One does not often have a party for house. But First Lady Sally Ganem (wife of Governor Dave Heineman) decided that 56 years of having the Governor’s Residence open was worth celebrating. So, both today and tomorrow, the Nebraska Governor’s Mansion (or the “people’s house” as Ms. Ganem called it) is open for extra hours and mostly open viewing. (The 2nd floor is considered private quarters, as well as the kitchen, so neither of those areas are open).
The kids and I asked Grammi (my mom :-) ) to join us today, and we all enjoyed getting to walk leisurely through the residence. They had prepared a special paper scavenger hunt, so all four of my children were searching high and low to find representations of the state bird, flower and tree, as well as other distinctive Nebraskan items.
A painting of our state cottonwood tree at sunset.
Tour guides were available in every room. I was very thankful that my mom was along to help corral the kids as I did ask many questions. (Many, many questions.) I especially enjoyed listening to section part of the governor’s residence each tour guide appreciated the most. Many of them have been leading groups throughout the time of several governors’ terms.
A painting that represents many places in Lincoln as well as the Platte River.
Normally tours are from 1-4 on Thursday afternoons. Two different guides are hand to lead groups. From taking to various guides today, I know that their tours would be extremely informative and interesting. But, obviously due to being open limited weekly hours, the tours have to keep moving by necessity. So I am very glad that we went today because we could spend a longer (or shorter) amount of time exploring the open rooms. My kids also got to meet Snickers, the First dog, as well the First Lady. (Now she knows all about their aunt & uncle’s dog, Vader, something I am sure she was extremely interested in learning more about. :-) She is an incredibly gracious woman!)
The house is open again tomorrow, Saturday August 10th, for tours from 10 until 3, and several events are scheduled. If you do not have any plans or live close enough, you would greatly enjoy touring Nebraska’s first house. In addition, the grounds and backyard are also open for public viewing.
Thank you, Governor and First Lady, for opening up your home and making today such a special occasion. (And thanks, Grammi, for enjoying the event with us! We love you!)