The second portion of my vacation was just as good, if not better, than the first portion. There’s no sight seeing or tourism in Nebraska, so everything we did was tons of fun and so unique! One of the things I really enjoyed doing was walking on the pedestrian bridge, which is a mile long bridge only for pedestrians over a river in downtown Omaha. The coolest part about the bridge is that the bridge starts in Nebraska and ends in Iowa!
The Old Village in Omaha, where my cousins and I strolled around one afternoon, is an area spanning just a few blocks that oozes character and southern-like charm. Cobblestone streets, elaborate hanging flower baskets, and one-of-a-kinds shops all over! Also, it has THE best candy shop! :)
I always knew that my Uncle Andy was an artist but I’ve questioned it nor have I actually seen any of his work. My family and I took a trip to the art gallery which was showcasing my uncle’s artwork for the season. The display included around 13 pieces, all inspired by nature, of a variety of sizes. Although I don’t know much about creating paintings, I do know that he layers and layers paint on canvas and scrapes different sections to create depth and interest!
I did a bunch of other fun things during the week like go to a bonfire with all my family members, tanned the day away with my cousins at the pool, ride a mechanical bull at an Independence Day carnival, and painted my own picture frame at a local pottery store!!
For the Fourth of July, I went to my cousins cabin on a lake where we fished and lounged the day away in the sun! Sometimes you just need a relaxing day to really enjoy yourself! Of course, then we watched a fantastic fireworks display!
The last day was bittersweet and the drive home was anything but quick, but we made it back to New York safe and sound. We will definitely be back to Nebraska next year!
Nebraska and New York are so extremely different that it’s both refreshing and unsettling.
Omaha is an urban city in Nebraska, but it is build horizontally and not vertically. It’s rare to see a building more than four or five stories tall here. Also, everybody’s back yard is enormous. There is so much land and so many grassy fields; it’s beautiful! In New York, every square foot of land is build upon or covered with cement. There are so many skyscrapers that only a sliver of sky can be seen and my backyard is barely big enough to fit a trampoline. In Nebraska, the air feels cleaner and more refreshing, and life seems less hectic.
The unsettling part of Nebraska is its homogeneousness. All of the houses have similar structures, driveway placements, and siding colors (taupe, sand, or navy). The majority of the people shop at the same stores, and, therefore, wear all of the same things (blue denim bermuda shorts and converse sneakers). Everybody has blonde hair, sunkissed skin, light eyes, and a dog.
I know that it may be comfortable to live in a place where nothing is out of the ordinary or surprising, but to me it’s booooring. I miss walking down the street and seeing an unlikely couple taking a stroll, or a purple tudor house, or even an old man dressed like a viking. There may be a safety in sameness but there is an excitement in diversity that, to me, is much more valuable than almost anything.
Last Saturday morning my parents, my sister, and I loaded our many pieces of luggage into our trusty minivan in preparation for our lengthy road trip to Nebraska. Our relatives live in Omaha, so almost every year we get in the Honda minivan and drive through the countryside to visit them. The trip takes about 20 hours each way, but my sister and I make the drive more fun: we watch movies, play games (remember I spy?), and gaze out the window at the mesmerizing rolling hills.
The sights really are beautiful; the country looks nothing like urban New York, or even NY suburbia. Farms with bright green crops and barrels of hay and roaming livestock spread for what seems like forever on both sides of Interstate 80. Every once and a while we would pass a small town or truck stop, but for the most part, the land seems virtually untouched, which is not a common sight nowadays.
We stopped for the night on Saturday in South Bend, Indiana in your regular Holiday Inn. The next morning, right before we resumed our journey, we took a quick drive through the Notre Dame campus. (I’m currently looking at colleges to attend because I am a rising senior, AH!) I haven”t toured a campus school that was as large as Notre Dame and it was beyond beautiful. I would love to go to school there.
We finally arrived at my grandma’s house in Omaha Sunday night. We were greeted my my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins. It really feels like a home away from home. For this week, I’ll be blogging, tweeting, emailing, etc. from right here at my grandma’s kitchen table.