Why fans of “The Music Man” need to visit Mason City, Iowa

If you're a fan of "The Music Man" like I am, you are beside-yourself-excited at the thought of seeing Hugh Jackman bring Harold Hill back to life...

Eating our way through Kansas City, Kansas

We've been working hard at losing weight, but we'll be slowing down a bit this week. At least for 43 hours. We're headed out for a Foodie FAM called...

Memorial Stadium tour in Lincoln – what to expect (and watch for)

On our Memorial Stadium tour in Lincoln, Neb., we noticed the Orange Bowl trophy from Jan. 2, 1998, is missing from the trophy case. Amazingly, no...

Surprise yourself with a vacation to legendary North Dakota

When we told people we were going on a 14-day road trip to “legendary” North Dakota, we got one of two responses: a blank stare, or a polite,...

20 Things to do in Kearney, Nebraska while you wait on the cranes

Sitting in the blind you're amazed at the noise coming from the river. The cranes get louder and more frenzied, reaching a crescendo you simply...

More from the Midwest

How to help Nebraska flood victims

How to help Nebraska flood victims

As many of you already know, we are from Nebraska. Over the past week, our state has been devastated by historic floods and blizzards. At least 74 cities, including the one where we live, have issued emergency declarations. The photo below is on a bridge in our town...

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A perfect fall day with family

A perfect fall day with family

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. Now that Steve has a more flexible schedule, we thought it might...

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70+ things to do in Crete, Nebraska

70+ things to do in Crete, Nebraska

As you have probably noticed, Steve and I are very excited for next week’s total solar eclipse! We are really fortunate that Crete, Nebraska, (where we live) is in the path of totality and because of that, we’re expecting lots of visitors to begin arriving here in the...

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On the road again

On the road again

When I decided to leave my full-time job as a middle school principal this spring, one of the things Ann and I wanted to do in this interim stage was spend more time with our families. For years, our jobs have dictated when we could travel and how much time we could...

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Crete’s Great Pumpkin Festival

Crete’s Great Pumpkin Festival

Our hometown of Crete, Neb., hosted its 2nd Annual Great Pumpkin Festival this weekend and we had so much fun hosting the photo booth and meeting so many new people. This year's festival was even bigger and better than last year's inaugural event [read more about that...

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A postcard from North Platte, NE

A postcard from North Platte, NE

If you've been thinking about visiting North Platte, Nebraska, this is the weekend. Seriously, just get in the car and go! Yes, it's that time of year to put on your cowboy boots, find your hat, and mosey on down to the Wild West Arena where you can wrangle up all...

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Ray’s Shabby Cottage Furniture

Ray’s Shabby Cottage Furniture

About this time each year, we make the hour and 45-minute drive from our home in Southeast Nebraska to Steve's hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa, to have our taxes done. We typically meet with our CPA in the morning and then check out downtown Shen, stopping for a vanilla...

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Music for the soul

Music for the soul

After my appointments today at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Steve and I spent two hours sitting in the lobby of Mayo’s Gonda Building where we listened to Jane Belau play the grand piano for passersby. We’d seen her play before and enjoyed the music, but today was...

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Nebraska’s Nicest Nine Recap

Nebraska’s Nicest Nine Recap

Earlier this summer, Steve and I took off on a 6-day journey to find out for ourselves if our home state lives up to its new slogan, "Nebraska Nice." We wrote about some of the nicest things we saw -- calling them  our 2014 "Nebraska's Nicest Nine."  The list was...

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A place to come Home2

A place to come Home2

A fews weeks ago, Steve and I were invited to participate in a reception and hard hat tour of the new Home2 Suites in west Omaha. The Hilton property owners and operators welcomed us (and other area bloggers) to a fantastic wine and cheese reception at the Hilton...

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Nebraska’s Nicest Nine 2014

Nebraska’s Nicest Nine 2014

I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with Nebraska's new tourism slogan, "Nebraska Nice" when it was introduced a few weeks ago.  I felt it lacked a certain something and didn't capture all it could.  "Nice?"  Really?  I felt the tourism board could have said "Nebraska...

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Getting over the hump

Getting over the hump

We visited the Golden Spike Tower and Bailey Rail Yard in North Platte, NE, this morning. The Tower features some interesting videos about the rail yard, including a great documentary on the North Platte Canteen. We took the elevator to the 7th floor observation deck...

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The Good Life

The Good Life

After spending a lot of time at home the past few months, dealing with the diagnosis of a chronic illness, we decided it would do us both good to get away for a few days … so we're on the road again. Because I am still not feeling especially well, we decided to stay...

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SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

On our way back home from Mayo Clinic, Ann and I stopped in Austin, MN at the SPAM museum. There we learned that SPAM stands for "spiced ham" and there have been billions of cans sold. Believe it or not, the SPAM museum is actually worth a stop. The museum is fun for...

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  • 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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