We are so impressed by our friends, Matt and Jennene Anderson, who still take their three kids on old-school family vacations. You know the ones – where you load the kids in the family truckster and drive across the country to explore new cities, visit National Parks, learn about history, and try not to make anyone cry.

The Anderson family sets out on a road trip in summer 2016.

Last summer, the Andersons reviewed their travel map and decided they’d explore some of the southern states they had not yet seen.

The Anderson family colors in states they’ve been to after each trip. This is what their map looked like before their summer trip in 2016.

They sent us several postcards from their road trip, including the first postcard from the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a National Park Service unit authorized in 1935 to commemorate St. Louis’s role in the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century.

In addition to the 630-foot stainless steel Gateway Arch, the site also includes a Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse, scene of the Dred Scott case, which is a major landmark in the story of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

Next, the Anderson family sent us a postcard from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

They had never been to Nashville before and were so excited to see the historic Ryman Auditorium. The family’s next stop was Atlanta, Georgia, where they caught up with some friends and visited the Georgia Aquarium.

They wrote that Matt was not a fan of the traffic in Atlanta, which is understandable, considering his daily commute to work in Nebraska is approximately  two minutes.

The last stop on the Andersons’ adventure through the south was Bourbon Street in New Orleans — or what their youngest, Grace, referred to “crazy street.”

This summer, the Andersons are exploring the Mountain West and we are hoping they send us some more postcards. We have to say, it is so refreshing to see families who still take vacations like these. It really demonstrates that you don’t have to book plane tickets, visit amusement parks, or jet off to a tropical resort to have a great time together.

Matt and Jennene are both great teachers in our public schools here in Crete, Nebraska (Matt teaches high school science and Jennene is a middle school music teacher). We’re even more impressed by the incredible lessons they are teaching their own children about the history of our country,  the value of exploring new places and things, and the joy of spending quality time together as a family.

(*Vacation photos courtesy of the Anderson family)

When you’re traveling next, send us a postcard at: Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

As always, thanks for sharing!

  • The Pioneer Woman's Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a special hotel. There are eight rooms, each beautifully decorated, and no two rooms are alike. With large bathrooms, a mini-bar, evening reception, room service, valet parking, high-speed internet, and friendly service, a night here is a real treat. Ann snapped this picture of the arrangement of fresh flowers in the Butterfly Room. The bed in the background? That's a Tempurpedic mattress with some of the softest bedding around. We can't think of a better place to spend a cozy night when you @visittheosage and Pawhuska.⁣
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  • While in Italy, we took a cooking class in the home of a the owner of a small vineyard. During the class, we learned to make several dishes including pasta (which we rolled and cut by hand) as well as Tiramisu. Looking at this picture, we can still taste the freshness of the pasta, the tomatoes picked that morning from vines in the yard for the sauce, and the herbs clipped from a pot on the porch. It was a magical meal, paired with wines they had produced using grapes they'd grown on their own land. Talk about a farm to table meal.
  • The Enchanted Highway near @visit_dickinson, North Dakota, is a 30 mile stretch of road that runs from I-94 to Regent. Along the way you'll find a number of huge metal sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. The size and scale of these creations is such that you'll be filled with a sense of wonder, and a desire to drive on to the next one. This particular creation is called, appropriately enough, "Grasshoppers in the Field." This road is just one more reason for you to hop on up to North Dakota. @NorthDakotaLegendary
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  • One of the things we love most about traveling is discovering new things. New destinations, new foods, new cocktails, and new people. What do you like to discover?
  • Our imaginations run wild when we find ourselves in a place so chock-full of history like Deadwood, South Dakota. As we took in the town, we closed our eyes and listened for echoes from the past when Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok lived here. If only the streets could talk. @tripscout @midwestliving⁣
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  • Standing on a hill in present-day Rome, you can look down on the Roman Forum, the center of activity in ancient Rome. We've all heard of Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Marcus Agrippa, and the Apostle Paul, and we know them as ancient historical figures who almost don't seem real. And then you see this space, the very streets where they walked and the buildings they knew. This is why Rome is the eternal city. You can still walk streets and cross bridges built thousands of years ago. Being there makes it's real, and suddenly history comes alive.
  • Is there anything more relaxing than the thought of a beautiful sandy beach? How about one with pink sand, like at Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda? We made a stop here during our visit to the island nation and loved seeing all the folks there enjoying their time splashing in the warm summer sun. ⁣
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Would you like to visit this beach?

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