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Overland to Omaha

After the Hershey shows, I took Melissa's car to my parents house to spend an extra day at home.
It was great to see my parents and my sister Kate and my brother Jonah.
I spent Monday with my mom and Kate; we made taco salad for my Aunt Nicole, Uncle Mike, Aunt Penny, and cousin Tony, all of whom came over for lunch. We had a great time catching up. Everyone seems to be doing pretty well!

After that I went to Kate's house to check out her vegetable garden and to visit with Jonah.
Kate and Jonah had salvaged some of our Mom's things...diaries, photos, books...and I got to glance through them briefly. I'm glad they were able to save this stuff. Next time I'm home there are photocopies to be made.
We joined Kate's fiancee Pat at The Inn at Turkey Hill (Brewery side) for dinner.
It's been ages since I've been there. Our Mom used to bake for the 'fancy restaurant' part of the building.
The new brewery is pretty nice.

Jonah will be going to Shippensburg University in the fall. He got a scholarship!!
He had his last day of school this week and will graduate in a few days.
I am SO proud of him! Now all of us kids have become 'adults' :)
I wonder what Jonah will decide to study? How exciting!!!

When I got back from Kate's I spent some time with my parents,
who were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary!
They went out for dinner together. When they got back,
Dad showed me how to tighten the parts on my new bike.
I was really touched that he had it all put together for me when I came home. <3
He and mom also got me a bunch of goodies...mini bungees for the bike,
magnets for my room, a non-stick pan, some local honey...and a larger version of the hex sign on my door :D
I got spoiled :)

I had to leave early the next day. As always, I wished for more time. Being with family is wonderful.

I drove the same route that I had taken back in 2010, when I'd driven cross country to live with my sister in Cali.

I was even able to stay at the same hotel in Iowa!
Hotels are great. Mostly because they have real beds and bathtubs :D

After a great night's rest I left the hotel and finished the trip to Council Bluffs where the train was spotted.
First I stopped at a local bike shop to make a minor repair to my bike.
Then I got much needed groceries!
Then I got to the train, unpacked everything, and tried out the new bike!!

No pics of me riding it yet, sorry :P
For those who don't know, I got this bike via craigslist
from a gentleman in South FL who enjoys biking and DIY.
The 'road' next to the train is paved, so I rode up and down for a bit, adjusting the seat/handlebar heights as needed. I practiced folding the bike and lifting it on/off the train.
I went to the far end of the train and practiced turning.
Almost wiped out a few times, but that's ok, it's been like 15 years since I rode a bike and I'm bound to fall!

Here it is 'stored' in my room:

Some people use the crew's workshop to store bikes, and others use the possum belly or the top bunk in their room. I'd considered using my top bunk, but this bike has a steel frame and probably weighs 30-35lbs.
Getting it up there would be tough for me.
Anyway if I really wanted a more conveniently compact bike, I'd have gotten one like Jameson's!

His is cute! But mine is more 'my style'. (vintage)
I will be using the bike mostly to get groceries, and for leisure :)

We only had five shows here in Omaha.
The Taste of Omaha festival was going on right next to the arena, so on Friday
Deuce (drums) and Catfish and I walked over to check it out.
To get food you had to buy these tickets:

I ended up spending all eight of my tickets on a big plate of pad thai. It was tasty!
Then Deuce found a stand selling sweet potato bites for only one ticket.
He graciously shared his tickets with Catfish and I so we could all try them!
They were FANTASTIC.

Unfortunately we were only in Omaha for a few days.
It seemed like a cool town...the kind of place that would be on my top 10 list.
There's a beautiful skybridge, lots of antique shops and unique restaurants,
farmers markets, etc. I really want to come back again soon and explore.

We only had one show on Sunday and load out was finished early,
so several of us went to Upstream Brewing Company for dinner.

Jameson and Catfish got the flight (sampler) of beers:

I had the pot roast. It was delicious!

As I write this we're back at the train. We are expecting to be in Colorado Springs by
6:00am on Tuesday. Wednesday should be a dark day (day of no shows, day off).
Looking forward to a good week out west!

Monkey suit!