We are going on day 2 in Omaha, and boy are done with this town. It is way more sprawling and urban than I'd ever imagined, perhaps more so than any other town I'd ever seen. We went for a drive to see Council Bluffs, which is supposed to be some sort of major historical town where they advertise all this Lewis and Clark stuff and significant historical locations regarding the railroad and the Western Migration. We're always looking for some sort of homeschool angle over here.
Well, first off, the drive over was interesting. Omaha is huge, and we drove by what seemed like mile after mile of shopping center before we even got close to Council Bluffs. I've never seen anything like it, and can't imagine why they need so many shops and cheesy restaurants. Just suburbs and shopping, the American way, I guess. For all it's worth, the stores are reasonably new and they looked nice, but suburban sprawl for as far as the eyes can see. As far as our economic woes go, it seems that the problem is a lot worse than I thought. You figure that this scene is played our across thousands of neighborhoods across this country, so there is a lot of consumerism going on.
Then again, they say the economy is recovering, so what do I know?
We finally got most of our camping gear together, and I think we're ready for our maiden camping voyage into the great outdoors. We feeling better, eating solid food once again, and getting loads of sleep. You realize how sleep deprived you are when you start sleeping like a normal human being. I could get used to this. We are all in one room so it makes it more challenging for the early risers, or should I say early riser, like me. That's why I have to retreat to my office.
Oh yeah, before I forget, Council Bluffs. It was a little depressing, the town seemed shut down, with no people on the streets and all the shops shut down. The historical places seemed closed, and it really wasn't what I'd expected. Almost like a small town looking for a way to capitalize on it's historical setting, just waiting for sucker tourists like us. Hey, we were ready to hand over our money, they just weren't willing to take it.
We walked around a bit and then ended up in a nice park, even though it was filled with squirrelly people. Groups of teenagers with their shirts off and other groups of adults that I pegged as junkies. I know it's bad of me, but it immediately set me on edge. I personally wanted to avoid the place altogether, but the kids wanted to play, and the park did look nice. So we stopped, and I told the kids to stay away from groups of teenagers. Of course, I couldn't let them out of my sight. They ended up having lots of fun, but I couldn't help but suspect the people sitting around like they were waiting for someone or something. It just reminds me too much of people waiting for their dealers. It's sad, actually.
We decided we'd had enough of our glorious historical experience and headed back to the hotel. Enough of the urban/suburban environment, we wanted a change in scenery. We looked for a place closer to home to eat, which wasn't hard to find, and settled on some Southeastern style eatery. The place was hip, with hip people and hip food, but it was just okay. Maybe it was my frame of mind, but the bright note is that we all ate and could be past the worst of our stomach malaise.
Then it was off to bed where we'll have breakfast and hit the store to get provisions, and then head off into the wild frontier, just like Lewis and Clark. It should be fun, albeit challenging and different. The kids are thrilled to pieces, they've never slept in a tent before. This should be intersting.
On the note of camping, I don't think I'll be able to keep posting on this blog while we're in a tent, so we may be absent for a bit. I'll keep you updated as soon as I can. I feel like we're heading out into the Australian Outback. G'day, mate. We'll be in touch soon.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Karunakar Rayker for the pic.