Posts Tagged With: travel

The Place of Fairy Tales: Joslyn Castle in Omaha (Part 1)

So, did anyone guess where we were yesterday?

Joslyn Castle

We loved our family’s first trip to Joslyn Castle.  I took so many amazing interior pictures that they are taking me awhile to edit and put into collages.  So, I will be posting the interior (and a few more exterior) pictures tomorrow!  I am excited to share the Joslyn Castle at Christmastime!  So beautiful!

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Travel Tips Tuesday: The Best Destination

A Family on the Go Stop

My 50th blog post – I wanted to write about something significant to me.  But I will say my topic is possibly a bit unexpected for a travel blog.  Sometimes rather than seeking out the next place to explore, only one place should be your destination.  Home.

I am beginning to see more and more how important that balance is.  Seeking out new adventures while finding time to settle in at home.  Being on the go and being on the stop.  Balancing busyness and stillness.

In the weeks to come as I continue to write about our adventures and places that we have explored, I know that some people may begin to wonder.  “How does she ever find time to homeschool?”  “How does she keep leaving and not have her house be a disaster?”  (Okay – I will be honest – I definitely am behind on that part currently – hopefully we will establish a better routine on keeping up around here.)  How can she be gone all of the time?

I actually am not.  We are home frequently.  In fact, my goal this fall is to be home three out of five school days.  We will have our cooperative day, and then we will have a field trip day.  After all, this year we are studying Nebraska.   So, when we read the short story,  Journey into Christmas, by Bess Streeter Aldrich, I want to take my kids to see her house in Elmwood, now a museum, all decorated for Christmas.  I do not want to just read about prairies but to go walk through the grasses at Prairie Creek Audubon Center.  Experiential learning.  One of the many reasons we have chosen to homeschool.

But even that will have parameters.  If we are not accomplishing our work at home, that may cancel or postpone our outings. Or if just one or two are not motivated to compete their school,  I have warned that they will be sitting off to the side finishing it, while the rest of us are taking a tour.  And if they are frequently responding unpleasantly (the way they have seemed to have been this week a bit – yucky hot weather!), we will stay home.  If their reactions to me are less than desirable in private, I am not sure I want to take them out in public.  Bad attitudes can definitely take the joy out of traveling with kids.  Theirs or mine!

The great thing about writing a blog is that I do not have to mention when we had the adventure.  Just that we went there.  So, often we were going to two or three places in day, then staying home the next.  Now that our school has started our outings will slow down, but since my blog may not slow down, that may not be apparent.    I think I am ready for routine (that is once I have finished catching up from our summer of baseball and other activities.)

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Insert a picture of your own home here. 🙂

So, go out and explore.  But sometimes be quick to stay home – enjoy your own surroundings.  There will always be opportunities out there.  We have missed plenty.  But we have also gained much on those times spent at home just being.    Your front porch (or other cozy spot) is calling your name.  Perhaps lyricist John Howard Payne in his opera Clari (Maid of Milan) expressed the sentiment best.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.





Categories: Travel Tips, Where to Begin | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tractors, Travel and Tomorrow


As I continue my farm week, I am thinking tonight about tractors.  My parents have a couple out at their house including the antique Farmall tractor of my uncle’s that my Dad helped to restore.  (I’ll try to post some more pictures on my Facebook page soon!)  The tractor that he has had the longest is the one that he used to use to plow out his acreage driveway, along with many of his neighbors.  That stopped a few years ago when he realized the advantage of putting a blade on his truck and riding inside away from the elements.  But there is just something so American/Nebraskan about tractors.  I can’t see myself ever getting to drive one (and considering as a teenager I once “crashed” the riding mower into the power generators box knocking out electricity for a few hour maybe that is a good idea to keep me away from that high springy seat, but that is a story for another day!)

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Here are a few other people who feel the same way about tractors. (All quotes were found at Brainy Quotes.)

That’s the great thing about a tractor. You can’t really hear the phone ring.
Jeff Foxworthy

My father kept me busy from dawn to dusk when I was a kid. When I wasn’t pitching hay, hauling corn or running a tractor, I was heaving a baseball into his mitt behind the barn… If all the parents in the country followed his rule, juvenile delinquency would be cut in half in a year’s time.
Bob Feller

Maybe I should just go home and ride my tractor.
Chuck Grassley


We did go places as a family growing up.  Usually they involved the site where my Dad had meetings – Mom would take us shopping, then later our whole family would go to a baseball game.  Where my sister and I would bring magazines, much to my brother’s chagrin.  This is rather ironic now since we both actually really like baseball.

I did not completely realize how much my traveling changed me.  That is until I started teaching my own children.  And when I had the opportunity to teach a weekly middle school geography class once a week.  I began to recognize how much experiencing other places impacted me.  While our travel with four kids is a bit limited due to budget and time constraints, I can still enjoy nearby adventures with our kids (another reason why this blog has been fun for me!)

The focus of my geography class started with terminology, world wonders and more, then moved to the world, then the United States, then Nebraska and Lincoln.  For our week of studying the capital, we used an excerpt from the Lincoln Journal Star to assist in our learning.  Several years ago, they ran a weekly series identifying different places in Lincoln, only showing just a glimpse.  You were supposed to try to guess where the pictures were taken.  I tried to find a link for that, but since the series ran in 2009, the link seems to be long gone.  So, I took a picture of one of the sheets, just so you can see the idea.

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These pictures ran on Sunday February 22, 2009.  Pictures were taken by Erin Duerr for the Lincoln Journal Star


Until I started writing a history/travel blog, I did not realize how much my photography skills were going to need to grow.  In the past, I noticed my blogging friends sent out a post featuring “Wordless Wednesdays.”  I was amazed that they could say so much with just pictures.

I decided that I would also like to start doing that, at least some weeks.  But with a twist.  I am going to take the idea from the Journal and try that on this blog.  Rather than showing you complete pictures of where we have been, I am just going to show you glimpses.  Then we will see who can guess correctly.  I wish I could offer you grand prizes, but mainly it will just be the satisfaction of knowing you determined where we had visited just by seeing the pictures.  🙂

Anyway, sometimes the locations will be obvious, but other weeks they may be trickier.  I guess it will depend on what angles I manage to capture with my fledgeling photography skills.  I am excited to keep improving – maybe someday I will even be considered a shutterbug rather than just a bookworm!  (Notice my insect terminology – obviously 3 out of my 4 kids are boys!)

Categories: Agriculture, Where to Begin | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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