This past weekend, my friend (of 10 years!!!) and I made the drive up to Omaha to witness one of my friends (of like, 14 years!!!) get hitched. It actually turned out to be really fun, too! It’s amazing what can happen–and the amount of sheer joy you can have–when you open yourself up to adventure.
Saturday around 10, Parker got to my house and we drove to Sonic to get some breakfast burritos. Three hours later, I had made the drive to good ol’ Omaha! Yes, mom, I DID drive the whole way! It was very flat and the landscape was hopelessly boring, but it was green and still somehow beautiful. We talked about stopping to go antiquing or to some quirky museum every few miles instead of continuing on, but the hypothetical situations and weird ass stories we came up with were probably the best part of it.
Also, I had been looking up things to do in Omaha the previous week and something that came up was the biggest coffee pot in the world at Sapp’s Brothers. (It’s a water tower shaped like a coffee pot, but I digress.) So I had made it a goal to go there on the trip. Lo and behold, we were still making our way through Iowa (I believe… I didn’t really pay attention to where each state ended) and Parker saw the water tower. But it wasn’t supposed to be until Omaha! So I said we would have to take photos on the way back. But when we got to Omaha, there was another coffee pot. So we assumed that it must be the original OR the biggest (or both), and once again decided to stop by on our way out of town.
We were 50 minutes early, so I located the church and drove to a hotel parking lot to kill time. After a few minutes, we decided to change. In the hotel parking lot. Mine was easy because I could just throw clothes over me and shimmy into my dress. Parker struggled a bit more, as he had several pieces to assemble. Men and suits. AmIRight?
When we got to the church, I realized I hadn’t told Parker it was a Catholic wedding and might well be a full mass. (Whoops!) But we ran into our friend David and the ceremony was beautiful, so all was well. Nicole wouldn’t stop smiling, and Mike’s expression was just overjoyed. I’m so happy they have found their happiness! We got to say “Hi” in a receiving line right after the ceremony, and Nicole’s mom approached the three of us and talked for a while. An older woman complimented my shoes (Thanks, Erin, for unknowingly letting me borrow your favorite shoes!), then we went outside to blow bubbles while the couple walked to one of the craziest cars I’ve ever seen. Apparently there are only 4 in the US. How’s THAT for fancy?
After that, we needed a nap. David left to get some sun by the pool and Parker and I took a nap at the hotel. When we woke up, I had to fix my hair (BLAST IT! MIDWEST HUMIDITY!) and harass him to get up for about 20 minutes while I freaked out about being late. Because I’m a worrier. We got to the venue at 6:14 and were really almost just in time to watch the bridal party come in, sunglasses and all. The reception hall was decorated beautifully, and we chatted it up with Nicole’s dedicated nail tech who had shown up to enjoy the festivities. The food was wonderful, the flavored popcorn was off the charts, and the lemon cake paired well with my random choices in alcohol. I was lucky enough to chat with some families from grade and high school, dance with the bride, reminisce with some old friends, and be introduced to many smiling faces. We stayed for the entire event, and it really was amazing. Needless to say, I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Sunday, we woke up and feasted at Perkins. (That Banana Walnut Whole Wheat Pancake Breakfast stayed with me ALL DAY!) Then we meandered on over to the Henry Doorly Zoo where we wandered until 4pm. Parker was most excited about the butterfly exhibit. They really did fly everywhere and land on you! I was mostly hyperventilating when they got close to me and Parker was mostly laughing. We saw a lot of animals and I actually read the plaques and learned a lot of random (and perhaps valuable) information, which is something I’ve never really tried to do at a zoo. Adult things. We also must have been in the right place at the right time, because a very nice couple gave us their leftover one-way tickets on Skyfari. So we got to ride a ski lift across the zoo and look at everything from above. A little scary for me, since I’m not one for heights, but I didn’t lose my flip flops and we got to see animals I otherwise would have been too lazy to walk to!
After the zoo, we headed to a gas station for drinks (Umm HELLO strawberry peach iced tea!) and set out for home. We stopped at the giant coffee pot–Parker decided it looked more like a teapot–and took photos from a Super 8 Motel parking lot. Because we are classy. Then Parker drove us back, and we made up stories about him moving to the middle of nowhere Missouri to live a solitary life with his cat Francois. I would be mad at him for having a cat–especially since it has a French name–but “Francois Dillinger Pennybaker” is such a badass name that I can’t help but laugh and just accept that I have a friend who is a cat guy. I spent a lot of the ride getting angry at XM radio because of the poor song selection, then we realized one of the stations was all Pink Floyd on Sundays. So a lot of the ride was Parker fan girling out and me just accepting my fate. And torturing him with Celine Dion and random pop songs every here and there.
I spent the evening sitting on the Pennybakers’ porch with Parker and his two siblings, as well as his sister’s friend. Until it started raining. Then I got a text from my dad warning my of the chance of hail so I high-tailed it home to fall asleep to the storm. I am very happy with the way my weekend went, and am proud of myself for accepting adventure into my life.
I also won the weekend with this: