Discovering Nebraska’s treasures: travel, food, culture and other unique notes!
Some say Nebraska is boring. A fly-over state. Lots of endless prairie with nothing of interest.
Our family, myself (Christina), my husband Tim, and our three young boys, will document here the places we discover in our quest to explore a state that we have both lived much of our lives in, but have seen not nearly enough of.
My work has taken me to many interesting places, including as far away as Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as all over North America. I also visited my cousin in Costa Rica, just for fun. Tim’s time in the army reserve has taken him to many places including the middle east. We both have a travel bug and continue to see some of these neat places! We’ve lived in bigger cities, away from Nebraska, but when Tim’s job took us “home” we discovered that we had taken the state of our childhood for granted. Vancouver, BC is stunning with ocean and mountains both right there. The northeastern corner of Costa Rica has amazing animals and a rain forest-like climate. The highlands of Scotland are truly a thing of beauty with brilliant green, lush hills and amazing history, and the fun cities all over the United States have lots to offer… but Nebraska has a quiet and stunning beauty of its own.
I grew up in south-central Nebraska. My dad was a geography professor, specializing in soil and climate science. My mom hated to travel though and often complained that my dad would just look at “every weed along the road.” My dad took to doing travel with friends and colleagues. My family mostly stayed home. Tim’s family had limited income to do much in terms of even local travel. In college, I took a “geography of Nebraska” class as a last semester elective, mostly to have something to chat about with my dad. I enjoyed the class but learned that there is a lot more learning in seeing and doing than in reading and studying.
The Nebraska tourism department has created the “Nebraska passport program.” There are seventy stops included, all in Nebraska that are assorted points of interest. There are new places each year as tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping locales, etc. have to apply to be part of the program. There are prizes for every certain number of stops you make and stamps you collect. The individual places often have a “deal” associated if with getting a stamp they are a business. The passport program has given us new motivation to see some of these places and is fun for our family. However, not all of our destinations have been a passport stamp – we want to see some of our own! The passport program is free, you can win prizes and get a neat souvenir booklet. They also have an online app. Check it out here: http://nebraskapassport.com/
We’ll share some of the good and not-so-good we see along our way, fun things we discover, tasty places to eat, and also, some notes about kid-friendly features as well as comments about special needs pros and cons (our middle son has Down syndrome). We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures and gain some ideas to make some of your own!