Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

RiffTrax, Water Wheel, and Return to the SumTur

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It’s the start of a new school year, so Vivian and I are crashing back into the routine of getting the kids up, fed, and out the door every morning. Aaron’s going to public school while Hannah’s being homeschooled, which is a boon for her, since she and mommy can drop by Trader Joe’s with me for an educational shopping trip buying cheese and figs just for fun in the middle of the day. Hannah also learned how to make her own macarons.

Then on Tuesday, we had a RiffTrax event for the first time in well over a year. Mark, Richard, and my dad joined me at Culver’s for some pre-movie burgers before we headed over to Twin Creek to see Mike and the “Bots” make fun of Hobgoblins, a favorite from the MST3K days. It was nice to have yet another bit of normalcy back in our lives (Richard and I also got to be twins with our shirts).


Then on Saturday, I had a lovely bike ride to the Walnut Creek Recreation area and back before we took the kids down to Cimarron Woods for a fun, wet morning at Emmett’s birthday party. They have a lovely splash pad (with a giant water wheel) and playground there, so Aaron and Hannah got some quality time running around and getting splashed for a couple hours.

We got to chat with a handful of our grown-up friends while we were there and had a batch of sandwiches and chips for lunch. Afterward, we broke out the cake for a bit of a sugar high before winding down for a bit and getting a family photo with the birthday boy.

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Then that evening, we took the kids back out for a family movie night down at the SumTur. Summer movies there have been an annual staple for us for a couple years, but we hadn’t all four made it down since about 2019. The kids got a little time to run around (and flip chairs) before the movie started (with Looney Tunes short, Duck Amuck as a prelude). They showed Kaya and the Last Dragon, a movie we’d already seen via Disney+, but the kids seemed to enjoy it just as much the second time through.

We’ve got a few days now to catch our breath before we have another crazy, busy weekend celebrating my birthday. That’s something I’ll be looking forward to (so stay tuned).

Random Vivian Weekend

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Vivian and I have had a fun week or so just hanging out with one another. On Thursday last week, she got an award from Friendship Program, where she’s spent the last five years of her working life. We got to hang out with a few of her goofy co-workers and have some tasty hors d’eourves provided by the staff.

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On Saturday, Vivian made good on a bet we had on the Nebraska / Texas game a few weeks ago and took me out to lunch at the place of my choice. Naturally, I chose Wasabi, the All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant out on West Maple. The place was absolutely amazing. You order sushi from a menu similar to Sakura Bana or any traditional sushi restaurant, except you only pay once. We stuffed ourselves with maki rolls, shrimp tempura, miso soup, green tea ice cream, and an assortment of other items that would have put us well in bankruptcy if we’d eaten anywhere else.

We waddled on over to the Michael’s next door to browse the art supplies and play with the toys over there as we let our giant meal settle.

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Vivian and I headed down to the new Trader Joe’s at One Pacific Place afterward. The place was packed, as we’d expected. Trader Joe’s is the kind of grocery store you’d get if Whole Foods and Aldi had a baby — the selection is mostly all-natural foods and specialty items usually found only on the west coast (such as Italian Dry Bologna, or whatever it’s called), and it’s also almost entirely store-branded products. That means the prices are actually quite reasonable. I picked up a big bottle of sweet vermouth for $5 as well as a bottle of the notorious Two Buck Chuck (which was actually $3).

I was also impressed with the effort Trader Joe’s made to localize their store with murals on the walls of noteworthy Omaha landmarks, such as the Lauritzen Gardens and the Dundee Theater. It was fun to try to identify them as we squeezed out through the checkout line with our goods in tow.

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We were still stuffed from lunch, so we walked down the Big Papio Trail as the sun set. The light was hitting the colorful leaves of a nearby grove of trees, and Vivian wanted to stop and get some lovely fall pictures of ourselves before heading home.

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Our little Honda Civic hit a big milestone on Sunday night — it finally made it over its first one-hundred thousand miles. Vivian wanted me there on hand with a camera to capture the moment on video.

On Tuesday, I decided to take Vivian out for a “just because” date, so we dropped by the always-appetizing Charlie’s on the Lake to have some seafood for dinner, and then we went to the AMC theater around the corner to watch Facebook: The Movie (also known as The Social Network). It was quite compelling, and much better than I expected, probably because they didn’t include anything about Farmville.