My journey began. The alarm went off at 4AM. Still dark and I think still under the influence of Jameson. Sleep felt like a short 20 minute nap. The airport was swimming with heads. The security lines are full and I'm already on an hour flight delay. All I can think of at this point is get me on the plane so I can fall back to sleep already! Approximately 6:15AM we board. Just in time for the weather to hit Philadelphia full force. The once pink sunrise is now cluttered with dark gray skies just waiting to open up. Approximately 7AM we are still sitting on the runway. It had begun pouring cats and dogs. The sunrise is no more and what looks like 5PM. Approximately 7:30AM we are taxing back to the gate- Grounded.
At this point the left over remnants of whiskey are making their way to my head and stomach. Pounding, aching, trying to sleep in an airport seat. (cheers to being short) I cannot even think of food, more anticipating the departure. Email notifications start flooding my inbox. Your flight has now been rescheduled.. Your flight has now been rescheduled.. Your flight has now been rescheduled..
Approximately 10:45AM we board for a second time. With the runway in front of us, we are number 13 in the airplane line. Great. I'm asleep before we even take off. That flight consisted of sleep in-between the crying baby. At this point I already know I have missed my connecting flight, oh by about 3 hours. Lucky for me there are sooo many flights that go to Nebraska... not.
A customer service line awaited me; an hour later I am booked on the next flight to LNK. This gives me a good 2 1/2 hours to refuel. A quaint Cafe Bar with a bartender named Georgia is just what I needed! She looked me almost puzzled when I first ordered a shot of Jameson, "No not on the rocks, straight up please".
A menu next. To my pleasant surprise the Turkey Avocado Wrap was gigantic and delicious. I feel human once again.
(Ariel view of Iowa and Nebraska)
Now you ask, why would anyone go to Nebraska?? Well, if it wasn't for family I wouldn't know how to answer that question. A mother that was raised on the farm lands creates a solace escape from the busy city life. Fresh meat and produce under the most gorgeous sunsets. Waking up to birds and cows, well that hasn't happened in a minute. My mother and sister awaited my arrival in Lincoln. My scheduled 9:30AM arrival was off about 9 hours. Around 6:30PM I am FINALLY there. My mothers worries of me not arriving were countered by my desire of beauty pampering - looks like I'll have to paint my own nails and pluck my own brows. White girl problems. All in good time, I arrived for a family friends wedding in Omaha the next day.
(Cortland's population is approximately 500-600 People)
The wedding took place in Omaha, NE. A gorgeous bride, beautiful bouquets and sunny weather couldn't have made this day any more delightful. Pre-reception called for some cocktails and sips of Templeton Rye. I was introduced to this legendary whiskey and cannot get over the crazed story behind it. Finally made legal in 2006, this was the drink choice of who else but Al Capone. Read more on their site!
The reception was full of tasty plates, popcorn sides and hot dance moves! Big question I got; "Did you catch the bouquet?!" MGB, you are off the hook. (for now at least; wink, wink. nudge, nudge)
Family ties. We all met for brunch at a wonderful spot in Lincoln. The Knolls has a never ending buffet that is always filled fresh with veggies, potatoes, breakfast sides and the best cuts of meat. A great place for dinner, reunions and laughs.
Next stop, Cortland Nebraska. Let the good times roll. Through the pasture, on 4-wheelers we go! The cattle must think we're crazy but oddly, they are friendly enough to stand and watch. Turning their heads with our every move. The corn fields are ready to be harvested and it's not even September. A drought that has left many crops dead and broken. This part of the farm lands have not seen rain in over a month. A drought that has left little to hunt come November. Most fields have been mowed in order to provide feed for the cattle. Watch out for the bull, as temperamental as they are, this one enjoyed a little head scratch. Time for some shooting. Target shooting that is. Rifles and handguns make this evening a focused one. Just make sure not to take out one of the cows! Cousin time = Quality time. Rounding up our night while watching the Olympics Closing Ceremonies. Realizing that Mom is not too fond of the gothic appeal.
(My mother was the only one to hit the target with this 40)
(home of the best pastries and bread in the state)
Enjoying family. Gramps lit up. 88 years young.. his eyes are still blue as the sea. His smile still radiates through the room. After his long farming years, after the mental struggles, he deserves all the love and affection we have to give. Wishing I lived a few states closer to see him more often, I'm grateful that I get there as much as I do. I'm blessed to have such a caring, loving and generous family. Hugs, kisses and back rubs. He still understands that. From his Old Fashions, to the last dance we had, I'll always love his ways. After all, this is where my blue eyes began. Next stop, back to the airport.
New England here we come!
...Stay tuned! Part 2 of my August Jaunt is on the way.