Monday, July 9, 2012

Vacation Day 4-July 6th

This was supposed to be the hottest day of our vacation so we chose to spend our time indoors!  Brian had found out about a railroad museum in Council Bluffs and it was free so we headed over there!  We didn't realize all the parking would be meters and we had no change so we drove around looking for free parking and trying to scrounge up change.  We decided we would put what we had in the meter and then buy a postcard and put that change in the meter (this story does have a point!).  We went into the Union Pacific Railroad Museum and immediately N2 went looking for the trains you can ride on.  Guess what, this museum has NONE!  They went looking for something they could get inside of.  Again, NOTHING except for the broken down simulator.  We went through this museum in no time flat since there was nothing for them to do!  We managed to leave with 45 minutes left on the meter (and we had only put in a dollar so you can figure out how much time we spent there!)  Not a good place for kids!  This was just a photo op train.
Poor N2 really wanted to go to a train museum and there was another one down the road but it was really expensive and it was outside and apparently there aren't that many trains so we decided to skip it.  We promised to go to the Children's Museum after this.  We stopped for lunch at the Lewis and Clark Monument park not because it was the Lewis and Clark Monument park but it was up on a bluff that overlooked the airport so we could watch planes taking off and landing!  How exciting!  Unfortunately it was not a high traffic time for planes.  I think we saw 3 land and 2 take off.  We did however see eagles and turkey vultures flying around.  So far we're striking out for the day!

We went to the Omaha Children's Museum and boy let me tell you how crowded that place was and how chaotic it was.  That bothered Noah until he found something he really liked-a FIRETRUCK.  Then he played on that for half an hour.
Note: Noah is wearing a fireman jacket (that he was so excited to wear), an oxygen tank on his back and a hard hat.  I could not convince him to wear one of the fireman helmets.  He thought this one was a fireman helmet.  Oh well.  While I stayed with Noah and watched him climb up and down and up and down and up and down and in and out and in and out (you get the picture), Brian was with Natalie in the ball area.  This was the most interesting part of the place.  There were 4 "walls" that had different places that you could insert balls and the tubes and air would move them around in the walls and then up to the big ball pit at the top of the circle that the walls surrounded.  The ball pit would open and all the balls would fall from the ceiling, so you could put the balls back in the wall and up into the pit again.  Natalie LOVED standing under the ball pit and wait for the balls to drop on her.  Once they would drop, she would jump up and down, squeal with job and flap her arms (not sure why).  Then she would chase after the balls, collect quite a few, and put them back into the walls.  She spent at least 1.5 hours doing this.
I made her switch around to put balls in different spots because I was getting a little bored!  There were quite a few other things we could have done with the balls but it was quite crowded.  In the same area, they had pulley swings that kids could pull themselves up as high as they could go.  Both N2 tried this and they could pull themselves up on the one swing but not the other (I think Brian said the one had more pulleys than the other).
Natalie and I disappeared upstairs for a while where they had these 4 big animal slides.  Brian told me that these slides used to be in the original Gordman's and that they were sold off and now the children's museum is buying them off ebay.  I had no idea what Gordman's was but apparently they are all over IL and I have missed them!  There was an elephant slide, a kangaroo slide and then a hippo and camel that you could crawl in an out of.  The elephant was the coolest because you had to climb up a ramp inside the elephant and then slide down from the top of the elephant.  There were also the 4 animal costumes you could wear while playing on the slides. (Very strange costumes-Noah wanted to wear them and looked so cute wearing the kangaroo costume but we didn't get a good picture.  We were taking pictures with my Panasonic Lumix and I am amazed at how poorly the pictures turned out).
There was also a whole area about pizza.  You could open a pizza parlor, take orders and then make the pizzas.  They had various toppings and then a fake wood burning pizza oven.  N2 made so many pizzas!  Not sure what they found fascinating but they spent at least half a hour making pizzas!  The picture didn't turn out.  There was also a giant pizza that you could get onto and jump/run on it and move the toppings around.
Kind of random right?  There was an art area that I thought Noah would love but he really showed no sign of interest.  I tried to get them to bubble paint with straws but they both sucked up the straw at one point.  That was the end of arts and crafts!  They had a huge light bright thing that I thought was fun.  We spent most of the time in the area by the fire truck where there was also a small water table that you could squirt water on a house (to pretend to be like fire hoses), a small grocery store, a small garden where you could plan crops (it was all fake) and a house where Noah got involved in a make believe family with other children and he was responsible for cooking carrots and making dessert.  We spent 5 hours at this museum and Brian and I were so ready to leave by the time we left!

We tried a variety of restaurants while we were there but this evening we ate at Galo a Brazilian grill that charges per pound instead of per person.  You put food on your plate that you want and then they weigh it.  You can go back as much as you want, you just have to get your plate weighed each time.  It was yummy but not as good as some of the other Brazilian restaurants I've been to.  But I loved the concept of paying for what you eat.  N2 did eat some of the chicken drumsticks and some sides.

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