Monday, September 3, 2007

Bill Brasky Part Deux.

Full report on trip to Omaha. We left aprox. 2ish for Newton where we signed our lease for the next year and were off onto Hwy. 80 for the several hour trip to Omaha. Lodging was booked at a nearby Howard Johnson @ 55 dollars a night. Should have known that was too cheap. Like the Olympia Resort, on the outside it looks nice, the convention center facilities are very nice too. Take the elevator up and you get to a very rundown hallway to our room. Maybe our section was more run down than others I don't know, our "budget" room overlooked the roof and some satellite dishes. At least there was free wireless net, well who doesn't have free wireless net these days. Starbucks thats whoo, 9 bucks a day for net! Give me a break, Taco Johns has free wireless net. No Joke.

We settled in and scoped out some delivery fliers, apparently a lot of places delivered via this third party service called
, which had a website you could order on. More on that l8ter. We decided to checkout the hotel bar and have a brew, 1.75 pints so not bad at all. We ordered a Nacho plate and 2 beers which somehow came out to 6.50 even though the nachos were listed at $ 5.95. I wasn't complaining. After a while we wandered back to the room thought we should get some final supper and go swimming, so we ordered a couple gyros on the
website. After 20 minutes I called up the service, what's that old lady on the phone. You don't actually check the website orders? Why do you have website for ordering then. All over your advertising materials. Whatever woman get me a Gyro and Chicken Gyro and get them here 20 minutes ago. Eventually and old guy delivered the goods from who knows what greek hut, there seemed to be an abundance of them. While the meats were flavorfully spiced, the
sauce tasted more like a ranch sauce than anything. Anyway swimming was had, pool was 9 feet deep, pretty deep for a hotel pool. Hot tub wasn't as warm as I would have liked.

The next day we got up, wandered down to the breakfast room for the infamous Howard Johnson "Rise n Dine" breakfast, well there was a couple of bagels and the obligatory waffle machine. What's that? Why no there wasn't coffee or juice, just a note saying No coffee or juice today sorry the management. Also we didn't get our USA today delivered to our door as stated on the website, but whatever. They can't afford coffee how can they afford newspapers.

A Denny's was scoped out a mere 3 minute drive down the 10 lane road of death and soon we were feasting on juice and Moons over some sort of Hammys. Anyway we made it to the zoo, bypassed the main entrance because we are members of the Des Moines Zoo which means we get a half priced reciprocal entrance. And off we went. This place is huge. Also had the hugest grandaddy seal of them all. They have a 70 foot walk through aquarium which we spent a good 15 minutes in watching the sharks, and fish, and rays, and sharks, and small children getting eaten by sharks. Amazing. There's some shots at the
page but the lighting and environment were less than ideal for getting a good shot. Certainly one that portrays the grand awesomeness of this aquarium. The desert Biodome was pretty neat too.


Needless to say we were there for many hours, and apon leaving were famished and feet were tired as hell. Went back to the hotel for a quick dip in the pool and to scope out dinner plans. We located a place called
on Google Maps and were off on another whirlwind adventure. Place was good, had a good salad bar with your meal and reasonable prices. Wanting to walk off some of our pasta escapades we sought out and found a mall to wander a bit, eventually purchasing some food and goods for Nemo's birthday at a nearby Petco or of those two, who knows.

Alas the vacation was coming to all to short of an end. It was now Sunday, the day of departure back home. But not without a few more adventurous stops. We had heard of a place called
many times on the TV, but alas had never been near one til now. There was one a mere 10 minute drive away. They didn't open til 11:30 and it was only 10:30, no fear back to that mall area there was a Borders that we could browse and have a sip o non Starbucks coffee. Right was we went in there was a book, that had a cat on the front.


Intrigued I swooped in for a closer look. Alas could it be? A book, no a series of books about the secret lives of cats with wars and clans and mystical legends? Neat, yoink, grabbed. Patches always sneaks behind the couch through the end table and I often comment that she saw the Cat Signal and is going to the Cat Cave, her secret high tech crime fighting lair.

We should have grabbed coffee right then and there but noooo we had to venture forth in search of Star Trek Deep Space Nine books as we are amidst collecting and reading the DS9 Relaunch books. What's that over there, on the end of the shelves display by the Sci-Fi section. Neil Gaiman, you wrote more books than Stardust? Interesting. SWOOPED. Another book in the bag.


That's enough books for one day you say, well but we haven't even made it to the star trek section yet! My lord, they had the hugest trek section I'd ever seen usually it's just a row maybe two of books but here it was column after column. The wife quickly pointed out that we had Worlds of Star Trek Deep Space Nine Book 3 but not 1 or 2, which they had both of them here. Well that won't do, how can we read book 3 with out 1 and 2. Grab Grab.


At this point our hands were starting to get full of books. But then a BIG HUGE FAT one caught my eye. Is it, no, really? The omnibus edition of the first 5 books in the relaunch, even though I had the first 3 I still needed the other two which are sorta hard to come by these days especially the last novella. Well it's settled Twist of Faith was to be grabbed and the books I had would be thrown up on


At this point we were over burgeoned with books and headed toward a register, but not before my damn wandering eye caught the Jim Butcher section, more specifically Fool Moon, the second Dresden Files book which I needed as I had books 1, 3, and 4. POW, you've been booked.


Finally we made it to the register, swiped our Borders Rewards card and took our bounty to the coffee shop to get tanked on mochas and discuss our latest book acquisitions.
(For more information on my tastes in books check out my library @
Soon after we left and swong by a place called
. There is one in Des Moines over by the Zoo that I always see but never had stopped. So here we did. Pretty nice place, reasonable prices and they carried shluff back to the NES. Lots of games and goodies and pretty helpful staff. Games were in far better condition than Gamestop and the staff was far less pushy. I might have picked something up but having just spent 70 bucks on books and coffee I refrained. As quick as we came off we were to finally hit

We got there and looked around, the place was big, bigger than I had expected and the dining area was classier than I thought too. What's this sign, no kids with out an adult, awwwww yea teh adult gamer's place to play. They had a great deal called eat and play. Choose one of 8 entrees and get a 10 dollar game play card for 15.99 or double your fun get an entree and 20 dollars game play for 23.99. We got a couple of the 23.99 deals because we were gunna game anyway, and eat anyway. Might as well do both. I had a chicken parmesan with chunky sauce. Huge plate of food, just because it was a deal package didn't mean they were going to skimp on the plate size I guess. We ate, talked with our waiter, who was fantastically attentive keeping my iced tea full and letting us know about the midway games, arcade games, TVs, and other entertainment items available. The midway games gave tickets, you know the carnies tickets only you could get neat stuff. We played a few arcade games and several rounds of skeeball. We ended up playing this coin drop game that somehow we had gotten the timing down to get it to drop coins. Which in turn shot out 8 tickets per coin pushed off. We ended up with over 2500 tickets (and more in my pocket apparently as I am home now and found some in my pocket) and headed to claim our bounty. We grabbed two actually glass pint glasses and two shot glasses, leaving us with 1500 tickets yet. They store them on your game card so I guess we'll have to go back to Omaha sometime.


Finally came home, petted the cats, gave them their gifts, and passed out from a loooonnnng, but fun weekend.

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