Anniversary trip to Omaha!!

So this past week was crazy and weird for running.  That being said I didn’t run much at all.  I ran once on Thursday for 40 minutes with the hound.  That was it.  I was out of town from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon and then left again Friday afternoon to come back Sunday and unfortunately I’m not always motivated when I’m traveling and have a hotel room to myself.  Even though I always say I will be and I will set my own schedule and get up early to run.  Almost never happens.

Monday was our 1 year anniversary so we broke out the year old cake and went to Mr. P’s for our celebratory dinner.  The cake was surprisingly still good!  A glob of frosting on one side had fallen off but other than that it still looked good (and tasted good!!).

Tuesday I left for my training trip, which went pretty much about as well as they usually do.  You sit there and eat all day while listening to the speakers and then they take you out for dinner!!  Food, food, food!! But the hotel restaurant was really cute and I can’t say any wrongs about a place that has a cow wearing a hat as their logo.

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The second night’s dinner was held at a super random winery in the middle of Iowa.  Coming from California and having lived near “wine country” for four years, i was skeptical but I shouldn’t have been!!  It was quaint and refreshing for the area and the owner himself gave us a tour with a history lesson.  It’s only been around since 2007 but it was modeled after an old Italian villa so it looked like it had more history and was a cool contrast to what you usually see in the Midwest. Plus as usual, dinner was amazing.  For a buffet style dinner I was very impressed, plus the open bar we had would be hard to beat no matter where you are.  They have a strawberry ruhbarb wine that they are famous for so I had to give that a try and coming from someone who doesn’t drink a ton of wine I can be pretty picky when I do.  Once again, nothing but impressed.  If you are ever in the area of Carroll Iowa, stop by the Santa Maria Vineyard where they ferment the wine right there on site and bottle one at a time right there in the basement!

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After returning from my work trip, I had a quick day of work before I was off on vacation for reals.  Adam and I planned a small “staycation” to Omaha for our first Anniversary and we were so burnt out from work we were beyond excited to get away.  Admittedly we were really sad to leave Hemi for the weekend, but at the same time we were looking forward to the silence and sleeping in.  We left Friday after work, checked into our swanky 1920’s hotel in the middle of the Old Market area and headed down the street for dinner.  We chose this hotel specifically because it was close enough to walk to most anything we would have a need for.  Upstream Brewing came highly recommended by several people so we were eager to get some food.  Not to mention the fact that I have never been to a brewery that does not serve amazing food, so standards were high.

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I won’t bore you will all the details of my Steak Cobb salad, but I will recommend going here and getting the hot Asiago Parmesan Artichoke dip served with beer bread if you truly want to enjoy your life.  I always love a good Artichoke dip, and I don’t meet many breads that I don’t like but this blew me away!! I could have just ordered one of these for myself for my meal!

After dinner we found Cigars (Adam) and Macaroons (me) and ate them while we waddled around the shops and stores of Old Market.  It was a beautiful night and despite having rained earlier it was loud and lively.  People were taking engagement pictures and there were street performers and carriages everywhere.  It was really cool just going and hanging out outside around people after being cooped up all winter.

Saturday was a big day for us.  We did it all and more. So exhausting.  We got up bright and early and headed to the Zoo with the plan on getting there right around opening time to try to beat the heat and holiday weekend crowds.  Well we managed to beat the heat, but the crowds were there already regardless.  Luckily we were smart and bought our tickets online before we went so instead of waiting in the huge crowd/line right up front we just presented our pieces of paper and floated on in.  I wouldn’t call us frantic but we were definitely on a mission to see as much as possible as fast as possible.

We started off with the Jungle, Aquarium and butterfly house and made it through with pretty good time. It’s kind of a cool zoo because they basically are all indoors or have both indoor and outdoor options for viewing so that they can stay open in the winter, so even there were a ton of people there we kept moving pretty well.  One of the big Memorial day weekend attractions was the opening of the African Grasslands, however they were still mostly unpopulated and unfinished.  Regardless we paid a little extra to go on a skyfari which basically means we got on a chairlift that took us up to the top of the park.

From there we just picked a side and went off that direction.  It’s designed so that you can walk around from place to place and see other animals while on your way so just trying to get from point a to point b we saw everything we wanted to.  We checked out the big cats, bears, pelicans and everything along the way before heading back up the hill to catch a ride back down because we paid for it dang it!!  It was also nice to be able to sit down for a couple minutes and see some of the animals from above.

Once we got back down to the bottom it had kind of started to sprinkle and was threatening to downpour so we headed to the desert dome, which was the last stop on our list.  Sadly by this time it was coming down pretty good so a lot of other people also headed to the desert dome so it was a little crowded.  But it was warm and dry and it was cool to witness a thunderstorm from within a warm, dry, glass dome.

Once we left the zoo we still had a long list of things we wanted to do other than just eating.  What else is there to do you ask?  Why, shopping!! Yes we went to the mall where we inhaled food that was considerably cheaper than what was at the zoo.  We bought a few things we needed and then went on a mission to Whole Foods to find Mochi ice cream which I tried and really liked back when I was in SLO at the beginning of the month.  Sadly they did not have any because the vendor is in Hawaii and that’s too far to ship ice cream (I guess) so we just had some fresh made gelato and were pretty happy with a little snack. After that we walked off the extra calories at Cabela’s looking for some shirts and stuff for Adam. Since I was almost asleep on my feet and we needed to shower and get ready for our fancy dinner we headed back to the hotel before we died.  Really though, I can run for hours on end up to 13 miles but walking around at a slow pace for 8 hours almost did me in.  I’m getting soft.

We had made dinner reservations at a really fancy restaurant called Sullivans, which is an upscale steakhouse with an enormous wine selection so I had been looking forward to this meal for a really long time.  I had been here once before for work and have been CRAVING their steak ever since.  They dry age most of their steaks and cook all of them to absolute perfection.  Even though they usually serve them with steak butter, you really don’t need it.  In fact Adam said he scraped his off because his steak was so good as is.  It’s also a really fun place to go because the sides are shareable so you can get more than usual and have a little of everything so I ended up with smoke flavored mac and cheese, grilled asparagus and white cheddar au gratin potatoes to pair with my Fillet Mignon.  We also went a little crazy and had two whole bottles of wine with dinner so needless to say afterwards we were really happy that the hotel staff was picking us up (another perk to that hotel: free car service).

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There was a wedding going on when we left so in our slightly tipsy food coma we had a plan to go crash and dance the night away, but it was clearing up by the time we got back so that quickly ended our careers as wedding crashers.

Sunday morning we slept in a little and then just headed home because we missed our doggie.  We did stop at PetSmart and bought him way too many traveling presents including a Thunder Shirt, that was probably the best money we have ever in our life spent.  I have probably mentioned it, but just in case you forgot I will tell you again: our dog is annoying.  Yes he is adorable and we love him and he eventually settles down and sleeps and is all sweet and loving, but most of his waking life is spent running back and forth in the house and whining because there are things outside.  Hence why I take him running with me whenever possible.  He is just very high energy/anxiety I guess.  So we bought this Thunder Shirt to calm his anxiety and O.M.G.  He calmed down and just chills out whenever we put it on him.  Plus it’s patriotic so no one will forget that he is an American dog through and through.  I wish we would have bought one earlier!  Here he is modeling it during his favorite hobby of begging for food:

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I am so glad we had a get away and then a day off to recover from our getaway because next weekend is back to normal, Adam will be working and I will be waffling over whether I want to do a local 10K or just do my normal long run with hemi.  Maybe I will do both and do the race Saturday and then take him out Sunday, which is also my birthday. Hopefully it’s an exciting week so I have some more to tell you next time!! Until then here are a few more random pictures from our weekend.

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Should I do the race this weekend or run with my coonhound?

What should I do for my birthday?

What is your favorite zoo?

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