One of the primary goals of our blog is simply to inspire people to travel more. So, when we got a call from a nearby community college asking if we’d be interested in teaching a course on Nebraska travel, we jumped at the opportunity.

Southeast Community College in Lincoln did a great job promoting our class online and in their print materials like this course catalog.

And so, last night, we found ourselves standing at the front of a classroom at Southeast Community College in Lincoln with a pile of Nebraska maps and travel guides and a curiosity of who would want to come to hear “us” speak.

Our anxiousness subsided when we realized we had a wonderful group of attendees who were genuinely interested in Nebraska travel — just like us.

We started the class with brief introductions, asking participants to share their name and a favorite Nebraska destination or attraction. Their responses included towns like Arapahoe, Scottsbluff and Calamus to interesting places like the bridge west of Steel City, Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, and Sauces restaurant in Alliance.

Participants shared their favorite Nebraska destinations and attractions during introductions.

We had a great time getting to know everyone and hearing about the places they’d traveled. We weren’t surprised that there were lots of Nebraska destinations with which we were not familiar but are now excited to see.

After being in school administration for the past several years, Steve loved getting back into the role of teacher.

We shared a little bit about ourselves, our hometown of Crete, and our travel blog. I shared the story of how our interest in Nebraska travel began. In a nutshell … when our daughter, Meghan, was about to start 4th grade and learn about Nebraska history, I realized I’d never taken her anywhere in the state west of North Platte. That summer, we packed a cooler with peanut butter sandwiches, drinks, and snacks, and headed west to explore the Oregon Trail and Chimney Rock and Scottsbluff Monument.

We stopped for a picture in Friend at what was then the smallest police station in the country. We went through the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument near Kearney, and stopped at a few museums in North Platte.

Meghan, the summer before 4th grade, at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument near Kearney.

Then, we got to Ogallala. We took in the Front Street Review that night and at someone’s recommendation, drove north a bit to see the Nebraska Sandhills. We were mesmerized by their beauty and just kept on driving. Needless to say, we never made it to Chimney Rock, but instead, spent the rest of or vacation exploring the rolling hills of north central Nebraska.

The next summer, we decided to go on another Nebraska trip and this time, we stayed more focused and made it to Scottsbluff/Gering where we hiked the Scottsbluff Monument, visited Chimney Rock, and Meghan even got to go for a ride in a horse-drawn covered wagon on The Oregon Trail.

Jumping for joy at Toadstool Geologic Park near Crawford, Nebraska.

From that point on, Nebraska road trips became part of our summer routine and we even took a weeklong trip around the state last summer after she graduated from college.

After those introductions with our Postcards from Nebraska class, we dove right into our presentation, sharing some of our favorite Nebraska destinations and attractions. We talked about Innkeeper Jeanne at the Olde Main Street Inn in Chadron and shared our experiences near Grand Island during the Sandhill Crane Migration.

We answered questions along the way and got a few laughs when we spoke about watching the trains hump at Bailey Yard in North Platte and when we tried to explain our quest to find the hidden memorial that pays tribute to Andy the footloose goose near Hastings.

We included useful information about each place and also tried to give a few Travel Tips — like don’t wear sandals or Keens if you’re going to hike at Toadstool, as there are small rocks that get into your shoes.

One of the slides from our presentation with a few Travel Tips.

The two-hour class breezed by and before the end of the evening, everyone had shared a story or two about their own Nebraska adventures. One of the participants asked if we could have a “reunion” class to discuss all of the new places we were all planning to go. That may just have to happen.

Everyone took home a 2017 Spring/Summer Nebraska Travel Guide and Nebraska road map, and even gave them a postcardjar.com postcard of their choice.

We gave participants the 2017 Nebraska Travel Guide as well as their pick of Postcard Jar postcards.

After everyone said their goodbyes, Steve and I gathered our things and headed out. We talked most of the way home about how much fun we had sharing our travel experiences in this place we call “The Good Life” and how we couldn’t wait to do it again.

[well]Would you be interested in taking a class like this one? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. [/well]

  • A chic, swanky boutique hotel, located in a renovated Middle School, @hotelgrinnell offers guests comfortable accommodations as well as great food and drink options. With a full auditorium, and a ballroom in the former gym, this hotel is perfect for anything from a weekend getaway to a major event. We had the opportunity to stay in the hotel on a hosted visit, and wrote a blog post about our stay. See the link in our bio.
  • On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, there is a point where you round a bend and see this view, with the Atlantic Ocean on the left, and the Caribbean Sea on the right. ⁣
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Ann took this photo several years ago when we visited St. Kitts for a day while on a cruise in the Caribbean. ⁣
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We met our friend, Mikey Tross, on the island and with the help of a local driver and guide, we toured the entire island in a day. ⁣
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We climbed to the top of Brimstone Hills, saw the beaches, at at Fredo's (a local restaurant) and toured Caribelle  Batik at Romney Manor. ⁣
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St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the people there are incredibly generous. If you haven't already been there, add St. Kitts to your bucket list.
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These buildings are intricate in detail and rich in their finishes. The next time you pass near Grinnell, it is definitely worth the stop to step into American architectural history.
  • In downtown Kearney, Nebraska, you'll find @mccuesnebraskataproom, home to all sorts of Nebraska libations. When you visit, you can choose from a large selection of beers, wines, and even liquors all made in Nebraska. It's a fun environment where regulars welcome visitors, and fun is had by all. We look forward to going back one day and know that a visit to McCue's will be a part of our visits to Kearney in the future. ⁣
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@visitnebraska @visitkearney
  • A rite of passage...⁣
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The Swinging Bridge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has thrilled residents and visitors alike for decades. When it was originally built in 1929, it was the only way to cross from one side of Bird Creek to the other. Today, there are other bridges, but the beloved swinging bridge still spans the creek and dares folks to cross.⁣
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Long-time residents will tell stories of rieding their bikes across it when they were kids--and it should be noted that back then it didn't have the chain link side guards.⁣
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No visit to Pawhuska is complete until you've tried The Pioneer Woman's chicken fried steak AND crossed the swinging bridge. Go ahead and try...we dare you!⁣
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@TravelOK @VisitTheOsage
  • While looking for a coffee shop in @visitkearney, we stumbled into a really cool store. @elevate.people is a locally owned business specializing in both leather goods and in helping people around the world build better lives for themselves. ⁣
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All of the leather goods for sale here are handmade by people in third world countries. Elevate, it turns out, is a non-profit that gives local artisans small, low interest loans to get started in the leather making business. When loans are repaid, the money is loaned out to another craftsperson so they can get started. Meanwhile, Elevate provides access to a market to sell the goods produced so the worker continues to be supported. They also have an online store.⁣
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We have purchased several items from Elevate, and have loved all of them.⁣
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@visitnebraska
  • After a day of tests and appointments at the Mayo Clinic, this was a perfect place to relax and unwind.⁣
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We were treated to a complimentary stay at the brand new Hilton in downtown @minnesotas_rochester. Located near the Mayo Clinic, it's an incredibly beautiful hotel with nothing but the best amenities and top-notch service. One of our favorite places in the hotel is the hot tub in the pool area. How can it not be? Look at this place. And yes, it's as relaxing as it looks, especially at sunset. ⁣
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The room in this new luxury hotel are just as nice. We enjoyed it so much that we changed our travel plans and booked a second night on our own dime. It's our new go-to hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.⁣
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@minnesotas_rochester @exploreminnesota @hiltonhotels
  • Our hosted food tour in @visitkansascityks began with a bar-b-que spread from several local restaurants. Needless to say, we had to sample a little bit of everything because it was for science. We enjoyed ribs, smoked sausage, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, burnt ends, rice, beans, and even warm potato casserole. ⁣
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If you love bar-b-que, head to KCK. Trust us, you'll love it. Just wear your stretchy pants.

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