This is the last overdue travel post from 2016 that I want to share. Hopefully this year I will stay on top of these better!
As our 10th wedding anniversary approached, we knew we wanted to celebrate with a trip! But I got cold feet several times while trying to plan it because I was still nursing Finch 5-7 times a day and I didn't want the trip to be the reason we stopped nursing (not to mention the fact that I don't pump and wasn't sure how long I could comfortably be away). I knew it would be our first time away from Finch overnight and no one except me had ever put him to bed, so I was nervous! We thought maybe Eric's mom would have to come along with us to watch the kids and we would just meet up with them when needed. But the week before our trip, Finch seemed ready to start cutting down to 2-3 feeds, and we tested out having Eric put Finch to bed. He did so well - it really took away the stress of leaving.
When choosing a location for our trip, we threw out a bunch of options: Mexico; Santa Monica (where we honeymooned); Bahamas (my dream trip); Galena, Ill.; and Decorah, Iowa. Nothing quite felt right until we talked about Omaha. We'd been there once together & we loved it. It made me feel comfortable that we'd only be 2 hours away from the kids. Plus, there was a Needtobreathe concert near there a few weeks before our actual anniversary - they are our favorite band, so it seemed like a perfect getaway with our favorite things: food, shopping and live music. Honestly, I was mostly just excited to sleep in for two days straight! And not have to keep any little humans on a schedule or put anyone to bed. Glorious!
We left on a Friday morning and since we rarely get to go shopping, let alone without kids, we drove straight to the Nebraska Crossing Outlets.
First stop: Voodoo Taco.
One word: YUM.
Their queso is the best queso I've ever had, and that's saying a lot, because it's my favorite food!
Our shopping goal was to find Eric a pair of jeans. PSA: If you want your guy to wear skinny jeans but they think they're too "restricting," take them to American Eagle and hand them the Extreme Flex jeans and watch them be amazed. They're like jeggings for guys. Eric thinks they feel like sweatpants. His are actually Slim (not Skinny), but I still love them, and so does he.
After finding two new pairs of jeans, we drove to downtown Omaha and checked into our hotel - Hotel Deco XV - which we loved! It was our first time staying at a boutique hotel. It was very stylish, and the shower had body sprays!
For supper, we walked a few blocks to Block 16, which was our best meal of the entire trip. It's a cute little farm-to-table place and the menu is small, but the food tasted so, so fresh. I really can't recommend this place enough. We got there a few minutes before they opened, which I would recommend for quick service.
Then it was time for the concert! We took our hotel's shuttle to Stir Cove at Harrah's Casino. We didn't realize until we got there that it was an outdoor concert...oops! We would have brought some lawn chairs had we known! Luckily, it was a gorgeous night, and we bumped into an old college friend who let us sit on his blanket! Phew! We've seen Needtobreathe perform many times, and to be honest, this wasn't my favorite show. But Mat Kearney was really incredible!
After 9 hours of glorious sleep, we walked to the Old Market for breakfast. We chose WheatFields because nothing beats crepes on the patio!
Afterward, we walked to the farmers' market (it's sweet but much smaller than Des Moines') and checked out some local shops. I love the cobblestone streets, covered sidewalks and street performers. Hollywood Candy is the BEST candy shop. We also love walking the Gene Leahy Mall and checking out the waterfalls and playground slides.
For lunch, we dined at Trini's Mexican Restaurant, a hidden treasure located in the passageway of the Old Market. You walk into an unassuming door and are greeted with a secret alleyway with brick walls and beautiful greenery. Not to mention, the puffy beef is one of the best tacos I've ever had.
In the afternoon, I was itching to go shopping. I was so excited to learn that Omaha has an H&M in one of the malls! I got a new sweater, a cardigan and a dress for Rooney. We also went to Urban Outfitters.
Then we drove to eCreamery, but our experience was sub-par. It was really nothing special. Don't waste your time!
After dinner, we took a carriage ride through the Old Market and Heartland Park. I had really wanted to do this, as I thought it would be really peaceful and romantic! Sadly, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Honestly, I felt bad for the horse the whole time!
Before turning in for the night, we went to check out Wicked Rabbit, a speakeasy located in our hotel, because we had gotten many recommendations for it. You actually walk into the Looking Glass Cigars and Spirits shop and there is a hidden door to get into the bar. Honestly, we didn't have the best experience. We felt a little out of place! Plus, the waitress told us that our hotel was haunted, and I could have done without that information!
We ate breakfast at The Diner before heading home to see the kids! It was yummy! I could eat pancakes every day.
When we got home, Rooney hugged my legs for several minutes saying "Mommy! I love you!" over and over, and Finch stared at me for a couple seconds before realizing he did, in fact, remember me. Huge thank you to Grandma Diane for keeping our kids safe and happy while we were gone! Finch actually spiked a fever just as we were getting back, and I was so thankful he wasn't sick while we were gone! I was definitely ready to nurse him when we got back - physically and emotionally!
We would love to go back to Omaha in the next few years with our kids! I've heard the zoo is amazing. Any other recommendations on places to go or eat?