Ann’s brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Carrie, took their two sons, Nathan and Noah, on a driving adventure last summer. They headed out across northern Nebraska, through Valentine, and up into the Badlands of South Dakota. They wanted to take a trip that felt far from home without actually going that far, and they chose some neat destinations and made a lot of memories.

Nathan, Steve, Carrie and Noah at the iconic Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

The Badlands have some very cool geography, and are worth a visit if you ever find yourself in South Dakota. Stephen and Carrie sent us a really cool postcard that has a 3D effect which highlights the landforms found in that area.

From there, they headed west to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills. It sounds like they had a great time while there.

They had one more stop in South Dakota before coming back to Nebraska: Wind Cave National Park. We have not been there, yet, but a little research about it makes me think that we need to put it on our list of places to go. The postcard they sent was based on a poster designed circa 1939!

Their final stop was at Scottsbluff National Monument, one of Ann’s and my favorite Nebraska locales. Scottsbluff was an important landmark for pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail, and is a wonderful stop for families driving west across Nebraska today.

Stephen, Carrie and their sons had a blast traveling as a family last summer–and they didn’t have to go too far from home. We can’t wait to see where they’re headed this summer!


Next time you’re traveling, send us a postcard. We’d love to hear from you. Mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • 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.

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