I have been in Hoth, er Omaha, since Friday. I have survived 6 days with only 2 hours of internet access (a record for me for sure), a blizzard – 10 inches of snow & winds whipping up to 40mph – high temps of 5 degrees; windchills at -15, and Star Wars in Concert!!
Talk about an adventure! The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was superb. The choir sounded beautiful. The humongous, hi-def screen with scenes from the movies and concept artwork was fabulous. The laser light show, used during several numbers, was cool. C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels, was storyteller/emcee and fantastic. And John Williams’ score – PRICELESS.
I drove up to Omaha on Friday night for the Tuesday concert. Friend Sarah didn’t have any vacation days so I went up early so we could play on Sat and Sun. It snowed 3 inches Sunday night and Hoth-like conditions were predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday.I had planned to spend 3-4 hours sitting at Panera with free wi-fi to keep up with work email, play online, read, write, and chat with friends, etc. on Monday & Tuesday while Sarah worked, but I only got there on Monday for a couple of hours. I didn’t want to venture out on Tuesday until I absolutely had to.
We called the Qwest Center on Monday – the concert cast &crew were already there and setting up for the Tues. show – ‘we rarely cancel an event’ they said. Okay.
We watched the snow fall and increase in intensity all day Tuesday. Sarah got to leave work at 2:30 ‘cos of the weather. We called Qwest again about 4pm to confirm the show would go on. Watched the snow fall…and blow. I wondered if my SUV — used to being parked in my garage — was going to start after sitting since Monday afternoon. Temps dipped down to around 0 – the high temp on Tuesday was 11 degrees. At 6pm, Sarah and I trudged through snow that in places was nearly up to my knees. Took the broom out to sweep off the 8 inches of snow that piled on the hood of the SUV. The streets looked awful – no plows had come through the neighborhood. As we started to pull out, there was a pile of cars at the bottom of the street. Everyone was waiting for a car making an attempt to come through the intersection. Four people were pushing said car up the street. Not a good sign. I turned the SUV around and we went the other way. I know I would not EVEN attempt to drive in snow that deep if I didn’t have an SUV with 4 wheel drive!
Once we hit 24th Street it was just slow going. That’s a main drag and it had been plowed but it was still snow covered. And did you know that Omaha is quite hilly? Most people think of the Great Plains of the U.S. as flat but believe me, Omaha is very hilly — definitely not fun when it’s snowing! Fortunately, most people were not out driving in this blizzard (except for those few SW-obsessed ones) so I did not have to worry about crazy drivers and could go real sllloooowwwwwww…. We took the flattest route possible, which was a long downhill grade until we turned on 13th — nice and flat for the remaining few blocks to the Qwest Center.
Going back to Sarah’s after the concert was a bit more of a challenge because the blizzard conditions had really kicked in by then. Oh…and did I mention that as we attempted to depart from the concert my car wouldn’t start?