We went to a new place for Memorial Day weekend last year--Omaha, Nebraska! It was our first time going there and we had a lot of fun. It was a little less than a four-hour drive, which isn't too bad. I liked driving out there because in our seven years in Iowa I'd never really been farther west than Des Moines, which is in the middle of Iowa. It was neat to finally drive through the whole beautiful state.
We first did church history stuff, because obviously it's most important! 😇
Mormon history is everywhere in this part of Omaha because Winter Quarters was here for the Saints in the mid-1800s as they trekked out west.
I'm not sure who that person in the middle is supposed to be. Maybe Jesus, but it didn't look like him to me.
I thought it was kind of creepy looking! I could be wrong but I don't think this was done by the Church.
I hadn't seen one of these old-school merry-go-rounds in a long time. I liked playing on these when I was a kid, but as an adult, not so much. Peter spun me really fast on it and I felt sick for a little while after that. I can't do circle rides anymore!
The Mormon Trail Center was really well-done.
I like the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints" and I learned that it was written right here in Iowa.
Speaking of "Come, Come Ye Saints"...
Playing with a really big wheel.
Looking at a really big replica of the Salt Lake Temple.
There was a pioneer cemetery on the grounds. I have pioneer ancestry on my dad's side, so I looked for familiar names from my family tree, and I found one. I'll have to investigate that at some point.
Peter and I had gone to the Winter Quarters Temple that morning.
We spent our two evenings in downtown Omaha. I really liked the downtown area; it was clean and nice and had lots of unique shops and restaurants.
I have a long-held soft spot for Frog and Toad, so I had to take a picture of this!
"Absolutely do not touch." For some reason, this tickled my funny bone.
We spent the second day of our weekend vacation at Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha's highly-renowned zoo. It lived up to the hype; it was awesome!
Do you see it?
I think flamingos are cool. Not as cool as owls, but still cool.
Naptime for the lion den. It was a very warm day.
We hadn't seen these striped fellas since Animal Kingdom in 2016. I love their stripes!
Some views from the sky-ride:
Mr. Rhino needs a bath.
These aquarium tunnels are so cool.
Sam was fascinated by this eel. Yuck!
My favorite part of the zoo was the indoor rainforest. It's one of the largest indoor rainforests in the world!
His heir and his spare...
(Sorry, I've been watching a lot of King Henry VIII stuff lately.)
A cute little burrowing owl
(It's not real!)
Sam fell in love with a giant snake in the gift shop, and sometimes I'm a pushover so I got it for him. He was so happy!
That night we saw Memorial Day fireworks from our hotel room. Convenient!
The final day was Monday, Memorial Day. On the other side of the river from Omaha, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, we stopped at the Kanesville Tabernacle on our way home. This is a lesser-known but interesting and well-maintained church history spot.
This is where Brigham Young was sustained as the new prophet after Joseph Smith was killed.
We stopped in Des Moines for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then we were home by mid-afternoon.
It really was a fun weekend in Omaha!
John enjoyed this hug from Peter at lunch. 😄