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I've been on vacation this past week but really only Sunday thru Tuesday counts in my book. I recapped it on another site and have copied and pasted that into the extended entry if you care to read the gory details. We came home midweek and I spent the remainder of the week cleaning and shampooing carpets and doing laundry and fun stuff like that.

We took the boat out in the drizzly rain yesterday and ended up breaking the transom saver (motor support) on the way home. I really think we are destined to have rotten vacations. Out of six summers together now, we've had one good vacation. The rest have been plagued with bad weather, thieves stealing parts off the car, sick or injured people or other lovely things.

I had hoped to get some sleep but I actually got even less than normal. Bad karma or something. School starts this week for our real kids and the adopteds are all scattering off to college. That makes me sad. Also, I turned the possum loose in the woods this afternoon. I almost cried. Stupid biting thing. I've had it for four months and have grown quite fond of it. I kept going back to it and petting it's little head a couple more times. Possums don't like to be petted. Not even hand raised ones. He'd curl up and hiss and foam at the mouth and show his teeth. Thank God he has those natural instincts so he can survive without me to feed him and protect him. Stupid biting thing. I miss him already.

Vacation recap below....

Saturday morning we were to leave for Branson, Missouri but things were not ready. This was a lesson to the family that I cannot single handedly get everyone and everything prepared for a vacation as well as get things lined up with my work.

Because we lost Saturday, there wasn't time to make it to Branson. I posted my dilemma to ask.metafilter.com and the consensus there was Omaha. We left for Omaha Sunday morning with the first stop being Ruby Tuesdays in Council Bluffs. I had the best hamburger of my life. Sooo good. From there we hit Bass Pro Shops up the street. While browsing in the store I was caught by a salesman wanting to sell me a vacation package. It was a good deal but I belong to the family who cannot plan a vacation in a timely manner. I kept explaining to the guy that we literally cannot book a vacation due to our jobs but he was deaf apparently. I ended up having to be rude to get away from him.

After Bass Pro we headed on into Omaha and searched for the hotel I had found online. It turned out to be more money that I wanted to spend and was not in a real secure looking part of town. We drove much farther west and stopped at a couple of places before finding a hotel that met our needs without breaking the budget.

Funny thing here is that it was next door to a Holiday Inn Express that looked really nice. Todd said they didnt have pools as they were for business travelers so he went into this place next door and left us in the truck. We could see through the lower level windows of the Holiday Inn Express and watched the people milling about. Suddenly I see a girl in a bikini dashing past the windows and she jumped up and fell out of sight. I told Emily that apparently they pretend to have a pool over there and the guests fling themselves to the ground as if they were diving into water. A bit later we could see a colorful beach ball being lofted into the air and back down again. Of course there was a pool but it was pretty funny to imagine there wasn't.

That first motel was a killer. Very, very loud air conditioner in the room and the floor was all weird like someone had tried to pull old carpet but didn't get the padding all scraped up and just glued new down over it. Lumpy carpet = ewwww. The room had two queen beds and the biggest armoir/tv cabinet I've ever seen. This made it very crowded. The high speed internet was wired and only one plugin in the room. Not good when we have two laptops and various camera and phone chargers that needed plugged in. None of us slept much that night so got up early the next morning to really get the vacation started. I had some things to deal with at work that my coworkers took over for me so we could get going. This would be about the time that the coffee pot exploded in Todd's hands as he was carrying it back to it's resting spot. Due to the one plugin issue, we had to move the coffee pot to the bathroom to actually use it. That's another thing worth griping about... the coffee pot cord was well over three feet from reaching the single plugin to begin with. So yeah, Todd was coming across the room with it when the lid fell down into it. He reached in to fish the lid out and it exploded. I immediately jumped up and asked him if it cut him. Of course it did. We packed bandaids so waited for the bleeding to stop so we could bandage it up and then get the vacation started.

Monday around 12:30 we finally made it through the gates of the Omaha Zoo. The weather was fabulous compared to a lot of August days. We were all looking forward to the nursery but it was closed due to construction. A lot of the really cool animals were sleeping behind rocks or logs in their enclosures. If we visit again I think we need to be at the gate when it opens to experience it fully. After the zoo we went to a Burger King where I had the pleasure of a fly in my sandwich. No further explanation needed.

Monday night we pursued and found a better motel with a nice pool. It boasted wireless internet although this only worked sitting in the hallway with the laptop held at a certain angle. I really think the kids would be happy to just spend a week in a motel pool. I'm on board with that idea if there is a hot tub too. A pool with a deep end for diving is a must.

We got up Tuesday morning and headed to the Missouri River. I had this fantasy in my head of eating on a patio overlooking the river but instead Todd opted to sit inside at this riverside cafe. The cheapest thing on the menu was $10 so more sticker shock. When did things get so dang expensive?? As we were getting ready to sit, I thought I saw a big bug on Christopher's chair so I tried to stop him from sitting. He's a know-it-all teen now so he would not listen to his mothers warning and sat anyway. Moments later the big bug appeared on his shoulder and was met with a swift flick to the neighboring table.

At the neighboring table were some business men. Actually, the whole place was crawling (notice a bug theme has developed) with business people dressed to the 9's while we looked every bit the part of smelly, sleep deprived tourists. The group seated next to us were obviously in the same field as I am. They discussed their rollout and rollback plans and grumbled over how Microsoft products can leave you in a bind when you rollout without a rollback plan. Amen to that but was hoping not to hear about rollouts while on vaca.

After an overpriced meal, we meandered down to the Lewis and Clark Landing and took photos of the statue commemorating the labor that built the city. From there we had hoped to get a ride on the riverboat but found it was only a lunch/dinner cruise sort of thing and wouldn't be leaving again until the $35/ea. dinner cruise. So much for that idea. On to the Air and Space Museum where the kids sat in a training cockpit and Christopher flew in a simulator. I wanted to go to the big train yard and watch trains but no one else was interested in that.

Back to the motel for more swimming and hot tubbin'. At some point during the trip Emily asked if she was allowed to say "Holy Balls!" and her dad told her absolutely not. I'm afraid that has become my phrase of choice to react to such things as hotel prices, poor gas mileage, etc. The kids tell me I say it perfectly every time so I take pride in that. Anyway, Emily thought it would be a grand idea to go from the hot tub to the pool. I warned her it would be cold and to not leap into the deepest part because she might get a muscle cramp from the severe change in temp. She ran from the heat and dove into the cold. Came up sputtering and flailing and exclaimed "HOLY BALLS!!!". She immediately realized what she said and clamped her hand over her mouth. I think it was a perfect time to use the phrase so we just won't tell her dad she slipped up.

It's worth mentioning that Emily was not herself through the entire trip. At several points one could find her laying on a sidewalk or sitting against a bench or struggling to keep up. This all came to a head at 1AM on Tuesday night when I was awaken with a shake and those words no parents ever want to hear: "I think I am going to puke". And puke she did. Thankfully she was well enough to make the trip back home without further incident.