Even though I started my two week vacation with a short trip to California, I spent my time off mostly in Omaha visiting family. It's always tricky when you visit family. On one side you feel fortunate to have one so you can visit and break the monotony in your own life, but on the other side being with family somehow gets you wrapped up in their issues and then you feel like their problems are your problems and you end up tangled in them. By the time you are done visiting you wish you had another vacation from the vacation you just had.
I usually visit a lot more people when I am in Omaha, but I only had time for a couple of visits this time. I went out with my dear friends Inge and Ann who I used to work with in the college library when I lived in Omaha. Ann is the head librarian at the Fort Omaha Metro campus. She used to be my boss. Inge is from Germany and it was probably the European in both of us that made us bond. She is now retired, but still meets with Ann even when I don't happen to be visiting. I must say that in my working life as an adult I've been lucky to have really nice bosses and co-workers, the type that become lifelong friends.
Most of my time was consumed with kids. I stayed with my brother who has two of his own, Marko who is 9, and Sofia who is 4. One day we went to the Durham Western Heritage Museum. This is a good place to take kids to get some culture, but to also play. The lower level of the museum has trains. From model trains, to big train cars and a locomotive. The train cars are historically preserved, they are passenger cars that you could go in and sit and pretend that you are on a train adventure taking you to a new strange land. If the kids weren't so wild and ran around like little puppies, I'd enjoy sitting in one of those train cars reading a book. But I had to chase them and constantly remind them to not run, to slow down.
They only briefly allowed me to swing by the current exhibit that had movie costumes, and the only reason they even got tricked in doing this is because I told them that Captain Jack Sparrow's costume, the one Johnny Depp wore in the Pirates of the Caribbean, was there. I didn't lie it really was there. Photography was not allowed, I don't have any pictures from it, but here is a link.
I took them to the Joclyn Art Museum as well. They had a free family day, and I should have known that 'free' means 'chaos'. So many people it was crazy. With 4 kids, even though there were 4 adults (my mom, my brother and his wife and myself), trying to keep track of excited children was not an easy task. Here are my kids that got Egyptian eye make-up during the visit.
The weather in Omaha as always...it changes about 10 times in the course of a day. So the few lucky moments we had where it was not cold and rainy and windy, we played outside. They chased butterflies, ran like crazy and played on the swingset at my dad's house.
The last 5 days of my vacation were consumed by flying to Seattle for work, then flying back to Omaha to get my kids. And finally I am home, cleaning, vaccuming, doing laundry. Later tonight I am going to pick up my husband from the airport who spent the last few days in New York City on a photo adventure. This man owes me big time for the time off he had alone, to feed his soul with creative energy, and 'accidentally' left a sink full of dishes for me to come home to.