August 10, 2013: Adult Magical Mystery Bus Tour

It has been a marathon weekend of enjoying and entertaining out-of-town guests. Our Saturday was filled with a Magical Mystery Bus Tour of Omaha. I was the tour guide and this adventure was the adult version; as opposed to my typical tour of kids spots for the under-21 crowd.

Don't get me wrong. I definitely drove Rick and Cindy by our city's beautiful zoo and favorite vintage candy shop. But only drive-by's with no stops at these destinations. Our tour of the city was more like a pub crawl.

I drove them through the many wonderful neighborhoods, each with a history lesson. The twist was that with several neighborhood tours came with a stop at a local bar or restaurant. Ones that embraced the feel of that part of town.

We started at the Old Market with a drive west through Happy Hallow and Elmwood Park. Lunch was in Aksarben Park. Next stop was West Omaha with a drive through the village of Boys Town and then east on Dodge Street to the airport (bye-bye to a Denver-bound Garrett).

I treated my guests to a quick refreshment at the Blatt  by Ameritrade Stadium before heading to South O, Omaha's Hispanic neighborhood. A walk down 24th Street led to a choice of an authentic Mexican restaurant with non-authentic Mexican margaritas. After the first sip, I envisioned what happened behind the kitchen walls in preparing my guests' special drinks.

I am quite sure it involved a bottle of margarita mix purchased from nearby Bakers and then subsequently poured into our glasses. I am pretty confident I'm correct on this assumption. That's the fun part of a Magical Mystery Bus Tour. You never know what you're going to get and that's what future stories on previous memories are built on.

Next stop was the eclectic Benson area. As we got out of the car after describing the popular music scene there, I identified the sound of a live band. Insistent that we needed to locate this hidden jewel, Cindy brought to my attention the source of the booming tunes; a debilitated mini-van with a teen driver with the look of a local thug. I redeemed myself with choice of the Benson Brewery. Recovery made.

A scenic tour back to Downtown Omaha and some lively conversation brought us to great company of friends on the roof of the Ford Lofts. With a cool breeze, it personified the casual tone of a stunning summer night.

The night did go on very late and with me staying downtown for the night. Even tour guides eventually hit a wall. A great way to end a successful Tour de Omaha.

Cindy and Rick enjoying their authentic Omaha margs


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