Tag Archives: Travel

New Adventures in Omaha, Nebraska

Now, now. Some of you might be thinking, why go to Nebraska? All that state has to offer is endless fields of corn and cows! You might be partially right, but for the part of Nebraska I was in, you’d be wrong. Last weekend, I visited Omaha, Nebraska with my mom to go see Creighton University and wander around as tourists. Here’s how our trip went.

My mom and I arrived on Sunday, July 2nd and arrived in Omaha around noon. We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Downtown Omaha, and let me tell you, those were some sweet suites. Best hotel I’ve stayed at, by far. Anyway, we unpacked our things and then decided we were going to the zoo.

Omaha

Omaha has an AWESOME zoo and the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best zoos in the world, not only in my opinion but also according to TripAdvisor. It was raining when my mom and I got to the zoo, so the crowds weren’t too bad and we had a lot of fun. The animal exhibits were spacious and fun to look around and the animals themselves seemed to be quite happy and healthy. We spent several hours wandering around the massive zoo. My favorite part of the zoo was the desert dome. At Henry Doorly, the desert dome was home to all creatures and even plants living in a desert. When we walked into the desert dome, it was like we were in an actual desert and my mom and I really enjoyed ourselves in there. Right below the desert dome, the zoo had an exhibit called “Kingdoms of the Night” which was home to all of the nocturnal creatures housed at the Henry Doorly Zoo. There were naked mole rats and alligators and bats and so many more animals that called the nighttime their daytime. The zoo also had great people working there and great food. I definitely recommend the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium if you’re ever rolling through Omaha.

The same day we visited the zoo, while hunting for a Starbucks, we stumbled upon a cool little national park called Pioneer Courage. All throughout this park, there was a variety of pioneer statues which made great photo opportunities. The park showed a significant part of Nebraskan history and how the state came to be and that was really cool. We also got to see the building for the Omaha World Herald,  which is the newspaper for Omaha.

Omaha

On our second day in Nebraska, we toured Creighton University, which I loved and went and walked around Old Market afterward. Creighton University and a nice campus and I really enjoyed the feel of it. I’m still not sure if it’s where I’d like to go to college, but it seemed like a good fit for me and I liked Omaha, so we’ll see. As mentioned a little earlier, after our tour, we journeyed to Old Market, which is a historic and old neighborhood in Omaha that has been turned into an array of shops and restaurants. There, my mom and I had really good (but cheesy, like super cheesy) calzones at a great pizza place, bought some really good taffy and chocolate treats at an old candy shop, and just had a good time walking around. Old Market was cool because the streets were all cobblestone, which honestly made me feel like I was in a Disney movie. It was cool.

Omaha

Omaha was fun to visit and I was honestly quite surprised with how green the city actually was. Nebraska in general was actually much more green than I thought it was going to be and that was a positive. On the 4th, my mom and I left to return to Colorado, and I think I can say that we both had a good time and plan on making trips back in the future. 🙂

A Day at Disneyland

Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth. This past week, my family and I were able to go travel to Anaheim, California to spend two days at Disneyland. Those two days were some of the best days of my life, ever. My family and I had so much fun, ate plenty of good food, had a lot of fun on the rides, and were able to make some wonderful memories. I was disappointed that my dad wasn’t able to come with us because he had to stay and watch our dogs, but we were still able to get stuff for him and fill him in on the entire trip. Anyway, here’s my experience at Disneyland.

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Thursday we decided to stay at Disneyland the entire day. That was a wise decision because there was so much to do! Being there in June, I was worried that the lines would be terribly long and it would be hot and humid, but it wasn’t too bad for either of those things at all. It was overcast both days and the temperature was cool but still comfortable enough to wear a tank top and shorts. We waited in the security lines for about ten minutes and then headed into the park.

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I had seen plenty of pictures of Disneyland before but none of them compared to being at Walt Disney’s creation in person. After walking around Main Street for a little bit, my family and I found our way to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and the little area in front of it where Walt is holding Mickey’s hand. We definitely took lots of pictures and then headed to Tomorrowland.

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We decided to go on Nemo’s Submarine Voyage first and that was a cute, fun way to start our experience out. After that, we decided to head to the Matterhorn in Fantasyland. I did not like this ride at all. Some people might enjoy a fast, jerky, extremely loud ride through a mountain while you’re being followed by an angry yeti, but I don’t. I didn’t get sick but I was disappointed with how that ride turned out. My family and I were getting kind of hungry by now, since it was around noon and so we found a little shop that sold giant turkey legs and corn on the cob. I had a giant turkey leg and it was delicious but kind of greasy. I needed help finishing it because there was so much turkey! Once we were satisfied with food, my aunt, uncle, mom, sister, and I travelled to It’s A Small World, which was super cute and a nice, relaxing ride compared to the Matterhorn. Then, we did Storybook Land which was a little boat tour through a land where a bunch of the castles and settings from Disney movies were displayed. That ride was also fun. We made our way back to the Sleeping Beauty castle to get on Peter Pan’s Flight which was a ride following Peter on his trip from London to Neverland. This ride was a joke. We waited in line for an hour and a half for a less than two minute cheesy experience. I probably would have enjoyed this ride if I was younger, and it was still really cute, I was just irritated that waiting in line for almost two hours wasn’t really worth the wait.

Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage
Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage
It's a Small World
It’s a Small World
Entering the whale from Pinocchio at Storybook Land
Entering the whale from Pinocchio at Storybook Land

While I may not have enjoyed that ride, the next three rides my family and I did after dinner were wonderful. For dinner, my family and I ate at Café Orleans in New Orleans Square. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but according to my aunt and uncle, it really reminded them of the actual city. The food at Café Orleans was delicious and the service was great. I ordered their “Crescent City” salad which was amazing and the pomegranate lemonade was really good too. With full stomachs, the five of us adventured to Pirates of the Caribbean, which is also in New Orleans Square. This ride was well done, exciting, and overall a great experience. The next one we did was Haunted Mansion, which was not scary at all, and it was really cool. Finally, we ventured to Adventureland and decided to tackle the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. There was a long line for this ride, but our hour wait was definitely worth it. A majority of the ride was computer generated and it was so cool! While the jeep moved quickly and we did make a few sharp turns and sudden stops, this ride was awesome and so much fun.

This was my salad and it was probably one of the best salads I've ever had.
This was my salad and it was probably one of the best salads I’ve ever had.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

After a long day of rides, churros, other delicious foods, long lines, pin trading, and crazy Disney fans, my family and I called it a day and headed back to our hotel which was walking distance from the park. We must have lucked out with the weather and wait times on most of the rides. The reported wait times for the most popular rides we went on were anywhere from 30-90 minutes and with the exception of Peter Pan’s Flight and Indiana Jones, we were in line 20 minutes at most. The cast members at Disneyland were all very helpful, welcoming, and sweet. Our first day was a little hectic and overwhelming at first, but overall it was a great first day at Disneyland. Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. 🙂 The next day we would check out California Adventure, and I will share my experience from California Adventure next week.

 

Ideas for Summer Plans

Summer break is coming up quickly, now that most students only have finals week left in school! Some plan to sign up for camps in sports or other activities they enjoy, some plan to travel, some plan to try new things, and others may have plans to just stay at home and relax. If you’re someone that hasn’t planned something or isn’t sure what to do, here are a few ideas for summer plans.

Start a blog! Blog writing can be a lot of work but it is also a lot of fun. Writing a blog allows you to share your opinions, stories, and ideas. I haven’t set a theme to what I write about but there are many other blog writers that write only about travel or food. You get to choose what you write about and have fun with it. The possibilities are endless.

Plant a garden. Every summer, my family plants a garden and the outcome has always been delicious! We plant cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, string beans, mint, basil, and several others foods. Gardens are a lot of work to maintain with preparing the area, watering, weeding, and such, but it is always worth it. Recently, I started weeding in our garden for the first time, and I actually found it to be super entertaining.

Not my garden, in case you were wondering.

Spend time outside. Whether it’s playing tennis, volleyball, hanging out at the pool, or going for a hike, summer is the perfect time to be out in the sun. Just make sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and maybe sunglasses to protect yourself from getting sunburnt.

Travel around your state, out-of-state. or out of country. Make sure to plan a route, place to stay, and ideas for what you will be doing. Regardless of where you are travelling to, make sure to check on the weather frequently to see if you’ll have to plan a detour or change a flight. It’s better to be over-prepared, than not know what will be happening on your trip, so do whatever you can to be as prepared as possible. Safe traveling!

Find a job. Many teens look for a job over the summer and this is smart because they will be able to make some money and do whatever they want to do with it. On top of that, finding a job allows you to find a way to make a contribution to your community.

Visit family. Spending time with family is important and having time off from work or school in the summer is the perfect time to do that. Find new things to try with your family and enjoy your time together.

Good luck to those of you who have finals this upcoming week! These were just a few ideas with what you could do with your summer and there’s plenty more. Get creative, stay safe, and have fun this summer!

Top Ten Summer Activities

Summer break is here for most people and school is out until August. Woohoo! Summer is a great time to get out and travel, spend time with family and friends, and also catch up on your beauty sleep. Here are the top ten summer activities, in my opinion:

10. Sleep. Summer is a wonderful time to catch on sleep. After long nights of studying and homework, sleeping can make you feel more relaxed and refreshed for when you do other things over the break. Just make sure you don’t sleep the summer break away!

9. Read. Most people would say, “Wait, what?! You read over the summer? That’s school related, why would you ever do that?”. I think that reading is a good way to spend time and relax in the sun or cool shade. Reading can improve your vocabulary and you’ll still know some things when you do head back to school.

8. Coming in as the 8th best thing to do during the summer, grow a garden. This is a good thing to do as a family and the end result is usually very healthy and yummy. Growing a garden is fun, a good excuse to be outside, builds responsibility, and is definitely worth it.

7. Start a blog. At the beginning of last summer, I started a blog and it ended up being one of the more enjoyable things I did since I couldn’t play sports or be super active. Writing a blog is really fun, improves your writing skills, and is a great way to make memories. I also think it’s cool to tell friends and family to check out your website, so that’s a fun bonus. You can build a blog through WordPress, GoDaddy, and other websites. Most blog sites have to paid for but there are sites that are free. Do what works best for you.

6. Hike. Hiking is a wonderful way to be out with nature, get fresh air, and get exercise. National parks, mountains, and even trails near your house work just fine.

5. Making the middle of the list, play volleyball. Whether it’s sand, grass, or indoor, spend time on the volleyball court. It’s a good way to prepare for high school season and club season. Sand and grass tournaments are super fun and really good for your indoor game. If you can’t get into any camps or clinics, grab a ball and at least go hit on the wall or with your friends.

4. Swim. Need a fun way to keep cool? Swimming is the way to do that. In Colorado we have places like The Bay, local recreation centers, and Water World. Water World is probably my favorite. It has so many fun rides and an awesome wave pool. I highly recommend it.

3. Travel. Whether it’s around the state, out of state, or out of the country, get out of your house and travel! This is a fun way to make memories, get good pictures, and learn something about a new area.

2. At number two, play tennis. Tennis is an outdoor sport that anyone can play. Depending on your skill level you can just hit around with friends, join a club, play in tournaments, and enjoy the sport. Tennis is another good excuse to be outside in the wonderful warm weather. Just make sure you pack your sunscreen and water. The courts can get pretty hot!

1. And the number one summer activity is, spend time with family and friends! This seems to make top ten lists quite a bit, and it should! Family and friends and super important and deserve your time, care, and attention. Spend a lot of time together doing whatever and make memories.

Be outside, have fun, and to those who are still in school, good luck with the final days and to those who are starting summer break, enjoy!

Top Ten Summer Activities