Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're going to Omaha!!! (part 1 of 3)

In college baseball, the ultimate goal is to get to Omaha, Nebraska (and, of course, to win it all).  Omaha is the site of the College World Series every year and only the last 8 teams left in the tournament make it.   This year, after a 12 year drought, the Aggies finally earned their berth and we wouldn't miss it for the world!  We got tickets and booked hotel rooms as soon as we had beaten Florida State University on Monday, the 13th.  I took off of work early on that Friday and we headed on our way.  We were a little weary of how long this trip would be (Google said 14+ hours) since we have an 8-month pregnant Momma and a 2 year-old little boy, but we were determined to make it and to have fun!

It may be easiest to tell this story in pictures but I'll do my best with both (words and pictures).

DAY 1 - Friday, June 17

Since we left sort of late in the day, we had hoped to make it to Laramie, Wyoming which is about a 6 and 1/2 hour drive from our house.  We made our traditional stop in Little America, WY.

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I don't know what it is but we always stop here.  They have billboard signs all up and down I-80 for this place and I think the "50 cent ice cream cone" is the one that gets us the most.  Olsen got to sit on the Sinclair Dinosaur
And got to see a stuffed animal penguin that was larger than himself
Little America Pictures

We didn't make it to Laramie.  We got all the way to Rawlins which is about 100 miles short of Laramie and stayed at the Best Western there.

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DAY 2 - Saturday, June 18

The next day, we ate at the diner inside the Best Western.  It was weird and not very good but it was free.  Then the boy and I went swimming in the pool.  He had a really good time swimming.  Until he really had to pee.  So I ran him out of the pool and into the public bathroom which was super nasty.  We then ran to our room and he was able to go...  We drove on through Laramie.  I wanted to stop but decided not to since we needed to make up missed time from yesterday.  Though we did stop right past Laramie at the Lincoln Monument that overlooks the highway.  I've always been curious to stop here but I'm usually in a big rush for time so I never have.
Apparently this spot on the highway is the highest point of any coast to coast highway and Lincoln had some aspiration for manifest destiny (I think is what it was...).   Olsen had fun running around here but we needed to get going.

We drove to Cheyenne to have lunch and see the capitol building.
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We found a nice little area to set up a picnic blanket.

Olsen had fun chasing the squirrels there.  We then walked around the area of the capitol building.
We saw a bronze calf and people were riding it.  It was pretty funny and Olsen wanted to put his hand in its mouth
We then had to be on our way into Nebraska, finally.
Cheyenne Pictures

We stopped in Sidney, Nebraska; home of the original Cabelas store.  It really wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be (I think the Cabelas in the Salt Lake area is more fun and nicer).  We saw an elephant that Mr Cabela killed and Olsen sat on a four-wheeler

After we left, we went through the scariest hail storm I have even been in.  It wasn't safe driving on the highway.  It lasted for what felt like an hour but it had to have been shorter than that.

We stopped in Kearney, Nebraska (home of the famous Great Platte River Road Archway) to eat and then decided to stay the night in Lincoln since it wasn't worth driving an extra hour to get to Omaha.  It was nearly impossible to find a hotel in Lincoln because of the College World Series going on in Omaha.  It was ridiculous.  Somehow we got the last room in the "airport" Holiday Inn and had to settle there.  It was a pretty nice hotel.
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DAY 3 - Sunday, June 19

We ate the continental breakfast in the morning and the boy and I decided to go for a swim again.  Well, it was an indoor pool and apparently wasn't heated because it was super cold.  We didn't even get in past our legs...  Before heading into Omaha we made the obligatory stop at the state capitol building to walk around and check it out.
We probably stayed a little longer than we needed and it was getting hot so we decided to get on to Omaha.  I kind of wanted stop and walk around the University of Nebraska campus but Lisa wanted to get to our hotel in hopes that Olsen would take a little nap before the game.

This blog post will be continued...

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