On the Street Where You Live

Today I am going to attempt to link up with several other Nebraska bloggers.  We all are to answer the same question, and since this week’s question actually correlates with my blog, I knew I definitely wanted to contribute!

Tell us where you live.

Since our house numbers are prominently displayed and our home is rather recognizable to anyone who would drive by, I am choosing not to put a full picture of our house online as I do have young children.  We do live in a brick 2 story that can be a lot to take care of (especially for my husband).  But I do enjoy having the space to learn and play.  Maybe someday we will choose to downsize though or convince our children to help even more than they already do!

July and August cell phone 142

Part of our front porch.

When my house was built, my address would have been Bethany, Nebraska.  We own a former orchard home – unfortunately none of the fruit trees are still around.  In the late 1920’s Bethany was annexed, so today my address is Lincoln.  At some point (probably in the 50’s), the original landowners began selling off parcels of land, and a new neighborhood developed.

July and August cell phone 146

Our neighborhood is pretty quiet and full of 2-3 bedroom 1 story starter homes.  Overall very nice neighbors, but mostly college students & retirees – not as many kids.

July and August cell phone 069

I have always wanted a house with a front porch – we do not see there as often as we should.  But some days we do manage to make it outdoors.

July and August cell phone 144

Supposedly some of our lower brick on our house and our slate front porch steps originally came from Nebraska’s 2nd capitol building.  We have never had this confirmed, but I especially like the thought.  Living in a piece of history is intriguing to me.  Unfortunately the interior of the house had been “updated,” so other than the wood floors, not a lot is original.  In fact, when we were tearing out some shabby wood “built-ins,” we discovered that they had actually bricked over the original fireplace.  Since being able to completely restore the red brick may not have worked, we simply opened the windows up (they had the cases in front of them) and added lower oak bookshelves.  Definitely nicer than what it was!

July and August cell phone 143

By our circle drive – our random collection of wildflowers – I love the look.  The kids have enjoyed having a place to ride their bikes.  We do have a lot of cement around our place – great during the summer – not so much fun during the winter when it snows.

July and August cell phone 148

Before we moved, my husband had prayed that we could find a house with a basketball hoop where the balls would not roll into the street (our previous home’s driveway was up on a hill!)  God provided a mini court (2 hoops) for our kids to enjoy.  And the balls roll back toward the alley.  And thankfully our next door neighbor is okay with balls being batted into her backyard – that happens rather a lot.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few glimpses of life at our house.  If you want to check out more Nebraska homes/neighborhoods, the link starts here.  Chores and Chandeliers

Categories: Accommodations | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Birthday to Remember in the Town of Wilber, Nebraska

Place at a Glance

Name/Location Walking tour of Wilber – Nebraska’s Czech Capital!  1-888-4-WILBER
Website/Facebook Wilber Chamber of Commerce: Tour info and more
Open hours Weekday walking tours available (lasting from 9:30- until mid-afternoon)
What to Know Light breakfast and lunch is included
Cost Adults: $15; ages 3-8: $5 (cost of 8-12 year olds might be negotiable?)
Parking Free parking available in front of Hotel Wilber; will walk rest of time
Group Tours If your group is too large, more than one guide might be needed
Museum Manners Some of the locations you visit are naturally more kid friendly than others
Recommended Ages To walk around: ages 6 and up; strollers could work for younger ones

Did you know that the 2013 Wilber National Czech Festival begins this Thursday August 1st?  So, all week I will be featuring stories about Czechs and their cultural contributions to Nebraska. 

Wilber welcome

In 2010-2011, our family traveled around the globe to over 40 countries.  If you have gathered from previous entries that we are a homeschool family, you would know that most of our exploring took place in our kitchen and in our living room.  Since I I wanted to immerse my family in the countries we had chosen to study, we learned by  coloring famous places (like Machu Pichu), ate a meal for each country (like lingonberry meatballs and oostakaka), read folklore (like Grimm’s fairy tales) and enjoyed finding out about the world.  As I picked the countries to emphasize on each continent, I knew that I definitely wanted to make a stop in each country that represented our personal cultural heritage.

Dolezal Family Crest

Since some of my husband’s relatives had emigrated from Czechoslovakia, studying the Czech Republic was a way that we could celebrate part of my  heritage.  The town of Wilber, Nebraska celebrates Czech Days every August.  so that summer I called the Chamber of Commerce to inquire about the festival.  When the lady discovered that our kids were 1,3,5 and 7 at the time, she suggested that we come spend a full day in Wilber later in the fall, instead of coming to Czech days when the town is a bit hectic for little kids.  So we decided to venture to Wilber when we would be actually studying the Czech Republic, and that happened to be the week of my birthday.

Wilber mural

My birthday was on a Wednesday that week – my Dad’s day out of the office.  So, I convinced my husband to take that day off as well, and we invited both of our sets of parents to join us for “A Day to Remember in Wilber”.  A beautifully sunny, comfortably cool, fall day awaited us.

Hotel Wilber

Our day began with breakfast at the beautiful 1895 Hotel Wilber.   Starting out your morning with fresh kolaches is always a good thing!  (More on these tasty treats later this week!)  Then we proceeded to take a walking tour of the town – learning more about Wilber than we ever thought that we would know.  The town is really quite lovely with several different businesses (and bakeries!)  Our guide for the day even wore her festive Czech dress.

Czech guide

After walking around town for the morning.we went back to Hotel Wilber for a delicious dinner.  Since they did not happen to have any guests in the middle of the week, we also were able to take a tour of the hotel.

Hotel Wilber room

One of my favorite Hotel Wilber rooms.

After our hotel tour, we went to another place or two, then ended up at the Czech Museum.  For a smaller community, they have amassed a wonderful collection of historical treasures.  Several “rooms” were set up to display the items in historical context.

Wilber Museum room

I could have spent a lot more time in the museum, but when you are traveling with littler ones at a certain point you just know that the experience needs to end.  So, about mid-afternoon, our “day” in Wilber came to a close.  What I enjoyed the most was getting to enjoy a leisurely day with those I loved the most!  (And a later supper that included my sister & brother completed that togetherness!)  Since we had planned on spending the day there, we were not on a tight schedule, so my birthday unfolded in a charming way (and turned out to be one of my favorite birthdays ever!)  I hope we can repeat this Wilber outing when we “go” around the world again a few years.

With grandparents in Wilber

P.S. As you may have noticed in the information in the above box, they do still give tours.  You can visit the Wilber Chamber of Commerce website for more details.  The majority of their tours are for adults, which is why I mentioned that the childrens’ prices for the meals & everything might be slightly negotiable, depending on the size and eating capabilities of your child! 🙂

Categories: Accommodations, Annual Events, Eating Establishments, Pioneer Country | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dreamin’ to be Burwell Bound

Like most little girls, I begged my parents for a horse.  Having land amounting to almost five acres, we even had enough room for an animal to roam with an acre of milo for “free” feed.  My parents repeatedly refused my request – claiming that since I did not help take care of our smaller pets (the dog and cats), I would probably also neglect the horse eventually.  I have to admit now that they were probably right.

But when I was older, my horse dream came to fruition when I excitedly invested in … a pair of cowboy boots.  For a modest amount of money, my friend’s mom gave me horse riding lessons and a few times a month, I was able to gallop across the prairie.  I know just enough now that I could possibly saddle up to get away from an outlaw.  Of course, my saddle would probably fall off less than a mile later – I never could manage to get my cinch tight enough.  After a few months of riding, I decided to hang up my hat.  As a wife and mom who lives in a city, my horse owner dreams have had to fade away.

Maybe my dream of attending an actual rodeo could come true someday though.  (As opposed to one that is indoors!)  But attending Nebraska’s Biggest Rodeo (which starts tonight!) will not be happening for us this year due to many other commitments at home. Although I have sure enjoyed looking at their online event pictures and imagining myself there.  If you are unfamiliar with what all will be taking place this week at Burwell,  you can actually have quite the rodeo education simply by visiting their site.  (Rodeo Event Descriptions.)  And if you want to see last year’s rodeo in action, you can check out this YouTube video featuring one of last year’s events: Burwell Rodeo Wild Horse Race 2012.


Tickets are still available for the Wednesday- Saturday evening events.   They range from $8.50 for kids under 12, $16.50 for adult general admission, $21.50 reserved, $26.50 box seat and only $101.50 for a skybox seat (might be cheaper to just buy a horse? 🙂 )  Other than a 3 year departure (during WWII by the direct request of the President!), this rodeo has been an annual Burwell tradition since 1921. (Burwell Rodeo History).  Here are the planned events for this year’s rodeo.

Team roping Rodeo clown Steer wrestling Mutton Bustin’
Barrel racing Jr. Steer roping Saddle bronc riding Steer wrestling
Mutton Muggin Calf roping Bareback riding Chariot racing
Wild horse racing Trick Riding Chuck wagon races Wild pony race
Bull Riding Dinner bell derby (Quilt Display) Cowboy Church

And if you have the time and the hankering to go this week-end, you may even be able to stay at an actual ranch (if they still have openings).  And you could also visit an actual outpost from the old west while in the Burwell area too!  (Fort Hartsuff)  So grab your boots and “git along little doggies!”

GW Ranch Guest House

Ranch Retreat Guesthouse

Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch

Wagner Bunkhouse and Cabins

P.S. Another Nebraska blogger actually went to the Burwell Rodeo.  Her entry on patriotism at the rodeo is definitely worth reading, so I am updating this post to include a link to her blog!  Chores and Chandeliers: National Anthem (Rodeo Style)

Categories: Accommodations, Annual Events, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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