Oh how joyous it was to be able to step outside and feel the warmth of the sun against my face. Last weekend was a nice break from the winter weather and I was able to shed my green coveralls that I’ve been living in over the past couple of months.

My wife, Val, and I decided to take advantage of the balmy weather and spent the day and night in Omaha.

We first went to a place that we had heard about that sold records because we both are avid vinyl hoarders. Kanesville Kollectibles in Council Bluffs was our first destination and I must say that we had hit the mother load. I had never seen so many records under one roof before.

There are so many records in the two-story building that you had to be careful where you walk. I truly felt like I was in a vinyl hoarder’s home. If the records weren’t stacked into piles, some above my head, they were rummaged through and scattered wherever they were last left. I was overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to look first.

If you don’t mind having a whole weekend to begin searching through everything to find new vinyl or books to treasure then this is the place for you. However, we didn’t want to be cooped up in a building all day because the whole point of our little escape from home was to be out and about. We were there for a while though just to get a feel for the place. It’s probably a good thing that we didn’t have the time to go through all of the records because I would’ve been broke right off the bat. We did find a few records to add to our collection, but we will have to go back to look for more.     

Even though I was overwhelmed by all of the stacks, piles and heaps there was a certain charm about the place. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I could tell that this business has been around for a while and has seen many music lovers shuffling through its rooms. The place makes me think that we were sifting through the memory banks of a retired rock and roll star.

After that stop, we headed up to western Omaha where I tried fudge for the first time at Sheels Sporting Goods. Val insisted that I get a couple of pairs of new jeans because my waistline has outgrown most of my other pants - dang fudge. I agreed with her that I did need new pants, but the one thing that I hate shopping for is clothes.

I’ve never been much of a clothing shopper because I find it boring and I loathe getting dressed and undressed 15 times. Then of course you have to not only get the visual of yourself in your underwear, but then comes the standard poses in front of the mirror when trying on the new pants. You all know what I’m talking about. You’ve got to check out everything and play the “20 Questions” game. Are these pants too long or too short? Do I have enough room in the waist in case I gain a few more pounds? Are these comfortable? Can I move? (I squat all the way to the ground to answer that question.) Then there’s the biggest question of all when trying on a pair of pants. My answer to that question requires five little movements - turn away from the mirror, turn my head sharply to the right and left, raise my eyebrow and pout my lips. It’s quite painful for me, but luckily it doesn’t take me that long in the dressing room to make a decision.  

So Val drug me into Old Navy. Thank goodness I only had to try on three pairs of pants! Then we walked about a block away to try out a new restaurant. Every now and then my tastebuds have an adventurous side where I want to try new food.

We walked a block away to Kona Grill at Village Pointe. I ordered the sushi platter and hot green tea while Val ordered the steak flatbread. We had never eaten at this restaurant before and Val had never tried sushi before. I admit that I hadn’t had sushi in a while and the only one that I remember trying was the California roll, which is full of crab meat. I thought that if I got the sushi platter that it would give both of us a chance to try out different types of sushi.

I cut off small pieces of my California roll, shrimp, tuna and salmon sushi for Val to try. She was hesitant at first, but she was a real trooper. Even though we love to fish, neither one of us are fish eaters. Needless to say the salmon was the one that we least desired. The tuna was OK, but it doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Out of all of them, I still prefer the California roll. As long as the food I’m trying isn’t spicy, I can handle it. So the wasabi and Japanese ginger that comes with the sushi can just stay right where it’s at. I did try a little dab of both on my tongue just to see if I still didn’t like it. Yep, I still don’t and quickly washed their flavors away with my hot tea.

We then ventured to one of favorite spots in Omaha … the Old Market. We went into Homer’s Music to check out the vinyl there. We strolled through the Imaginarium, which is another spot that you lose track of time while looking through everything.

It was a great little get-away. In fact, we didn’t get home until 4 a.m. because we went dancing after shopping. I love the days when you put everything that you should get accomplished aside and spontaneously just get on the road and go wherever. I did get one thing accomplished that I needed to get done. I’m the proud new owner of two pairs of blue jeans.

(Nikki Carlson is a reporter for the Nebraska City News-Press. She can be reached at (402) 209-8024 or a ncarlson@ncnewspress.com.)