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]

  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
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Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
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This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
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For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
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Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
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Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
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We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
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Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
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The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.
  • We'd never heard of cannonball rocks before we drove past them at North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and asked each other, "did you see that?" We'd never seen anything quite like these natural "concretions" created when water leaked into pockets of minerals in the ground. Now, as a hill erodes, these formations are exposed.⁣
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Seeing these rocks was such a cool experience because it reminded us of why we travel. We never know when we'll find something new, something that we never knew existed. We got along fine not knowing about cannonball rocks, yet now that we've seen them, our lives are a little richer. ⁣
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The world is a pretty cool place. Check it out.⁣
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@ndlegendary

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