Vivian and I celebrated a matrimonial milestone last week — five years of marriage! We got Grammy and Papa to stay with our girl for the day so we could take a brief trip up to Ashland to see some of the sights close to home, right between Lincoln and Omaha. Our first stop was to the drive-thru “safari” right off exit 426. We’d been meaning to drop by for a visit for the longest time and finally made time to see some elk, pelicans, whitetail deer, and some American bison up close and personal, all from the comfort of our Honda Civic. We got to get a look at a few bald eagles, as well as check out some of the interesting plant life that the bison much enjoy eating at the north end of the park.
We headed across the Interstate to Mahoney State Park after we’d had our fill of flora and fauna and had some lunch at Kiewit Lodge. We spent a few hours at the water park next door after that, getting into a tousle with a fairly violent wave pool and seeing how high we could get a couple fountains to spray by stepping on their other spouts. We also took a few trips down the water slides when the lines for them weren’t unbearably long. We put on sunblock, of course, but we still managed to get burned before the end of the day, probably because we weren’t reapplying the allegedly waterproof sunblock every 80 minutes.
We worked up a sufficiently good appetite by the time we were done frolicking and headed back to Omaha for some dinner. We dropped by Charlie’s on the Lake and picked out a couple genuine live lobsters from their tank, and then proceeded to try to tear them apart without making too much of an embarrassing mess. (The kind staff offered to help us, of course, but we were too darn adventurous.) We also exchanged some appropriate gifts. Vivian gave me a lovely office organizer set, as well as a combination corkscrew, bottle opener, pocket knife key chain (a very manly item, indeed). I gave her a wooden shadowbox frame of our wedding vows, which also plays Unchained Melody, as well as my traditional cartoon summary of our year together.
We took a brief walk around The Lake before heading home, where our girl was already fast asleep. I had one more surprise before calling it a night: the video you see below! It’s been another amazing year with my lovely soul mate, and I have to admit that every year just keeps on getting better! I love you, Vivian.