Friday, September 22, 2017

Council Bluffs and Omaha September 2017

Our trip begins with a ride on the train at Dulles International Airport
Council Bluffs and Omaha September 2017    
September found us on the road, or in the air, as we headed towards Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. We had a fine time visiting old friends and meeting new ones. It was a whirlwind experience as we explored both sides of the Missouri River. There is a lot to see and do along the way. We jumped right in with both feet when we arrived. I will do the same here. 
The Holy Family Shrine 
“As the visitors continue north, they experience the chapel facade. As high as forty-nine feet, arching members of wood, frame the stone entry structure below and within the chapel structure. The arching wood members inlaid in the facade articulate waves of grain, symbolic of the grain of the Eucharist, the bread of life, and the essence of the Catholic faith. As the visitors enter the chapel, so does the water, flowing through the church like the Holy Spirit. Two streams of water flank the entry and flow along the sides of the pews. The waters cut a stream in the limestone that forms the floor and foundation of the chapel. Set on top of this mass of limestone are wooden structural members that arch across the chapel like waves of grain. The twelve structural members represent the apostles.  At the front of the chapel, the image of the Holy Family is beautifully etched into a single pane of glass sixteen feet tall.” 
 "A unique church stands on a hill visible from both directions on I-80. The Holy Family Shrine is glass-walled, with supports holding up its 45-ft. tall roof. A man-made stream bubbles along a path cut along the walkway to the entrance and then in the floor of the nave."

 Bob, the Pedestrian Bridge
 “Hi, I'm Bob. I'm a bridge. Technically I’m a 3,000 ft. pedestrian bridge, but actually I’m a 3,000 ft. magic trick – suspended in air by mere cables (and two really tall towers and a whole lotta something going on under the water), but other than that it’s all magic. For my next trick, since I’m the first walking bridge to connect two states, if you stand in just the right spot “POOF” you’re in two places at the same time. Take a photo and now you're "Bobbing"…trust me, it’s a thing.“ What a view and architectural wonder!
Heartland of America Park and Fountain 
“Catch the spectacular Heartland of America Fountain with its 320-ft water jet and light show. Lewis & Clark Interpretive exhibits, WWII and Airborne Memorial Sculptures and a pedestrian bridge connecting to the Lewis & Clark Landing.” 

 We also visited several parks in the area including Glenn Cunningham Lake, Lewis & Clark Monument Scenic Overlook, and more.
 Omaha Area Casinos 
“Omaha hits the jackpot with casinos just a short ride from downtown. Cross the Missouri River to beat the odds at one of three different casinos known for big winners. The legendary Horseshoe casino caters to the serious gamblers with some of the highest table limits in the heartland. Ameristar Casino Hotel specializes in slots and video poker with over 1,500 machines. Catch a show in Stir Cove featuring national acts at Harrah's or play the odds at the Craps tables. All offer plenty of ways to test your luck and play the night away. From slot machines and black jack, to entertainers and buffets, a full house of fun awaits at Omaha area casinos.” These are all located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and are easy to get to. We enjoyed a fine dinner at the 360 Steakhouse, which is on top of the Harrah’s casino. We were spoiled very well while there.

 Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
“This 130-acre zoo is a completely different kind of animal.  Omaha’s Zoo is home to the world’s largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rainforest in North America. Explore exotic locations and underground caves to see thousands of animals from across the globe in their natural habitat. With more than 7-acres of indoor exhibits, Omaha’s Zoo is a year-round must-do.” One day did not seem enough time to see it all and they are building new areas now. This place is impressive! 
“Visit the world's largest indoor desert and nocturnal exhibits along with one of North America's largest indoor rainforests. Other world-class exhibits include the Scott Aquarium, Hubbard Orangutan Forest and Gorilla Valley, Lozier IMAX® Theater, Durham's Bear Canyon, Berniece Grewcock Butterfly and Insect Pavilion and more. Explore Kingdoms of the Night featuring the world's largest indoor swamp, a canyon and massive caves. Experience Skyfari, the aerial tram that transports guests to a new view of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.” 

 We made a day trip and explored the area around Winterset, Iowa, and the Bridges of Madison County. We found the Birthplace of John Wayne along with other cool sights along the way.
“Madison County is the Covered Bridge Capital of Iowa, with the largest group of covered bridges that exists in one area in the western half of the Mississippi Valley.” 

Cedar Covered Bridge was damaged by a recent arson.

 Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari
 “Wildlife Safari Park is a four mile, drive-through North American wildlife adventure. Visitors feel like they're on an actual safari, coming face-to-face with North American plants and animals such as elk, white-tailed deer, bison, pronghorn antelope and waterfowl.” We had a great time here!

 To see the Air and Space Museums blog from this trip, please go to:
To see a list of all of my blogs with the links included, please go to:
We had a great time exploring the areas on either side of the Missouri River! I hope you enjoyed the images along the way. Feel free to comment and share the link to this blog with others. Thanks for looking!
A sunset over the Missouri River is a fitting end to this adventure.