Friday, July 25, 2008


Man, this has been great....I started my vacation off with a night out with my sister and Mom. Our mom sang karaoke and my sister and I just had a great time "people watching."
Next thing we did......the day before we were to leave for vacation, my nephews baseball team had a tournament but were short on players so they asked if my son, Luke could play...sure, he can. Well, they won all their games and made it to the championship game which was scheduled for AFTER the time when we were leaving for Omaha. We let him play in the championship game and delayed our trip a couple hours but what an experience. They lost but still....second place is still awesome and look at that trophy! Good job boys!
Finally, we make it to Omaha and set up. We decided to camp at the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park and boy, what a park it was. There were so many things to do right at the park, you really didn't even need to leave. They had playgrounds, horseshoes, baseball, basketball, paddle boats, fishing lakes, a lodge, a restaurant, a WATER PARK, observation tower, trail rides, pony rides, driving range, putt putt golf, ice rink, play place (tell you more in a minute), wildlife safari, craft classes for the kids, animal facts seminars, and a live theatre....I'm sure I've missed something but anyways... welcome to camp Combs. (Yes, I realize our tent is bigger than out camper but it was nice....Steve found it at a yard sale for $5!) If you don't have a camper or tent, they also had cabins for rent or hotel rooms in the lodge.
We camped underneath the biggest tree. Lots of shade and perfect for climbing....look close, you can see Dorian to the left of the trunk (right in the flare, Josh! Your favorite)
Molly had a good time "jellyfishing." There were thousands of lightning bugs in the grass which kept the kids entertained for quite some time. :)
The next day we visited the Strategic Air Command Air and Space Museum. This place was really neat. It was three huge airplane hangars together that housed over 40 military aircraft and more.
When you walk in, this is what greets you. A picture really does this dude no was enormous. Steve was especially excited to see this because when he lived in Okinowa, these planes would break the sound barrier right over their house....can't tell you what exactly it is, I did read all of the little plaques but I have to tell you that I was a bit overwhelmed and don't remember what any of these are called.
I took this pic especially with my husband in mind. :) If you've met him you will think it's funny....this was the smallest plane in the place. Yea, there were tons of the giant, super cool planes and I take pics of this one. It was designed with a big hook on the nose to hang from the belly of a larger plane....when necessary the "parasite" could be released to fly special missions or whatever...sadly, it never worked. :(
Here's Dorian, trying to land the space shuttle...he tried a couple times, Steve tried a couple times, Luke tried a couple times....they all crashed the shuttle. I decided not to even give it a go...wanted to keep my pilot dignity, right?
"Look Mom! I'm Chinese!" :) (By the way...we played the license plate game on the way up and Dorian came up with a couple jokes..."What's Molly drinking?......Minnesota!" and "What did Tennessee?......The same thing Arkansas!")
Molly got tired of looking at the planes so Steve and I took turns going up and down the escalator and "alligator" (elevator) about 15-20 times.
Mission control....we have a problem. Two knuckleheads running the show!
Ok, next day we went to the Omaha Zoo. We were there for 7 hours and didn't see the whole seriously puts our zoo to shame but I guess that really doesn't take much.
This poor giraffe was the "bull" of the herd (what a stud! hee hee.) He tried SOOOOOOO hard to reach that leaf but just never could quite reach it....sad.

The aquarium at the zoo was great! They have a tunnel that you walk through just like in Jaws. This albino see turtle was there....he was probably the size of the hood on our van....BIG!

There was a variety of sharks but of course the boys were most interested in the ones with the biggest teeth. Dorian, the bookworm was spouting off facts about all the animals in the zoo. He knew the names of everything, where they lived, and random facts like "The zebra has the hardest kick of all land mammals." Who knows these things? Dorian, I guess! :)
This guy was really cool. Octopus was about the size of a laundry basket and apparently doesn't like flash photography....when Steve snapped this picture he turned red....COOL!
This was the ONLY picture of me in the whole vacation because I always had the camera and guess what? my eyes are closed! Ugh
The zoo had this really cool "Desert Dome" that housed all types of desert dwelling animals but Molly was screaming the whole way through so not many pictures there BUT downstairs from the desert dwellers, were the swamp dwellers...this was cool. Beavers, frogs, snakes, spiders...and this albino alligator. He HAS to be kept in captivity because of his coloring, he wouldn't last long in the wild.

Monkey island was cool. The had little vending machines with food for the koi and people were throwing bread for the monkeys. This guy came to the end of the log and would just reach right out and snatch whatever you threw at him out of the sky...and when no one threw anything, he would do "Hey! Over here!"
There was the Garden of Sense. Full of flowers and beautiful birds that were just hanging under the arbors. Steve read on one of the plaques that these birds mate for life and when one dies, they don't choose another mate. Cute, huh?

Steve thought this elephant had been to the dentist! :) Not sure why he had these caps on his tusks but we thought it was cute.
The kids rode the Carousel. Dorian was ticked because he chose the only animal on the whole thing that didn't go up and down. (He also was not thrilled about having his picture taken.)
WE LOVED THIS BIRD! He came right up to the fence to show off his lettuce. He was quite proud and had I not been afraid of that beak I could've touched him.

And we did touch this guy. He loved rubbin between his horns!

This is the view from the observation tower at the campground. That's the Platte River in the background. Steve wanted to go down and fish on it but we never made it...there was way to much to do!

This is the play place that was on the park grounds. You could pay $2 and drop your kids off for 4 hours (we stayed but thought it was nice that you had the option.) This place was the biggest tunnel thing I've ever seen. It was about the size of 4 of our houses put together. Once you turned your kids loose in there you might as well sit down and wait for them to resurface because there was no way to keep track of them in that jumble of tubes. Steve was excited because while the kids played, he could practice driving a golf ball or shooting skeet on video screen....I relaxed and read a book! YES!!!
This waterpark was also right at the campground. There was this place for the little kids to play in, big waterslides, fast water slides, diving boards, and a wave pool which the boys spent the entire time in. I took video of the boys in the wave pool but I don't know how to upload a video.
Boys will be boys! Any tree is fair game...this one was just asking for it!
I have a million other pictures but just thought I would share a few. (My Life is Yummy!, I almost feel silly posting these after the vacation you just took but I can't help but think you must've had terrible jet lag! :] )

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