Monday, July 31, 2023

Custer County Museum Stop # 7 pg # 46

The Custer County Museum in Broken Bow, NE was a wonderful museum to visit for us because we both like history.  

They have exhibit areas set up such as a Mercantile shop filled with the necessities that were needed in the past. They have an ice cream and soda shop that looked so realistic, I wanted an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.  Another area held an historical post office exhibit. And also, many more exhibits.  

This is Rosalie.  She is a frequent volunteer, doing a lot of document filing.   She has lived here all her life and can fill in remarkable details of the area.  If you're lucky enough to find her here, she can add a lot more information than you'll see and read about in the museum.  For example, we talked a bit about the Sandhills Open Road Challenge race.

They also have a gallery of historical photos taken by Solomon Butcher.  

He was a settler under the Homestead Act who spent most of his life in Central Nebraska.  In 1886 he began to produce a photographic record of the history of settlement in the region.  There are dozens of his photos providing a very complete picture of early life here.

The museum also houses a Genealogy and research center.  We spent a lot of time with Tammy, the curator of the museum and her mother, Rosalie.  They both explained the history of the museum, the history of the artifacts and the history of Solomon Butcher.  They also told us a lot more about the history of Custer County.  We could have spent days listening to them.  Sometime in the future, we will stop and see this museum again.  It was that good of a museum.  Visit it sometime and see it for yourself.

Normal Roasting Co. & Coffee Lab Stop # 9 pg # 42

The minute we walked into the Normal Roasting Co & Coffee Lab, the delicious coffee aroma welcomed me, not so much Frank, and we were also greeted by two men behind the counter.

They made us feel very welcome, comfortable, and right at home.  Stopping at the counter to order something, we visited with the men and found out that one of the men, Josh H and his wife, Sara, are the owners.  The other man, Josh U is the head coffee roaster, and they roast their coffee beans in house.  

I ordered an Iced Mocha Breve and Frank ordered a strawberry smoothie (He is NOT a coffee drinker). They also had some bakery items, which looked delicious, but we were not hungry. We sat, relaxed, drank our drinks, planned our next Passport stop and visited with the men as much as possible.  While we were there, they had a steady stream of customers which meant that the business was doing well. We really enjoyed Normal Roasting Co and of course my mocha breve was delicious, and Frank enjoyed his strawberry smoothie.   Naturally, there is an assortment of other merchandise for sale that goes with coffee.

Thank you very much for everything Josh and Josh.  We really enjoyed our visit and of course, our beverage pitstop in your very welcoming store.

Scatter Joy Acres Stop # 38 pg # 14

There are a lot of animals around here that you won't be able to find anywhere but in a zoo.  It's a large facility with many large pens.  They do have common animals found on farms around the area, as well, such as cattle, geese, goats, dogs, etc.  The staff here is really passionate about working here.  It isn't just a job for them because they have a close connection to the animals here.

One of the more surprising animals here is a young reindeer.  He was spending all his time laying in front of a large fan under a shad canvas.

Another very rare animal here is a white kangaroo.  It is still very young and lives most of its time in a cloth pouch, which it's able to get in and out of by itself.

It's also a petting zoo for visiting families.  We got there kind of late and didn't see many others around.  If you'd like to stay a while, there are small cabins that can be rented, too.  Events can be held here, as well, such as a family reunion.  You can also adopt one the critters and take them home with you.

Sandhills Boutique Stop # 10 pg # 42

 What a nice shop!  I graduated from High School in Clarkson but I don't remember what this building used to be.  I know I drove, rode or walked by here at least a thousand times while I was in school.  I know for sure it didn't look this nice then.

Stop in and say Hi to Michelle.  She grew up in the Sandhills.  That explains why this store is called Sandhills Boutique.

This is a beautiful store.  Michelle has certainly spent some time to get it looking this good.

There is a wide variety of goods here.  Cindy found a purse, of course.  This time she bought it, and it seems to work well for her.

There's such a wide variety of goods here that it seems likely to be a popular place to visit.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Mac's Creek Winery Stop # 30 pg # 34

One of the larger venues I've seen at a winery when combining the inside and outside.  The tasting room has several tables and a decor that makes you feel comfortable.

Very friendly people work here and help make your visit even more enjoyable.  They do serve other drinks besides wine, even some soft drinks for those of us who don't care much for wine.

We visited with a group of folks who were there celebrating a woman's 86th birthday.  They were a lot of fun to talk to and had a lot of questions about the Passport.  As has been a common occurrence, there were connections in the Seward and Schuyler areas.  These social visits are as much fun as actually seeing the Passport stops and getting the stamps.

Both of the serving counters are fronted with barrel staves.  Very unusual and certainly unique.

The outside area is heated by infrared heaters instead of the more common propane fired portable heaters, so it is probably pretty nice even in cooler weather.

From here you can walk down a path using a map brochure stopping at various sign boards describing the grapes growing in the vineyard, family projects and sustainability efforts in how they operate this business.

There are also three cabins you can rent facing the creek, for a quiet, relaxing get-away.

This winery is run by a Christian family devoted to helping others and preserving the environment.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Lincoln Children's Zoo Stop # 33 pg # 14

 This is a really fun, family oriented, zoo.  Tons of activities for the kids.  There's a train around part of the zoo and a water feature to play in.

You can buy lettuce and feed the giraffes.  They have a really long tongue.

Several of the penguins were being very vocal about something.

These turtles seemed to be very intent on being on the other side of the glass wall.

This leopard is taking advantage of the shade for a little while until in disappears.  

These are a couple of Matschie's Tree Kangaroos.  I have a lot of photos from the zoo.  This is just a small sample.  The zoo is well marked and laid out in an easy-to-follow area.  Tons of animals to watch.  Snacks and food are available, as well, so you can extend your visit as long as you want.  We've been wanting to visit here for the last 5 years since we moved to Seward and because of the Nebraska Passport, we finally did.

Robert Henri Museum & Art Gallery Stop # 13 pg # 42

Every year we come across someplace that surprises us, and this is one of those.  I am not, I repeat, NOT an artist.  Nor do I know what makes one painting better than another.  But after coming here I am about ready to take an online class to learn about it.

When we arrived and walked in, we both thought this will be a short stay.  

We like museums so that was fine, and it was about 30 minutes to closing so we expected to walk through and leave.  But the first thing we heard when we walked in was that the curator was there that day so we should go right over to the gallery and talk to him.  I'll admit I wasn't excited to hear that, but we went.  Oh my gosh! he made the paintings come to life.  He is an historian not an artist which made it so interesting to us.

Henri was known for the speed which he could complete a portrait.  Paintings, such as this one above, were typically completed in under an hour.

This one is huge.  It must be 7' tall.  Probably took a lot more than one hour.  I was more fascinated by the frames since I knew nothing about painting and was told that isn't that unusual.  About 10% of the visitors say the same thing.  In fact, an expert from Philadelphia or New York or somewhere was coming the week after we were here, just to examine the frames.  A funny side note, one of the frames was from a Ben Franklin store.  No one knows where the original one went.

This was Henri's office back in the museum.  There are other sketches and paintings from other artists in several of the rooms in the museum along with other period pieces typical of museums.

What's not typical, though, is the artwork.

I am surprised to admit the amount of time we spent here.  The curator (I wish I could remember his name) said not to worry about the time because he was in charge and we can stay as long as we wanted.  We were here for a bit under 2 hours!  You wouldn't believe what some of the paintings are worth and I'm not going to tell you here.  You have to find out for yourself when you get there.

K-Town Cakery Stop 29 pg # 22

 I realize this isn't a very good photo of the store front.  Sorry about that.  This is a very large kitchen supply store along with fresh-made items you can buy from a display case at the counter or order from a menu and made fresh in their kitchen.

There is a remarkable variety of cookware and other cooking utensils.

Along with lots of other food preparation utensils.

There is a large variety of party supplies.  

And cooking classes can even be held in one corner.  

I've never seen any place like this except on Food Network.  Believe it or not, I do like to cook and there are a lot of things here that I'd like to have.  Unfortunately, I have a small kitchen at home so I can't fit much extra in it.  Our daughter Tracy is the real 'amateur chef' in our immediate family.  She even got to go on stage with Alton Brown and compete with a couple others in a food knowledge contest.

Riverside Discovery Center  Stop 60 pg. 15 Once again, we missed this from being open by minutes.  Darn it!  The lights were still on but no...