Today was one of those cool, cloudy days when it starts to really feel like fall in Nebraska. The trees are starting to change colors and the corn fields are almost ready for harvest this time of year.

I love this time of year when the corn is just about ready to harvest.

I love this time of year in Nebraska when the corn is just about ready to harvest.

Now that Steve has a more flexible schedule, we thought it might be nice to go for drive today and see some of our family. My Grandma Shrewsbury is celebrating her 95th birthday tomorrow, so we headed out this morning for Nebraska City where she lives in a nursing home.

Meghan and Grandma Shrewsbury also enjoy looking through her scrapbook together and reminiscing about Meghan's childhood.

Meghan and Grandma Shrewsbury also enjoy looking through her scrapbook together and reminiscing about Meghan’s childhood.

Grandma Shrewsbury (my dad’s mother) is our only living grandparent and she is so special to me. When I was a kid, we’d visit my grandparents and I loved cooking and baking with my grandma. She’d show me how to make Beverly’s Brownies from her Kitchen Klatter cookbook or we’d spend the day peeling and coring apples for homemade apple butter.

Me and my Grandma Shrewsbury at a wedding many years ago.

Me and my Grandma Shrewsbury at a wedding many years ago.

She spent hours teaching me how to thread the eye of the needle in the sewing machine and let me pick out my favorite fabrics which she’d make into nightgowns and dresses for me to wear.

This is one of my grandma's favorite photographs of her and Meghan.

This is one of my grandma’s favorite photographs.

After Meghan was born, the two of us would go see my grandma often and sometimes, she’d stay with Meghan when I had to travel for business. Those two have a special relationship and I’m so thankful Meghan had been able to know her great-grandmother so well.

Meghan and Grandma Shrewsbury both enjoy cheering for the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.

Meghan and Grandma Shrewsbury both enjoy cheering for the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.

After our visit with Grandma, we met Steve’s mom and dad for lunch. They recently returned from their 50th anniversary trip to the Canada and the Northeast and we were so excited to see pictures from their trip and hear all about it.

Steve's mom and dad, Gayle and John Teget, drove over from their home in Shenandoah, Iowa, to meet us for lunch.

Steve’s mom and dad, Gayle and John Teget, drove over from their home in Shenandoah, Iowa, to meet us for lunch.

We are happy they’ve had opportunities like these to travel and enjoy their lives together. On a side note, we ate someplace new today in Nebraska City and we just loved it! Originally, we’d planned to meet at The Lied Lodge for lunch but they were not able to accommodate us because of a special event. Instead, we drove downtown to a place called The Keeping Room. None of us had ever been there, but we will be back!

Apple walnut salad at The Keeping Room in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Apple walnut salad at The Keeping Room in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

The service was great and the food was just delicious! I had the apple walnut salad with grilled chicken and the tangy balsamic vinegar dressing was so yummy. Gayle and Meghan also had salad entrees that were quite tasty, Steve had what he called the best French dip he’s had in a while, and John also enjoyed his chicken salad croissant.  We didn’t have time for dessert because Meghan needed to get to work, so we’ll have to go back sometime soon to taste the pie. We heard it was also delicious.

In any case, it was great to see Steve’s mom and dad, wish my grandma a happy 95th birthday, and enjoy a crisp fall day with family. It was a nice reminder of how thankful we are for the changing seasons in Nebraska and the changing seasons in life.

  • 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.

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