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A Quick Trip

Early last week I noticed that the weatherman was forecasting a nice, mild summer day for Friday.  I have been hoping to catch a cooler than normal day to take the family to the zoo in Omaha so I called Andy and asked if he could get Friday off.  By the end of that day I had a hotel booked and we had gotten ahold of our friends who live in Omaha to set up a supper date.

Thursday morning I packed and loaded the car while Andy worked so at noon we could head west.  Trying to pack for 4 kids and two adults is quite the challenge - you don't want to forget any essentials!  Luckily since it was just Omaha I knew we could find a Target just in case.  ;)

On our way! The car was packed so full, there was no way I could have stuffed one more thing in!
The boys each picked out 3 movies to watch on the way plus packed their tablets - they were all set.  I loaded a basket full of books, tractors and 'beep beeps' for Tate.  Tenley had her pacifier and a couple of toys, also.  I was counting on Tate and Tenley both taking 3 hour naps on the way out which left only 1 hour to keep them occupied.  Unfortunately they only slept about 2 hours but were both super troopers and hardly fussed.

We made it to Omaha around 4:00.  By the time we got checked into the hotel, unloaded the car and found the room it was almost 4:45 so we loaded back into the car to head out for a quick supper at Qdoba.  We got back to the hotel by 6:30 and headed straight for the hotel's waterpark.  I took zero pictures because I didn't want to try and keep track of my phone while there.  It was a cool place!  They had areas for the little little ones, the big big ones and everyone in between.  There was a fun lazy river, little pools with basketball hoops and a rope ladder strung across so the boys got their American Ninja Warrior on.  Water slides of all shapes and sizes.  Buckets that dumped.  Things that sprayed.  It was a really great small water park.

After about an hour I asked Aiden if he wanted to go down one of the really big slides that started indoors, went outside and ended back inside.  We could go down together on a two person inner tube which added an extra fun element.  We trudged up ALLLLL the stairs and made it to the top.  We chose the slide that had light since it was our first trip down.  We loaded ourselves up on the inner tube, took a deep breath and shoved off.  We were both surprised at how fast it was!  We started off screaming and yelling and having fun.  After we hit about the third hard turn I yelled "I think I"m going to lose my supper! Ha ha!!"  And then I heard nothing back from Aiden.  Oh crud!  After many more fast turns and sudden drops we finally were spit out at the bottom.  Aiden was a tad green.  We grabbed the rest of our crew and headed to the toddler area so Aiden could settle down.  Andy and Brennan decided to give the big slide a try and off they went.

By the time they got back Aiden was feeling better so we went back to the smaller slides.  One trip down and Aiden was back to feeling icky.  So after about 10 more minutes I ended up taking Aiden and the two little ones back to our room. Andy and Brennan stayed for another hour and had a blast!  They ended up going down the dark slide, and by dark I mean they couldn't see their hand in front of their face! Andy said that was pretty trippy not knowing when you were going to turn, which way or where you were at all.  I couldn't believe that Brennan was our daredevil!  Andy said Bren told him a couple times that he was having the best time and loved this vacation, ha ha!  Sweetheart!

Back in the room we got everyone showered and in their jammies, then shut the lights out so the kids could go to sleep while Andy and I watched a little TV.  Tenley had other plans... :)

Finally everyone fell asleep.  Everyone except me!  I sleep terribly in hotels, then add in a wild and crazy toddler in my bed and oh boy - I think I finally got a stretch of sleep from 4 - 6 a.m.

The next morning we got up, dressed and packed.  We loaded the car then headed out to grab breakfast on the way to the zoo.  Hardees biscuits for all!

We had a great day at the Henry Doorly Zoo!  We went once before just before Aiden turned 2 years old, a lot has changed in those 8 years!  They added an entire new area of African animals, plus a HUGE splash pad!  I didn't know about that or we would have taken swim suits.  We saw lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears of many kinds, monkeys, gorillas, snakes, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes, and much more.  One of my favorite exhibits was the gorillas, those things are just amazing!  One of them had a pet mouse, no lie!  It would carefully hold that mouse, put it on it's head or shoulder or arm, then it'd fall off and that gorilla would let it walk around a bit before picking it back up.  So weird!  A lot of the gorillas were napping when we were in their area, and most of them next to the glass partitions.  One in particular had it's foot up against the glass so I had the boys hold theirs up next to it to compare the size.

The aquarium was amazing, it's so cool walking through the tunnel where the water is all around you and you can see sharks and sting rays, turtles and fish swimming over the top of you!  I also loved the butterfly sanctuary - so pretty and magical to have all those beauties flying so close to you!

We were at the zoo for 5 hours and that was long enough. We were exhausted!  We made our way back to the car and headed out for Charming Charlies - I had some shopping to do! :)

After CC's we found a lake to park at and let the boys play on the playground until it was time to meet our friends for an early supper.   Supper was pizza.  We had fun catching up with our friends but boy was I tired!  I felt like I was talking in slow motion!  Finally the kids had had enough so it was time for us to make the 4 hour trip back home.  All the kids slept in the car, Andy kept me company while I drove and I sang to every song I knew on the radio.  We finally got home about 11:00 Friday night.  It was a great little mini-vacation, we all had so much fun!  And now, 3 days later, I am still trying to catch back up from that terrible night of sleep! :)


  1. OMAHA!!! Literally one of my favorite places, and it's practically home. The zoo is the best, and I'm so bummed we didn't have time to go while we were back this summer. You packed it all in, and saw all the best stuff there!! Isn't that aquarium great?! And, I'm with you. The butterfly sanctuary gives me the sweetest little goosebumps!
    And, by the sound of your hotel... Did you stay a CoCo Key? My mom and I tossed around going there this summer, but decided maybe next year instead.

  2. Glad you could get away for a while! What fun!

  3. Sounds like a great little trip! I sleep terrible in hotels as well. I feel your pain sister!! I am still catching up from our trip.

    And as have the cutest kids!!

  4. Oh my - this sounds like a blast and an adventure after my own heart!!! I love a road trip and my kids are pretty good at it too by now!!! And the zoo looks awesome . . . some are definitely better than others! And the water park? A kid's dream! My favorite is also the mouse/gorilla friendship and the feet pictures . . . I die of the cuteness! Fun family memories!