We got a late start on the Passport Adventure, but thanks to our stay at the Bassett Lodge for a wedding this summer, we got our passports and are enjoying our adventure immensely. My sister and I were the ones who accepted passports in Bassett, but we are engaging our other sister and cousin to join us for the 2014 Nebraska tour.
Since we want to get the most out of our passport, we have created several “weekends” to tour Nebraska. This weekend was our Grand Island weekend. We got 11 stamps and took a picture of the Jisa Farmstead Cheese site, since their hours are not favorable to those of us who, sadly, have to work our 8-5 jobs.
Our first GI weekend stamp on Saturday was one of our favorite places, Calico Annie’s Quilt Shop in Fullerton. We then hit Leifeld’s Hardware in Petersburg. The owner put together a fabulous list of “What to do in Petersburg”, so we took advantage of a discounted lunch at the Knotty Pine. We then traveled to Neleigh, O’Neill, Royal and Grand Island. The Quilter’s Candy Shoppe was gracious enough to stay open for our late arrival and the Ashfall Fossil Beds were an amazing trip through history. We lucked into an amazing Q&A by a student paleontologist, Jacob, in the Hubbard Rhino Barn. Jacob answered all of our questions and told us stories about his last two summers working at the site. His knowledge of the dig, his experiences discovering fossils and sharing his knowledge of the site’s history were an extra added value to this stop.
Sunday morning, we started at the Hastings Museum, then stopped at Hampton, York, Seward and Brainard. While we did not get to spend much time at Wessels Living History Farm or the Liberty House B&B, we got enough of a taste that we would like to go back again. The gentleman in the tractor barn at Wessels and the woman in the main house both told us enough to generate our interest to come back again when we had more time. The woman in the house also handed us a schedule for the September Barn Dance, Halloween and Christmas events.
The owner of the Liberty House B&B was taking the day off to do chores, paint, etc., but she answered our phone call and told us to “come to the front door when we arrived.” She was gracious in her story telling of the place and allowed us to tour the bedrooms that were amazingly comfortable and roomy.
We have been so impressed by so many of the places. It is interesting that we have also been recommended to other stops despite their not being on the tour. While having pie at the Westside Restaurant in O’Neill, the waitress told us to stop at Green Gables after touring Ashfall Fossil Beds. We did, and we were not disappointed. The smells from the kitchen and the gift shop were very tempting. A young man and his mother told us about a second Leifeld’s with more furniture.
Most amazing of all though were the people we encountered along the way. We met lovely, interesting people who were proud of their state and of their work. We met people who were caring and sharing, with the intent to develop their communities and their contributions to society. We met people in restaurants and gas stations who helped us take photos and smiled at us.
Next weekend is our Omaha tour, then we will go on our Scottsbluff tour in September.
I look forward to sharing more of our journey.