Hello from Council Bluffs, Iowa! Just checked into my hotel here on an award stay for the next 9 nights. I have a two room suite with a view of the Missouri River below the windows. There are two casinos nearby. The hotel shuttle picked me up at the Omaha Airport and could come in handy during the week as I'm 3 miles from the pool at the Century Link Center in Omaha. There is a trail along the river and a pedestrian bridge that comes out near the pool, so if the weather cooperates hope to rack up some miles on foot, too. It was 90 degrees on arrival at the airport. Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, holder of 11 Olympic medals, adorns the parking structure at the Omaha Airport: I left my car at the Coughlins house on Saturday night and took BART into SFO. Redeemed an award night at the Hyatt so I wouldn't have too much hassle getting the 0715 flight out to DFW. I have known Natalie's parents for well over 30 years and her father and I are both retired from the same Bay Area police department (someone always asks). Arrived at the airport at 6am this morning and opted out of the TSA body screening equipment. They were pretty busy and I had to wait about 15 mins. There was one person ahead of me who also opted out. I got the trainee so even the pat down took longer than normal. He kept tugging on my cargo shorts and for a moment I thought they were going to drop to my ankles, but they did not (remember no belts allowed). Off to the Admirals Club to find AA has not cleared any upgrades for my connecting DFW-Omaha flight, even though 8 seats were open. My flight SFO-DFW had cleared a couple days ago. I'm used to 2-4 seats being held for departure, but 8 is brand new for me--that's half the cabin. I cleared at the gate at DFW and was #1 on the list of 8 that cleared. Had a cheese omelette and a bagel/cut fruit on the first flight (3 hours). The second flight was just 85 mins long so no meal was offered. Both flights departed on time. Hard to believe this is the 4th time in the last 12 years (2000 to Indianapolis, 2004 to Long Beach, 2008 to Omaha), that I've been to Olympic Trials with the Coughlins. I'll catch up with them later tonight for dinner in Omaha (they're staying on the Omaha side). We have 8 days of swimming ahead and we're all expecting Natalie to do well. Here's a link to an article in the Omaha paper about her: http://www.omaha.com/article/2012062...706209819/1001 Trials will be televised daily in the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network (used to be OLN and then VERSUS and now NBCS). On Uverse it's channel 1640 in HD and if you have something else you'll need to search for it. Regular NBC does have some coverage next weekend during prime time but won't be covering it every night. This event runs Monday, June 25, through Monday, July 2. Finals are in the evening. I'll be posting updates on Natalie throughout the week.