The next destination on our epic U.S adventure was to the small town of Oakland, Nebraska about 1.5 hours North of Lincoln to where my sister-in-law Cathy lives with her family. The last time we stayed at Cathy’s was close to 5 years a go, so this visit was definitely well overdue.
We arrived on a Saturday just in time to head down to the main street in town (or the only street in town?) where our nephew/cousin Michael, along with his senior classmates, where all dressed up for their high school prom.
The girls loved seeing all the dresses and Clio did make me giggle when we later watched the seniors being escorted by juniors into the venue and she kept pointing and saying ‘Anna’ I think she truly thought they were all real life princesses.
Clio LOVED sleeping in her oldest’s cousins bed while Eden LOVED all the attention she got from everyone, especially her sweet cousin Meg and they both loved the toys in the attic!
When Meg wasn’t at school Eden was always by her side; getting her nails painted, baking cakes, licking the cake mixture off the beaters. Meg was also one of the few people that managed to win Clio over; I am sure the Curtis clan will agree that Clio is one tough nut to crack!
Cathy took a day off work and we drove to Omaha to meet up with Chrissi (another sister-in-law/Aunt) at the award winning Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.
I am so pleased we made it here because for years Matt has wanted to take Eden, but for some reason or another it has never worked out, until now.
It is easy to see why the zoo has an extensive list of awards & achievements; the moment we stepped inside the grounds we were greeted by friendly volunteers, the grounds were clean and the exhibits fantastic and the animals looked a lot happier & healthier than the ones here in Okinawa which was a relief!
Needless to say we all thoroughly enjoyed our time at the zoo and I am pretty certain we didn’t even get around the entire place. If you find yourselves in Nebraska, this is definitely something to add to your list of places to visit.
Our last day in Oakland also happened to be Meg’s sweet 16th! We went to Omaha to meet up with Mr & Mrs C and Cathy’s oldest son Josh, for a delicious dinner followed by cake…in the parking lot!
We did head back to Oakland one last time just prior to starting our journey back to Japan simply so I could slice up 22 loaves of garlic bread! Obviously I am kidding, although that did actually happen! We returned to celebrate Michael graduating from high school, which was one of the main reasons for our trip!
Friday night was his graduation party where a steady stream of family, neighbors & friends popped by for some food, cake and of course to congratulate Michael. Saturday was the big show, unfortunately I missed the very last bit because Clio decided to throw a tantrum just as they started presenting everyone with their diplomas; we could not get out of the gym fast enough!
It was SO good to spend time with Cathy & co and so fun for Eden to get to spend some time with her much loved cousins and for Clio too, even if she was a little crabbier about the whole trip!