Friday, June 2, 2023

Oklahoma??? Nope.

It's Friday! What a whirlwind of a week I've had. Memorial day was the quietest day of the week.  This was the week that Melanie, (my sister,) and her daughter Chaela and I were supposed to go to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to Pioneer Woman's wonderful Merchantile and restaurant again. But instead of riding in a car for hours at a time like we did last fall, we decided to have a "Staycation" right here in Omaha. They are driving to the Mall of America in Minneapolis next week with Melanie's daughter-in-law and granddaughter for another "girls" trip, and goodness knows, a LOT of things have changed since we moved away 30 years ago right here in Omaha. There is so much to see and do here that we could stay right here for a long time! There are a LOT of pictures in this post and if you're interested in what we've been doing all week, come on along. :-) If it's just crafty stuff you're here for, please come back next time.

Now, I'm not like all of you wonderful gardeners that know the names of flowers, I just appreciate their beauty. Our first stop Wednesday morning before it got hot, was Lauritzen if you would like to look them up online. This beautiful place is so big. It has all kinds of flowers, a rose garden, tea garden, minature trains that run constantly, oriental gardens, memorial gardens. Inside is a tropical paradise and a very nice gift shop with lots of elegant things mixed in with the more typical touristy products. This is my second trip here with Melanie and I would love to go sometime in the early spring or fall when it's not as humid and hot.

Lots of gorgeous roses.

We had a bush just like this one when we were growing up. Melanie and I both commented on it.

Love the two colors on these roses.

Look at this beautiful red rose. Gorgeous. All of the photos here are compliments of Chaela. I just love my precious niece. She is the sweetest girl ever. She puts up with everything these two old ladies throw at her!

You can have bricks laid in the memorial garden in memory of loved ones. Mike is Melanie's husband and Chaela's Dad ,who died five years ago from the nasty cancer that claimed him way too young. He was a great guy.
Margie was his sister who also died from cancer. Georgianna was their Mom. I think this is a great way to show love to them. I know Mike liked to visit here at the gardens with the grandkids.

Our next stop was Candyland in the Old Market area of Omaha. I can't believe that I didn't bother to get any photos of the actual Old Market. This is the area by the river that was the business district of Omaha when Omaha was first settled. It was pretty historical and rough and tumble for a long while. Just in the past 30-40 years it has been reformed into a big tourist spot with fantastic restaurants, exclusive shops and kitchy places like the next shop, which is Candyland.

There is a huge video arcade in the back with vintage arcade games.

Every corner you turned had something different. There was no rhyme or reason as to the placement of anything. One corner had thousands of PEZ containers, another had a life size statue of Elvis. Here was Olaf waiting as we turned a corner. I LOVE Olaf! He's my favorite Frozen character. Obviously because of the name, there was LOTS of candy, especially from our childhood. Older candies that are hard to find now.

Here we are with one of the Blues Bros. We couldn't figure out how to get the other guy in the photo. This was hard enough and he looks like he's patting Melanie on the head! :-)

Next stop was a used bookstore that had books stuck in every nook and cranny. There goes Melanie looking for the perfect read.

We both were overwhelmed and got claustrophobic pretty quickly so we went outside and waited for Chaela.
Next stop on the corner was a very whimsical metal art shop. Chaela found these sunflowers and...

this ladybug art pieces that she was interested in, so she took a photo to show her husband. He wasn't as keen on them as she was. They had lots of fun sculptures in that place and we laughed a lot while exploring in there. 

By that time it was about 1:30 and we hadn't had lunch yet. It was also getting really HOT so off we went to the very north edge of Omaha to the Alpine Inn and had a great lunch of fried chicken, hamburgers and chicken gizzards! You can guess who ordered what! This place feeds the raccoons right outside the windows. Unfortunately we didn't get a table close enough to get a photo for you, but there were raccoons eating. They put leftovers out on a big metal table and they come right up and get it. They're quite entertaining.

After lunch we went back to Melanie's house and watched some music videos of Home Free. We all love Home Free. Tim & Chaela, Mandy & Brad, Melanie, Dennis and I. In fact, if you remember, the kids bought us tickets to a Home Free concert last December for our Christmas gifts. Melanie, Dennis and I spent the night in Kearney, NE and saw the concert together. We also caught Covid that weekend. Fun Times!  After our explorations that day I was home in time for dinner and slept in my own bed that night. Now that's a great vacation day, when you get to sleep in your own bed.

Yesterday the girls picked me up and off we went, heading southwest out of town toward Lincoln. Actually, very close to the state park that Dennis and I like to go to is an Antique Mall.  Chaela had been there before, but Melanie and I hadn't. We spent a very fun 2 1/2 to 3 hours wandering around. I found so many treasures, but I resisted all except a pretty cake plate. I had gotten rid of all of mine when we moved into the trailer so I splurged and spent an entire $11.00 on one. I'll take a photo for the next post. It has a tiny chip which is why I got it so cheap but I love it anyway.

Just look at all of these beautiful things. Each booth is owned by a different vendor, so there is a LOT to explore. The following photos are just a small fraction of the treasures you can find.

I wish I had a place for this gorgeous dresser, or buffett. Whatever it is. I really love the carvings.

How about a mermaid anyone? Or a birdcage?

There were quilts galore. A lady was there telling people how she buys quilts and cuts them up to make jackets. I almost cried. What a horrible fate for these gorgeous quilts. This was one of my favorites.

I thought this was a cute idea. It's a sewing box.

The seat cover is a pincushion and comes off for storage. 

This was Melanie's purchase. A hall stand. We couldn't fit it in the car with the three of us, so she paid for it and Tim and Chaela were supposed to pick it up tomorrow with their truck. They went last night though and surprised her by driving up with it in the back of the truck, two days early! It looks great there doesn't it? The color goes with her newly painted living room very well.

I almost bought these because I thought they were cute. When I changed my mind, Chaela snapped them up. The bottoms have rubber stoppers so you can actually get your money out.

After the Antique Mall, we went to another candy store. This store makes their own candy. I didn't get any photos but between the three of us, we spent a LOT of money there. I got salt water taffy, dark chocolates with mint, carmel/vanilla covered pretzels and dark chocolate pretzels. Now THIS is a store I could lose my mind in. 

Next we went to "Round the Bend" steakhouse in Southbend, NE for lunch. Oh. My. Goodness. They specialize in Prime Rib but we were a little early for that. The building is up on a hill and there were thunderstorms happening all around us. We could see the lightening and the rain falling in sheets while we enjoyed our delicious lunch of swiss mushroom burgers, and Chaela had a Chicken Fried Chicken salad. Yum! The clouds actually were a bit scary at one point and we decided that being on the top of a hill probably wasn't the place to be in a tornado but all's well that ends well.

Next stop was Walmart. Melanie, Chaela and Tim are in the market for new bikes. The little town they live in is pretty flat so it's perfect for bike riding. All of them are in need of new bikes. Here's the one cute Chaela picked out. It's call Margaritaville. It even has a pineapple cup holder. It's pure Chaela, who loves bling and shiny things. Isn't she a cutie?
And here's my big sister with her bike of choice, sticking her tongue out for some reason. Yes, it's a boy's bike but we both learned to ride on the same 26 inch boys bike long, long ago and it's the one she liked. Her choice also has a cup holder.

And that's the end of the Omaha staycation for this spring. What fun we had! The time together was the best thing of all. We spent a lot of time laughing and that was wonderful. After years apart, we cherish these days we can spend together. Unfortunately Mandy had to work. We're hoping that next time she'll be able to join us on our adventures.

I hope you didn't find this boring. Much of the reason I wrote this was so it would be saved and I could look at it again in the future. I didn't get much crafting at all done this week. Today was spent grocery shopping for us and Mom, taking her to Cracker Barrel for lunch, (where I found some Christmas presents. Whoo-hoo!) When we got home Mandy was here with Miss Piper and Lizzie who are spending the night with us. We had pizza for dinner, a beauty pagent by Piper and the puppies and by then it was her bedtime! As I said, the week flew by.

I hope your weekend is a wonderful one and that you take time to appreciate the little things. Because the little things really ARE the big things when it's all said and done.

Blessings and love,


  1. Staycations can be just the best! Sounds like fun times there. Stay cool! I enjoyed reading all about your adventures!

  2. Wow, that was so much fun! I wish I could have joined you! You have so many interesting places to see and shop and eat and just enjoy being together! Perfect kind of "staycation", if you ask me! Loved it. Thank you for sharing it with us. Makes me wish I could do something like that with my family. One of these days...Of course, we don't have that much right around here worth doing, so we'd have to go somewhere else. LOL.

  3. That looks so fun. That bookstore is amazing, and I would have been in there for hours ha ha!

  4. It is nice to explore your own backyard. People ask The Mister and I all the time if we've done this or that down here on the bay. The answer is usually no. We never take the time to visit all the interesting places or eat at the fancy restaurants down here. We take it all for granted.



  6. Your staycation sounds fantastic. Next time I take the train through Nebraska, I will have to make a stop in Omaha to look around.

  7. I see that blue bike back there behind Chaela, that would be my choice if I got one of those type. But I have a men's mountain bike that I really love, just looking for a new tire and rim (26" of course!) so I can get back on it. // That one piece of furniture is called a sideboard down this way and in the south. I would love to have something like that, but wow that's way outta reach for us. // I took Jerry to the local used book store this morning. It's barely bigger than our tiny apartment, but it has some great stuff. Jerry found some Louis L'Amour (westerns) he hadn't read (46¢ to $1) and I found an old (1963) English Renaissance Poetry book I wanted (92¢). I visit the bookstore often, sometime I find something interesting, but most times I just sit in a chair looking at titles on the shelves and talk to the store kitty (Tabitha) who lays at my feet. // On and off rain here for three days now. Dummy me did 4 hours of shopping (yes, it takes that long as it wears me out and ... people 🙄) yesterday. Every time I got out of the car to go in a store it would be a deluge. While I was in the stores, it would stop. As I left the stores, it would be pouring again. I will never go shopping on a rainy day again! I was absolutely drenched by the time I got home. 🤪 🤣 Hugs and prayers and blessings to you, my friend! 💕 🙏 ✨

  8. This is a beautiful post! It is so nice to see all of the unusual stops and points of interest you enjoyed with your sister and niece! What a great time!

  9. I remember being at that flower/plant garden 2005 when I visited a friend in Omaha. We met each other when we were in basic training in USAF 1976. Good place to walk through and flowers you shared look very pretty. I have friend that lives in OK and she told me if we flew into OK, she would be get us from airport, sleep in their house and drive to Pawhuska as they aren't far away as you are. A bucket list plan that may arrive or not due to not enough money to travel much any more, per hubby. Nice places you and your family went to. I am feeling a bit better but still tight muscles in neck and head, etc. I look forward to figuring out what it going on. I don't know when I will go back to work. I do have to get paperwork filled out by my doctor at appt on Friday. God bless and have a good weekend and beyond!!!

  10. What a fun post. You and your sister and niece had such a good time. The roses you show are absolutely beautiful. (You know how much I love flowers). I wonder if you now need a few days just to recuperate from your fun day. Granny M

  11. Loved hearing about your stay-cation and all the fun places you went. Good for you!

  12. Great Staycation!! I have decided the best vacations are the ones that end with sleeping in my own bed, too! Your lunches all sound so delicious. You have a great "girls group" family. So fun to explore all these shops and attractions together. You moved to a fun area for your forever home. And ending with a beauty pageant. What fun.

  13. Love the roses, and the quilt with the ladies on it!
    Dave would die to play in that arcade!

  14. Great photos! It sounds like you had a very fun Staycation.

  15. Wow! You had quite a time exploring your city. We had a friend in Seattle (he has passed) that when he lived there he spent his days off exploring the city. When we would visit he would take us to all these quaint little places hidden throughout the neighborhoods. It was so much fun and we saw Seattle from a whole different perspective. He found great little Mom and Pop places to eat and wonderful Little gems throughout the city.
    When you first said staycation I thought of relaxing days in the backyard visiting with lemonade in hand, but you girls really got out and did so much. You probably needed a vacation to rest after your staycation.
    I agree with you about the lady that cuts up quilts especially if they're old vintage quilts. That would bring tears to my eyes. We have mutual taste because the quilt that you liked I think is just gorgeous and so much work and love went into it.
    I have a prayer request. This weekend I'll be going to my granddaughter's High School graduation and I have not seen her in 3 years since her grandpa passed. It's a long story but my daughter came in and decided to run my life, take over my home and finances and it wasn't very pretty. After I set her straight she blocked me from all contact with my granddaughters. My granddaughter is living with her father now and he invited me to the graduation. Please pray that my trip is safe and my words are guided by the Holy Spirit within me. I am so excited to see her again that I can hardly wait. I'm just hoping that my daughter won't make a scene because now I'm having communication with her ex, but if it's the only way I can see my granddaughter then it has to be. Thank you I know that you'll be praying and I appreciate it so much.
    Have a lovely rest of your week and God bless.
    Connie :)

  16. I enjoyed all the pictures and fell in love with that cute sofa pin cushion. I love to walk around antique malls, lots of eye candy for me!

  17. Sure looks like you've been having fun! What a nice staycation.