By 6:00, we'd picked up my brother and were on our way.
Mapquest told me it was going to take approximately 3 hours 43 minutes. I figured if we factored in one rest stop, we were looking at closer to 4 hours. That way, I'd be in Omaha looking at the sites by 10:00 am.
Well, my factoring in one rest stop did not take into account whining powers and indecisive nature of a 9 year old. So, five hours later, we made it to our destination. Sort of. Because the website lied to me. It said that the Mount Vernon Gardens were at 1001 Farnum Street. Nope! That's the office, if you want to reserve the gardens for a wedding or something. But, luckily, there was a really pretty mall (think Washinton, DC mall, not your local shopping mall) with a fountain and swans.
We took some pictures, wandered around, found a library just across the street, and discovered upon a bit more research that the Gardens are actually at 6011 S. 13th Street. So, an 8 minute car ride later, we were exploring the gardens, and the trail through the woods, where that genius 9 year old niece of mine spied two fawns! She was calm, quiet, and very steady when she pointed them out.
Then, we headed to this amazing Indian restaurant. I did not know they had a lunch buffet. Exquisite happiness ensued. The buffet did not have the same items that their menu offered. Though I had intended to get a specific dish, which was not on the buffet, I was just as happy to have the variety. My niece ate naan. And nothing else. Which was okay, because I ate everything but.
From there, we headed to the Old Market District to explore the shops. It was fun. There were a number of interesting shops with lots of overpriced but beautiful stuff. Getting a bottle of water was highway robbery--$2.50 + state tax + mayor's tax for a bottle of water that would cost $.99 in any gas station or convenience store on the freeway.
Regardless, we drank and saw and delighted.
Next road trip. It'll be closer to home and just as exciting. And when that day comes, I'll be eating Thai food in Des Moines.