It was a very interesting day today. We spent the first part of it at Father Flannigan’s Boys Home and then went to the Spirit of Nebraska Wilderness Project in the downtown area.
It is nice to see that the Boys Town is still a thriving mission and that they have been welcoming girls for over thirty years. The story of the place was quite inspiring and the history center did a good job of relaying how it has changed over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed is their dedication to wayward kids. They currently have over 200 there now. Here are a few pictures.
The Wilderness Project is made up of bronze bigger then life statues of wagons, buffaloes, and geese spread out over a six block area.
Of course we had dinner in the Market District again; Mexican this time at Trini’s. It was good as usual. Yvonne and I both carry pedometers now and discovered that over the past three days we have walked over 17 miles! Not bad for two old people I guess. We are back in our hotel in time to get the evening milk and cookies and then veg out for a few hour before calling it a day.
It has been a very nice three days in Omaha; it will rank in the top three places we have visited on our April vacations of the last 26 years. One surprise about the city is how windy it has been since we have been here. It seems that it blows between twenty and thirty mph almost all the daylight hours. I don’t know if that is typical or not? I know they get a lot of fronts moving through this area but the wind was a surprise.
We will get a good rest and then it is another road day tomorrow heading for St. Louis and the 25,000 picture puzzle store.
I want to say out front that I am very impressed with Omaha. It seems like the quint-essential city to me. It is probably the cleanest city we have visited during our twenty-six years of April road trips. Today, at least so far, we have browsed through the Old Market area and spent several hours at the Durham Museum. Here are some pictures of that.
The Old Market is perhaps twenty to thirty square blocks of very well restored buildings that contain restaurants and shops. Even though it was pretty chilly it was a very pleasant day of browsing through them. It was a hard choice as to where we would eat lunch but we settled down with tortilla soup and tacos.
The Durham Museum is housed in the old union station just south of the Old Market place so this was one of those rare on-the-road days without being in the car. The museum celebrates the history of Nebraska and especially its transportation. One impressive thing about the museum was all the bronze life-size statues throughout the building. Above are a couple of them. No, that beautiful lady in the orange coat was not a bronze that is my wife. The last sentence reminds me of that wonderful quote “no, he’s not heavy; he’s my brother” because tomorrow we will be going to Boys Town for a visit.
The final thing I wanted to talk about in this post is how well they reported on the native American history of the area. They did a very good job of telling me about that. My native American heritage makes me always seek at that type of info. As the photo above shows that in 1881 a court case in Nebraska was the first time an Indian was recognized as a person by the U.S. government. Before then they were just savages to be controlled and taken off their land (how’s that for native American spin ). The story goes on to state that in 1924 the U.S. even declared them citizens but it seems to me that since they were here thousands of years before the white man it should have been the other way around.
This afternoon we will be having pizza in the Old Market district and then on for a stroll through the Heartland of America park. More pictures of that tomorrow.
We didn’t have much of a drive today; just across the river to Omaha and then north to our first sightseeing venture. But we did make some new friends today while visiting the Wildlife Safari Preserve. My wife being a super animal lover that she is insisted this be our first stop.
We are now settled down in the Magnolia Hotel for a quick nap and then it is on to our first visit to the Old Market District just four blocks down the road. The hotel is somewhat unique; it is a completely renovated 1930 hotel that is done in the Art Deco style. The rooms are quite nice and the bed, at least after a quick nap, prove to be quite adequate.
I think I am going to lay back a couple of the local brews at a micro-brewery/restaurant in a while so I should sleep well tonight and be ready for a day full of walking and picture taking tomorrow.
The trouble with Wall Street is well, Wall Street. Those folks in New York City, especially Manhattan, think they are the center of the universe.
Lets move our financial institutions to Omaha Nebraska. That will give them more common sense than they would ever be able to gain on that little island in New York. Warren Buffett has done pretty well with himself by staying there all these years. He has weathered most of the melt-down in pretty good shape. He doesn’t let the flashy lights of fame and fortune cloud his judgment.
The people who live in or near New York City don’t really have any idea of what the rest of the country is about or what our priorities are. I lived in that area for four years waiting to finish out my corporate life before claiming my pension and leaving soon thereafter. When many in that area learned that I was from Indiana the first question they asked was ”what is there to do out there in the Midwest?”. To them anything outside of their area is simply a “cornfield with lights”. They don’t understand that there is life without having to live packed together with millions of other people.
I won’t reserve this mentality for only those in the Northeast as those California folks think much the same way but on a different topic. They can’t understand the changing seasons have an appeal to some of us. They can’t understand why any of us would want to live where it gets cold or where there is no ocean.
So, getting back to the original premise of this post lets move our financial district to Omaha. Maybe some saner minds would then prevail for the very fact that not many of those Manhattan folks would follow their jobs to the “cornfield with lights”. But then again maybe I am wrong about that. Greed is a powerful thing…
But what do I know….
We will be on the road again in about a week and I am going to do my usual “on the road” daily blog posts giving you my observations and experience of what we visit. This time we will be visiting Omaha Nebraska. We were there during our month long vacation in 2009 and decided to save the city for its own vacation. What we saw in 2009 was a beautiful city with a fabulous restored warehouse district. We will be staying at a renovated one hundred year old hotel.
“On the road” posts are a different thing for me. I generally do the initial write of my posts about two week ahead of publishing them. That gives me time to think about the topic and do several edits. On the road posts are usually posted the day they are written. I know that several of you who have been following my various blogs have enjoyed my trip reports. So, starting next Tuesday April 3 and for about a week thereafter look for these unique posts.
One nice thing about doing this is that any time in the future I am then able to identify where all the pictures we take were taken by checking the timestamp with the trip log postings.