Lots of interesting things were invented in our home state of Nebraska. Yes, we’re the creators of vise grip locking pliers, frozen TV dinners, collapsable voting booths, and center pivot irrigation. Perhaps our biggest claim to fame, however, is the fruit-flavored, powdered soft drink that known around the world as Kool-Aid.

Our daughter, Meghan, took her turn at the Kool-Aid stand photo booth at the Hastings Museum.

Our daughter, Meghan, took her turn at the Kool-Aid stand photo booth at the Hastings Museum.

That’s right. Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. Perkins had initially created a fruit-flavored drink called Fruit Smack. But in 1927, in an effort to reduce shipping costs, he discovered a way to remove the liquid, leaving only a powder.

These Kool-Aid man costumes were are display at the Hastings Museum.

These Kool-Aid man costumes were are display at the Hastings Museum.

He named the new powder Kool-Aid and moved production to Chicago in 1931. Eventually, the brand was sold to General Foods and is now owned by Kraft. However, Hastings still celebrates Perkins and this childhood favorite with an annual summer festival called Kool-Aid Days on the second weekend in August. They also help commemorate Perkins’ achievements with an exhibit in the Hastings Museum, which we visited this summer.

It was our very first trip to the museum and we found it a delightful way to spend an hour or two on a hot summer day in Nebraska.

According to the museum’s website, the Hastings Museum was founded in 1927 and is the largest municipal museum between Chicago and Denver. The museum features a theater with a 65-foot

It was interesting to animal species in their natural habitats.

It was interesting to animal species in their natural habitats at the museum.

wide screen and large domed Planetarium. It houses taxidermy displays dozens of animal species set in their natural habitats, allowing you to get an up close look at many amazing creatures!

The museum also chronicles the history of the early inhabitants of the Nebraska plains, from paleo-Indians to euro-Americans, while providing a look back at the creatures that used to roam this area and swim in Cretaceous Sea.

Our favorite part of the museum, though, was the nod to Kool-Aid. It was fun to walk through the exhibit and read all about the history of Perkins’ invention and look back at all of the advertising and marketing campaigns that were so prominent in our childhoods. We learned that the original six Kool-Aid flavors were Cherry, Grape, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry — my favorite is Cherry and as I recall, it produced the best Kool-Aid mustache/smile.

Kool-Aid marketing was everywhere when I was a kid. Lunch boxes, Barbie dolls, sno-cone machines. etc.

Kool-Aid marketing was everywhere when I was a kid. Lunch boxes, Barbie dolls, sno-cone machines. etc.

I remembered the Kool-Aid lunchbox and round pitchers that everyone used to have. We were also reminded of the make-shift Kool-Aid stands we had as kids and enjoyed watching all of the old Kool-Aid commercials that feature a large, anthropomorphic pitcher filled with Kool-Aid randomly busting through fences and walls of children’s homes to make a batch of Kool-Aid.

Here’s a little trip down memory lane in case you can’t remember who awkward those commercials really were.

Maybe it’s just me, but some of these seem a little creepy to me now. But back in the day, there was nothing quite like seeing that giant pitcher of Kool-Aid burst through the wall at the most unsuspecting moment with that shout of, “Oh, yeah.” These commercials took me back.

Today, you can buy Kool-Aid as a powder, jammer, burst, or liquid. A simple search on Pinterest will give you dozens of ideas on other ways to use Kool-Aid, including everything from dying t-shirts and and making scented play-doh, to using it as a watercolor paint or a dishwasher cleaner. I even found a recipe for Kool-Aid slime!

Found this recipe for Kool-Aid slime at www.growingajeweledrose.com

Found this recipe for Kool-Aid slime at www.growingajeweledrose.com

What unique uses have you found for Kool-Aid? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
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Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
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Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
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While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
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The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
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For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
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We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
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Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
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Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
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This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
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The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
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One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
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What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101
  • Who's ready for some pumpkin pie??⁣
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The thought of digging in to a piece of pumpkin pie (served with a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer) takes us back to a small town festival we love. ⁣
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A few years ago, our town of Crete, Nebraska, began holding the Great Pumpkin Festival during the first weekend of October.⁣
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From spring to fall, local volunteers tend gardens filled with pumpkin vines so that folks who come to the festival can take home a reasonably priced, locally-grown pumpkin. ⁣
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The festival is full of games, food, performances and fun. It's a wholesome day where the town turns out to celebrate another year together in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.⁣
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Does your town have a festival? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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