Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Weekend in Nebraska

My friend in Nebraska asked me to shop for tulip bulbs when I passed through Schiphol airport. Last year she purchased some there but the squirrels ate the bulbs and she didn't see any flowers. So I had a successful shopping trip there and then the question began to be how to deliver them. At first I thought I might drive, but in the end I decided to fly down and back.

So Friday morning I set off to the airport via the Light Rail.

I connect with the Green Line one block from my apartment building and then ride it to the Downtown East station in Minneapolis. There I change to the southbound Blue Line which has the major destinations of the airport and the Mall of America. Once arriving at the airport one goes up two levels via escalators or elevators and then connects to a small blue tram that runs back and forth between the far distant location and the baggage level of the airport. Once there Delta has a two counters where one can check bags immediately. Then it was up through TSA security. My flight went out the C concourse. It had been a very long time since I had taken a flight from there. At the beginning of the C concourse I took yet another small tram which would take me to gate C24. I was amazed to see the digital display, new since my last time on that concourse displaying how many seconds before the next train would arrive.

The flight to Lincoln, NE was uneventful -- good news since before departure the pilot had told us to expect a bumpy ride due to the gusty winds in the midwest.

My friends met me and we went to a nice restaurant that featured flat breads. It was a great lunch. Then we were on to their home.

Our late afternoon activity was going to see their grandson perform a test for a Tae Ka Do level belt. This was my first experience in a gym for this and I was most impressed by the team work among everyone there.

From there we headed to Panera restaurant in downtown Lincoln, a destination selected for a quick supper because it was right next to the Lied Center where we were going to a performance of the Lincoln Symphony.

The Symphony performance was a quite different experience. The first hour featured a presentation of Beyond the Score media show created by the Chicago Symphony. Beyond the Score included pictures, music, and information designed to help us learn about Tchaikovsky as a person as well as the social and economic times surrounding the composition of the Symphony No. 4 in F Minor. I liked this very much and I think classical music groups might have more success if they would do more presentations like this before performing major works. The second half of the evening was a performance of the Symphony No. 4. Quite an outstanding event! 

On Saturday morning we really were lazy. There was mention of going to the Farmers' Market the evening before, but when the time was 11 AM and it closed at 12:00 and we were 30 minutes away, it seemed like a good thing to skip. Instead on this lovely autumn day, my friend and I took a neighborhood walk. Our primary destination was to see the renovation on the church they attend.

Upon return we headed off to find a new restaurant in Lincoln called Zoup. This apparently is a restaurant that began in Michigan. Franchises operate in 16 states plus the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. My state is not one of the 16 so this was a new place to me. This restaurant has 12 soups per day. Some varieties are there every day and others are only daily selections. I had a tomato cabbage soup with a lovely spring salad. It was a very nice lunch. Then we shopped for some groceries. If you know anything about Nebraska you may know the joke that the third largest city in Nebraska is the Husker football stadium. Nebraskans are great football fans, as evidenced by the large cookie I found at the grocery store.
The evening activity, of course, was watching the Nebraska-Michigan State football game, a game for which Nebraska came strong finally in the fourth quarter but not quite enough to win.

On Sunday morning my friend and I went to church -- held in an alternate location because their church is not ready for "prime-time" yet due to the renovation project. It was a very nice service. Home again, for a lunch with their son and a chance for me to meet his girlfriend. During the afternoon we watched the film, Book Thief. I had neither read the book or seen the film, so I enjoyed this very much.

Early Sunday evening found us at a soccer game to see my friends' young granddaughter play her last game. The game time was 6:15- 7:15 and so sitting there we saw quite a light show put on.

The combination of the  late afternoon sun and the clouds were quite dramatic. But soon I looked to the east and there was the moon.

And of course in the west was the dramatic sunset.

Home again found us enjoying a nice supper and then finding some favorites to enjoy on TV.

On Monday one of our major activities was designing a quilt my friend plans to put together as a gift for an upcoming baby shower.

Tuesday turned out to day of art in Lincoln, but that is another story that will be presented in a separate post.

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