Where we’re headed in 2018

Where we’re headed in 2018

Some people make resolutions on New Year’s Day. Not us. We make reservations. It has become a bit of a tradition for us to sit in bed on New Year’s morning, sip mimosas and finalize vacation plans for the year. The best part of the day is when I get to click the, “complete booking” button.

This year, though, was a little different. We booked and started saving for our big trip of 2018 about 18 months ago. Still, we had a lot of planning to do, so our annual mimosa time (we did NOT change that tradition) was full of making travel decisions for 2018. What did we talk about? I’m glad you asked.

More blogging

Our little Postcard Jar blog is quickly growing into more than just a hobby. One of our biggest conversation topics for this new year revolves around how we will create a home business in the travel industry. Last year we dabbled in selling postcards and postcard jars. In addition to keeping some retail options, we are doing some travel consulting, and may even lead a trip or two. Obviously, we’re still trying to figure out a lot of things and in the meantime, we’re working hard on our blog and doing a lot of volunteer work in our community.

More time in Oklahoma

Our first trip of 2018 will likely be back to Oklahoma. We would like to travel to Tulsa to look at school our daughter might be interested in. Of course we’ll have to stop in Pawhuska so we can visit our new friends there, enjoy a chicken fried steak, and sip a Handy’s pop or 12.

Kihekah Ave., Pawhuska, Oklahoma

We fell in love with Oklahoma this year and are excited for our daughter, Meghan, to explore the possibilities of attending nursing school in Tulsa this year.

The great American road trip (or two)

As I write this, the temperature is -3 where we live in Nebraska, which makes us question our life choice of living in the Midwest. As a result, we have talked about taking a road trip south this winter to escape the brunt of the cold. I spent six years living in Mississippi, and Ann lived in South Carolina. We’d each like to take the other on a stroll down memory lane. We’d also like to head to Arizona where Ann spent time living with her dad when she was younger. I’ve heard an awful lot about Arizona; it’s high time we took a trip there so I can see it for myself.

We have really started to enjoy road trips in the U.S. and having the time to stop and see things along the way.

We have really started to enjoy road trips in the U.S. and having the time to stop and see things along the way.

National Track Championships

Ann and I help lead college ministry at our church and several of our college “sons” are seniors on the men’s track and field team so this is their last year to compete. With a more flexible schedule this year, we’re excited to be able to travel to the NAIA national championship meet to see them run.  We’ve booked our hotel for Pittsburgh, Kansas, for the Indoor Championships in March. Now the guys just have to do their part and qualify. The outdoor meet is in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and we’re looking into traveling there in May, as well.

A return to Rochester, Minnesota

Over the last four years, we’ve made more than a dozen trips to Rochester, Minnesota, for Ann to be seen and treated at the Mayo Clinic there. It’s time for her to have a follow up with cardiology to monitor her cardiac sarcoidosis and she will need to have a chest CT to make sure the tumor she had removed from her lung has not returned. With me not at school this year, we’ll likely expand the trip a little and try to see more of Minnesota while we’re up there. One place in particular we’d like to go is Roseville, located between Minneapolis and St. Paul, which makes it an ideal location for exploring the Twin Cities. We also have friends and family in the area we’d love to see.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

The big one

In June, we will set off on our biggest trip of the year, and maybe our lives. It is a 10-night cruise from Italy to Greece and back aboard the Celebrity Reflection. We can’t wait to see the sights of Rome, Malta, Sicily, and Greece and reconnect with some cruise friends we met a couple summers ago. We hope to add a few more days to this vacation to visit other places in Italy like Tuscany and Venice. The best part is we’ve been planning (and saving) for this vacation for almost 18 months, now, so by the time it gets here, hopefully all we’ll have left to do is enjoy it.

Rome, Italy

Conferring with experts

We just learned of a bloggers’ conference in Prague that takes place two weeks after our cruise, so that is a definite possibility. We’ve wanted to visit the Czech Republic for some time, and this might provide the push we need to make the visit. The fact we’d already be on that side of the Atlantic makes it much easier to go.

In September, we’ll head to the Finger Lakes region of New York for another TBEX conference for bloggers and those in the travel industry. That is an area of the country we’ve wanted to explore, as well, and autumn seems like a perfect time for a visit. Along the way we’ll likely take in Niagara Falls and other sights in the region.

TBEX Minneapolis/St. Paul

We attended the TBEX conference two years ago in Minneapolis/St. Paul and made a lot of good connections.

Spending time with our parents

It was such a blessing this year to have time to spend traveling with our parents and we’d like to do more of that this year, as well. We took my mom and dad on a trip through the Nebraska Sandhills last summer and would love to take them even further west (and northwest to Toadstool Geologic Park) if we’re able. We also had a great trip with Ann’s mom to Oregon and she’s already talking about wanting to travel to an away Husker game this year. Speaking of the Huskers …

Steve's parents in the Nebraska Sandhills

Steve’s mom and dad take a minute to enjoy the view across the Dismal River valley in the Sandhills.

Pioneer Woman Lodge kitchen, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Carol has seen this stove in action on TV many times, and enjoyed checking it out for herself on our trip to the Drummond Ranch near Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Go Big Red!

As you know by now, we are big Nebraska Cornhusker football fans and look forward to football season every year. This year promises to be extra special as we have a new coaching staff that promises to bring a new scheme and a return to the Husker culture of old. Fingers crossed! We’ll plan our travel schedule around home games and may even try to take in a road game if we can. We hear The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an OK place to see a game.

We loved exploring the Pacific Northwest and despite a Husker loss, had a great time at the at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.

We love going to Husker road games. Last year we traveled to Eugene, Oregon, to see the Huskers play the Ducks.

Concerts, shows, and attractions

Finally, sprinkled in thought the year, there are a number of concerts and shows we’d like to see. We love everything from the symphony to musicals to modern country music, so we are always looking to see a show. We are lucky to live close to a place like the Lied Center in Lincoln, and we already have tickets to several great shows in 2018.

When we're not traveling, we love to see shows at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska.

When we’re not traveling, we love to see shows at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The great unknown

It is impossible to know on January 3 where, exactly, the year will take us. We know we have a lot of work ahead as we grow our blog and our business and that will be a big focus of our year. Undoubtedly, 2018 will bring new opportunities that we don’t know about today, and just as assuredly, things will happen that will prevent us from being able to do everything on this list. No matter where the year takes us, we will make the trip together, and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.


Have you been to any of the places we listed? Is there any place else we should consider? Please let us know in the comments below.

Our first cover story!

Our first cover story!

How cool is this? My college alma mater, the University of Nebraska – Kearney, just featured one of my photographs and our travel blog on the cover of its alumni magazine, UNK Today!

It was so nice to see the story posted online today and we are looking forward to getting the hard copy in the mail later this week.  UNK Alumni’s Michelle Widger contacted us last summer after hearing about our TV appearance on our local CBS station, KOLN-KGIN. She said she was interested in learning more about our travel blog and how I had gotten into travel writing. A couple months ago, she followed up with some interview questions and asked me to send one of my favorite photographs I’d taken of the sandhill cranes to use on the cover.

 

 

Michelle did a great job pulling the story together and we are so honored to be featured in the spring edition of UNK Today! You can read the entire story HERE.

Working on this article brought back so many fond memories of my college days. I thought I’d share a little history of how I got into writing in the first place along with a few pictures of me with bangs and a perm. Ye gods!

After graduating from high school in 1987 (let me do the math for you … I’m almost 48), I moved to Kearney, Neb., to attend the University of Nebraska – Kearney, or what was then called Kearney State College. I moved more stuff than

My high school senior picture in 1987.

I needed into a 10′ x 18′ room in Centennial Towers East and began my studies in journalism. I had been on my high school newspaper and yearbook staffs and honestly wasn’t really thinking much about going to college at all until my high school journalism teacher told my mom something I did not know.

My mom recalls that at parent/teacher conferences my last semester of high school, Ms. Mary Wagner-Georgi told her that it would be a shame if I didn’t go to college. She said I had more writing talent than I realized and encouraged me to go to school to be a journalist. And so I did.

UNK was a great school for me. It had an outstanding journalism department and was small enough that I could get involved with school publications and other organizations almost immediately.

Today, I found a box with old black and white photographs I’d taken and printed for my college newspaper. I also found some weird looking thing that looked like part of a wire hanger with two different sized pieces of card stock on each end.

It was fun to look back at old black and white photos I’d taken in college, including these of former Nebraska Football Coach Tom Osborne and UNK Alumni Director Emeritus Jim Rundstrom.

It took me a few minutes, but I finally remembered that we used those sticks to “shade” and “burn” when processing pictures in the dark room. Yes, boys and girls, the dark room!

I got involved with the The Antelope newspaper as a freshman when I stopped by the office one day to inquire about writing for the paper. I think the editor said something like, “Why don’t you come out in the hallway and we can talk about it.” The next thing I knew I was sitting on the floor in the hall with the rest of the staff stuffing advertisements into the papers and hoping I’d be asked to join the group again next week.

If my memory is correct, these are most of the editors (I’m the one with the great perm in the center of the front row) of The Antelope newspaper my senior year at the University of Nebraska – Kearney.

Four years later, I was named managing editor of The Antelope, and in 1991 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism – news editorial. I got my first newspaper job the the North Platte Telegraph (where several other Lopers were working) and later moved to South Carolina to be a sports writer for the Anderson Independent-Mail.

Outside the Telegraph newspaper in North Platte, Neb., with fellow University of Nebraska – Kearney graduates Shelly Kulhanek, Dan Moser, (me) and Deb Egenberger

My newspaper career was somewhat short-lived. After becoming a single mom, I moved back to Nebraska to be closer to family and transitioned to public relations, which seemed to have better hours and higher pay.

While I used my writing skills most days throughout my 18-year career in communications, programming, and government affairs, it wasn’t the same as writing for the newspapers or magazines. I missed interviewing people and finding just the right words to tell their stories to others.

When health issues caused me to leave my full time job in 2014, writing was one of the things that helped me get through long days at home by myself. Steve and I started the blog just before I was diagnosed with cardiac sarcoidosis and since then, writing about our travels and those who’ve made them so special has continued to bring both of us great joy.

My favorite posts are those where I am able to write about the people who make our travels so memorable. Posts like the ones about Olde Main Street Innkeeper Jeanne, the Mayo Clinic’s Jane Belau, and our visit to see the home of our college students from St. Kitts are a few of my favorites and the reasons I love blogging so much.

As I mentioned in the article in UNK Today, I’ll always be grateful for people I met at UNK and the writing and photography skills I learned there. They served me well in my professional career for more than 20 years and are now helping me live out my dream of traveling the world and sharing those experiences with all of you.

As always, THANKS for sharing!

Our Journey of a Lifetime

Our Journey of a Lifetime

It has been said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Five years ago today, Ann and I took our first step together as we walked down the aisle at Westminster Presbyterian Church as a husband and wife. Since that day, we’ve been on an amazing life journey. As we celebrate our fifth anniversary today, we thought we’d share some of our most memorable experiences. As we look back, we are thankful for the opportunities we’ve had, and are even more grateful that we could experience these things together.

Honeymooning in Costa Rica

Great weddings require a lot of planning. I was happy to be involved in planning our wedding. I told Ann from the start that I trusted her judgment—I just wanted to work on the honeymoon. I cooked up a wonderful week in Costa Rica with what Ann called the perfect mix of relaxation and activity.

Tabacon Hot Springs Resort and Spa is, by far, one of the most romantic, relaxing places on earth.

Tabacon Hot Springs Resort and Spa is, by far, one of the most romantic, relaxing places on earth.

We basked in a volcanically heated river on the side of Arenal Volcano, took a zip-line adventure 400 feet above the treetops, and enjoyed what is probably the most romantic dinner of our lives—in a private gazebo in the rainforest served by our own chef and waiter.

What an exciting way to start a marriage -- zip lining 400 feet above the tree tops in Costa Rica.

What an exciting way to start a marriage — zip lining 400 feet above the tree tops in Costa Rica.

We loved exploring the rain forest and seeing the incredible plant life in Costa Rica.

We loved exploring the rain forest and seeing the incredible plant life in Costa Rica.

We loved the Costa Rican coffee and gallo pinto in the morning. We enjoyed the smells of the flowers and the views from the mountains. We cherished our time on the beach and the opportunity to dip our feet in the ocean. And most importantly, we fell even more in love with each other there. Pura vida at it’s best.

Treatments at the Mayo Clinic

Anyone who has been married will tell you that everything doesn’t always go just as you planned, and there really will be a time to remember your vow to be there for each other through sickness and health. Over the past few years we have made more trips to Rochester, Minnesota, than anywhere else.

One of the world's best medical treatment facilities - Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

One of the world’s best medical treatment facilities – Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Two and a half years ago, Ann was diagnosed with a rare immune disease called cardiac sarcoidosis and has had surgeries and treatments at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic there. 

Recovering from thoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic's St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Recovering from thoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

While these trips are no vacations for either of us, they have brought us closer together and have helped us treasure every day we have together. The Mayo Clinic is a place full of answers, help and hope and we are always grateful for the opportunity to go there.  In the end, our time spent in Rochester has been a big part of our first five years and even though it doesn’t always bring back the happiest of memories, it is a part of our journey.

Taking pictures in Alaska

In 2013, we took our first cruise and went on a family vacation to Alaska. 

A beautiful reflection shot, taken from a moving train en route to Anchorage, Alaska.

A beautiful reflection shot, taken from a moving train en route to Anchorage, Alaska.

Here’s the thing about Alaska: it is stunningly beautiful. Everywhere we turned we were confronted with another jaw-dropping vista of mountains, ocean, glaciers, and wildlife.

We took a helicopter ride to the top of glacier where we were able to sip glacier water and explore the terrain.

We took a helicopter ride to the top of glacier where we were able to sip glacier water and explore the terrain.

Our whale watching tour was amazing. When we got back to shore, Steve asked Ann, "So who did it feel to be in photographer's heaven?"

Our whale watching tour was amazing. When we got back to shore, Steve asked Ann, “So how did it feel to be in photographer’s heaven?”

Where else on Earth can you find yourself on a small boat watching humpback whales dive literally 10 feet away while salmon jump over their tails, and gaze out across the water to admire a rainbow rising up over a mountain? It is truly a photographer’s heaven.

Meeting new people

We love to meet new people. Whether it is introducing ourselves to those sitting next to us at a bar or restaurant or shaking hands with people we’ve just met at a conference or event, we just love meeting new people. Over the past five years we’ve met some incredible people like innkeeper Jeanne in Chadron, Nebraska, and the staff at Luminae restaurant on the Celebrity Eclipse. We’ve developed new relationships with fellow bloggers, our readers, and travel enthusiasts. And, we’ve made some great new friends along the way.

But few meetings will be as memorable as the night we were invited backstage after a Garth Brooks show in Las Vegas to meet the country music legend and his wife and singer Trisha Yearwood. People often say, “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Well, here you go. For what it’s worth, Garth and Trisha are as gracious and kind as you’d expect.

Down to earth, personable, and boy can they sing! Our once in a lifetime experience meeting county music artists, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

Down to earth, personable, and boy can they sing! Our once in a lifetime experience meeting county music artists, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

Picking up our daughter from school

From Spain. Via Rome. As you know, all good parents make sure their children get home safely after school, and Ann and I are no exception. That’s why we we made the trek to Salamanca, Spain, last summer to pick Meghan up after she’d spent several weeks there studying Spanish. We were so proud of our daughter and all she had accomplished there and it was a real blessing to be able to see where she had studied, visit her favorite museums, and meet some of her teachers. 

Meghan studied Spanish Salamanca, Spain.

Meghan studied Spanish Salamanca, Spain.

And we loved Salamanca. It is a historical city dating back to Roman times and we savored every moment spent sitting in the open air cafes on the square, eating paella, drinking amazing wine and listening to bands playing traditional music.  As long as we were headed across the ocean, we stopped first in Rome, admired the incredible history there and enjoyed pasta at a sidewalk cafe before boarding a cruise to Spain. It was an amazing trip.

Our view of the Forum in Rome, Italy, seemed like it was right of a history book.

Our view of the Forum in Rome, Italy, seemed like it was right of a history book.

 

Exploring our home state, Nebraska

When Ann and I were married, I hadn’t done much travel in the state of Nebraska except on Interstate 80. Ann insisted that we take a trip around our state. She and Meghan had taken annual Nebraska trips for close to a decade and she said there were some pretty special things to be enjoyed if we just got off of I-80. Well, she was right.

Nebraska

A road in the Sandhills of northwest Nebraska near Crawford. Definitely not I-80.

One place she took me that blew me away was Toadstool Geologic Park. I’ve been twice, now, and both times I’ve been awed by the beauty and unique geography located in Nebraska. Last Spring we shared another experience that was a first for both of us: The Sandhill Crane migration.

We watched thousands of Sandhill Cranes gather at sunset on the Platte River near Grand Island, Nebraska.

We watched thousands of Sandhill Cranes gather at sunset on the Platte River near Grand Island, Nebraska.

Seeing the cranes land on the Platte River at sunset is an almost mystical experience, and it should be on your bucket list. Turns out Nebraska is a pretty special place if you just stop and look around a bit.

Watching the sun rise and set

Every day, God gives us two beautiful light shows that fill the whole sky: sunrise, and sunset. We have always tried to slow down and enjoy these moments when we can.

View of the sunset from our cruise ship in Nassau, Bahamas.

View of the sunset from our cruise ship in Nassau, Bahamas.

Whether it’s a fiery sky turning orange and red as the sun dips into the ocean, or a glistening sunrise in Estes Park or the Florida Keys — these are times to be savored.

Watching the sunrise over the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes, Colorado.

Watching the sunrise over the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes, Colorado.

A day of rejoicing with the sunrise on Easter morning from the Florida Keys.

A day of rejoicing with the sunrise on Easter morning from the Florida Keys.

When you stop and think about it, there is nothing made by human hands that can even compare.

We’ve been really fortunate to have been able to travel as much as we have the during these first five years of our marriage and we don’t take one trip for granted. Whether it is across the ocean or just down the road, we have always managed to learn something new on our adventures. We’ve experienced something different. And we’ve created memories together that will last a lifetime. None of us knows what our futures will hold. Only God knows whether we’ll have more days filled with or joy or sorrow, sickness or health, plenty or want. The important thing is to enjoy the journey and to remember that most of the time, the only trip you’ll ever regret taking is the one you don’t.

Postcards from Minnesota

Postcards from Minnesota

Steve and I are getting ready to head to north to Minnesota again this week. We’ve been going there several times a year to visit friends and family and for doctor’s visits at the Mayo Clinic where I’m being treated. It is about a 7-hour drive from our house in Crete, Neb., to Minneapolis and fortunately, there’s always plenty to see and do along the way.

As we prepare this week to return to the Mayo Clinic and then venture to the Twin Cities for the North American TBEX conference for travel bloggers and related industry professionals, we thought we’d share some of the postcards we’ve received from the great state of Minnesota.

The first postcard we received from Minnesota was from former colleagues of mine, Mary Pack and Walt Radcliffe. They sent us this beautiful postcard that features the Minnesota state bird, the Common Loon, and the state flower, the Lady Slipper. Walt and Mary were in Minnesota for an annual visit to the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

Like Mary and Walt, we’ve made several trips to the clinic. In fact, we wrote our very first blog post from the clinic and you can read it HERE.  Of course, we’ve sent ourselves a postcard or two from the Mayo Clinic like this one of a statue depicting founders Doctors William and Charles Mayo.

This statue is located in the Feith Family Statuary Park adjacent to the Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 health staff. They specialize in treating difficult cases (like mine) and spend more than $500 million a year on research. I have been so blessed by the care I’ve received and my experiences at the Mayo Clinic  [read more about that here] and am grateful we’re within a day’s drive of the clinic in Minnesota.

On a brighter note, the other postcards we’ve received from Minnesota are from our friends, the Bissons.

 

Last summer, they sent us postcards from the ever-popular Minnesota State Fair! Rick, Karen, Sawyer, and Cory drove to Minnesota last summer from their home in the Florida Keys. They loved the State Fair, including all of the fried food on a stick they could handle. We loved their postcards and their picks for the best fair food.

 

[well]Best of the best – Fried cheese curds

Best sweet – Martha’s pail of cookies and as much milk as you could drink for just $2.00

Best savory – Totchos (tots, taco meat, cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onion)

Weirdest food – Deep fried giant green olives stuffed with cream cheese on a stick and served with Ranch dip

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Adam Turman’s interpretation of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is the 12th in a series of original art created exclusively for the State Fair. Turman is a Twin Cities illustrator, muralist, fine artist and screen printer.

We’re really excited for our upcoming trip to Minnesota and look forward to meeting with the folks at Explore Minnesota at the TBEX conference. We can’t wait to lean more about tourism in Minnesota and explore places like The Mall of America (with some tax-free shopping), historic Stillwater, MN, and of course, a few of the incredible 10,000 lakes that make this state one-of-a-kind.

[well]When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you![/well]

Celebrating our 2nd blogiversary!

Celebrating our 2nd blogiversary!

Two years ago today, we sat in a Doubletree hotel in Rochester, Minnesota, where we had returned for a third time since that January for appointments at the Mayo Clinic. The next day, I was to have an electrophysiology study and a heart biopsy in hopes of helping doctors diagnose the illness from which I’d been suffering for several months. That day, as we waited to hear if I had a minor, treatable illness or an serious, incurable condition, we decided that regardless, there was no time like the present to get going on an idea we’d had for a long time.

The Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN.

The Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN.

We sat down in the executive lounge at the hotel, downloaded a picture we’d taken earlier that day of the Mayo Clinic, and wrote our first blog post for Postcard Jar. After several hours of maneuvering our way through a new WordPress website template, we nervously hit the “Publish” button and our first travel blog post was on-line.

No one read it. No one even knew we had a blog. But that was OK. It was more for us at that time. A few days later, I would be diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease called cardiac sarcoidosis and the travel blog quickly became something to keep our minds off the serious health issues we were facing just two years into our marriage. It was also a way for us to share with others one of the things we enjoy most in life — traveling to someplace new.

Since we began Postcard Jar two years ago, we’ve shared 76 posts, including 7 tips for travelers, an overview of Nebraska’s Nicest Nine places and attractions, postcards from readers like you, and highlights our trip to Europe last summer. We’ve loved taking pictures of the places we’ve visited, the foods and drinks we’ve tried, and the people who have made our travels so special. We’ve learned a lot about other cultures and traditions. We’ve seen amazing cathedrals abroad and found unique museums close to home. Travel may not always be easy for me, but we’ve made adjustments to our expectations and done what we could, when we can. As my my cardiologist tells me often, life is short — go the places you want to go and see the things you’ve always wanted to see.

So we have.

A postcard from Jerusalem

A postcard from Jerusalem (via Italy).

And we couldn’t be more grateful for those like you who have come along on this journey with us. In just 24 months, we’ve figured out (mostly) how this blog works and through social media connections, we’ve been able to attract more readers like you every month. And YOU GUYS ROCK! You’ve liked, shared, commented, and even sent us more than 50 postcards for our jar!

 

Here’s a little breakdown, by the numbers.

Facebook

As of yesterday, we had 857 page likes on Facebook and our followers spanned 18 states in the U.S. and 17 countries across five continents. While most of our followers are from the United States, we do have a handful of readers from countries like Italy, Tanzania, Brazil, and even Saint Kitts! Not surprisingly, our hometown of Crete, Nebraska, has attracted the highest number of domestic followers (139), although we also have readers from places like New York City, Greenville, Mississippi, and San Diego, California.

 

 

Admittedly, we still struggle with some of the mechanics of integrating Facebook with our WordPress site and hope we can learn more about that this year. [If you happen to be an expert in this area, please message us immediately!]

 

Twitter

Steve typically keeps tracks of our Twitter account and has learned a lot about promoting our site through tweeting from other travel enthusiasts like @travelwithsara and @thewalkingtourists. A group of Midwest travel bloggers has also hosted several Twitter chats that have also helped us learn this medium a little better and share ideas. We’ve gained 146 Twitter followers in two years and recorded 407 tweets.

 

Pinterest

While Steve does a great job with our Twitter account, he won’t touch Pinterest. And that’s just fine with me! I thrive on ideas, so when I found Pinterest, it was a match made in heaven. I’ve created 34 boards for everything from business travel tips and gifts for travelers to travel quotes and decorating with travel (who knew?). It has taken little effort to collect 639 pins while gaining 119 followers.

 

Instagram

Instragram is probably my favorite social media outlet. It’s quick and easy and I just love all the filters (Amaro and Sierra are my favs) that make our pictures look great! In our first 24 months, we’ve posted 222 photos and videos and have 130 followers. We appreciate all of the love we get when post new photos, and are especially grateful for our niece, Emma, who is almost always the first one to click on the heart for every single photo we’ve posted. Love you, Em!

As we celebrate our 2nd blogiversary today, please know that we are so thankful for all of our followers and we want to get to know you even better. We love getting your postcards and seeing where you’ve been and here’s your chance to tell us even a little more about YOU! We hope you’ll take the time to comment (look for the speech bubble at the top of this post) or “leave a reply.”

1. Who are you? What’s your name? How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do?

2. What do you like most here? Travel tips? Places we’ve been? Postcards from readers? Pictures of pretty views? Review of museums and attractions?

3. Random question — what’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever packed in your suitcase?

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

5. If you could ask us any question, here’s your chance! Ask away …

We would be remiss without thanking Ciana Cloud for helping us get started, and other bloggers like Sara Broers of Travel with Sara, Tim and Lisa Trudell from The Walking Tourists for showing us how to navigate the travel blog world. We’re also grateful for Roger Yant and Patty Kreifels at Shop Nebraska who include an excerpt from Postcard Jar in each issue of their magazine. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

[well]When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you![/well]