Sunday, June 26, 2011

While I was in Omaha...

We have this thing with Cabelas Stores.  We really like them.  Cabelas is a huge sporting goods store that has something for, clothes, camping gear, housewares, dog stuff, bullets, guns, bows, on and on.  We have 2 that are fairly close to us - within a 3 hour drive, and we visit them at least once a year. We have decided that we want to try to visit all the Cabelas stores we can and get a coffee mug from each place.  Each store carries the same style of coffee mug but their location is printed on the inside upper ridge of the mug.  So we obviously have one from Hamburg, PA and also Wheeling, WV, the stores closes to us.

I was told there was one right handy Omaha and I had to check it out.  I googled it after work one day while I was out there and sure enough it was a 15 minute drive from where I was.  I decided to go for it and away I went.  I have to say I have driven on all kinds of roads and crammed interstates, but I have to say this short stretch of I-80 to get from Omaha to La Vista was totally INSANE!  I just held on tight to the wheel and dove right in to the crazy traffic and tried to not stay in an exit lane...which there were a lot of.  I managed to make it to Cabelas in one piece and without too much difficulty.  From the time I parked I started taking pictures.

Each Cabelas has their own sculpture that is unique to that store.  The La Vista store had a small sculpture of 2 deer.  Very nice I thought but not as big as I was expecting.  I went inside the store and was shocked at how small this store was.  The Hamgurg, PA store is one of the largest stores.  It was nice and easy to get around.

Each Cabelas also has the 4 seasons mountain in the middle of the store.  On this mountain you can find all kinds of critters and as you walk around it the seasons change as do the animals depicted.  Sorry animal rights folks - this is a hunting store and yes the animals all through the store are stuffed real animals that were killed one way or another.

I made a loop through the store and located the housewares department and picked up the coveted mug.  My boys at home will be happy.  I continued through the store and finally checked out.  Back into my rental car and away I zoomed to jump back into the crazy traffic back into the big city of Omaha.

I think I was gone a total of about an hour.  That is a pretty short time to get to a Cabelas, walk all the way through it, and get back 'home'.  I think my grocery store at home is bigger than this place was.  I will not  complain though - I was there, got picture and a mug to prove it and that is all that counts in our book!

If I get the chance to get back out to Nebraska again I may have time to get out to another of their Cabelas stores.  I think Nebraska has 3 different Cabelas stores.  MAybe someday we will have complete set of mugs from each store....someday. :o)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Business trip to Omaha, NE

I had to go on a business trip for week.  My work sent me to Omaha, Nebraska for a week.  I was so apprehensive about going.  See, I am not a good lone traveler.  Had I been going with someone else I would be fine, but that is not how my day job works.  I had to go alone.  So I stared at a map for 3 days before I had to leave and made lists of lists of stuff I had to pack, etc.  One thing I did pack was the GPS out of my car.  I thought I would be smart and take it to help me get around the big unknown city of Omaha.  Little did I know, my GPS gets confused very easily!  It tried to get me to turn left directly into a stadium wall.  It had me going in circles.  Turns out it does not work so well when it is laying on the passenger's seat or sitting on my knee.  No.....  I had to actually hold the stupid thing at the steering wheel for it to work correctly.  It finally got me where I needed to go and that is all that mattered.

I flew from Pennsylvania to Detroit, Michigan, then on to Omaha, Nebraska.  I can say it was a pleasant set of flights.  My seat partners were very nice and we chatted the time away.  When I landed at Detroit I was at the complete opposite end of the airport as my connecting flight.  Ugh...I hurried up and hoofed it for miles and miles as I made my way through this really cool tunnel.  There is 2 sets of moving walkways and whole thing is has this really cool lighting.

As I was making my way through the tunnel it suddenly starting playing music and the lights changed colors!  I was impressed with the whole thing.  I wanted to stay there and watch it more but I had a connection to get to.  Yes I am easily amused.

I kept making my way through the airport and finally found my next gate.  I only had about 20 minutes to wait until I was being herded onto my next flight.  Off to Omaha I went.  The flight was pleasant and soon we were landed and confusion set in trying to figure out where to pick up the luggage.  They never did say what carousel we were to go to.  Eventually I found my bag and off I went to get my car.  More walking and walking and walking.  It was a lot hotter in Omaha than it was back in PA that is for sure!  I got my car squared away and off I went with my confused GPS.

In my misdirected drive I managed to pass some really cool statues and hoped to get back down to see them some time during my stay.  The only problem was, I had no clue where these statues were in order to find them again!

I managed to finally get turned in the right direction and eventually found my hotel at 10:00 at night.  I was tired and hungry and wanted to get to my room and collapse, however my room key did not work and back down I had to go to get new keys.  I could not crash right away as I had to help my son with some last minute homework.  It ended up I was still awake at 2am helping him!

I was up surprising early considering how I did not get much sleep.  I was ready to start my work and get  going.  I found the work building and my point of contact and dove right in!  It was a very busy week and I put in a lot more than my required 9 hrs doing my job.  That is ok, I love what I do now, and it was to help that site in the long run.  My point of contact was very nice and we hit it off very well.  It really helped me feel at ease there and really do a my job well.

It was so very hot on Omaha!  While I was there it was something like 105 or more.  There was a breeze, and that really helped.  I decided after work - on the hottest day - to go wandering around in the city.

I drove into the city and found a 24 hour parking garage.  I took my ticket and parked, and left - leaving my parking ticket in my car.  I set out on foot to explore the city and find those statues again and meander around the 'Old Market' area.  I walked and walked and walked, and walked some more!  Good thing I changed into my sneakers!  I found what I was looking for finally.

The first thing I found was pioneer courage.  This is a set of sculptures depicting a wagon train going west.  Some are smiles and happy.

Others were facing challenges, such as dealing with ornery animals.

Or dealing with a stuck wagon in the mud.

As the story goes the wagon train spooks a heard of buffalo and they charge through the city.

I followed the buffalo up the street and took some really cool pictures.

The detail is amazing.

The buffalo then in turn spook a flock of geese on a pond.

The 'pond' has fountains under the wings of the geese to make it look like they are disturbing the water as they take off.

I then made my way back down to where I started and seen a cool building.  I made my way down to it and also found the Baseball stadium.  This is the home of the college world series.

The other building was after was called the Quest.  This was some sort of entertainment arena where they have concerts and whatnot.

I found the really cool statues and a really big clock!

I did not realize that was a clock until I stared at it for a while.  Yep I was wondering around a city at 7:30 at night.

At this point I decided I was really hot and needed to make my way back up to the 'old Market' area and find something for dinner.

I found my way to the old market area and was amused *again* to see carriage rides in the city.

The brick streets reminded me of my husband's home town.  At this point I was melting and found a place to eat.  I returned to the parking garage where I parked my car and I could not figure out how to get in to it!  I finally read the sign and started to panic when I read that you were to take your parking ticket with you in order to scan into the main lobby to get to your car.  If you did not take your ticket with you - you need to call some transit authority - but they did not give you a number to call!  I was a complete mess at this point.

I had no way to get to my number to call anyone....and it was going on 930 at night.  I was just about ready to curl up into the fetal position and cry myself into a coma when I seen a lady heading to the door.  Praise the Lord!!  I was saved!  I groveled to her to let me piggy back into the garage with her.  Thankfully she let me.  I was paying my parking bill and along came 2 other people who did the same thing I did and they were locked out.  I let them in so they did not panic.

I got back to my hotel room and wrung out my clothes from sweat, showered and passed out.  What a day!  The next day I was equally as adventurous but on foot this time.  Seems Omaha has all kinds of random sculptures all over the place.

I walked around a place called Askerben Village.  It has a serious Harry Potter sound to it but definitely was nicer than that prison in the movie :o)  There was even a movie theater.  It would have been funnier if a Harry Potter movie was showing....oh well.

This was in front of the Blue Cross Blue Shield building.  Can you see the swimmers in it?

These were random sculptures around the college of St. Mary.

I have to say I don't think I have seen some many college/universities in one place as Omaha has.