When I first found out that I was stranded in Omaha, NB in the middle of my long Christmas flight itinerary from Denver to Elmira, NY, I became angered but didn’t take it out on the Northwest Airlines employees. Instead, I decided to make the most of my time Omaha. After all, when else would I find myself with 2 days to explore and enjoy this mid-western city?
I arrived just in time for one of the biggest events of the year in Omaha- the 2008 NCAA women’s volleyball championships. I had never seen a real volleyball match before, but with nothing to do and this big event right across the street from my hotel, I found myself cheering on Stanford with the rest of the Nebraska crowd. But as fate would have it, Penn State was able to hold their ground and maintain their undefeated season en route to becoming national champions. It was really a lot of fun to watch this exciting sport at the top of its game!
Did I mention that although the Quest Center arena was just down the block from the hotel that it was also 0 degrees with 15-20mph winds outside! The minus 20 windchill made exploring the rest of Omaha on foot nearly impossible, but I was able to take the hotel shuttle to the Omaha zoo and the downtown restaurant/market district. The zoo is a really cool place with lots of indoor exhibits including the world’s largest indoor rainforest and an enormous geodescic dome that houses the deserts of the world exhibit. After watching the 3D Wild Ocean movie in the IMAX theatre, I got to experience sharks, rays, and fish all around me again in the aquarium tunnel and snap a few photos on my iPhone.
I have to say that I never would have guessed that I would be spending part of my Christmas vacation in Omaha, much less having a really good time, but I’ve gotta say it’s been a fun, unexpected diversion! Now we’ll see if I can finish my itinerary tomorrow…