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. 

  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
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Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
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This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
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For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
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Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
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Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
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We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
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Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
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The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.
  • We'd never heard of cannonball rocks before we drove past them at North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and asked each other, "did you see that?" We'd never seen anything quite like these natural "concretions" created when water leaked into pockets of minerals in the ground. Now, as a hill erodes, these formations are exposed.⁣
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Seeing these rocks was such a cool experience because it reminded us of why we travel. We never know when we'll find something new, something that we never knew existed. We got along fine not knowing about cannonball rocks, yet now that we've seen them, our lives are a little richer. ⁣
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The world is a pretty cool place. Check it out.⁣
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@ndlegendary

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska