I have to admit, I was pleasantly shocked when I saw Cody Park–I did not expect to find such an amazing park in the middle of North Platte, Nebraska.  In my defense, our visit to Cody Park came early in our Nebraska trip, so I had not yet become accustomed to being impressed with all that Nebraska had to offer.

As we pulled into the park I saw a few amusement park style rides sized for kids.  The rides are permanent residents of the park, and they were running full tilt to the delight of the children there.  Nearby, was a concession stand that offers treats, too!  We then drove around the corner and I saw a large fenced in area with a group of deer relaxing in the shade under a tree.  We drove a bit further, and a couple elk surrounded by Canada geese popped into view.  As I was still taking all this in, I saw yet another area with llamas and peacocks (even one albino peacock!).

If you come to Cody Park, be sure to bring quarters so you can buy corn to feed the various animals.  All are quite tame and seemed unimpressed by the small crowd of people gathered around to feed them.  We had a great time tossing corn through the fence and snapping photos.

We left the animals, headed around the corner and saw a group of people having a picnic by the river.  Some members of the party had taken off their shoes and had waded far out into the impressively shallow Platte River to cool off a bit.  Sadly, we hadn’t packed a picnic lunch that day, but we will someday.

If you find yourself driving across the country and through Nebraska, or if you live in Nebraska and are looking for something to do, plan an overnight in North Platte, and a stop in Cody Park.  This is a great spot and is #9 on our list of Nebraska’s Nicest Nine.

  • One of our favorite stops on our hosted food tour of @visitkansascityks was the @403club. Sure, they offer a great selection of locally crafted and larger production domestic beers. But they also have pinball machines. In fact, they even have a pinball league.⁣
⁣
We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
  • On our visit to Italy, we visited the Prosecco region. While we toured a number of wineries, we actually stayed at an inn run by the Roccat winery. ⁣
⁣
Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
⁣
We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
⁣
If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
⁣
@traveliowa
  • Set in Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the city's most iconic art installations. It's a giant, shiny bean which reflects everything in sight. It's fun to walk around (and under) the bean and see how the shape distorts what it reflects.⁣
⁣
Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
⁣
Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
  • On our cruise from Italy to Greece, we made a stop in Mykonos. There, we had the chance to take part in a Greek cooking class in a woman's home learning from her.⁣
⁣
We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
⁣
While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
⁣
Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
⁣
Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
⁣
Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
⁣
@themusicmanbway
  • When we heard that there was a community garden in Clear Lake, Iowa, we figured we'd stop and check it out. We've seen small town community gardens before, and were expecting a few flower patches, some paving stones, and maybe a bench or two. After all, it was built and is maintained by volunteers in a small Iowa town. ⁣
⁣
What we found, though, was simply astounding! First, the entire garden had been designed beautifully; a small stream even meandered through the gardens, pausing in small lily-filled pools before continuing on its path. But the flowers took the cake. So many varieties, each more beautiful than the last. And the entire space had been planned out to take advantage of the spring, summer, and autumn species. ⁣
⁣
if you enjoy gardens, put the Central Gardens of North Iowa on your list of places to visit.
  • Calmar, Iowa, near Decorah, is home to Pivo Brewery and Blepta Studios. There you'll find high quality craft beers, in a relaxed, fun environment. Upstairs from the taproom are the studios, where you can try your hand at art while sipping your beer.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska