Metro

What Cottage Did I Visit in Nebraska?

Sadly, my followers have still not be sent over to my new site.  You are probably one of them since you are reading this post here.

www.odysseythroughnebraska.com

I am working on fixing that.  In the mean time, if you would like to learn about the caretaker cottage that we recently saw in Nebraska, please click on the above link.

Note: due to the delays, I have also postponed my Holen One Farms BBQ Gift Pack Giveaway to expire on FRIDAY morning at 6:00 a.m., rather than tomorrow to give you a bit more time this week.  Please make sure to enter  – it is rather easy to do so!

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Friday Photography: Happy Birthday, America, from Nebraska!

July 4th Eagle & Balloon

Even our national symbol is blown up …

July 4th Rider Collage

I love a parade!

July 4th Two Flags Collage

Flags from yesterday and today …

July 4th In God We Trust Edited

Our national motto …

July 4th Capital

Reminders of our government …

July 4th Kids on Capital Steps

A beautiful day to enjoy the Nebraska Capital!

 

July 4th Fireworks Collage

Have a safe and happy 4th of  July!  A BIG THANK YOU to those who serve our country and who have made freedom possible!  God bless America!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska’s Small Town Independence Day Celebrations (Featuring Seward and Waverly)

4th of July Narrow

I am feeling a bit embarrassed this morning.  In my haste to try to get information out to you last night, so that you could actually catch the fireworks shows that were happening last evening, I forgot something rather important.  I only left “America’s Fourth of July City-Small Town USA!” city off of my list.  Jeepers!  I also know that nearby Waverly is having a full day of festivities.    These two towns get their own post evidently! 🙂

Photo taken from July Fourth Seward website

All of these events are taking place in Seward, and you can find a printable schedule on their site.

A Grand Parade at 4:00 pm                                   Outstanding Fireworks Display
“Food Alley”                                                                Free Movies at the Rivoli Theater
Crafts on the Square-Craft Show                          Humanities Presentations/Lectures
Patriotic Programs                                                   Children’s Games
Historic Exhibits                                                        Walking Tour of Downtown
Art Shows                                                                   Clowns
Quilt Lectures/Talks                                                 Special Seward County Independent
Quilt Exhibit                                                                Travelogues
Anvil Firing                                                                  Prayer Service
Grand Concert in Plum Creek Park                      Children’s Drama/Shows
Rotary Club Royalty                                                  Antique Auto Show/Contest
Parachutists                                                              Cloggers and Dancers
Holiday Lights Downtown                                       Horseshoe Contest
Carnival                                                                      Freedom Run
Bar-B-Que                                                                  Band Concerts
Miscellaneous Market                                             Tourist Family
Pet Parade/Contest                                                 Awards
Apple Pie Eating Contest                                       Pictorial Postal Cancellation
Guest Register                                                         Baseball games
Wild West Shootout                                                 Band Concerts
Magic Shows                                                            Family Shows/Concerts

Their GIANT fireworks salute takes place tonight at 10!

As for WaverlyFest, you missed the state’s largest street dance last night.  Sorry!  But you still have time to make it to the 10 a.m. parade.  I could not find the exact schedule of events, but here is a description from their website of the upcoming events.  (Note: the picture is also from their website!)

Come join the Fourth of July celebration in Waverly Nebraska.  Events include a pancake feed, a parade, Ice Cream Social, Kid Games, Money Toss, Sand Volleyball, Beer Garden, Street Dance, and Swimming.  The celebration concludes with a Fireworks Display at Lawson Park.

However you celebrate the day of Independence, I pray that you and your loved ones stay safe!

flagparade

Categories: Annual Events, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating Independence Day Across Nebraska

File:Fireworks 4.jpg

Image from Wikimedia Commons

I had hoped to get this posted earlier today because many events have been underway, at least in this area, for quite awhile.  Yet since there are a few more hours left until dark and the real shows are beginning, I decided it was still worth the post.  Obviously I will not manage to catch every town.  But here are some of the larger celebrations happening across Nebraska today, tomorrow and the rest of this week-end!

Frontier Trails

Grand Island: Fonner Park Fireworks at Dusk on July 4th

Hastings: 4th of July Concert with “The Rumbles” (possibly fireworks to follow?)

Kearney Fireworks: Thursday July 3rd 10 pm

Fort Kearny Stampede Day (July 4th Day)

Lewis and Clark

Columbus: Red, White & KaBoom on Thursday July 3rd

Norfolk (Saturday the 5th at 10 pm)

Metro

Fremont: Thursday Night

Lincoln: Uncle Sam Jam: Thursday July 3rd

Lincoln Red, White and Zoo (Friday All Day)

Two Other Lincoln Events on the 4th of July:

Celebrate America! — 9:30 a.m., kids’ parade and marching band; 10-11 a.m., patriotic program; 11-11:30 a.m., old-fashioned family games; 11:30 a.m.-noon, hot dog lunch, Cripple Creek Park, Pine Lake Road between 40th and 56th streets, north on Beaver Creek Lane; the park is on the corner of Fir Hollow and Beaver Creek Lane. Everyone welcome.

Fourth of July storytime — 11 a.m., SouthPointe Barnes & Noble Booksellers. “Corduroy’s 4th of July” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Omaha: Link to “Family Fun in Omaha” for all the area events!

Panhandle

Alliance: Laing Lake Lunatic Boat Races

Gering Fireworks (Thursday Night)

Scotts Bluff Area VIewing (Watch area fireworks from the Bluff – no actual fireworks permitted on site)

Pioneer Country

Beatrice: Homestead National Monument: Campire Series (July 4th evening events)

Nebraska City: Events on Friday and Saturday

York: July 3rd Fireworks

Prairie Lakes

Maxwell: Maranatha Bible Camp (Dinner, concert & fireworks: $)

North Platte Fireworks on July 4th- 8 p.m.?

Ogallala Fireworks: July 4th at Dusk

Sandhills:

Ainsworth Fourth of July (Celebration all day including races & evening fireworks)

Know of any other great events happening to celebrate the 4th of July?  Please post them on my “Odyssey Through Nebraska” Facebook Page!

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

 

 

 

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Capitol: A Nebraska Masterpiece

Capitol Exterior

Truly the Nebraska Capitol is one of my very favorite places across the whole state.  Why it has taken me a year to feature Nebraska’s most recognizable building on this blog I am not sure.  Maybe this is because writing this post is STILL daunting to me!    How can you narrow down a building that contains so much architectural beauty, cultural significance and Nebraska symbolism.  I think this is why this post has never been written.  Today, in my own feeble way, I will attempt to give you a”quick” tour of this Nebraska Masterpiece.

Nebraska’s Capitol building is filled with murals, mosaics, tapestries and distinguishing architectural details.  Because I am pretty certain that no one will take the time to read 32 pages of one blog post, I am setting those details aside.  Additionally I plan on writing a separate post on my kids’ favorite part of the building: the tippy top.  To ride to the “14th” floor, one must climb into a rather small, older elevator.  By the way, in case you were wondering, despite its appearance to the contrary, you CAN in fact fit a double stroller inside to ride up.  We have done it successfully several times!

Back to the purpose of today’s blog … Just like our national government, our Nebraska state government has three branches.

Capitol Judicial Branch

The Judicial branch.

Capitol Legislative Chambers

The Legislative Branch.

As long as the judges and senators are not work, both of these sections are part of the daily tours that run hourly (except at noon.)  Now we also happen to have an executive area where the governor and his staff are busily at work.  Since they are a bit more involved in the daily aspects of government, this section is usually closed to the public.  As we once had a special family event take place inside the Capitol, I do have a picture of the executive press room.

Capitol Executive Press Room with family

Cropped and from my scrapbook, really you only get a good idea of the official press conference desk.

These are the main sections that exist inside of the capitol.  Of course, the basement is filled with legislative offices and the cafeteria and a gift shop.  Statues of famous Nebraskans line the rotunda, but I think that is another post as well.  Guess you will be hearing about the Nebraska Capitol for a long time to come!

Capitol Walkway

Another favorite area – the outdoor mezzanine.  By walking around the outdoor platform, one can learn the names of all of the Nebraska counties.  One could also learns the basics of the history of government.  The relief carvings above the walkway are not necessarily in chronological order, so I do recommend getting the explanatory pamphlet from inside the capitol.  By the way, I wrote a more detailed article on walking around the Capitol with children for the May/June/July issue of the Lincoln Kids Newspaper.  You can pick up a copy from many area Lincoln places, or you can look online.

The Capitol Website has a wealth of information on all of the history and interesting facts of the building.  NET Public Television has also produced an excellent documentary on the Nebraska Capitol.  Our family was rivoted – okay, I definitely was, but my husband and kids also enjoyed the show!

Nebraska’s Capitol Masterpiece

Would you look at that?  I used the same word to describe the capitol that they did!  If you have never been to the Nebraska Capitol, I HIGHLY recommend you visit.  The Capitol Website also has downloadable building, Abraham Lincoln and civics scavenger hunts.  Completing these will help your older kids be engaged in the experience.  As for your younger kids, have them go on a shape and color hunt as you walk through.  The Capitol is filled with all sorts of possibilities!  In fact, below is a picture of one of the courtyard areas I have yet to explore.  Maybe someday I will figure out how to do that!

Capitol Courtyard

One more important item to note: The Nebraska Capitol Building can be found on both the “Lincoln: Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” passport and the Nebraska Passport.  When you go visit, make sure to get a stamp.  The programs run through the end of August and September respectively.

 

 

 

Categories: Lincoln, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Metro, Nebraska History, Nebraska Passport, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Travel Tips: Having a Nebraska State Park Permit Expands Your Adventure Options

Today was the best kind of day: full of wonderful places and most importantly spending time with wonderful people.  We were with dear friends and then had a few adventures alone.  Lovely memories!  On the way back from our first adventure, we took a quick detour.

Conestoga Lake Zoomed In

Having driven by the Conestoga Lake sign many times, I thought it was high time that we stopped!  The park was so close to the main road and to Denton – a great location!

Conestoga Lake Sign

Conestoga Lake is one of the many state recreation areas across Nebraska.  I appreciate the fact that these areas can be found in SO many places across our state.  87 possibilities to be exact! As our kids continue to grow, I hope that we will make these outings happen more often.  And that we will have time to actually stop, as opposed to just driving into the parking lot like we did today!  This is why I plan to add a similar sticker (like the one below) every year from now on!

Nebraska Park Permit

This year we bought these little Nebraska park permit stickers for BOTH of our vehicles for UNDER $40.  Now we can stop at state parks when we are out and about – totally worth the outdoor adventures that await! I do believe that walking around Conestoga Lake would be a fun outing!

Conestoga Lake Shore

I am happy to announce that for my first bloGIVEversary prize, I get to give away a 2014 Nebraska Annual Park Permit!   Please enter below using the lovely Rafflecopter link!  Next Tuesday I will introduce my next prize and will announce this week’s winner then!

Link to Rafflecopter Giveaway

P.S. A big thank you to my dear friend who donated her extra park permit for me to give away to one of you!  Our family loves experiencing adventures with yours!  So glad that you are a part of our lives!

 

Categories: Annual Events, Metro, Region or City, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Happy Blogiversary to Me: One Year of Odyssey Through Nebraska

Blow up the balloons!  Throw the confetti!  Drape the streamers!”Odyssey Through Nebraska” is exactly one year old today.

When I started this blog last July, I had no idea how much this would change my life and also the lives of my family.   While there have been a few bumps in the road, overall I have definitely enjoyed the journey.  Thank you for being a part of this path with me!

Four in a Jeep

Don’t you just love the various expressions on my kids’ faces?  Kind of sums up the year for me: happy, confused, delirious and tired.  Guess you can assign who is who! 🙂

I plan to make this month a true BloGIVErsary.  That is right: I have been working on lining up some great giveaways.   While most bloggers manage to feature several prizes in a row, I have decided to space mine out a bit.  Each Tuesday in July, I will be announcing what prize my readers are eligible to win!  I am so excited – giving away prizes is so fun!  Especially when you have such great sponsors!  Later on today, I will announce my first one, so please stay tuned!

 

Categories: Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills, Where to Begin | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Memories: Riverview Pool’s Part in Omaha’s Zoo

 

How places come to be is always interesting to me.  Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo definitely has a history!  First there was a park formed by the city of Omaha through condemnation proceedings on area properties in 1894.  Over 100 hilly wooded acres were set aside for what officially became Riverview Park Zoo.  In a short span of only four years, 120 animals were park residents.

Omaha Riverview Pool

In 1916, the park added another feature as the Riverview Pool quickly became a place for refreshment in Omaha.   For about 34 years, the pool was open to patrons.  Then the polio epidemic began and going out in public areas scared families away.  Covered over in 1944, the pool was almost forgotten.

Omaha Riverview Pool Past

Unfortunately the story behind the pool is gradually fading away.  Hopefully they will fix this, so that patrons can continue to appreciate the past life of the pool.

Around 1970 the buried pool was given a new life.  Mentioning to the caretaker his plans for a sea lion pool, the current Henry Doorly Zoo director was startled to learn a bit of history that had been set aside.  Rather than building a new swimming area, the caretaker suggested that he simply unearth the pool that was already there.  This once enjoyed pool became a new home for the sea lions.

Omaha Zoo Sea Lion Pool

The sea lion pool in 2014.

Despite what my children think, I was not around when this happened.  While I do remember loving watching the sea lions frolic and play in the pool when I was a child, this process was before my time.  Exactly how much of the original pool remains is a bit of a mystery, but the pools are definitely on the same site.  I appreciate the fact that they are trying to preserve parts of Omaha history.

A special thank you to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo for their assistance in this story.  All other references that I used can be clicked on above.  To learn more about early Omaha parks, you can read the Nebraska Historical Society’s PDF on the History of Omaha Parks & Rec.  Sometime later this summer I will be doing a longer feature post on  Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  This zoo is definitely one of our family’s favorite places to visit!

P.S. I have recently been honored to join a Midwest Travel Bloggers Group.  The topic of the month just happened to be zoos.  To learn about more great zoos across the Midwest United States, here is what you need to do.  First, read this excellent post about the Walking Tourist’s Camel Ride at the Kansas City Zoo.  At the bottom, links are included to all of the other June posts about zoos.  This is great way to find out about other wonderful travel bloggers, as well other zoos around this area of the United States!

 

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Moving Monday: Opening Doorways to Hope in Lincoln

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney (found at Brainy Quote)

Inept.  That is the most accurate word that describes how I am feeling as I am trying to present this unique art display that is currently happening in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This is not the first time that a community wide art project has taken place in our Capital City.  Yet I think that the theme and the concept this time is SO powerful that capturing the essence of what the Doorways to Hope is all about is a bit daunting.  This joint public art project between the The Lincoln-Lancaster County Habitat of Humanity and the Lincoln Hildegard Center for the Arts has artwork displayed all around town.

To my faraway reader friends, I want to convey the power of these sculptures, so that you feel like you are experiencing them in person.  For my nearby Nebraska friends, I want you to feel so inspired after learning about this display that you feel compelled to go and check all of the “Doorways to Hope” out in person.  Above all, I want you to learn more.

Doorways to Hope Logo

This is what I decided to do.  I am going to present pictures of the 5 (out of 21) doors that we have visited so far.  Once we have completed our tour, I will do an additional post featuring the pictures of ALL of the doors.  I will also prepare a document that you can click on that will explain our impressions of each of the doors. I think this will be especially great for my out-of-town readers who cannot make it to see the doors in person.

So far we have been to the four library locations and to the one at the International Quilt Study Center.  Each artist collaborated with different members of the community.  The latter one was created by Julia Noyes of the Noyes Art Gallery.  The door is entitled “The Monarch, The Metamorphosis.”The Monarch, The Metamorphosis

Eisley Library features the youngest participants in their creation, “Helping Hands.”  This is the one that featured the puzzle pieces, demonstrating that we all need to work together and fulfill our part!

Helping Hands

Using a car door as inspiration, the piece “A View from the Outside In and Inside Out” is so creative and might possibility have the most interesting story.  Linda Thomas created this with help from her son, Mark, colloborated with the St. Marks United Methodist Church Transportation for Humanity.  The symbolism and meaning of this artwork are compelling!

A View from the Inside Out and Outside In

My longtime friend, Tamara Kaye, led group of students to create the doors at the other two libraries.  She owns Art Planet in Lincoln – a wonderful place for students of all ages to learn to create.

At the downtown Bennett Martin library, the piece is entitled “To Hope.”  Behind every closed door is the word “hope” in various languages.  My daughter was really excited when she found the “English” door.  Hope just happens to be her middle name!

Doorways of Hope - To Hope (Open Doors)

Located in the middle of Lincoln, Gere Library is hosting Tamara Kaye’s other “Doorway to Hope.”  The symbolism behind “Window of Opportunity” makes this door incredibly memorable.  This is one that you need to examine with a close-up eye to catch all of the meaning that the artists are conveying.

Window of Opportunity

As you can tell, these doors inspire stories of their own.  Which door is your favorite so far?  Have you personally been to any of the “Doorways to Hope” in Lincoln yet?  You can download the map and begin your own adventure today!  If you want to know more, please read this excellent article by Erin Andersen, “Opening, Doors, Opening Hearts,” found in the Lincoln Journal Star.

 

Categories: Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stopping Modern Day Slavery in Nebraska

Writing about the Underground Railroad on this blog last week was so much easier.  Partly because I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing so horrible as enslaving others is still going on today.  While the shackled may no longer be working the cotton, many are still forced into a lifestyle that is NOT of their own choosing.  This is even true in Nebraska.  (Thanks, Jen, for forcing me to recognize this fact even though I still really want to pretend that it does not exist!)

Sex Trafficking Haunts Nebraska Events

This compelling article from NET tells a story that I do not really want to read.  As the two game elimination series happens at the College World Series tonight, for me it is all about a great baseball game.  For others, it is not.  Big profile events perpetuate crime opportunities.   Even small towns can still hide evil.

File:Springview, Nebraska street signs.JPG

Image from Wikimedia Commons

On my Sacred Line blog this morning, I wrote a bit about my own personal reflections and what I hope to do about this issue.  Being only one small voice, I now want to point out organizations that are working so hard in our community to stop the horrific spread of modern day slavery.  How we can make the biggest impact is by coming alongside others who are already aware of exactly what is going on and are taking the stops to stop the injustice.  (A big thank you to Colleen for letting me know of several more groups that are making a difference!)

I’ve Got a Name This is the best site to learn about how this issue is impacting the Nebraska area.  They have resources to help you get informed and then ways that you can get involved in fighting this issue that does affect us here at home.

Tiny Hands International (Headquartered in Lincoln – they fight slavery here and across the world)

Restore Innocence (While this group may be located in Colorado, they do provide support to victims in Nebraska)

Innocence Lost: Ending Child Prostitution (FBI site) – their office out of Omaha is working directly on cases that may happen in Nebraska

Nebraska University Students Against Modern-Day Slavery (NUSAMS)

“Freedom Change” (A smaller group of students also trying to make a difference)

International Justice Mission on Facebook an international organization that is making a difference around the world!

Love 146 While this organization is based out of Connecticut, I appreciate the work and education that they seem to be providing here and around the world.  The below quote by their founder is the reason why I wrote this uncomfortable blog post and is why this issue is so important!

“Child trafficking isn’t just a cause full of mind-numbing stats.  It’s about somebody’s son or daughter.”  Rob Morris, Love 146 co-founder and president.

 

Categories: Causes Across Nebraska, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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