Our list of Nebraska’s Nicest would not be complete without a mention of the wildflowers and prairie grasses of Nebraska. Throughout our more than 1,200-mile journey across the state, we saw extraordinary displays of colorful flowers growing on the roadsides, near the bluffs, and across wide spans of fields.

 

Buffalo at the Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Buffalo at the Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

We found ourselves continuously oohing and awing at the site of natural grasses and wildflowers and after several, “I wish I could have had a picture of that,” statements from me, Steve began stopping car and pulling over to the side of the road whenever we passed an exceptionally bright spot.

We encountered A LOT of what we think was goldenrod or yellow sweet clover throughout the week and about half way through our journey, we had to make a quick stop at a local drug store for Benadryl and Kleenex, as both of us have terrible allergies and sadly, are both seemingly quite allergic to our beloved and beautiful state flower. Despite a lot of sneezing and watery eyes, the displays of vibrant colors we witnessed were breathtaking and a real highlight of our trip.

Prairie grasses and wildflowers in Nebraska. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Prairie grasses and wildflowers in Nebraska. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

While we haven’t identified all of the wildflowers we saw on our journey, we’ve been able to identify some with the help of a nice brochure about roadside vegetation produced by the Nebraska Department of Roads. The brochure includes lots of pictures of native flowers and grasses and explains how the NDOR has developed a plan to promote the use of native plants species that are more likely to thrive in the different regions of the state. There is a great map of roadside vegetation on their website and it’s worth checking out.

Wildflowers in Nebraska. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Wildflowers in Nebraska. (photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

As we drove back to our home in the southeast part of the state, open fields of prairie grass and wildflowers turned to even greener landscapes of corn and soybeans. Our sinuses gradually dried up, and there were fewer and fewer roadside stops to take pictures. By the time we hit Norfolk, we weren’t oohing and awing as much at the scenery, but when we got home, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the wildflower bed in our own back yard had come into full bloom while we were away. Quickly — I grabbed the camera.

Wildflowers and daisies in our back yard in Crete, NE. (Photo by Ann Teget)

Wildflowers and daisies in our back yard in Crete, NE. (Photo by Ann Teget)

 

 

  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.
  • Here's a bridal shower idea...we put bottles of flavored water, juices, and sparkling wine from @wholefoods and @traderjoes in a large drink bucket with ice. We then served the drinks in stemless flutes with a cute, colorful straw.
  • We've been to many different farms in our lives, but never to one quite like this. Our cruise ship excursion in Grand Cayman took us to an actual turtle farm. We had so much fun walking the grounds, looking at the various turtles and learning all about them. Have you ever been to a turtle farm?
  • We just love tea time on @celebritycruises. Every day there are new, delicious treats. Take this delectable morsel, for instance. One bite of pure deliciousness!
  • Who remembers begging your parents to buy you a bag of these when you were a kid? Well, at the Archway Monument in @visitkearney, you can buy them for yourself! We just love these smooth, colored rocks and all the great family travel memories seeing them brings back.

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