Nebraska

Next up was Nebraska. We decided to stay in Omaha and dedicate a day to visiting Henry Doorly Zoo. When we arrived in Omaha it was a bit late and we had barely eaten all day. We checked in to our hotel, Hawthorn Suites, and decided to find some dinner. We stopped at a nearby Red Lobster. I actually don’t remember the last time I had been to a Red Lobster. There food was actually pretty good. It reminded me of Olive Garden, which makes sense since they are both owned by Darden Group. We headed back to our hotel which was a pretty nice room. There was a living area with a couch, kitchenette, and table, and there was a separate bedroom and bathroom. They also offer free breakfast which is always a plus in our book.

The next day Christina and I decided to head to the zoo. This is definitely the largest zoo that we have ever been to. There was so may different sections to the zoo we barely got to see half of it. We started off visiting the big cat exhibit. We got to see some really neat animals there and we got a few good photos. We were able to see a few bengal tigers, snow leopards, and lions.

After the cat exhibit we headed to see the apes. They had a multitude of monkeys and gorillas. We took some really good photos of the gorillas, and we took two of my favorite photos of the whole trip. We headed out of the ape exhibit and went to the barn. At the barn there were all different farm animals running around it pens. if you wanted you could go into the pens and pet the animals. We opted to stay outside the gate and just get some photos of the animals. While Christina was taking photos I noticed one goat that was sticking his tongue under the fence right near my shoe. He was trying to get the maple leaves that had fallen to the ground. I figured I would help him out and push some leaves towards him so he could eat them.

We found a small aviary that had parakeets, ducks, and some other birds flying around. We were able to go in and take some bird food on a stick so we could feed the birds and have them land on us. Christina kept chasing around the white and blue birds and trying to get them on her food stick, with no avail. There was also a larger aviary that we were able to go into. Here they had flamingos, and some other large pink birds, as well as some big heron.

At 3pm we were scheduled to watch an IMAX movie, Born to be Wild. It was about orphaned elephants and orangutans and the people who helped raise them. The animals were cared for until they were able to take care of themselves and then they were to be retuned to the wild. It was a really good film that got to show us some very caring people to have dedicated their whole lives to rescuing these animals.

We left the movie and headed straight to the indoor desert dome. This was the first desert exhibit we had ever gone to ever! There were some really interesting horticulture as well as wildlife to observe there. It was also very hot in there. After that, we headed to the “Creatures of the Night” exhibit, which was attached to the desert dome. It was a bit dark and scary for Christina, so we walked briskly through there past the bats, termites, crocs, snakes, frogs, and other amphibians. There was just so much to see!

The aquarium in the zoo was next on the agenda. It was a decent size. There was a shark reef, some jellyfish tanks, and a few other salt water tanks scattered around. The aquarium definitely was the size of most stand alone aquariums but it was pretty good considering it was part of a zoo. When leaving the aquarium we noticed that the pathways were blocked off. We asked one of the employees what was going on. They let us know it was their “Spooktacular” event. It was basically an event where kids could come and trick-or-treat as well as go into a couple of the exhibits. The only exhibits that were open were the ones that we had already been to so we decided to call it a day. We actually on viewed about half the zoo and wished we had another day there but what we did get to see was very good.

On our way out of the zoo we stopped in the parking lot where there was a cache hidden. The cache was a quick find and we were on our way back to the hotel.

The next morning we slept in and missed the hotels free breakfast, oh man! Since it was a little late we decided to hit the road. On our way out of town we needed to get a state magnet. I stopped to get gas and Christina ran into the gas station. She came out with magnet in hand and we were off to our next state.

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