When we found out in January of 2010 that we would be moving to Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska we really didn't know what to expect. I had driven through Omaha a couple of times on my way from Minnesota to visit Brian at the Air Force Academy in Colorado but I don't think I'd ever stopped in Omaha. I knew that they had the College World Series, Omaha Steaks, corn, and that Jimmy Buffet's brother lived here (yes I was that naive to think Warren and Jimmy were related), but that was about it. We knew a guy in pilot training that was from this area and he told us to buy a house in Papillion.
Brian receiving his wings...NE here we come! :)
We arrived here in the beginning of February of 2010 and in 48 hours (I was a good 33 weeks pregnant with Brady and DESPERATE to get settled) we bought a great starter house in Papillion, NE. We really knew nothing about the area other than it was ranked as a great place to live, it got snow, and there was a Target and a Dairy Queen nearby (priorities, people, priorities). Finally in March of 2010 (35 weeks preggers) we closed on our home (we had stayed in a furnished apartment in Ralston) and I loved it.
I honestly think that Nebraska has some of the nicest, most helpful people of anywhere I've ever lived or visited. I can't tell you how many times people offer their help when they see me with both kids; offering to help with a child, help carry things for me, open doors, or just simply offer an encouraging word. You don't find that everywhere. As far as where we live, we're just far enough from base (about 15 minutes) that our neighborhood isn't all military but there is some, so you have that good mix. We have a great open air mall, tons of family friendly restaurants, lots of options for shopping, tons of parks and recreation trails, and golf courses too. We're not far from downtown Omaha (about 10-15 min), not far from Midtown (about 15 min), and not far from all of the shopping and dining out in Western Omaha (15-20 minutes). So it's easy to see why Money Magazine has rated Papillion in the top 10 best places to live for 10 years straight. From Money Magazine, "Papillion is a regular on our list because of its top-notch schools, safe streets, and 15-minute, traffic-jam-free commute to Omaha, home of major employers in industries like financial services and health care.
Last night our city had a huge party to celebrate this honor
We all got nifty stickers to wear too.
Brady watching the band play at the Sumpter Amphitheater
Hyvee sponsored the event and we all had a great dinner that was free!
And they had bounce castles which Brady loved
And this hilly path that provided Brady with minutes of fun until we said we needed to go home (105 degree heat index, blah!)
We hope that the Air Force keeps us for years to come (which is a reality with the air frame Brian flies). We've even discussed retiring here! If you had told me that even 4 years ago, I would have said you were nuts!! Even though we're the type of people to make the best out of wherever we live, we truly, absolutely love it here. I can only hope that my children can start school in the great systems here and that they can learn those great Midwestern values. Now if we could only get rid of that winter thing...then this place would be doggone perfect! :)