[Capital Fun]

Every so often, I get a weekend free — and I frequently use that weekend to visit friends. This weekend, my feet took me to visit an old college pal: Beth. We had a few days to spend exploring the capital city of Nebraska: Lincoln.

I’ll admit that although I was born and raised in Omaha, I never really explored Lincoln until a handful of my friends moved there. In fact, I can still count the number of times I’ve actually walked around Lincoln on one hand. (I’m hoping to make it to hand No. 2 in the next year.)

But Beth has been there for a while now, having moved back from her time in New York City, and was happy enough to show me around both downtown Lincoln and elsewhere. It’s a fun town, when it’s not crowded with Husker fans on game day (one of my other handful of experiences — very high-energy, but also very, very claustrophobic).

We decided to spend Saturday afternoon (surprisingly nice for February) popping between antique shops and exploring a bit of the Haymarket area. If you haven’t been, I’d recommend it.

Although we didn’t find much in the way of affordable antiques (since most of them are a) in not-so-great shape and b) way out of my price range), we did have quite a bit of fun poking through the various shops and stores. I’ll admit I was more careful than usual when it came to weaving through the aisles, because if I broke something … do antique stores let you wash dishes to pay off the debt?

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There are fun artsy pops of color and expression all around the area, and I managed to catch a few in snapshots. Downtown Lincoln is home to industry, history, and a few quirky surprises, which is a mix I like to see.

We stopped by The Mill, a coffee shop in the Haymarket, for a bit of an afternoon pick-me-up. It’s pretty nice coffee, and there’s a variety of places to sit and chat (and a super-quiet hallway nook for those who need a workspace). We sat on the side porch and talked while sipping our coffee.

I also found the vehicle of my dreams: the Emergency Donut Vehicle or Whaambulance. All I can say is: Yes, please! I am always down for a donut.

As the breeze turned chilly and the sky darkened, we headed back to the car. But on the way, we passed a building under construction. It was an old paper facility that (I think) will be turned into apartments. I personally hope they retain some of that history in some form, because while I love repurposing old buildings, I also want to preserve just a bit of what they used to be. At the very least, though, this plaque will serve as a small reminder.

We concluded our night with a dinner at The Oven, an Indian restaurant, and a viewing of The Lego Movie in Beth’s apartment. Oh, and some tea, because Beth is a wonderful host and even catered to my need for tons of sugar in my tea.

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