Omaha Fun

Gabriel’s first trip to Omaha was a bit of a whirlwind, but all fun.  He met a lot of Aunts and Uncles and cousins.

Once we arrived at my aunt’s house we had some play time before we headed out to the rehearsal dinner.  Gabe played with Grammy and Aunt Pam while dad went for a run.  Then it was time to get dressed up and show off his outfit that Aunt Pam bought him.

5You can tell that Gabriel is crazy, excited about posing for this picture.  Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come.

We went to the rehearsal dinner in Elkhorn.  It was a quaint, little restaurant that had some amazing food.  Gabe met more cousins(that he will be running around with in no time) and more aunts and uncles.  He managed to be really good until my uncle started giving the blessing.  Then Gabe had had enough and I quickly ducked out and found the a/c.  Scott was not too happy that I left him.  We managed to get Gabriel to sleep while we quickly ate.  Then we head home for a great, freezing night’s sleep.

On the wedding day, we planned on taking Gabriel to the Omaha Zoo.  They have an amazing zoo in Omaha and I wanted to share it with Scott and Gabe.  By the time we got there, parking was limited and somehow I found a great spot and could see the car from the zoo entrance!  Go me!

He likes to dress up for the zoo

He likes to dress up for the zoo

We checked out the bears, monkeys and aquarium before it was time to go.  It was starting to get a little toasty and Gabe was ready for a nap.

Entertainment while waiting for an elevator

Entertainment while waiting for an elevator

We did manage to get a couple decent family pictures while were at the zoo.  We were in the Jungle and with all the monkeys swinging around it was hard to pick just one spot.  Although, it was kinda warm in there, and I think Gabriel started getting tired.

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Looking at the monkeys

Looking at the monkeys

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11We even made it to the aquarium for a very quick walk through.  It was very cool to see the sharks swimming around.  St. Louis zoo needs to get one of these.

Checking out the Penguins

Checking out the Penguins

After the zoo we stopped for lunch at Goldbergs for day 2 of great burgers.  Gabe slept through almost the entire lunch.  We managed to back to my aunt’s house in time to clean up and head to the wedding.

One of my youngest cousins, Nick was getting married.  The ceremony was held outside at a park.  It was a very pretty ceremony and it was a little warm out.  Gabe was awake for the whole thing.  We did a couple diaper changes during the ceremony and I don’t think Scott or I minded hanging out in the back with the kids.

13After the ceremony we headed down to the Old Market (downtown Omaha) for the reception.  Gabriel was still a hit with his aunts.  And he was all smiles until he couldn’t stay awake any more.  He and I hung out by the entrance during the father of the bride speech and blessing(there were a lot of blessings).  He finally went to sleep and I was able to eat and visit with my cousins.  By 8:30 we finally got our food and cake and decided it was time to head back to my aunts to get some sleep.

Weddings are fun

Weddings are fun

On the way home Gabe work up for a bit and we managed to get one picture of him in his awesome tie/bib that Nana made for him.

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On Memorial Day we woke up to storms!  It ruined our plans of stopping in Kansas City to catch some of the Cardinals/Royals game.  Instead we headed home.  We were making great time until Columbia and then everyone decided it was time to leave the lake and head home to.  It made for a fussy baby for the last hour of the drive.  But for 6 hours we had this:

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Omaha Thanksgiving

What a great Thanksgiving we had.  I was a little nervous about the 7.5 hour car ride and being 7 months pregnant and needing to stop all the time.  But we managed to stop on 5 times on the way up there and still arrived by 2.  We had horrible fog when we left our house, bright and early Wednesday morning.  We stopped in Wright City for a quick breakfast for me and then stopped in Columbia for a much-needed Starbucks trip.  The Starbucks we found was on Mizzou’s campus and across the street from Shakespeare’s Pizza, a place I’ve heard about from time to time.

Once we arrived in Omaha, my aunt and I went out to run a couple of errands and get some much-needed mani/pedis.  It was so nice outside that it did not feel like Omaha at Thanksgiving time.  Once returned we picked up Scott and headed to Sortino’s to meet up with the family and enjoy a Sheldon Family tradition of pizza and catching up.  It was the first time I was able to meet my new cousins, Lucy and Cassidy.  It’s amazing how fast they have grown in a year.  Jackson was just a newborn at our wedding and has turned into quite a cute kid.  The pizza was great and it was nice to finally see my parents.  Afterwards, all the guys went out with Kyle leading the group.  I went home and slept.  It must have been a great night out because Scott and Scott didn’t make it home till 2:30!

On Thanksgiving, we met up with my parents at Old Navy for a quick shopping trip and then some Starbucks to hang out.  Then we packed up the car and headed to my Aunt Pam’s house for dinner.  It was great to see my cousin Luke, who has been plagued by an illness that they finally think is Lyme disease, and Emily, with newborn Harrison.  There was plenty of football and food to go around.  It was nice to sit in somewhat quiet places and talk with all my cousins, aunts and uncles.  It’s amazing how much baby advice there is when there are 9 kids under 6.  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving in 2 years when we will have a little one to chase around.

Friday morning was much of the same family time.  My aunts and cousins had planned a baby shower for me at a local restaurant for brunch.  The food was great and talking more with the newer moms was always educational.  After the shower we decided to brave the shops and see what we could find.  Since the Huskers weren’t playing great it was advised that we stay out shopping.  We made it back just in time to see the Huskers pull out a win in the last game of the season.  Bring on the Big 10 Championship game!  While Scott did some work and my mom and aunt chatted, I took a wonderful nap.  That was missing from actual Thanksgiving day!  Then the 6 of us loaded up the cars and met Shelley & Mark for dinner and a Bond movie.  Dinner was great and Scott got to talk to my uncles a little more.  Always a good time with the Sheldon bunch.

Saturday morning we were told to be at Village Inn by 7:30, my parents showed up at 8.  We had a quick breakfast and we left for St. Louis as my parents headed back to Texas.  It wasn’t a long enough visit with everyone but it will do until the first bridal shower in the spring.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are in Omaha for Thanksgiving this year.  I’m extremely excited because my parents will be up there with us.  I haven’t seen them since this summer and it will be nice to have a normal Thanksgiving.  Everyone but my brother will be in town and that includes a few new babies that were not around for our wedding last year.  I love that my family is growing and that the younger cousins will get to play and experience the same sort of Thanksgivings I had in Omaha every year!

Weekend in Chicago

It has been almost a year since we were last in Chicago.  So our trip up to visit the Bates’ was long over due.  We drove up Friday afternoon with a quick dinner stop in Springfield.  We settled into the Bates house and caught up and I was quickly off to bed.

Saturday was a fairly busy day.  Scott went for a run and then we prepared for back to back soccer games.  It was a little colder than I had expected watching the games but it wasn’t horrible.  Afterwards we got some pumpkins and did a little carving.

Scott did a great job of craving our pumpkin.

Afterwards the adults went out to a nice dinner.  I was able to try a few new foods that I would normally not eat:  mushroom ravioli’s, tempura buffalo shrimp, polenta fries.  All great dishes at Abigail’s.  After dinner a few games of dirty neighbor was played before Scott and I watched and fell asleep during the Nebraska game.

Before we left on Sunday we went to breakfast at Caffe Buon Giorno of Winnetka with the younger kids.  The food was pretty good and there was a lot of it.  An hour of Wii and we were on the road home.  It was a great relaxing trip.

Last day in Boston

On our last day in Beantown we headed out to Havard to check out the college.  It was impressive.  There was a lot of history on that campus dating back to the 1600s.  We walked around campus for an hour or so until we found the Havard Museum of Natural History.  There was so much in that building that we could not see it all.

Founder of Havard

Once we left Havard, we went to the North End for lunch and a walk around the Italian neighborhood.

 

We had lunch at Trattoria Il Panino.  The food was great and it was so nice to sit outside and people watch.  This weekend was also the Festival of St. Anthony so it was crazy.  We found the first Catholic church founded by Italian immigrants.

It was very pretty.  Then we found part of the freedom trail that involved Paul Revere.

We walked past Paul Revere’s house and on to the Old North Church where he put his lanterns in the window during his famous ride.

Inside Old North Church

And with that we found our car and headed to the airport.

Bewitching Day & BoSox

Salem, Massachusetts was our last destination place to go before we left town.  We arrived around 11 and headed to the visitor’s center to get our maps of the town.  They actually have a witch trail painted in red all around town so you can walk and stop in to the must see spots or you can ride the trolley.  We walked it.  The whole trail was about a mile or so long and had plenty to see.

We first went to the Salem Witch Museum and listened to the story of the witch trials.   Afterwards we walked around town to historic houses from 1692 and the Memorial to the victims of the witch trials.

We stopped for lunch a small restaurant called the Lobster Shanty.  Up until this point in our trip we hadn’t really had lobster.  There was some in my pasta in Plymouth but I didn’t eat much.  So this was our chance to try it and see what we thought.  We decided to ask what was the most popular and go from there.  Scott had the traditional lobster roll and I had the lobster mac & cheese.  We came to the conclusion that we do not like lobster.  Thankfully I was able to pick out my lobster and eat most of the mac & cheese, Scott wasn’t so lucky but he did manage to eat a lot of it.

After lunch we decided to see the House of 7 Gables and some of the Nathaniel Hawethorne’s history.

Salem, MA

We found the coast and that Salem is known for it’s maritime history as well as the witch stories.

The Witch Trail

We headed back to the hotel for a little rest before we ventured back into Boston to catch the Red Sox game at Fenway.  After a very confusing drive into Boston and paying crazy amounts to park we finally made it into Fenway.  I couldn’t believe I was actually there and the stadium was so small.  We were able to stand right behind the visiting bullpen and watch the players warm up for a bit.

Fenway Park

Then we found our seats, they weren’t that high up but they were covered.  We couldn’t see the main screen with the replays and lineups but they gave us a great shot down the first base line.

View from our seats

The Royals put up a fight and we got to hear the infamous Red Sox fans booing their team.  They haven’t been great all season and half are at odds with the coach, Bobby Valentine.  It was entertaining enough.  Overall the park was dirty and we randomly had some liquid dripping on us from above.  We never figured it out, there were no a/c vents above so that let the mind wander.

The Maine Event

Cheesy title I know but Maine was the one place on the trip that I was really excited to see. I never thought I would ever go there so I made sure that was a stop this trip. Since Augusta, Maine was 3 hours North of Boston we got up a little early and hit the road. The whole trip was a little different to drive through. I’m used to being able to see past the highway and see the towns that were built up around the highway or at least see farmland. We saw trees and lots of the them lining the highway from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. It was a little weird for everything to be so green (the drought this year turned STL brown).

Once we got through New Hampshire

 

and into Maine we stopped at the visitor’s center and enjoyed the fresh Maine air. Then it was back in the car all the way to Augusta and a whole lot of toll booths. Once we got to Augusta we headed to the Capital building. While driving through the town it felt more like a suburb of a major city than a capital of a state. We first visited the State Museum and took a tour and learned about Maine granite and jobs of early Mainenites (?). After the museum we walked over to the Capital building.

We took the tour of the building and found out that Maine has 3 Indian Territories within the state, the people are represented but the representatives do not get an actual vote. Not sure that’s fair. We took the tour with an elderly woman whose father was a Speaker of the House for the state of Maine in the 60s. It was interesting to see her father’s picture on the wall.

Abe Lincoln Maine House of Reps

We needed a quick bit to eat before heading out-of-town to explore a little more of Maine. We headed to the small town of Hallowell for lunch. It was a very cute main street with shops, businesses and restaurants. We had a quick-lunch at The Liberal Cup. The food wasn’t too bad. We then walked down the street to a bakery for a cookie and coffee.

Small town Maine

We headed South towards Freeport, Maine. A small town that is the home to the flagship store of L.L. Bean. My parents always got the L.L. Bean catalog while growing up and I’ve used many of their products, so why not stop in.

L.L. Bean

The store was huge, I would compare it to a Cabela’s or Bass Pro shop. We walked along the street and checked out a couple other outlet stores. This town reminded me of a small beach town, like Gulf Shores, AL before everyone. It was a fun stop on our way back to Boston.

Overall, we were not that impressed with the Maine capital. For a building that had been around since 1830s it looked very modern and the town of Augusta wasn’t impressive either. The state was pretty, wish we had a little more time to check out the beaches.