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.

  • 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. ⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
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!⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
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.⁣
⁣
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.⁣
⁣
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. ⁣
⁣
The world is a pretty cool place. Check it out.⁣
⁣
@ndlegendary

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska