“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” -Robert Burns
Sometimes, things just do not work out the way you plan. Our impromptu trip to Idaho was only 15 hours old, and as we sat in South Dakota after a long day’s ride, there were two things that troubled us, so much so that we decided to explore all our options over dinner. The first thing was me, or more to the point, it was the fact that I was feeling a little under the weather. Secondly, and perhaps more troubling, was a late spring snowstorm that was predicted to hit the next day about the time we were scheduled to be driving through western South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Truthfully, had it just been one of those and not both, we would have continued to our destination. K2, being a professional survivalist and trip-packer extraordinaire, would have no doubt pulled out a set of skis or snowshoes from her Mary Poppins bag and we would have trekked our way through Rapid City if need be. However, with multiple obstacles now facing us, we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and made our way back south to Omaha, Nebraska with the next morning’s light.
Neither K2 nor I had ever been to Omaha. We searched online for things to do and were pleasantly surprised to find that Omaha was home to one of the better zoos in the United States. There is also a 100 acre botanical garden and a historic downtown area called the “Old Market District” that is a great place to take a horse drawn carriage ride, shop, or dine. We decided to shoot for the zoo first and reserved our tickets for later in the day. We arrived at our predetermined time slot minutes before and entered late in the afternoon when most of the other visitors were heading out for the day. We both love zoos, although it is always better to see animals and nature alike in a more natural setting, we do understand the role that zoos play in educating, conserving, and even saving some animals from extinction. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is outstanding. It is a great mix of theme park and zoo that decided to merge together. It spans over 130 acres with lots to do for all ages and definitely worth a visit again in the future. It is just well done and worth a trip if you have never ventured there before. Check it out here:
K2 and I stayed in the Old Market area for the night and had dinner at one of the restaurants that was within walking distance from the hotel. We had planned to visit the botanical garden the next morning, but the snow and cold weather that had chased us from South Dakota had found us again in Nebraska and we did not want to walk around in the snow flurries and freezing wind. We decided that we would eat breakfast and then just head back to Tennessee. We had a great breakfast at the Early Bird Café near by and then we hit the interstate heading back the way we had come only two days prior. It was a memorable experience and we both felt we learned a great deal about different places to stop and how to break up the drive for the next time we ventured north and west. We plan on going back soon and visit that botanical garden, but you know how plans are….