Life is grand, my friends, and I've made good on a promise to myself to get back out and live life again. You know, like I used to. Recently, I drove out to one of my favorite nature spots: Neale Woods. The weather was ungodly hot and since I'm giving my knee plenty of time to heal, my goal on this day was to just meander around a bit, take a few photos, and soak in the beauty of the Ponca Hills.
Native wildflowers are a hallmark of this place and I never tire of seeing them.
I'm sad to report that the old Nature Center, a.k.a. Carl Jonas' house, has been torn down. All that remains are some ground cover that has grown in and this picnic table. While I understand the reasons behind tearing down the Center - as well as pretty much all the other outbuildings - it still makes me sad. It also makes me a bit nostalgic for when I first started hiking here. All the things that made this place special to me are gone. It's not the same anymore.
The wildflowers, like this beardtongue, made me happy, though.
This little guy was eating some dinner.
The outdoor "school" is still there...for now.
Summer in Omaha just wouldn't be summer without Shakespeare on the Green. For the past 36 years, Nebraska Shakespeare has put on two of William Shakespeare's famous plays, free to the public, on a piece of land between Elmwood Park Golf Course and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. You're allowed to bring in your own food and spirits - can't beat that.
My friend Rebecca and I went to a showing of The Tempest. It was special this year as the role of Prospero was played by famous actor, and Omaha native, John Beasley.
One supremely gorgeous Friday night, I met up with a friend at Soaring Wings Vineyard. It's the only winery around here, that I know of, that allows you to bring your own food in. Often, then, on a Friday night, I'll meet up with a friend or a few for live Friday night music. We'll pack our own food, pay $5 for the band, and share a bottle of wine (or two).
My friend Audrey drove up for a quick weekend visit, so we escaped the Saturday heat by wandering in and out of buildings in Omaha's historic Old Market District. We stopped by my favorite haunt there: the Passageway.
No visit to the Passageway would be complete without a stop to the Garden of the Zodiac, a small art gallery that has a small garden contained within. It's always gorgeous this time of the year.
The actual gallery had a collection of animal art. I thought my daughter would appreciate that, so I snapped some pictures for her.
One evening, I was driving southbound on 60th Street towards Maple when I saw the old Louis sign in the back courtyard of these apartments. I hadn't even thought about Louis' in years since they tore it down. Louis', for those who don't know, was a combination of a small grocery store and a bar that was everyone's favorite watering hole. I'm glad the sign is still standing.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I changed positions at my employer. I moved from an academic department back to a business & finance department. One of my favorite faculty members went to Iceland not long before I left and when she returned, she brought me a chocolate bar from an Icelandic chocolate factory she went to as a goodbye gift.
I took pictures because the packaging was very cool! Well, and I've never had chocolate from Iceland before.
How cool is that?
Man, it was just as delicious as it looks. I wouldn't hesitate in the least to say this was the best tasting chocolate I've ever had.
Aaaand, back to Soaring Wings for another Friday night of friendship, food, and wine. You can't beat the view either.
The Sun sets on an evening at the winery.
Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my life as of late. I've been enjoying it, without a doubt. It's Friday again, and I'm going to a different winery with a handful of friends to watch a movie, drink some wine, and have some laughs. Then, I'm off to spend the weekend with my son, who has his own quaint little apartment in Lincoln.
Have a great weekend,