The weather has continued to be unseasonably gorgeous (for January) here in Omaha, so naturally we’ve been taking the kids to our favorite park over and over again. I actually took Monday off so Vivian and I could celebrate our eighth “Sushi Anniversary” together, but we also dropped by the park to let the kids run around a bit over lunch (and eat cupcakes). Aaron got to try out a slide for the first time (with mom’s help), and Hannah got to roar and run around inside the “dance house” where the Jitterbugs gathered last summer for Lindy in the Park.
Late that afternoon, I took Vivian to see the fourth and final Hobbit movie at the Twin Creek theater, nabbing a matinee show before dinner. This year’s sushi binge was down at Tokyo Sushi/Omaha in the Old Market. We’d actually eaten there once or twice before with our friends, and they were good enough for another visit. I paid extra to have sashimi and could easily have eaten raw fish all night, but we had other rolls and horribly delicious fried things to enjoy to kick off another year of being “official” together.
And because I know Vivian will be wondering, here’s a list of all our Sushi Dates so far:
- 2007: Sakura Bana
- 2008: Also at Sakura Bana
- 2009: Blue Sushi in West Omaha
- 2010: Sushi Japan Yakiniku Boy
- 2011: Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio in Las Vegas
- 2012: Wasabi on West Maple
- 2013: Okinawa Sushi
- 2014: Matsu Sushi
- 2015: Tokyo Omaha
It’s the middle of January, but we’re experiencing some extraordinarily gorgeous weather, with daytime highs hovering around 50 degrees. This meant we got to take Hannah and Aaron to the park for the first time this year, taking full advantage of swings, slides, and even a picnic lunch, with cupcakes courtesy of Jones Bros. There may be plenty of snow and sub-zero temperatures before summertime, so we’ll take days like these while we can get them.
On Saturday, our “old” friend Hugh crossed the half-century mark and turned 50 years old. We hadn’t visited the Kam family since the 2012 Super Bowl, so a visit was long overdue. The party itself was allegedly a surprise, with Hugh running errands throughout the afternoon and returning to find friends, a cake, and about fifty babies crawling all over the place. Yes, we had our usual gang of friends dropping in for birthday wishes as well, but our offspring seemed to take over, with happy babies laughing at balls, impromptu tower-building, and some certain flirtations on the couch that nearly got out of hand. We also got to see the Kam’s latest addition to the family (with her eyes open for the first time).
We got to have some good, family fun as the 2015 got underway. The Children’s Museum was having some kind of “cartoon night” on Friday, so less than a week since we visited with parents we were back again at the “indoor park.” Hannah got to say hello to Dora in-between a jam session with the light piano and a ride on a combine.
The next day, we had a belated New Years’ Party at the Kuehmichel house. Aaron got some quality time with our church friends, Hannah got to have a tea party with a cluster of friends that included people from church and a slew of nieces (and a nephew) of long-long friend Sarah B. Lots of gluten-free, non-dairy vittles were also available, of course (including a giant Crock-Pot of chicken nobody seemed to notice).
The following Friday, I got to have a bit of fun up in Benson as local Radio Celebrity Tom Becka hosted a “live” version of his show at the Pizza Shoppe. Tom recently had the plug pulled on his show at 1290 KOIL (and a few years earlier at 1100 KFAB), so while he’s looking for his next gig, he’s doing a podcast in lieu of actual air time and hosting “live” events like this one. It had the feeling of a town hall, with plenty of open mike time and back-and-forth with the audience. Tom had some PBL Mugs and copies of his book as door prizes, and he also had a “guest” on stage with him — Chris Scott from Politicalinsiderreport.com, a blog I had heretofore never heard of.
There was a fairly decent crowd, which evidently sold out after the doors opened, and it sounds like such a thing will be happening again, though perhaps not at the Pizza Shoppe. That’s a bit of a shame, as the pizza buffet was definitely a draw for me. I hadn’t been able to have a slice of my Round Table since 88 Improv’s last show back in 2013.
The dawn of a new year is upon us again, and that means living it up during that brief week between Christmas and New Years when nobody’s really ready to go back to work.
On the Saturday before New Year’s, we decided to drop by the Omaha Children’s Museum with the kids to have some time at the “indoor park.” I invited my parents along, who could get in for free as guests and watch their grandchildren running around and having fun. We did a little face-painting and spent some time putting balls in the pneumatic tubes before heading upstairs to the farm exhibit. Hannah spent the rest of her time playing on the retro playground (saved from Richman Gordman’s Zooland) and taking a trip on the carousel. We also found a few minutes for a father/daughter puppet show before calling it a day. Then we stopped by Five Guys for some good, sloppy burgers for dinner on the way home.
On New Year’s Eve, the Bellevue Public Library was having a special lunchtime event. Mrs. B got up to read a few of the new books at the library for 2015, including one with “no pictures” by B.J. Novak from The Office. They also had door prizes, and Hannah got a Frozen storybook with a read-along CD. We counted down to the “New Year” (which was striking someplace in Bangkok) and sang Auld Lang Syne before tossing some confetti and calling it a day.
That evening, we rang in the New Year in Nebraska with all four grandparents at our house. Vivian prepared a lovely Cheese Fondue from scratch using Gruyere and white wine in our fondue pot. It was quite delicious, though we had to keep adding wine to keep it from turning solid on us. My mom and dad called it a night early as the rest of us sat through a few musical acts in Times Square as 2015 struck the East Coast and then the Central Time Zone before we headed off to bed.
On New Years Day, the kids were nice enough to let us sleep in a bit before we got up and watched the Rose Parade. That evening, Jack and Donna returned to our house to have some tasty black-eyed peas and cornbread for our traditional New Years’ dinner together. Then my dad came by and we watched Alabama play Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide lost, of course, but it was a memorable evening as it was the first time my dad and I had ever actually watched Alabama play in a game before. It’s hard to believe, since my dad is a 1995 graduate of the U of A, but somehow we’d never gotten around to watching his alma mater play in an actual game before. Better late than never.
Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to 2015.