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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Welcome to Omaha!

Things will be getting pretty busy for our fair city in the coming days and weeks. To kick off our summer of fun is the annual pilgramage to The Road To Omaha; that's right, the NCAA College World Series.; an Omaha tradition since 1950. Nowhere else can you see baseball as it was meant to be played; from the heart. These kids put everything they have just to make it to Omaha with the possibility of only playing two games before going home. I found this article and gives a good run-down of Rosenblatt and CWS history. The Series kicks off this Friday with a concert and activities for the family. Games start on Saturday the 14th and concludes the 24th or 25th, depending on if a third game is needed for the Championship.

Adjacent to Rosenblatt is the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha's pride. Here you can find the world's largest enclosed rainforest, the world's largest enclosed desert, new butterfly exhibit that opened this spring, aquarium with shark tunnel and IMAX, the nation's largest cat complex, and many other fantastic exhibits. Dr. Lee Simmons has plans for the Rosenblatt property when it moves to its new location in North downtown next to the Qwest Center in 2010 with a 25-year contract with the NCAA. Take a look and you'll see why it's one of the premier zoos in the country.

After the festivities of the CWS are over a few days later in central downtown is the Summer Arts Festival, a 34-year Omaha tradition which showcases local and regional artisans in a 3-day outdoor mall setting from June 27-29.

As the Summer Arts Festival wraps up, Omaha is host to yet another sporting event and a first for Omaha. From June 29 through July 6 Omaha is hosting the Olympic Swim Trials at the Qwest Center. In just 3 weeks the Qwest arena had an Olympic-sized swimming pool constructed with fire hoses brought in to fill the pool with 1 million gallons of water. Check out this article and watch the movie clip and you'll see the three-week construction of the pool.

If all this wasn't enough to keep you busy, there are some sites outside Omaha. Drive west on I-80 about half-way to Lincoln and at Exit 426 is the Wildlife Safari, a drive-through park featuring elk and wolves. Also at this exit is Mahoney State Park, as well as the Strategic Air and Space Museum, formerly the SAC Museum located at Offutt AFB. This facility is truly spectacular. When you walk in you are greeted by this:A Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, by far my favorite jet. This aircraft is on permanent loan to the museum. It is awe-inspiring to stand within 4 feet of this beauty. There are permanent displays as well as temporary displays. Also housed in this 300,000 sq.ft. (yes, you read that right) is a restoration wing where old planes are reassembled, stripped down, and repainted in the original colors. Among the museum pieces are a Peacemaker, U2, B-1a, B-52, B-17 Flying Fortress, even a MiG fighter.

So there is plenty to do in Omaha. We really are pretty civilized around here. Don't take my word for it. Just click on the post title and you'll find out all kinds of information about Omaha.

Just remember, we have a spare bedroom if you want to visit....


Malathionman said...

A couple of my MicroLeague friends go to the CWS every year. One of these years I'm gonna go too.

Nadine Hightower said...

Interesting offer.

I haven't tried to mess with the pix albums for this. Have you tried?
I wonder if you have to make the slide at flicker or photobucket first and upload that to the slide feature....hhhmmm...

Mannyed said...

I'd go to Omaha to visit blog friends :o)

Love watching the CWS and the LLWS - you said it perfectly, tney play with heart.