This continues my coverage of our trip out west … the move to Portland. This leg is from St. Louis, MO to Omaha, NE.

You might as well view these and these while you read.

The drive to Omaha from St. Louis was pretty uneventful, as one might imagine floating through a sea of crops would be. The last few miles had no towering arch surprise. There was no “holy crap that’s a big body of water” bridge over the Mississippi. Nonetheless, Omaha was nice. We arrived around 4:45pm. For some reason I didn’t reserve a hotel ahead of time, which cost me an extra $10, but luckily they still had rooms left. The rooms hadn’t yet been taken by the soccer players that were in town. I knew of their presence from the sign that said, “Please, no cleats in the lobby.”

Before we left for dinner I found out that Saddle Creek opened a new venue called The Slowdown. Why didn’t I know of it sooner? Would it make a difference if I did? Either way, Cursive was out of town on tour, on their way to Portland no less. We really didn’t have the energy, nor the time to see any shows at Slowdown that evening, but I checked the calendar anyway to make sure we weren’t going to kick ourselves later. Turned out we would be driving right by Slowdown on our way to Downtown for dinner. The entrance was on the other side of the building, not the side we drove past on, so it wasn’t impressive. There’s an Urban Outfitters in the same building/plaza? Strange.

Downtown Omaha’s Old Market area is charming. Some people love the look of brick, others try to improve it with paint. Even though the buildings were unpainted, with their upstairs seemingly in disrepair, I thought they looked great. Quite a few have been renovated on the lower floors for storefronts and apartment space. Quite nice. We didn’t venture outside of the Old Market area because, frankly, we didn’t have the energy. And something makes me doubt the rest of downtown would have been as enjoyable. We ate at a place called Michael’s, which turned out to be mediocre Mexican, but what did we expect?

We parked in a parking garage that closed it’s doors before sundown. And by closed, I mean closed. Rolled down and locked up tight. I double-checked with Kristen, “when we entered it said 24 hour parking, right?” Yep, she saw it too. It turns out we were supposed to keep our parking stub with us so we could get in the garage after they stopped letting new cars in (after 7pm?). We were NOT supposed to put the stub on our dash like we assumed. Always read your parking stub. Always. Always. But no worries. We circled the building and found a city worker entering the garage on her way home. She believed our story. She had heard it before.