Friday, October 28, 2016

(10.15.2016) Explore Omaha Day - Nebraska Marathon / Half Marathon

It was nice to not set an alarm and to just wake up when my body was ready.

Sadly, I didn't remember that the hotel had a complementary breakfast and we headed out to find a McDonalds. I was looking forward to their oatmeal anyway so not a total loss.

Back to the hotel with full bellies so we both were a little sleepy. My husband feel asleep immediately - as he's famous for doing - but I decided to go ahead and take a shower and check out the area just around the hotel while he slept a little more.

The hotel is in Midtown section of Omaha which seems like it might be a "young professionals" side of town. There was a nice park that had a tribute to fallen police officers near by. There was a good view of the city from here as well.
Once my husband was up and showered we headed into town to 1) find some coffee for me 2) go to the visitor's center to see if they had any state pins there and 3) drive back over the I-480 bridge and get a picture of the Welcome to Nebraska sign.

Found a Starbucks and got my coffee to go so we could then drove across the bridge. We figured traffic would be light early on a Saturday morning.

The Visitor's Center was somewhat of a bust - nothing for sale - but the guy gave us some suggestions for other places to try to find a state pin.
This interesting sculpture was next to the Visitors Center
Since we were in a one hour parking area for the center, we decided we'd better look for another location a few blocks down the road.

We happened upon a Farmers Market so we walked around for a bit and also popped in some of the various shops. Omaha certainly is dog friendly...which we loved! So many dogs were out with their people. We met a little puppy named Peach. Her human Mom was carrying her and we stopped to meet her. She gave me kisses. Man! I've never wanted to steal someone's dog so badly!!  Little Peach was adorable.

The last shop we wandered into had a state pin! I went ahead and got an Iowa pin as well since I wasn't technically collecting them back in 2012 when I did my half in Des Moines. And I was able to get a Nebraska magnet as well.

From here we got back in the car to find an Omaha sign we spotted yesterday and to take a picture of it. We have a plan for it later!
Next it was back over to the National Park Service Regional office. There wasn't too much to it but we did get some "stamps" to put in our passport, watched a very interesting short movie about Lewis and Clark and then signed the Aerosmith.  (shake my head)  

I'm so glad my husband is a good sport and let me take this picture of him.
We then walked over to the Heartland of America Park. This was a very nice area. We spotted a black squirrel, (I don't think I've ever seen one of those before), did a poor job of getting a selfie with the fountain and saw this beautiful white swan.
I wanted to check out some sculptures that I'd seen out of the corner of my eye yesterday as we were driving through the city. Thankfully I have a pretty good memory and it was very easy to find again. There are some incredible intricate details on these statues at the First National's Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park (whew...that's a mouthful to say!)
One more stop before going to the hotel. We drove past a gorgeous building that said Central High School and had some markers info in front of it so we needed to see what that was all about.

We needed to go back to the hotel to pick up some stuff and then made our way back to the Old Mattress Factory because I wanted to double check on something at packet pickup before they closed at 3:00 PM. We decided to go ahead and have lunch in the restaurant first. Our waiter Aaron was fantastic! I had a turkey burger and onion rings and my husband had a brisket sandwich and we may have also shared the brownie sundae for dessert.....THAT was completely Aaron's fault!

Since we'd done a lot of walking around during the day, I really didn't want to do much more but we needed to find a place near the hotel so that my husband could watch the Cubs game later. I would need to go to bed early-ish, he wanted to be considerate and watch the game elsewhere. Luckily there was a bar/pub super close (Saints Pub + Patio) and since the guy we talked to anticipated that it would fill up early, my husband wanted to stake his claim sooner than later. So he grabbed a table there (it was 5:45 and the game didn't start at 7:00) but I went back to the hotel to upload some pictures to DropBox and free up some space on my phone for tomorrow's potential photos. I popped back over to Saints a couple of times. It was busy but we would have been fine getting a table later. It was a good atmosphere and most of the people there were cheering for the Cubs. I left around 9:30 to get things ready for in the morning and was in bed at 10:00.

Walking back to the hotel, I could see where they were being to set things up for the start area. Nothing much better than the start line basically being in front of your hotel! 

And there was a full moon this night as well. I think it was even a Super Moon!

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