, so they told him to take Friday and Saturday, it seemed like it would be that weekend or nothing at all, and he found this out one week before said trip), but I think we did all right in the end.
I do not like Nebraska, but I love and miss some people who happen to live there. I also have a few favorite places to eat. But whenever we have a short trip like this, it seems like we’re scrambling to see everyone or go to the places we plan on. This trip should have been the worst of all of those. It was by far the shortest. It was the most last-minute trip we’ve ever pulled together. And the night before we were to leave early in the morning (6am), I had to go to the ER because my doctor and husband are both drama queens.
After leaving, thirty minutes late, and on less than three hours sleep, the weather kind of crapped on us. Friday we were supposed to go to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, which was a huge sentimental deal to me. Saturday was the last day it was open and supposed to be cold and rainy, so we planned to go as soon as we got into town. Well… the rain started as soon as we left Denver and was either right in front of us or right behind us, the entire drive to Omaha.
The entire trip I felt a little under the weather. I wasn’t sick; it was just residual ickiness after my blood pressure bottomed out a few times the day before (the reason for the ER visit). So my appetite was bleh, and I was tired and otherwise not completely with it. Roy was also incredibly tired, after all – he had to drive. And no plans were made with anyone until after we arrived…
For everything working against us this trip, however, it was by far one of the best we’ve had in awhile. We did get to see everyone we wanted to, and while it did feel like checking names off a list, for the most part it wasn’t rushed. On Friday I visited my grandmother, who was a big reason for making the trip. She’s getting older and is now in an assisted living home, and it’s important to me to see her and make time for her while I can. After seeing her, I stopped to see my bestie because she lives five minutes from my grandmother and we were supposed to meet my dad and stepmom for dinner, so we didn’t have time to go far or have a “real visit” with anyone. Then we did dinner, and then we saw “The Martian”. The theatre was nice, but their closed-captioning wasn’t working, so I didn’t actually hear or understand anything that was being said – I just understood the gist. Still the special effects were cool, and I enjoyed it.
Saturday was packed with seeing everyone else. We woke up early to have brunch with two good friends and then went to see their new house (they just closed two weeks ago!). Then we headed out for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. We had a great time (my dad, stepmom, and younger brothers met us there), and it just felt nice revisiting a place from my past that only has positive attachments. Plus, it’s not your average pumpkin patch! As Roy said, “This is quite an operation.” Unlike a lot of pumpkin patches, it has so many things to do, including live shows, a ridiculous amount of places to eat, and over thirty rides/attractions for all ages. It isn’t just geared towards little kids.
“It’s like the Disney World of Omaha,” Roy said before we left.
“Yep,” I replied. “And the Henry Doorly Zoo is the Animal Kingdom of Omaha.” (Though, I think Henry Doorly Zoo kicks Animal Kingdom’s butt. 😛 )
I got to do everything I wanted to there, except for the corn maze, which had been obliterated (like completely cleared away). Well – there’s always next year for that! I also plan to get a turkey leg and funnel cake next year since my stomach was just not being agreeable this past trip.
After that we went and visited two other great friends (one of them it feels weird to call a friend, he is much more like family) and all of their animals. They offered to have us stay for dinner but have we discussed my lack of appetite? Plus, Roy was itching to change clothes after the pumpkin patch, which proved much muddier than even I expected. We eventually did have dinner that night, but by dinner I mean we raced to my all-time favorite place to eat fifteen minutes before they closed (they said it was okay) and ordered our must-have appetizers, while I also ordered a single taco. I managed the taco and we picked at the appetizers and then got them to go, so the staff could go home when they closed. We didn’t want to keep them.
Then I went to visit my bestie (the same one I saw Friday) for an actual visit. She took my Xena: Warrior Princess virginity (we watched the pilot) and then we watched two ridiculous Property Virgins episodes. They were a riot. She went with Roy and I on my annual candy run (I basically buy half a year’s worth of chocolate/candy when everything goes half off after Halloween) and we said our goodbyes. And with that I saw all the friends I set out to see.
We planned to leave at 11:00 the next day, but didn’t quite make that. (Understatement!) Roy slept in and caught up on his sleep and then we went to get my grandmother her favorite candy and a small orchid for her room. I tried to catch my brother (the only one I didn’t get to see) at his work, but had just missed him. So we went and got coffee from my favorite place (loaded up) and picked up some donuts for my family to enjoy after we left. We visited my grandma, before finally returning to pack. I wish we had more time to spend with my family, but that’s the goal for next time.
I’m really surprised that our most thrown-together and last-minute trip wasn’t at all stressful, particularly when it came to making sure to see everyone, since it’s not just about our schedules, but the schedules of the people we want to see, their spouses, etc. But it really wasn’t. There was no running around like headless chickens or trying to squeeze someone in (like a fifteen minute thing) because our schedules just couldn’t mesh. It was nice. While I am a planner and like at least a loose plan, and I like giving people notice, and hope to stay longer next time… I hope that every trip in the future is as successful and laidback as this one.
Thanks for the great drive-by, Omaha. Until next time! 😉