Wednesday, June 12, 2024

 Junto Wine - Seward

Junto Wine is a favorite.  Not just because of its nearness but also because of the staff and location.  Everyone is always so friendly and helpful.  The setting is in a natural environment with a small forest right outside the door.  A trail takes you all over the property.  The outside seating takes advantage of the especially attractive natural setting.

They host events, as well.  June 14th was Founding Father's Day with live music and a food truck.

It can get pretty busy at times.  Interestingly, I was wandering around and found a family enjoying themselves on a platform.  What's interesting is that we have just about finished remodeling our home in Seward and Cindy was looking for someone to clean up afterward.  

And here I came across one of the owners of Dial-A-Shine in Lincoln.  It's crazy how many people we've met with some kind of possible connection, in our travels around the state for the Nebraska Passport.

Inside are a lot of tables and more visually appealing decor.  The books on the wall are real and lend themselves to the name of this location, Junto Wine.  Junto is a word related to Benjamin Franklin, when he made his private book collection available to others.  The meaning is approximately 'a gathering of people with similar interests'.  At Junto, that amounts to a friendly atmosphere, good friends and excellent wine.

This winery is a very special place for me. After we moved to Seward about 6 years ago, Frank took me to Junto. I had never been there before. We were immediately greeted by smiling faces. The servers were very helpful explaining the types of wine that I might want to sample. There is plenty of indoor/outdoor seating. And of course, they have WONDERFUL WINES. We have been there many times over the years.  The most recent was on Mother's Day.  We sat outside (it was a beautiful day) with a glass of wine for me and Frank had a glass of Peach Sangria, which surprised me since his favorite drink is Mountain Dew.  We had a relaxing date and enjoyed visiting with people at other tables.  While you're here, walk around and admire the setting.

Monday, June 10, 2024

 Antique Anthology - Bennett

Bennett seems to have a lot going for it lately.  Population is growing, shops are opening up.  Lots of nice amenities.  Antique Anthology is one such shop.

Don't be fooled by the word antique in the name.  This place has a huge variety of things for the home and your taste buds.

There are candles to light your way, parchments with positive sayings to guide you on your way and soaps to clean up when you get back home.

Cindy really enjoyed looking around and visiting with Janelle, the owner.  I looked through the jellies and condiments.  We did find a very tasty honey mustard that is super good with pretzels.

Monday, May 27, 2024

 Adeline's Bakery - Burr  

Adeline's Bakery is a very quaint country store about a mile or so from the small, southeast town of Burr.  She told us the bakery was named after her grandmother, Adeline who always had the coffee on and bakery to eat.  This little store is chock full of things you might find interesting.  The little building on the right is where Amy does all her baking.

The decor lends itself to promote the image of a small county barn on a farm.  The moment we walked in, the wonderful fresh bakery smell hit us, and we were drawn to all of the shelves holding the baked goods. She sells cupcakes, bars, cinnamon rolls, pies, breads and rolls. She also will bake more items on request. There were so many choices of different baked items, it was hard to choose but we bought the Salted Caramel Crumble Apple Pies. We also took a strawberry rhubarb cobbler for Tracy.  I discovered jars of jams and jellies, as well, and found out she makes them, too. I couldn't resist buying homemade Peach Bourbon Jam.  There are mixes you can take home and bake yourself, if you want.  If Amy doesn't have something you want, just ask.  Maybe she's getting ready to make just what you're after.

The cinnamon rolls looked especially good, but we had to draw the line somewhere or our freezer would still have some left.  By the way, the pies and jam were delicious.  Amy can be reached by email at:

 Wax Buffalo Candle Lab & Small Bar - Lincoln

We had fun here.  We met another Passport woman who is also heading off to the Utah National Parks when she leaves here.  She intends to visit them all.  That's what I want to do, too.  This is a very neat, bright and nicely decorated place.  I was surprised a couple years ago when we went to a different candle shop in Omaha so this time, I am not surprised.  I wouldn't have thought there could be so much interest in this that a successful business could make it.  In fact, this is the second store the owner has in Lincoln.

Very nice first impression when entering.

This is a small refreshment bar intended for guests participating in shopping or candle making.

I was so happy to run across someone engaged in candle making.  This young girl was making a candle for her mother, for Mother's Day.  Her grandmother was lending a hand when needed but this young lady had the process well in hand, after a little instruction.  Everyone was so nice and polite!  I can see how a shop like this can play a small part in fostering the goodness that the human race is capable of.

 Ten Thousand Villages - Lincoln

This is a non-profit, fair trade enterprise, located in the Lincoln Hay Market.  Another first for me.  I didn't know about the fair trade effort around the world.  It's a very uplifting effort seeing all the merchandise from all over the world, created by local craftsmen.  Here's a definition:  

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.  To improve the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries by ensuring that they have access to export markets and are paid a fair price for their products.

There are a tremendous variety of goods here.  

It's not just ceramic bowls and cups.  There are decorative items, spices, clothes, shelf-stable food items, jewelry, and more.  Some of these things are quite intricate in design and creation.  I'm not a craft person so it's hard for me to comprehend how many of the items here can be made by hand.  

When you get here, plan on spending some time looking around.  I found Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Israel and Cindy found some little candy bars from Germany.

 Art & Soul Cafe and Bar - Lincoln

This store is really unique in my experience because of all the different offerings they're engaged in.   They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Saturday.  In perusing the menu, we found a lot of choices we'd like to try.  Since it's close to home, I'm sure we'll be back.

There is a bar, as you can tell by the name, in the south half of the building.  Outside seating is also available, when the weather cooperates.

Now for one of the more unusual offerings.  They have a small kitchen and hold cooking classes from time to time.

You'll have to check their website for any upcoming dates.  If you like, they can be engaged in private lessons, as well.  Cooking utensils and cookware can be obtained here, too.  They hold wine tastings from time to time, as well.  I didn't ask but given they have cooking classes, I bet there's an educational component with the different wines, too.

This is the bar area which has a separate entry.  

 Happy Kernel Gourmet Kettle Carn & Pork Rinds - Beatrice

This was a surprise.  Beatrice has two popcorn vendors!  This business is owned by a mother and son, Brenda and Anthony.  They have a remarkable array of different flavors of popcorn and pork rinds.  Cindy likes pork rinds, so she bought one package of Cinnamon sugar flavor and one package of Honey Mustard.  Both of these flavors were very good, light and not greasy.  I bought a package of buttered popcorn which was also good.  This business is another example of the small, locally owned stores in Beatrice.  Parking is plentiful with an empty lot on the west side of their store.

They have 36 popcorn flavors and 19 Pork Rind flavors.  They also have a few other items for around the house.

This photo shows a small fraction of all the different flavors you can get.  I failed to ask if they also sold fresh popcorn.  Stop in and check with Anthony, I'm sure he will find a flavor you'll be happy with.

  Junto Wine - Seward Junto Wine is a favorite.  Not just because of its nearness but also because of the staff and location.  Everyone is ...