When we first moved to Omaha, I wanted to ‘showcase’ all the progressive and growing parts of Omaha so people wouldn’t have the ‘corn-fed-backwards-Nebraska’ mindset about this city.
But then I ran into quite a few ‘corn-fed-backwards-Nebraska’ people and had some unpleasant encounters with them and my resolve to highlight Omaha’s progressive parts declined in priority in my mind.
And that wasn’t really fair to Omaha.
Now we are back for about six weeks, living out of a hotel, and my Omaha-is-Cool resolve is renewed.
One of the greatest sections of Omaha is the Old Market. I’ve talked about this area of the city since I first met Scott about 5 years ago. We have shopped and eaten and consumed caffeine and dreamed in this district area many, many times over the course of 5 years. It was our favorite area to come to and unwind.
Now we find ourselves living in the heart of it. I never cease to be amazed how life has so many little jokes and twists and turns to it.
Our view of downtown and Old Market is ironically fun…
The Old Market area is made up of old, abandoned warehouses from many years past. The city refurbished the old warehouses and turned them into shops, and eateries and lofts. It is definitely where ‘all the cool kids’ live. The majority of the shops are locally owned, making it a hotbed for unique creativity and local flavor.
We took a walk around the block last night and I took pictures along the way so that you could walk along with us!
You can see our hotel (Hyatt Place), tucked into the heart of it all. This hotel was under construction while we lived here, so it’s fun to be staying in a practically brand new hotel.
A painted, brick wall with some of the local places to shop and eat. (And, a cute husband standing in front of it.) There are many bicyclists in this area or you can rent a bike and enjoy the neighborhood that way. I am very tempted to do that occasionally while Scott is at work during the days.
The below picture has a personal story attached to it. This area is at a direct angle from the front of our hotel. Last year my extended family took a picture here when they were up for a visit. Who knew at that time the trajectory of the year to come?! Crazy.
Next to our ‘home’ is a juice bar, Little Kings sub shop and a restaurant I am excited to try for the first time called Plank Seafood Provisions – specializing (obviously) in seafood. They are an oyster bar and seafood grill.
Unfortunately (…I’m totally lying. What I really mean is ‘FORTUNATELY’!…) exactly right across the street from our hotel is an old-fashioned ice cream shop. In the past, Scott has always loved their malt shakes and me? I will take ice cream in any form offered!!
And an even BIGGER temptation for me is located just around the corner…cupcakes!! I thought I would just go ahead and get the cupcake purchase out of the way last night, so I bought a French Vanilla Strawberry cupcake. I wanted it to be just so-so. I really, really wanted it to be that. But it was heeeeeaaaavvvennnnlllyyyyy. Oh my. Six weeks of cupcake intake? This could be bad. Very bad!
I might be showing you a picture of the end-of-the-day, almost-empty cupcake display.
I might be showing you a picture of my cute husband.
I might be showing you a picture of the cute little guy working behind the counter.
I’m not telling.
Spaghetti Works is certainly our go-to place to eat in Old Market. We love their salad bar (really!) and I love their fresh tomato sauce. Last night I got their angel hair pasta with one HUGE meatball on top. The freshly cut tomatoes that were smothered all over it was summerly scrumptious!
Old Market offers casual dining as well as fine dining. You can get a sub, a slice of pizza, fresh salmon or a roasted duck tart. There is Italian, Mexican, American and foods from coast to coast and everything in between. And bar offerings? A plethora! I LOVE the food and beverage selections offered here.
We had a late-night hankering for some bar scene sit-down, so we walked around the corner to Billy Frogg’s Grill and Bar.
This bundled up baby girl was so cute! She turned her head after I asked Mama if I could take a picture – but you get the idea. And isn’t Mama a cutie too?! Something tells me this little girl will be decked out in pink and frills for as long as Mama can get away with it!
He doesn’t look quite as cute as the above baby in her pink tennies, but he is extremely patient when I say, “Don’t move. The lighting is really good…”
Someday I am going to be able to duplicate this intertwined S and g. Meanwhile, I just keep taking pictures of it. The cigar smells wafting out of this shop are simply divine.
I mentioned the cupcake place, right?… oh dear.
I wish there was a reality show for how quickly someone can set up a hotel room to look like home. I would totally win that.
‘Dear CBS -
I have this awesome idea…’
Another thing I immediately found ironic, our hotel window is facing the Union Pacific Headquarters. I have both loved and hated that building at various times in my life.
Because of them…
…my husband has been gone for long stints of time
………many times missing Christmas, while he sits in his hotel room, alone, in North Platte, Nebraska
…I had fabulous health insurance during 3 major surgeries in the past 5 years
…I have had to wait at intersections (but only when I was in a big hurry!) while the longest trains in history, drove by
…Scott has an end-of-career job that he loves and aligns perfectly with his innate skills
…I have traveled with my husband through the Southwest, fully experiencing Utah
…I moved away from KC to a city where I knew no one…
………and didn’t find it to be very welcoming at times
…I was originally introduced to the Old Market because Scott worked here
…I am now enjoying a different experience of living in Old Market for a few weeks
I am so thankful I can now look at that building and feel such deep gratitude for all the experiences it has lent me.
Some of our downtime in Omaha will consist of re-watching Gilmore Girls. We started to re-watch this beloved tv series when we were living in Omaha but were interrupted with a quick move, an extended vacation and now…life is slowing down a little bit. Enough to enjoy watching our Stars Hollow pals again.
This is where we have breakfast. I will have to do a whole separate post about this tomorrow. It is seriously awesome to wake up to a healthy breakfast already prepared and waiting for you. There’s a good chance I may never want to leave here…
Just one more picture of Scott from last night. He left this morning for work, confident and ready for his first teaching gig. There is a T.O.N. of information to remember, but so much of it is natural for Scott who has worked for Union Pacific for 25+ years. I am so happy for him; this position is a well-earned reward for a lifetime of hard, dedicated work.
This morning, Scott woke me up very early and whispered, “Ma’am, your USA Today has just been slid under the door.”
I’m feeling a little like Charlton Heston:
“They will pry this room key from my cold, dead hands…”
Here’s to a great Monday!