Inner Journey – Omaha

So we were on our journey to Arnprior. The distance from Ottawa is only about 60 km but we took the long route to get there – over 13,000 km! We had bought a house in Arnprior and had almost a year to sell our Ottawa home and move. We started by getting rid of stuff and doing a deep clean. Then we put the family home up for sale in November 2010. It was not the best time of year and we had few nibbles. We were selling it ourselves using Grapevine. The people we had at the few showings did not like this or did not like that. We were getting discouraged. So we decided to take off March 1 in our treker on a long trip leaving our son Kyle in charge of showings.

Here is the extended routing we took on our long Journey to Arnprior Ha! It was as much about an inner journey as an outer one. In transitioning from big city to small town, we planned to visit friends in Nebraska, California and Arkansas. It was to be our signature treker trip. We timed it to meet up with friends from Calgary who were wintering in Oceanside, CA. Our other friends enroute all lived in the U.S..

We ate down our food inventory at home and stuffed the rest into the small fridge and cupboards we had on board the treker. The first day we made it to London, ON and stayed in a motel. Next day when we crossed the U.S. Canada border the the customs and immigration officer asked us “You’re not moving down here are are you?” I replied “Absolutely not sir, we are just visiting some friends.” “OK on your way.” he replied. The second night we made it just across the Illinois-Iowa border and had some great fried chicken in our motel room. The drive had been uneventful but there had been a lot of traffic south of Chicago. I made a mistake and entered a pre-paid toll highway without paying. Ooops. We were using a GPS and it told me to keep left so I did lol. We would have to pay a small fine later.

That was the only trouble we had. Marie and I were enjoying the scenery and anticipating warmer weather ahead. I always enjoy driving the treker and never felt tired or sleepy. Marie was the most patient passenger. Then again, we would only drive 500 to 600 km each day stopping no later than 5 PM. We were in no particular rush and always had our own food and accommodation for emergencies. Life is truly great on the road in a treker!

We made it safely to Omaha, NE on the third day. We had met Don and Jean on our retirement cruise to Spain in 2010 while on a shore excursion. We really hit it off as they were super polite and pleasant. They had no tell tale accent so we were sure they were fellow Canadians. But no, they were from Omaha, NE, a great mid-west U.S. city of 500,000 residents.

So what is famous about Omaha you are wondering? Warren Buffet lives there, one of the most successful investors in the world worth some $85 billion. Maybe you have heard of Mutual of Omaha and the Union Pacific Railway Corp. which are headquartered there. You’ve heard of the beautiful Missouri River which flows through town. But the truly nicest thing about Omaha is the people. They are extremely friendly, relaxed and hospitable – just like Canadians lol.

We found Don and Jean’s house not too far from downtown. We would play it by ear. Stop for coffee and a chat and then move on. But no, they insisted that we stay with them – for 2 nights. They gave us a lovely guest bedroom. After settling in they invited us to go on a long walk through some beautiful park land. The next day they gave us a tour around town including stopping for lunch in the world famous old market area. That night they invited their kids and families over for dinner and we had a great time. I recall their son was a policeman and told us some interesting stories. We got a sense of what it is like to live in Omaha in the Cornhusker state and cheer for the U of NE Cornhuskers.

The next morning we were anxious to get away. We thanked Don and Jean for their warm hospitality and promised to host them in Arnprior once we were settled in. Wow it was getting warmer and we were feeling really pampered. We were off to Colorado on the next stage of our journey to Arnprior.

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