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...

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Postcards from National Parks

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!

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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  • We had a few windy days in the #FloridaKeys this week that stirred up the waters. It created the most gorgeous colors in the Atlantic Ocean including this area at Sombrero Beach.
  • We miss waking up on the Celebrity Edge. That's all.
  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.

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