Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nebraska, day three. Also known as the coolest fucking zoo day ever.

When the Nebraska trip was first discussed I told Matt I would go if A) I could meet my two blogger friends and he wouldn't embarrass me, B) if we could go to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and C) if we could go to Jones Bros. Cupcakes. And like every good wife who has done her job, he agreed with gusto because he knows what's good for him. So on Sunday, our last day of the trip, we got to go to the zoo and it was fucking amazing.

 Obligatory mom shot of kids in front of a sign.

Can I say something? You know I love my kids to death, I really do. Olivia is very calm and she likes to learn about stuff and she is patient and will take her time looking at things. Jackson on the other hand, instantly gets ADHD when we go anywhere and just runs everywhere. You laugh at me when I had him on a leash as a younger kid but god dammit, I may be *that mom* who makes her 15 year old wear a leash some day and I'm not even kidding. And while he did that a lot at the zoo and I'm constantly trying to get him to at least absorb something on this trip, most of the time it was a lost cause. Until... he realized that they have a lot of interactive exhibits that he can play with.
 Jackson stood on this crate for TEN MINUTES opening and shutting the little box on the wall. TEN MINUTES, people. That is huge for him.

One of the other things I was most pumped up about was the Lied Jungle. Folks, the pictures you see online are amazing, but they are nothing like walking through it. I seriously could have wandered through there the entire day and not have gotten bored.
 The kids thought we were in a legit jungle, and who am I to correct them?
 I mean, they had a bridge.
 And tree branch swings.

 Waterfalls and trees. That's good enough to qualify as a real jungle to me.
 Never mind the fact I look like a fucking heffer here. I fucking love that dress though, so freaking comfortable. But guess what isn't awesome? My super cute Target sandals that Shannon told me were amazing, and they are. But they are not meant for walking around a zoo for 10 hours.
 Matt was exhausted by 11 am but dammit, he kind of smiled for a picture with his hot, yet heffer like wife. HA!
 Then we saw a sloth and both kids started screaming that we had to take a picture of it for Uncle Travis because it is his favorite animal and so I did. This one is for you, Travis. We also love the sloth because we have this super cute bedtime book called If Animals Kissed Goodnight (seriously, parents? Get it. So adorable) and it has a sloth and her baby being adorable. So then Jackson naturally asked if we could get one and I had to explain that it's not really a house animal, and he insisted we could get fake trees for the house. Bless his damn heart.
 So after the jungle we ended up going to the Desert Dome. Which, not going to lie, I think is where that terrible Pauly Shore movie "BioDome" was filmed? It seriously looked like it. But I don't know if a lot of the animals were hiding, or just have awesome camouflage and I really need glasses, but I seriously only saw *maybe* five animals. I'm assuming there are a lot more because I kept seeing signs for them, but no animal. But what I did see?
 A crazy Russian lady with an umbrella hat. See? People really do wear them!
 This weird little animal. But it was cute and I would like it as a pet.
 This asshole with a rolling cooler. Like, I get that drinks at parks and zoos can be spendy, but is an entire cooler necessary? No.

We also saw a lot of Asians. Like, Asians EVERY WHERE. Matt and I agreed that walking into the Dome was like walking into China and I'm not even kidding. They were losing their shit over some pig or something, and then the road runner. (Which, how fucking disappointing to find out that A) they are not purple in real life and B) they are super small. Childhood cartoons have ruined me.) I couldn't even look at the animals because the one guy started yelling at me in Chinese or something and flailing. Like shit, dude. I'm trying to see what the fucking fuss about this pig that looks dead is, chill the fuck out, homie. So we left the desert.

And went to the aquarium.
 Obviously, by this point blood sugar was getting low and this is what Jackson thought of my attempt at getting a cute picture.
 Through the entire aquarium he demanded that we see a shark or leave. So I'm dragging him through. We stop at the penguins which they ended up loving because they were very spastic penguins and flipping around everywhere. Finally, we get to the little underground tunnel thing where the fish are all around you and we see a shark.
 Which we cannot even fully appreciate because in this tunnel are a TON of breastfeeding women. And before you get on me for being a bitch about breastfeeding, shut the fuck up. I'm pro breastfeeding in public so settle the fuck down. But what I do think is that just because you can do it anywhere, doesn't mean you should. Both of my kids are demanding food at this point, but you don't see me letting them eat right there, blocking every one's view of the exhibit. No. I take them off to the side, so we're out of every one's way and let them munch on their snack. Same goes for breastfeeding. It's great you chose to go that route but don't be a douchebag and block every one's view of a very cool exhibit. *rant end*

After the aquarium, we went and had lunch overlooking the Lied Jungle and we had awhile before our 2pm movie about the Arctic in the air conditioned theatre (totally strategic), so we went on the SkyFari. Which I could have ridden all day as well.
 What we didn't know was that 4 people couldn't be in one bench, so Olivia and I went in one...
 ... while I tricked Jackson into going with dad. Which he was thoroughly pissed off about. Whoops. He is very much a mama's boy and wasn't having it sitting with dad.
 After our SkyFari, we went and watched the Arctic movie only after getting the kids their Omaha Zoo hats which they went to bed wearing, by the way. The movie was good even though I was very worried that a mean rogue polar bear was going to eat a baby polar bear and it was that moment as a mom you silently curse yourself for bringing your kids to something there might be death in and cause hysteria and ruin an entire day. Thankfully, no polar bears died and crisis was averted.

Then we walked over to the Dino Dig site thinking that would be the shit. Which, it would probably be if it wasn't 100+ degrees out. Why? Because instead of sand, it's like rubber pellets that look, feel, and smell like cat litter. It was too fucking weird and smelling really warm rubber cat litter is a disgusting thing for anyone and I thought I was going to throw up.
 So the dig was short lived.

After being at the zoo for over 10 hours walking around, Gini told us there was this great little restaurant called the Pizza Shoppe in the Benson neighborhood that we should go to because it was good and cheap. And it totally was.
 Olivia loved it.
 And Jackson did too. And it was SUPER reasonable (under $25 for all four of us), air conditioned, and we had a really cool waitress. So it was a total win.

My last request for Omaha was to go to Jones Bros. Cupcakes. The guy who owns it, Bill Jones, used to be a radio DJ in Duluth, MN and I loved his morning show. It was SO good. Well, he moved back to Omaha after taking some cake classes at which he got really good. He opened up his little shop:
 And then was on the show Cupcake Wars twice. He ended up winning the second time, and his display for the Country Music Awards was in the shop and that was cool. But we obviously all got cupcakes.
 Jackson got a "Blue Slushie"
 Olivia chose the "Black and White"
 I obviously got the "Sweet and Salty", which was SO FUCKING GOOD.
And Matt got some Dark Chocolate thing which he also said was amazing.

So that was it. We ate our cupcakes, got to the hotel, showered and packed, went to bed and bid adieu to Omaha the next morning. It was a really great trip and I already want to go back. I feel like we didn't even touch the tip of the iceberg of fun and cool stuff in Omaha, so another trip is definitely in our future.


Gini said...

Aw! This post makes me so happy! I'm really glad you had such a great time in my little city! :D

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

I want that sweet and salty in my face right now. I think I'll go get one after work. And I need to go to the zoo. When it's not 110° here.

Jandy xx said...

theresso much awesomeness in this post! but i just cant pass this quote... "And before you get on me for being a bitch about breastfeeding, shut the fuck up. I'm pro breastfeeding in public so settle the fuck down"

i fucking love you!

Life Love & High Heels said...

Ahh the zoo! I haven't been to one in forever! Your kids are adorable as always. Looks like a great time! :)

FinnyKnits said...

You had a 100% better time at that zoo than I did when I went a few years ago. I think the visit was tainted by the heat, tornado and hideous wedding we were required to attend because Bubba was a groomsman.

When you go back, I have BBQ recommendations...