Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Kite Party, and then Finally Omaha

Our intrepid adventurers had just awoken in the middle of rural Nebraska and thought to themselves "why the hell are we still in the middle of rural Nebraska?"

We spent the night in Kearney, Nebraska. I briefly considered driving all the way up to Sioux City, South Dakota but I couldn't find anything there that would justify the trip.

Well, my ratty copy of 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die had helpfully supplied an interesting destination: the Sandhills. The Sandhills are kind of cool. They are giant sand dunes that have been "stabilized" by grass growing on top of them. If you weren't paying attention you might just think they were weird hills. Anyway, crops can't be grown on these things so they serve as grazing land for cattle.

The Great Platte River Road Archway looks like what happens when you mix one of those highway visitor centers with a museum. It looked cool from the outside but was kind of expensive so we didn't go in.

I got a few pictures of the Sandhills but they mostly just look like hills.

We stopped for lunch at a pretty interesting place in Callaway, NE. I mostly stopped there because it was the only restaurant in town I could find.

There were all kinds of different cattle brands burned onto the ceiling. Despite it being lunch time they had a hearty buffet that we hopped in on. There was fried chicken and several medleys of meat and potatoes and such. Lydia said it was like cowboy food.

Fun fact: medley, melee, and meddle are all based the on medieval Latin misculare "to mix". I did not know that.

Once we were done eating I asked the proprietor in my best medieval Latin: "hey, which way to the kite flight?"

The Callaway Kite Flight is a Callaway-sized big ole deal. First of all, it is sanctioned by the American Kitefliers Association. Yes that's apparently a real thing. Admission was $2 a person and I was in the middle of doing that slow move for my wallet thing when I really want Lydia to pay for something when the ticket takers just waved us in. It was going to start raining any moment and they felt bad taking our money. I think that was a nice Nebraska memory for me.

The 17 people at this event were apparently enough to draw a Sasse for Senate campaign bus out from its lair. I wish so desperately that it is pronounced "Sassy". When Sassy launched his bid for U.S. Senate he said of Obamacare: "[i]f it lives, America as we know it will die." Classic Sassy.

I turned my head to look at kites for like 30 seconds and Lydia had already bought ice cream. You really have to watch her.

We weren't there long when the sky started spitting and we hit the road.

We took a quick peek at the capitol building in Lincoln and continued on to Omaha. Another fun fact is that Omaha was the capital city originally but for political reasons people were planning on moving the capital to nearby Lancaster. Well the powers that be in Omaha got the town of Lancaster renamed after the recently assassinated President Lincoln because they thought it would deter Confederate sympathizers in the state legislature from making it the new capital. They thought wrong apparently.

After finally arriving in Omaha we strolled around in Lauritzen Gardens.

I was excited to show off my spankin' new Nebraska state fair t-shirt to the envious public.

Our hotel downtown and within walking distance of the nice Old Market shopping/dining area.

Even the Goodwill here was fancy.

Everything inside was 99 cents, and there was a giant art installation thing on the wall.

We had a really nice dinner at a seafood restaurant. I figured we'd eaten so many corn dogs and other junk that we'd earned a nice meal. I found a coupon online for free oyster appetizers so that was fun.

We saw this limited release Irish movie Calvary at an artsy movie theater. I liked it a whole lot. It was a classic dinner and a movie, but it was a fancy version of both that we can't get in Neosho. We would go to these sort of places in St. Louis so frequently that it wasn't a big deal, but we both agreed that we appreciated the experience much more since it had become a rarity.

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