We are excited to announce that we’ve been asked to speak at what is sure to be an incredible ecotourism symposium in April called Plains Safaris. That’s right Plains Safaris.

Nebraska Sandhills

A view of the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska.

If you’ve followed our blog for any time at all, you know that we live in a small, rural community in southeast Nebraska and we absolutely love our state! There is something special about watching the sun rise over the Nebraska Sandhills, studying the ancient fossils of long-extinct animals, and hearing tens of thousands of Sandhill cranes descend on the Platte River at dusk. There is so much to see and do on the Plains of Nebraska and we’re happy to do our part to tell more people all about it.

Sandhill crane migration, Nebraska, screenshot

A slide from our presentation talking about the sandhill crane migration.

We will be speaking about Social Media in Tourism and learning from other speakers like award-winning photographers Joel Sartore and Michael Forsberg, as well as traveler Dean Jacobs. In addition, we’ll hear from Rebecca Herrera-Schlicting who is working to spread ecotourism ideas to Indian tribes across the Plains.

Plains Safaris is open to anyone and we hope you’ll join us in Kearney, Nebraska, April 18-20 for this incredible event! The conference will also include a panel of other travel writers, including Melody PittmanMegan Bannister, and Sara Broers, along with Lisa & Tim Trudell.

Plains safaris

Plains safaris

Registration is $125 and the deadline is April 1, so if you’re interested, don’t delay signing up. You can register HERE. In addition to the slate of insightful speakers, the conference also includes hands-on opportunities to see and learn about ecotourism destinations and attractions during a series of optional pre-conference field trips and workshops including a Harlan County prairie dog tour, a guided bike tour in and around Kearney, and a workshop about integrating star gazing into nature tourism.

I could watch the prairie dogs at the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge for hours.

I could watch the prairie dogs at the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge for hours.

We signed up for the agritourism progressive meal where we’ll visit two Nebraska breweries and a winery. Each stop will include a tasting and food, a tour of the facilities, Q&As with the owners, and discussions about agritourism ideas and strategies. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Of course, we’ll be writing more about the Plains Safaris conference later on, but we if you can make it, we’d love to see you there as we learn more about the incredible destinations and attractions on the Great Plains of Nebraska.


For more information about Plains Safaris, visit their website at https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium

Conference co-hosts include The Center for Great Plains Studies College of Arts and Sciences, Visit Nebraska, and Heartland Byways in partnership with the University of Nebraska-Kearney and the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences.

  • 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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