Yesterday we received a nice surprise in the mail from the Nebraska Tourism Commission Staff. As a thank-you for our help spreading the word about Nebraska’s tourism industry, they sent us two beautiful calendars and each page included … wait for it … a postcard!

Nebraska Tourism postcards

Nebraska Tourism postcards were attached to each calendar page.

What a nice idea and a thoughtful gift. We enjoyed turning the pages and seeing gorgeous photographs that were chosen from more than 800 submissions from amateur and professional photographers. Each submission had to include a photo that captured the artistic view of the subject, and a brief narrative that described how the focus of the photos bridged the past with the present.

Nebraska Tourism calendar

Nebraska Tourism calendar

Browsing through the calendar reminded us of all the interesting places we’ve been and written about in our home state of Nebraska.

Since we started our travel blog in 2014, we’ve written 46 posts about Nebraska destinations and attractions, in addition to hundreds of social media posts and pictures from our annual Nebraska road trips. This year alone, we wrote about why we love Valentine, our trip to North Platte to see the trains hump and our adventures through the Nebraska Sandhills with Steve’s dad and mom, the total solar eclipse, and a rather extensive post about 70 things to do in our hometown of Crete.

Two of our favorite posts this year were about Nebraska-owned businesses we adore and both posts were quite popular on the inter webs.

Our post about TripAdvisor’s most hilarious manager responses from Robert J. at Peppermill in Valentine had more than 700 shares on social media! You can read the blog post HERE.

TripAdvisor's most hilarious manager responses

TripAdvisor’s most hilarious manager responses

Not surprisingly, our most popular Nebraska post this year was about The Secret to The Village Pie Maker Pies. Here’s an excerpt:

[blockquote source=”Ann Teget”]Whenever we have guests for dinner or a special holiday celebration at our house, I simply go to the freezer, take out a pie from The Village Pie Maker, bake it for a little more than an hour, and voila — our guests savor bite after bite of the best fruit pie they’ve ever tasted and I can say (without lying) that I baked it myself.[/blockquote]

Village Pie Maker pies

Village Pie Maker pies

We were invited for a brief, but wonderful, tour of The Village Pie Maker operation in Eustis, Nebraska, and our blog post about this Nebraska small business was shared more than 4,000 times. We heard from dozens of Nebraskans (and several out-of-staters) about how much they enjoyed the post and, of course, The Village Pie Maker pies.

Village Pie Makers in action, Eustis, Nebraska

Workers at the Village Pie Maker fit the crusts to the pans by hand.

As I’m sure you can tell, we love Nebraska and are so happy to share our experiences from our home state with all of you. And while many of our readers are from Nebraska, we also have followers from most U.S. states and 45 countries, so we hope all of you will come visit our great state someday!

Need some convincing?

Here are just a few of our favorite posts about Nebraska destinations and attractions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why we love Valentine, Nebraska

Total solar eclipse photo by Ronald D. Koch of Crete, Nebraska.

Eclipse 2017: An earth-shadowing experience from our home

Nebraska Sandhills

Don’t judge Nebraska until you’ve gotten off I-80 and seen the Sandhills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innkeeper Jeanne Goetzinger at the Olde Main Street Inn in Chadron

Sharing our postcards from Nebraska


Did you travel in/to Nebraska this year? What did you enjoy most? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. 

  • On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, there is a point where you round a bend and see this view, with the Atlantic Ocean on the left, and the Caribbean Sea on the right. ⁣
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Ann took this photo several years ago when we visited St. Kitts for a day while on a cruise in the Caribbean. ⁣
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We met our friend, Mikey Tross, on the island and with the help of a local driver and guide, we toured the entire island in a day. ⁣
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We climbed to the top of Brimstone Hills, saw the beaches, at at Fredo's (a local restaurant) and toured Caribelle  Batik at Romney Manor. ⁣
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St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the people there are incredibly generous. If you haven't already been there, add St. Kitts to your bucket list.
  • The Grinnell, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce offices are located in a former bank designed by famed architect, Louis Sullivan. The architect built a series of "Jewel Box" banks, called that because they resemble jewel boxes.⁣
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These buildings are intricate in detail and rich in their finishes. The next time you pass near Grinnell, it is definitely worth the stop to step into American architectural history.
  • In downtown Kearney, Nebraska, you'll find @mccuesnebraskataproom, home to all sorts of Nebraska libations. When you visit, you can choose from a large selection of beers, wines, and even liquors all made in Nebraska. It's a fun environment where regulars welcome visitors, and fun is had by all. We look forward to going back one day and know that a visit to McCue's will be a part of our visits to Kearney in the future. ⁣
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@visitnebraska @visitkearney
  • A rite of passage...⁣
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The Swinging Bridge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has thrilled residents and visitors alike for decades. When it was originally built in 1929, it was the only way to cross from one side of Bird Creek to the other. Today, there are other bridges, but the beloved swinging bridge still spans the creek and dares folks to cross.⁣
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Long-time residents will tell stories of rieding their bikes across it when they were kids--and it should be noted that back then it didn't have the chain link side guards.⁣
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No visit to Pawhuska is complete until you've tried The Pioneer Woman's chicken fried steak AND crossed the swinging bridge. Go ahead and try...we dare you!⁣
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@TravelOK @VisitTheOsage
  • While looking for a coffee shop in @visitkearney, we stumbled into a really cool store. @elevate.people is a locally owned business specializing in both leather goods and in helping people around the world build better lives for themselves. ⁣
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All of the leather goods for sale here are handmade by people in third world countries. Elevate, it turns out, is a non-profit that gives local artisans small, low interest loans to get started in the leather making business. When loans are repaid, the money is loaned out to another craftsperson so they can get started. Meanwhile, Elevate provides access to a market to sell the goods produced so the worker continues to be supported. They also have an online store.⁣
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We have purchased several items from Elevate, and have loved all of them.⁣
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@visitnebraska
  • After a day of tests and appointments at the Mayo Clinic, this was a perfect place to relax and unwind.⁣
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We were treated to a complimentary stay at the brand new Hilton in downtown @minnesotas_rochester. Located near the Mayo Clinic, it's an incredibly beautiful hotel with nothing but the best amenities and top-notch service. One of our favorite places in the hotel is the hot tub in the pool area. How can it not be? Look at this place. And yes, it's as relaxing as it looks, especially at sunset. ⁣
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The room in this new luxury hotel are just as nice. We enjoyed it so much that we changed our travel plans and booked a second night on our own dime. It's our new go-to hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.⁣
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@minnesotas_rochester @exploreminnesota @hiltonhotels
  • Our hosted food tour in @visitkansascityks began with a bar-b-que spread from several local restaurants. Needless to say, we had to sample a little bit of everything because it was for science. We enjoyed ribs, smoked sausage, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, burnt ends, rice, beans, and even warm potato casserole. ⁣
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If you love bar-b-que, head to KCK. Trust us, you'll love it. Just wear your stretchy pants.
  • Steve writes: When I first set my eyes on the outside of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, I was unimpressed. In fact, I thought it was plain ugly. Construction continued, and I returned several times over the years, each time finding more to like about it. Finally, on a visit with Ann, the inside of the Cathedral was open for a visit. So we went inside.⁣
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Architect Antonin Gaudi's creation is brilliant. The way he uses stained glass to bring color to the stone inside, combined with the shadows created by the shape of the stone is breathtaking. Truly, this cathedral might be the most impressive one I've seen anywhere. This place should be on your bucket list. It's worth a trip to Barcelona to see it.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska