I’d love to make going to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium an annual Easter tradition for my family. The zoo itself is magnificent and full of great family attractions.
And thankfully, on Easter, the zoo wasn’t busting at the seams with people.
That probably has to do with the fact that people were gathering with other people in other places. Like homes and stuff. Or random patches of grass outside of churches where hundreds of plastic eggs are trying to hide. Or actually inside the church for a safe and sanitary socially distanced Easter Sunday service.
They’re probably in one of those places. Not at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
And because the zoo wasn’t overflowing with people, our impromptu family trip was safe and enjoyable and allowed my wife and I the chance to take our time showing our son a multitude of animals.
The kiddo really seemed to enjoy the opportunity to get some fresh air and sunshine and watching large, fluffy critters mosey around their enclosures.
Somewhere along the way, between the elephants and the meerkats, my son managed to remove a shoe and lose it for all eternity. It wasn’t a particularly expensive shoe, but it’s a shoe I tried looking around for.
The search and rescue efforts were fruitless and my son tried eating some dirt. Other than that, it was a great visit!
And I’d love to make visiting this particular zoo an annual Easter tradition (just like I’d love to make following a wine tasting up with eating fried alligator and drinking beer on a Florida panhandle beach a Christmas tradition), but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Largely because we’re moving back home to the Houston metropolitan area.
We had a Subaru Outback, a leased Nissan Sentra, a young dog, and a lot of debt.
A little over two years ago, we moved to Omaha.
My grandfather had recently passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. I dropped out of grad school to accept a job with Omaha’s News Leader. We packed up everything we owned and moved north in the span of three weeks.
Since then we’ve been able to pay for our dog to get to the vet to take care of some unexpected health issues, take care of my troublesome rotator cuff, buy Jess a Jeep and get her out of a lease, pay down our debt, and welcome our son into the world.
And we’re moving home after a couple of years that have been challenging and good to us.
I’ll continue to work with KETV for a little while longer (I’m sure I’ll write more about that later), but after next month, there’s a lot of uncertainty up ahead for me, my career, and my family, but I’m excited.
I’m excited for the chance to reunite with friends and family. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to focus in on grad school and wrap up my master’s degree. I’m looking forward to being able to work on new projects and take a couple of shots at reviving projects I’ve had to shelve.
“Nothing in this world is permanent but change” – Waite Phillips.
We no longer have that Subaru or that Nissan. We’ve been driving around my wife’s Jeep whenever we needed to go somewhere. Our dog is a little older and a lot more stubborn, but thankfully she’s healthy. And we now have a son. A child who is wonderful and brilliant and, like our dog (who happens to be his best friend), stubborn. I think he gets all of that from his mother.
We’ve had a lot of change happen over the past two years.
And there’s a ton of change happening right now. There’ll be even more change happening over the next few weeks as we finish moving home.
I’m not one for eliminating the possibility of visiting Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium ever becoming an Easter tradition for us in the future. Omaha is a sneaky great city that we’ve had the pleasure of living in and leaving it is an incredibly difficult decision that we’ve had to make.
Plus there’s the whole leaving my job thing. That’s a tough task too.
While I’ll be with Omaha’s News Leader into late May, I know I’ve already stepped foot into that magnificent station for the last time. KETV has been a phenomenal place to work that has stretched me and forced me to grow in many different ways. There’s no way I’ll ever fully be able to express my gratitude for having had the opportunity to work there (but I’m sure I’ll try in another post later).
So, with us leaving town, it’s unlikely that going to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will become an annual Easter tradition for us, though I’d recommend it to anyone looking to see some delightful furballs on a day when there’s not an overabundance of people present.
It’s also unlikely that we’ll ever get that little blue shoe back for my son.
But that’s okay.
There are more shoes for him to lose and more places for us to spend Easter together. I’m curious to know where next Easter will be spent.
Ethan Lee is a suburban Texas storyteller. A proud graduate of Mississippi State University who has embarked upon a career in digital media, Ethan loves the deafening sound of cowbells and the opportunity to craft content online.
Ethan has worked in multiple fields, including literal ones full of cacti and ants. He's made his way from running various Mississippi State blogs affiliated with networks to working in local news in Omaha as the Digital Editor for KETV NewsWatch 7, Omaha's News Leader. After a stint as a Staff Writer with FanSided, Ethan decided to focus in on creating college sports content independently.
When he's not writing about sports, Ethan enjoys a good road trip with his wife and son, an opportunity to go kayaking, or any time to spend in the outdoors.