Since our yearly summer vacation with grandpa would be hard this year due to baby due in early July, we decided to do a spring fling. Due to getting time off constraints a long weekend would have to do. I'd been to the Omaha Zoo years ago and have always wanted to go back, so we were off to Omaha for the weekend! It would be three action packed days!

While we were packing up the van the night before, Alex went out with a family friend to help get his boat ready for the year. He came back with this!

Alex with a fish

We left early Friday morning, and after stops for food and such we arrived in Omaha around 2:30 in the afternoon. We checked in to the hotel and went out to look for a park or something to stretch our legs out for a bit in. We found a neat trail right along the Missouri River and an nearby small lake. The kids enjoyed clamoring over the statues along the way.

the kids posing in from of a statue and fountain

The lake had a huge fountain in the middle of it and a pair of swans, as well as many small fish the kids loved watching.

the kids with the fountain behind them

a swan

Here's me with my extra baggage.

Shannon posing with fountain behind

From there we went back to the hotel for a quick swim in the pool and an early shut-eye. The next day we were off to the zoo! The Henry Doorly Zoo puts the zoos around Minnesota to shame. One could spend a week there and still not see it all! We arrived a bit before it opened, so we went for a walk. Along the way the kids found a peacock that must have hopped the fence, and quickly gave chase.

the kids chasing the peacock

We had to put a stop to their games when the poor bird almost ran onto a busy road. Soon the zoo was open. We headed for the huge Desert Dome first.

the desert dome

Inside was a feast for the eyes. Creatures of all kinds appeared from rocky ledges and water holes. Cacti towered overhead. It was an awesome place!

a bird

the kids in front of some cactuses

a rabbit

That building also had the creatures of the night, in which Corbin was thrilled to see his favorite creatures: crocodiles and alligators!
Another highlight was the Lied Jungle building. Waterfalls and vines were everywhere. Animals seemed to roam freely. Rosa sadly decided she was afraid of the waterfalls and getting wet, but she seemed to enjoy seeing all the monkeys and ducks anyway.

the kids under a waterfall

a teal duck with an egg

a red macaw in a tree

a monkey upside-down

Nora hanging from a vine

Nora and Lee on a foot bridge

hugging monkeys

After a bite to eat at the restaurant overlooking the jungle, we headed for the zoo's train. Next to the train depot there were some giraffes...

two giraffes

The train was a real steam engine. We had a nice ride, and enjoyed being able to sit for a bit. It went a bit too fast to really see the animals, though.

the zoo train

Caleb was so excited to catch a fleeting look at one of his favorite animals, the cheetahs.

resting cheetahs

It started getting pretty hot, so we had a quick snow cone break. Made for some interesting lipstick.

Nora eating a snow cone

I enjoyed the bird aviary. Trees full of birds and exotic calls were everywhere.

a tree full of pink spoonbill birds

The girls had had enough, though. We ended the day on the merry-go-round.

Rosa on the merry-go-round

Nora on the merry-go-round

It was about closing time for the zoo, anyway. We ate supper, then headed back to the hotel's pool. Rosa didn't enjoy it at all the last time, (which is strange... she loves baths!) so we two hung out and watched the gang swim.


the kids and Lee in the pool

Lee and Nora swimming

We got up on Sunday and heading to the Air and Space Museum. The kids enjoyed seeing the huge planes and getting to "fly" some of them. From there we went to the zoo's Wildlife Safari. We saw elk, deer, buffalo and other wild animals roaming freely, some even crossing the road right in front of the van!

elk on the road

elk resting in flowers

a trumpeter swan on nest

a deer


The girls, however, were loosing it. It was already getting hot, with no breeze to cool us off in the van. To top things off, Rosa got bit by a bird at the last exhibit. It was time to head for home! Rosa cried and Nora wined all the way home, but fun was still had by all.

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