Seven tips for your visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida

The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida, is one of my all-time, favorite travel destinations. It has been since I was a kid. As you may or...

Exploring Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas

When my mom told us we needed to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, I have to admit, Steve and I both felt a...

8 tips for your visit to The Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas

There are a few things you should know before you visit The Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. When we road tripped across the South recently,...

Yes, our marriage survived a 5,000 mile road trip

When we returned from our 5,000 mile road trip through the Southeast, we told you that we'd be locking ourselves into our house in Nebraska so we...

Our Route 66 stop at The Blue Whale of Catoosa near Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sometimes when I travel, something catches my eye and an obsession is born. It usually doesn't take long to convince Ann to go along when I explain...

More from USA

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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Headed to the Pacific Northwest

As you may remember, when Steve resigned as middle school principal this summer, one of the first things we wanted to do with our more flexible schedule was spend some quality time with our parents. We took his mom and dad on a week-long trip across Nebraska in July...

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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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Postcards from the Johnstone family

Ann's brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Carrie, took their two sons, Nathan and Noah, on a driving adventure last summer. They headed out across northern Nebraska, through Valentine, and up into the Badlands of South Dakota. They wanted to take a trip that felt...

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Haven’t been to Huntsville…yet

We recently received a postcard from the folks at Visit Huntsville, Ala. We have not been to Huntsville, but I qualify that statement with a big, "yet!" The Rocket City, as it's known, is definitely on our list of places to visit because if its rich history with the...

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A postcard from San Diego

Our friends, Gary and Linda, recently headed west to sunny San Diego, Calif. I've known Gary and Linda for years, and even had the opportunity to travel with them on one of the school tours to Europe I led a few years ago. They are great travelers, always looking to...

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Teaching your kids through travel

Travel isn't just for fun, it can also be a great way to learn something new. Our friends, the Bissons, took this to heart when they headed out on a road trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin from their home in Florida to see family. They decided that their two sons should...

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Bringing back old-school family vacations

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,...

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See where our parents have been

We thought we'd kick off this summer travel season with a series of blog posts featuring some of the postcards that we've received. We love going down to the post office, opening our P.O. box, and finding postcards from far-away places. It is so neat to think of all...

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A postcard from Husker fans

We have had the privilege of having season tickets to Nebraska Cornhusker football games for the past five years. Every fall, we look forward to returning to Memorial Stadium, going through Gate 20, walking up and up and up to section 108, and squeezing ourselves in...

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Postcard from Rocky Mountain Natl. Park

Estes Park, Colorado, is a favorite vacation spot for our friends and neighbors, Matt and Linda Hanson of Crete, Neb. They have vacationed there for years and continue to rave about the Golden Aspens, the wildlife, and the variety of outdoor activities available for...

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Postcards from the Pipers

Ben and Nikki Piper are two of our best friends and were so happy that they were able to take a quick getaway this summer with their young children and Ben's parents, Martha and Steve. For their family vacation, they drove from their home in Crete, Neb., to beautiful...

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A postcard from the “villes”

One of our most avid followers, Dale Strehle and his wife, Cindy, recently sent us a postcard from the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. They stopped there on what they referred to as their "ville" tour which took them through Louisville, Knoxville,...

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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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A postcard from Harry Potter’s world

This summer, our friends and neighbors, the Faltins, visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in California and we were so excited to get their postcard! Kevin and Michelle and their two youngest kids flew to California (where Michelle is from)...

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Postcards from Minnesota

Steve and I are getting ready to head to north to Minnesota again this week. We've been going there several times a year to visit friends and family and for doctor's visits at the Mayo Clinic where I'm being treated. It is about a 7-hour drive from our house in Crete,...

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A postcard from New England

Happy National Clam Chowder Day! We thought it was a great day to share this postcard we received last summer from some of Steve's college friends from Lawrence University. In doing a little research about clam chowder, we found that according to Savoring Gotham: A...

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Postmark: Cedar Rapids, IA

This summer, we received a beautiful postcard from the Amana Colonies near Cedar Rapids, IA. The postcard was sent by a friend of ours, Jen Van Winkle and one of her friends, June Biggs. Jen and I have been friends for more than a decade. We met when I was working in...

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Thanks, Jim and Kelly

Our friends and neighbors, Jim and Kelly, celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary this summer by traveling back to their original honeymoon destination -- The Black Hills of South Dakota. We were delighted that they would take time out of their anniversary trip to...

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Crete’s Great Pumpkin Festival

This weekend, our hometown of Crete, Nebraska, hosted its inaugural Great Pumpkin Festival. It was a beautiful fall day, only made better by the site of a diverse community coming together to celebrate our town. And believe me, there is a lot to celebrate in Crete!...

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Postcards from National Parks

Two students from the middle school where I am principal (along with their parents) took what looks to have been a fun trip this summer to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons.  What a cool surprise that two of my students took time from their vacation to...

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Thanks, Meghan!

Our daughter, Meghan, turned 21 a few weeks ago. Sadly, her birthday fell on Labor Day when friends and family were busy with outdoor barbecues and many bars and restaurants were closed for the holiday. Despite reaching the legal drinking age, she wasn't really...

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Thanks, Kyle and Shelley!

I'm pretty lucky that as a middle school principal, I get to work with some fantastic teachers. Two of them are Mr. and Mrs. Poore who sent us this postcard from their trip to San Francisco this summer. We've heard for years that summers in San Francisco can be pretty...

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Postcard from Tampa

One of my former students from Mississippi, Kalessia, heard about our blog, and sent us a postcard!  It was such a wonderful surprise to hear from her after all these years. She was in Tampa on business, but tells us that Florida was as beautiful as always. She also...

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Thanks, Jo

One of Steve's colleagues from Crete Public Schools sent us a couple postcards this summer from her vacation in the beautiful Ozarks. Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in The Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The lake is...

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Thanks again, mom!

My mom has been doing a lot of traveling this year and her most recent trip was to North Carolina to visit her younger brother, Bill, and his family. She had visited my Uncle Bill last fall and had a great time, so I wasn't surprised she wanted to go back. However, I...

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Thanks, Melony and Kari!

Lake of the Ozarks is a popular vacation destination for people in our part of the country. You can typically drive there in a day and the rolling hills of Missouri are just beautiful. Last week, we received a postcard from two of my high school classmates, Melony and...

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Thanks, Jo and Steve!

Our friends Jo and Steve sent us a postcard from beautiful San Diego, California! They said they loved their time in La Jolla where they watched sea lions at the cove. La Jolla Cove is a beach in San Diego that is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and...

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  • Have you always wanted to visit @thepioneerwoman lodge in Oklahoma? We’ve got a new blog post today with 12 tips to make your visit spectacular. Our website link is in our bio. And if the lodge is not open for tours when you can come, no worries! There are plenty of great things to see and do when you @visit_the_osage and @pwmercantile I’m Pawhuska. #pawhuska #pioneerwoman #drummondlodge #ranch #postcardjar #reedrummond
  • This is our first spring in Osage County, Oklahoma, and we are in awe of these trees!! It is a red bud and is the state tree of Oklahoma. They are everywhere around here and we love spotting the bright pinkish purple blooms among the green trees. So much beauty in nature. #redbud @visit_the_osage  @travelok
  • Sitting in our hotel room in Venice, we could look out across the busy canal toward St. Mark's cathedral. The fact that it's an island city makes it different from any other city in the world. Water taxis zoomed around, larger vaporettos chugged past, as well. Occaisionally, a cruise ship would glide past our window. Tourists from all over the world came to take in this spectacle, yet to the locals, who drive boats down tight canals with ease, this is what normal life looks like. The world is indeed a large, interesting place. Have you been to Venice? ⁣
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#veniceitaly #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #italian_places #ig_italy #visititaly #italytrip #venetodigitale #veneto #goplaces
  • Seeing this photo takes us back to the the cooking class we took last summer on the island of Mykonos in Greece. We went to a woman's home, learned about Greek culture and history, and then prepared a meal using fresh ingredients from the garden in her back yard. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most delicious meals we'd ever had. But perhaps even better are the memories of the warm welcome we received as we entered her home and the glimpse into the lives of real people in another part of the world. ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #celebrityreflection #endlesssummer #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #lifeisbetteratsea #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #mykonosisland #mykonostown #cookingclass #greekfood #cruiselife #goplaces
  • Trust us on this: there is nothing that relaxes more than kicking back in a hammock in the shade on a beach in the Caribbean. Except maybe leaving that relaxing spot and getting back on a cruise ship for cocktails and a gourmet dinner. What do you do to relax on vacation? ⁣
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 #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #cruiselife #cruising #beaches #hammock #royalcaribbean #beachfun #relaxationtime #cruiseship #beachlife #instabeaches #goplaces @royalcaribbean
  • Near Valdobbiadene, in the heart of Italy's Prosecco region, is a bar with no bartender. You simply go inside, take the wine or beer you want from the fridge, and leave your money to pay for it in a box. We weren't sure who the owner of this bar is, or even who keeps it stocked. What we do know from the cards and notes they've left is that people from all over the world have come here and respected the honor system. It's amazing how honest folks will be if you just show a little trust. ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #ig_italy #visititaly #italian_places #italytrip #italytravel #italy_vacations #foodandwine #italyunfiltered  #Valdobbiandene #bartending #italia365 #goplaces @italyunfiltered @massithedriver @proseccowatch
  • Ahhh...the Piazza del Campo in Siena! We absolutely loved our time here, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, sipping delicious Chianti Clasico wine and savoring the some of the best lasagna and pasta carbonara we'd ever had. While there, we noticed a number of people drinking some kind of orange colored drink. Our waiter explained it was a spritz of some sort. We asked if it were good. She shook her head and said that only the Americans seemed to like it. ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #tuscany #tuscanygram #siena #piazzadelcampo #italyunfiltered #instatuscany #vacation2018 #ig_toscana #ig_siena #igerssiena #goplaces @aroundsiena @italyunfiltered @massithedriver @chianticlassico #chianticlassico
  • This barn at at @Calamus_Outfitters in @visitnebraska serves as a reminder that this really is a working ranch. The Switzer family has poured their hearts and souls into the land. We think it's pretty neat that they're willing to share this piece of the beautiful Nebraska Sandhills with visitors. Have you been to the Nebraska Sandhills? ⁣
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#visitnebraska #HonestlyNE #CalamusOutfitters #barn #Tanking #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #cabins #agritourism #ranch #ranching #ranchlife #goplaces

Making the most of midlife.