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One of the stranger second dates I ever had involved Omaha, Nebraska. I don’t remember the first date at all, but I know sometime during that evening, she hit me with a question. I felt a bit of surprise, but the date was going well, and before I knew it, my easy going self had answered in the affirmative. The next weekend, she picked me up and we drove to Omaha for a Saturday wedding. It’s the only time that I got in a car for almost three hours to go to a wedding on a second date.
So, on my only trip to Omaha, I didn’t really get to see much of the town. I don’t remember much except a few awkward conversations at he reception (well, awkward in my head but on the outside I played the boyfriend role like a champ.) The next morning we headed back to Kansas City.
Now, you might think that there isn’t a good reason to go to Omaha. I’ve lived somewhat near it for quite a few years and didn’t even spend 48 hours there. However, as a fan of the cross country road trip and because Interstate 80 through Nebraska follows the Platte River, it provides a nice tree-lined drive through the Heartland where at the end of Nebraska, like an urban oasis, lies Omaha. So, when I return after a long day of driving, I intend to put my bags down, stay a couple of days so that I can actually explore the town this time. These are the places that look cool to me.
Get a Runza sandwich
After a long days driving, getting myself presentable for a night out doesn’t excite me. Instead, I’ll plan to stop off at Runza to get one of their special pastry sandwiches filled with beef, onion and cabbage. According to my Omaha date, they are a tradition in Nebraska. After trying one on my previous trip, I understood why.
Visit the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
I’m not much for many zoos as they seem to be more cages that encourage pacing rather than exhibits that allow the animals to roam. Like the famous San Diego Zoo, the Omaha Zoo seems to emphasize huge exhibits. There’s a huge dome that is the world’s largest indoor desert. There’s also the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit that has the world’s largest indoor swamp and if I thought zoos were like men, I’d think it was trying to compensate for something.
Drink a beer or two at Upstream Brewing Company
After a long day of wandering through some of the world’s largest exhibits, I know I’m going to need a beer. The Upstream Brewing Company looks like the perfect place to quench that desire. I’ve already picked out my first one, a Dundee Export Scotch Ale.
Eat a big steak at The Drover
After taking care of my thirst, the next thing has to be a big meal. Like many midwestern towns, Omaha is all about the steaks, and The Drover seems like a great place to indulge my appetite. The steaks are marinated for 15 minutes in whiskey when you order and then grilled while you drink a bit of red wine or a bottle of Fat Tire.
Go to TD Ameritrade Park
TD Ameritrade Park is home to baseball in the form of Creighton Blue Jays home games and the College World Series. It also hosts the United Football League Nighthawks and the Red Sky Music Festival which last year had Poison and Def Leppard headline. No matter when you pop by Omaha, you ought to be able to find something at this park.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.