Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Non-Winery Day

Well, you can't drink wine every day. (Why?)

A bit of less-than-great planning on our parts revealed that the truth of western Iowa wineries is, most are not open early in the week, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a place to visit on a Monday. And so, we didn't.

Instead, we were purely tourists on Monday, and after our wonderful breakfast at Crescent View, we headed out for a new site: the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. For which, I might just add, the signage completely sucks (hello, Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau!). We had an awful time getting there, though we were tantalizingly close for quite awhile. Even to the point of driving by within easy walking distance once -- but where to park? Written directions left us stymied. We finally parked in the lot of a yacht club and asked a passing bicyclist dad, out for a jaunt with his two daughters. We walked from there.

There is a Webcam for the bridge! Once again, I say to you, how cool is the internet?! Aren't we all much better people for having it? I raise a glass of SBR (see yesterday) to the Web for meeting every human need, real and imagined.

The bridge connects (as you might guess) Council Bluffs and Omaha and a walk across it takes you over the Missouri River and under some gorgeous Big Sky country (Montana be damned). It was a busy place that day. On the Nebraska side there was also a splash pad filled with hot wet kids and hot dry parents. Mid-way across, you can straddle the state line, as Heidi is doing is this illustrative photo. It was a fine walk, and we managed easily to track the progress of our biker dad advisor and his girls, the younger of which was on a bicycle much too small and consequently was having a miserable time on what must have seemed to her to be a very long bike ride. We'd pass them (Dad waiting for her), they'd pass us, we'd pass them ...

Once we'd had our fill of the Council Bluffs-Omaha camaraderie, we took off for our next destination, the Henry Dorly Zoo. I've been to the zoo in Omaha once before, many many (many) years ago, and have been excited to get back again, as I have very fond memories. Heidi had not visited before. I made it a point NOT to take my camera into the zoo, just didn't see any reason to take photos of zoo animals. But a few highlights included the butterflies, a peacock who was obviously feeling very randy (and had the tail to prove it), penguins, otters (always my favorite -- what fun lives!), an amazing underwater tunnel in the aquarium where you had ocean creatures (notably many good-sized sharks) swimming over your head, really fine. We took a one-way Skyfari right over the zoo thanks to the young couple at the B&B, who'd visited the zoo yesterday but didn't want to wait in the exceedingly long Skyfari line; they offered us their tickets when they heard we were coming. It was Heidi's idea, though that must have been a brief moment of bravery, because she clearly regretted her choice once we were airborne. We tried to take the train around the zoo perimeter before heading for the parking lot at the end of the afternoon, but it was too late. Ate lunch earlier in a zoo restaurant with predictably mediocre and expensive food.

Retired early back to Crescent View where we rustled up salads from our cooler, had a bit o' (non-Iowa) wine, and enjoyed a quiet evening reading in the room and on the terrace (after the sun was down sufficiently so as not be in our eyes).

Fin, day 2.


  1. Did you really mean to say "Montana be damned?" Isn't that a little harsh??? :-)

  2. I said that specially for you, my only Blog reader! It was a test, to see if you'd notice.

  3. Now you have another. Lynn B. from the library, Jo. The bridge caused a stir in its planning and construction, but now Omaha seems to have embraced it, to the point of allowing weddings to be performed on it. Perfect for Huskerand Cyclone couples, I'll bet.

  4. Ooo, I didn't know the bridge was controversial! Goodness, the Omaha side is much more developed now, very lovely! Council Bluffs looks only to be dreaming of developing their side.

  5. Just wanted to drop a quick note. I'be been following and enjoying our posts!

  6. pardon the spelling in the first note, it's YOUR posts that I enjoy.