located between Omaha and Lincoln off I-80 exit 432-south on Hwy 31 (1.3 miles) and west on Pflug Road (1 mile) is Holy Family Shrine. This lovely chapel has a fascinating architectural design and a scenic view of the Platte River Valley that beckons travelers to take the short jaunt required for a free tour. Maintained by the Catholic church, the chapel is open to the public and to persons of all faiths. Inspired by a dream, the fascinating story of the chapel’s construction is told in plaques and displays located inside the underground bunker that houses the chapel’s visitors center. A stream flows through the center of the structure adding to its peaceful, powerful, mystery. If you have the time, it is worth a detour at the Gretna exit. Happy Motoring!
Located at 10666 Sapp Brothers Drive, just off I-80 exit 440 in West Omaha, is The Brass Armadillo antique mall. A massive facility with over 30,000 square feet and featuring items from over 375 Nebraska dealers, the Brass Armadillo is Omaha’s top shopping spot for antiques and collectibles. Here, you can literally get “lost in time”, experiencing the history, nestalgia and fascination of the display case contents. The Armadillo is one of 6 locations in the midwest; with other stores in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona. The Omaha store has thousands of Omaha aritifacts, jewalry, furniture and collectibles. Ask for it… and they have it. It is simply an incredible place to spend a morning or afternoon. Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, The Brass Armadillo is an absolute Omaha “must see” attraction. Check it out and Happy Motoring!
Located in South Omaha, just off the Kennedy Freeway at 7110 Railroad Avenue, is Nettie’s. Arguably, one of Omaha’s best Mexican restaurants, Nettie’s is well known for its spicy-hot and delicious chili. Nettie’s also serves soft-shell beef “toad” tacos that are enormous. The shells are light and airy. Nettie’s always brings the heat – the hot sauce, salsa and chili will all make you sweat. There is not alot of seating at Nettie’s and as a result there is sometimes a short wait. Brightly colored parrots and beer signs adorn the walls of the cozy dining hall. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.; Nettie’s is closed Sundays and Mondays. Give it a try and Happy Motoring!
Located at 3215 State Street is the Mormon Trail Visitor’s Center. For the past 26 years, the Mormon Church has hosted a gingerbread house display at this location. Starting around November 19th and running through December 31st, the display is free to the public, and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Our family attended the 2011 event. The children especially loved the scavenger hunt activity, searching for items hidden among the gingerbread display. The displays are beautifully hand-crafted and creatively arranged. And, they include more than just houses – castles, snowmen, stores and trees – all made out of gingerbread. Make a trip to the Mormon Trail Center a part of your annual holiday tradition. Happy Motoring!
Located inside the Mutual of Omaha Bank building at 3333 Farnam Street in the heart of Midtown Crossing is Chick-fil-A Express. In business since 1995, Chick-fil-A, is one of the most recognizable brands in the country – the cows in its commercials encouraging the public to “Eat Mor Chikin”. Now, at the midtown location, Omaha locals can enjoy the signature chicken sandwiches and waffle fries that have appealed to the restaurant’s patrons throughout the U.S. During my visit, I had the nuggets and they were terrific. Having a Starbucks in the same facility makes this place “dope”. There is parking on Farnam for a quick to go order, and plenty of seating if you decide to dine-in instead. Happy Motoring!
Located at 2620 North Main Street in downtown Elkhorn, is Bella Vita Ristorante. Bella Vita is a pleasant fine dining experience. We have enjoyed the comfort of the inside dining hall, but much prefer sitting at one of the patio tables out back at sunset when the weather suits. Choose from their large selection of Italian wines. Start with some antipasti/appetizers. We like the bruschetta and hard breads. Bella Vita has a large selection of authentic Italian dishes on their menu. The food is good but not great – but the ambiance and service is superior. Bella Vita serves dinner daily at 3:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. on Saturdays). Give it a try when you are in Elkhorn. Happy Motoring!
Located inside the Comfort Inn and Suites at 7007 Grover Street, just North of I-80 at 72nd Street, is Firewater Grille. A quaint lounge with an island theme, Firewater Grille is a nice meeting place for an after-work event or to take in a Nebraska Football game. For Husker games, the grille often offers 25 cent wings $7.00 Bud, Bud Lite, & Coors Lite pitchers. The grille serves gourmet pizza, appetizers, soups and salads from its menu. With plenty of seating and good acoustics, the Firewater Grille is an excellent place for a retirement celebration. The facility can easily accommodate groups up to 100. Give it try and Happy Motoring!
Located at 17111 So 138th St. in Springfield, Nebraska, is Soaring Wings Vineyard. One of Nebraska’s best vineyards, Soaring Wings hosts an outdoor concert series that runs through the end of September. Bring your lawn chair. Sit and enjoy the spectacular view of the Platte River Valley while listening to some soothing music. The Winery has a rustic hospitality room where you can purchase the winery’s award-winning wines or beers. The winery is open year round, with special events throughout the year. Octoberfest will be held September 24th and includes a huge BBQ. Check out Soaring Wing’s website for details. Don’t drink and drive. Happy Motoring!
Located at 2110 South 67th Street (67th and Francis) in Aksarben Village, is Aksarben Cinema. Aksarben Cinema is an all-digital, first-run movie theatre. It is locally owned and operated by Bill and Colleen Barstow and is part of the Main Street Theatres regional chain of theatres. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aksarbencinema
MEDIA: If you have questions or would like more information, contact Bridget (Weide) Brooks at (402) 965-1737.
Located at 7010 Dodge, on the North side of the street next to Family Fun Center, is Jason’s Deli. A franchise that started in Tucson, Arizona in 1988, Jason’s now has locations in 28 states.
In 2011, Jason’s was voted one of the nation’s healthiest by Family magazine. The restaurant’s food contains no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats or MSG. It even offers a gluten-free menu, to supplement its deli and catering menus.
During our stop, I had their Turkey Reuben sandwich. Others in our group had the all-you-can eat salad bar (with an impressive array of choices), the Chicken Club Salad, and the Egg Salad Sandwich. The portions were large and delicious.
Jason’s has a second Omaha location at 12320 ‘L’ Street. They are open for lunch and dinner. Phone: 402-551-2233 for store hours. Happy Motoring!