Swim with whale sharks and other tips for your visit to the Georgia Aquarium

Founder of Home Depot Bernie Marcus and his wife Billi added depth to the phrase, “improving home improvement” when they gave $250 million to help...

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,...

Tillamook Creamery, because ice cream and cheese

I love ice cream. And I love cheese. When Ann and I realized our trip along the Oregon coast would take us through a town named Tillamook, we...

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...

More from USA

Thanks, Meghan!

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!

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

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

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!

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!

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!

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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Postcard from Kalona, Iowa

Postcard from Kalona, Iowa

A good friend of mine from high school lives in Iowa now and recently sent us a postcard from Kalona,  just an hour south of where she and her family live. They've lived there for years but had never been to nearby Kalona which was settled as an Amish community in the...

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Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

Last month, my mom checked off another popular destination on her bucket list -- New York City. She had always wanted to travel to The Big Apple and had just never had the opportunity. This spring, she got involved in a fantastic lifelong learning organization called...

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Thanks, Piper Family!

Thanks, Piper Family!

Our friends, the Pipers, sent us a postcard this week from one of the best zoos in the world -- Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, which is just up the road from us here in Nebraska. This zoo is absolutely amazing and in our opinion, is a must-see U.S....

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Surprise! We’re going to ___________ .

Surprise! We’re going to ___________ .

A few of years ago, I told Ann that I was going to plan a trip, book it, pack her bag, pick her up from work and take her directly to the airport for a surprise weekend away. With a horrified expression, she told me that I should never do that because there is no way...

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Postcard what?

Postcard what?

Postcard jar. That's right. Here's the story. A few years ago, I read a home  decorating blog post from Young House Love about saving postcards from places you visit and displaying them in a glass vase. I loved the idea and from that point on in May of 2011, whenever...

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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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A new view of Key West

A new view of Key West

I'm one of the lucky ones. My grandparents spent winters in the Florida Keys so I've been to Key West many times. I have seen the drag queen lowered in her giant shoe at midnight on New Year's Eve. I've sipped beers in Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's and even the Hog's...

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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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Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

We received our first postcards from a reader this week from none other than my mom, Carol. She had a fantastic time in Mason City, Iowa, the boyhood home of Meredith Willson who wrote one of our families' all-time favorite musicals -- The Music Man. The next time you...

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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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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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  • 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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