Thursday, August 20, 2015

Omaha: The Ultimate Vacation Get-Away

So an amazing thing has happened. School has started, meaning that three of our munchkins get on the bus in the morning and don't come home until late in the afternoon.  Okay, so that part's not so amazing.  It's actually kind of sad.  The amazing thing happens in the early afternoon when Annie Mae goes down for a nap. Believe it or not, I actually have time for myself.  The very first day I indulged in a nap.  Since then, I've been making significant forward progress on generally catching up, whether by cleaning out my closet or getting up to date on this blog.

So this post represents the last of the sisterly duplicates.  After our lovely vacation on the East coast, Callie and Eila bravely endured the long drive back to the Midwest with us.  Filling every seat in my mother's 8-passenger mini-van, we ladies drove since the men had already flown the coop.  Poor Eli was seriously outnumbered.  Truth to be told, so were Callie and I.  After dropping my Mom off in Chicago for a conference, it was five munchkins versus two quasi-adults--a terrifying thought since Callie and I generally seem to lose all good judgement to uproarious laughter when paired together.

Fortunately, our motherly instincts took over and we behaved relatively responsibly.  As you can see, the kids were delighted every time they had a chance to get out of the car. 

We didn't stop too often, however, because good things were waiting for us in Omaha.  Daddy Jason!  Here he is taking his niece for her first ride on the downtown slides.  You can check out this picture (and lots more) on Callie's Omaha post here as well: .

Never ones to sit still for long, we headed to the zoo the next day.  A few more months, Talia, and the zoo will have real elephants.

Believe it or not, this little guy is 26! 

Callie and Eila getting ready to ride the train. 

NomiAnn made this adorable eyelet dress two summers ago for Annika, along with four other coordinates for Brooklyn, Talia, Liepa, and Egle to celebrate the Vedeckis visit from Lithuania.

I guess you really can see why they say Eila looks like a kewpie doll (except cuter.)
Photo Credit:

Chugga chugga choo choo!

Okay, so I chuckled up a storm when I saw this display and commented on how the hummingbird egg looked just like a tic tac.  The guy told me that it actually was one.  Papa K, now we know where to go when you run out!

Before leaving, we stopped to watch the sea lions in honor of Callie's childhood talent of barking like one. 

Other fun moments: we took Eila for her first pool swim at the YMCA.  (Watch out for Brooklyn, the rubber ducky photo bomber.)

Shopping at Costco is double the fun with two barefooted babes.

We even visited Play!--a fantastic interactive exhibit at the Kaneko. 

On Callie's blog, she posted this fantastic picture from our Kaneko visit.

It wasn't until I saw this pic that I finally made sense of what I was seeing.  So fun!

The ultimate Pony Girl.

If one baby is great, two babies are even greater!  The Richards family stopped off for another day of Omaha fun on their way back to Pennsylvania.  Here's Jason looking ready for twins with his arms full of Hazel and Eila.  (By way of clarification, his wife is not ready.)

We took our friends to cool off at the Joslyn Art Museum.  Zaby was the champion splasher.
Zaby and Annie demonstrate how to have fun in two year-old style.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Hazel found a nice spot to rest in the shade.

On the inside of the museum, Talia found a cozy nook where she could relax...

...while Brooklyn found an art book to read.  Bliss!

NomiAnn and Papa K were kind enough to host everyone for a barbecue at their house.  Here's Eliza checking out the tree house.

Eli and Annika, hard at work.

Naturally, we all had to ride the zipline as well.  Eliza was a natural!

Don't worry--Eila still got plenty of attention despite all the activity.

We bookended the Wilhoit stay with another trip to the zoo for Member Appreciation Day.  All the way back at Christmas time, Callie and Adam gifted our family with a membership and money for a camel ride.  Time to finally mount that camel!

Begging for a smooch, camel-style.

The best part about Member Appreciation Day (besides the free skyfari) was getting to go behind the scenes to see the exhibits from a different angle.  Here are Eila and Papa K at the top of the giant shark tank.

We even got to tour the animal hospital.  This guy demonstrated how they can tranquilize large animals with a blow dart if necessary.  Apparently some of the animals' reflexes are so fast that they can actually catch the dart midair!

The Omaha zoo certainly knows how to throw a party!  Not your every day inflatables.

Callie and Eila, thank you so much for sharing your summer with us!  And Uncle Adam, thank you for letting them come--I know they were missed.

Needless to say, being together made us oh-so-very happy.

In the words of someone famously Anonymous...
...Keep Smiling!


Adam said...

Thanks for showing the ladies such a grand time!

Callie said...

You're my favorite! (Sister, that is....but you come awfully close to the top period.) The question now becomes how I can steal your post and put it in OUR blog books :) Love you mucho. Can't wait to see the kids first day of school pics (hint?) :)

Anonymous said...

Eila in an eyelet dress ... a perfect match!