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]

  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
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Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
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Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
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While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
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The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
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For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
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We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
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Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
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Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
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This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
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The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
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One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
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What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101
  • Who's ready for some pumpkin pie??⁣
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The thought of digging in to a piece of pumpkin pie (served with a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer) takes us back to a small town festival we love. ⁣
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A few years ago, our town of Crete, Nebraska, began holding the Great Pumpkin Festival during the first weekend of October.⁣
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From spring to fall, local volunteers tend gardens filled with pumpkin vines so that folks who come to the festival can take home a reasonably priced, locally-grown pumpkin. ⁣
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The festival is full of games, food, performances and fun. It's a wholesome day where the town turns out to celebrate another year together in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.⁣
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Does your town have a festival? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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