Now that I’ve had my newly-acquired vehicle almost two months, I’ve been wanting to see how it performed on an extended highway stretch, and since we had some unexpectedly cool weather last weekend, I decided to take a spur-of-the-moment road trip to
I’ve been there a few times before, but they’ve added some new things
since my last visit, and I also decided to venture north of Omaha on I-29 for the first time. Nothing earth-shattering, but a fun and cheap
little getaway weekend. Omaha
A ROOM WITH A VIEWI just love being able to see the city from my hotel, and this is the vista from my room at the Motel 6 University Park just NW of downtown near the
“SMILES, EVERYONE, SMILES!”I made it a point to check out some local eateries rated highly by the locals, and one that sounded intriguing was a dive called Leo’s Diner in north central
“I FIRE UP THE WILLING ENGINE, RESPONDING WITH A ROAR…”My new red machine, a 2007 Ford 500 SEL, may not be a Barchetta, but it’s a beautiful shade of metallic red, and it performed admirably on its maiden road trip sojourn. Now that I have an odometer that measures mileage, I was most pleased to get 28 MPG on the highway, which is a major upgrade over the land barge I'd been driving. I almost got to witness an accident in front of me on I-29 too, as some redneck in the little pickup hauling a large mattress that was blocking his rearview mirror nearly ran an SUV (who was trying to pass him on the right) right off the road. Was also amused by another mattress hauler who thought he had it strapped down good on top of his minivan--until it started raising up in the wind like airplane flaps! We nearly had liftoff...
YOU COULD HEAR A PIN DROP
This is the fancy new baseball stadium on the north side of downtown
where they now play
the annual NCAA College
World Series. Quite a handsome ballpark—almost
Major League quality—but it seems like a total waste considering they only use
the place one month out of the year, while Omaha's minor league Storm Chasers
team (the Royals' AAA affiliate) plays in their own new stadium in the middle
of a corn field down in the next county. Why the hell do they make their fans drive 12
miles away from the city when they could be playing right downtown? Apart from making it a shorter drive for the
fans coming up from Omaha
on I-80, this makes no sense... Lincoln
MYSo nice of the Omahans (Omahites?) to name something after me. Also cool of them to hype my man Weird Al’s performance at the nearby Orpheum Theater, which I was a night too late to catch on Thursday. But fear not, coming next week for a limited engagement at the good ol’ HPAC, Hugh Grant stars in the stage presentation of "Oh, What A Twit!"
KIND OF PLACE!
WHERE’S THAT CONFOUNDED BRIDGE?This is a rickety old foot bridge. So rickety, that they won't even let humans on it anymore. I was standing in
BEYOND THE BEYOND…My first stop when I got to town Friday was a BBQ emporium called Beyond BBQ in a little strip mall just west of where I was staying. Not too shabby, especially the St. Louis-style ribs. I don’t know that they’ll be around long, though—I was their lone customer after 8:00 on a Friday night until they closed at 9:00, and the place had no atmosphere at all, not even any music playing overhead, with a World War II movie playing on the TV.
Meantime, my Saturday night dinner was even more interesting. I went to a sports bar I’ve heard about for years called Brewburgers on the SW corner of the city and tried their “Inside-Out Burger”, which has the cheese and bacon already built-in. It wasn't bad, but there was one little problem—I took one bite and the thing exploded all over my shirt! Anyway, it wasn’t half as good as the appetizer I ate, "Cajun Nachos", which was chips topped with cheese, Cajun sausages and alligator meat. I didn’t even know gators were edible, and kept having visions of Bobby Boucher’s mama from The Waterboy whooping this up in the kitchen, but this stuff was damn good!
A NEW PLAYPENOn the way home Sunday I swung down to Lincoln, which I hadn’t visited since 1991 and was surprised to find a fancy new arena going up just a couple blocks west of the U. of Nebraska football stadium. Nearly completed and due to open in September, the Pinnacle Bank Arena replaces the aging