Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Most Surprising Place I've Visited

 Nebraska is full of surprises, good ones!


Not too awful long ago, I decided it would be a good idea to get my final degree. I researched schools and programs that I liked, and finally decided on the one I wanted to apply to: University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The hybrid option played no small part in my decision because it allowed for me to do a good deal of my doctorate-level work from home (not an option that is easy to find). There are several really good universities close to us here in Michigan, but they are all an hour and a half away, and driving that daily, especially in the winter, never appealed to me. What that meant for us, however, was long summer trips to Lincoln, to attend classes on campus (the hybrid option requires on-campus class attendance).


Now that all of my course work is done, and I am working on the dissertation, we no longer have to go to Nebraska in the summers (we didn't go this summer), and I actually missed it!!


Nebraska was such a pleasant surprise!! I'm not going to lie. Prior to my first trip, I thought Nebraska was going to be all about watching the corn grow, or in other words, I thought it was going to be b-o-r-i-n-g.  So totally not so!!!


First and foremost, the people in Nebraska are so nice!!  That is my absolute favorite thing, hands down. People just seem very genuine there, and I like it.

Hubby Loved Lazlo's!

The second thing is the food! Nebraska folks know how to eat!! I cannot tell you all of the good meals we had while visiting. Every single restaurant was downright delicious.


And they have football. Nebraska is a state that loves their football team. The Cornhuskers are a part of the Big Ten now too, and I think they're a good fit. I have to tell you, there is something exciting about driving up to the stadium, even in the off-season. I would love to go to a game.

Hubby doing his 'Rocky' pose on the steps of the Capitol Building in Lincoln
(can you see him there, way far away? lol)

While we were there, I was busy a lot because in addition to my classes I was also prepping for my dissertation work (killing two birds with one stone while in the state), but we did get some play time in.  One of the places I liked best was the Capitol Building.

Everything about the building was appealing to me, it was vast, clean, rich in detail, and organized well for the business at hand.

Even the floors were gorgeous in the Capitol Building (Lincoln)

View from the top of the Capitol Building (Lincoln)

We went to the observation area at the top of the building. Hubby gets nervous up high, and stayed back from the view, but I thought it was really pretty. I like to get the town view from up high, and Lincoln, as you can see, has a lot of trees!


Another cool thing we did was visit the State Museum of Natural History which has some really cool exhibits and information we didn't know prior to our visit. That was one of my favorite things to do.


Just outside of town was James Arthur Vineyard, and that was one of hubby's most favorite places to visit.

James Arthur Vineyards

I loved the grounds at the winery, which is where I spent most of my time while hubby sampled the wines and cheese (not fun for kids ;) ).


We found a new friend while we were roaming around.

University of Nebraska-Omaha

In addition to our trips to Lincoln, there was one semester where I enrolled in a class that took place at the Omaha campus. Omaha was incredible. The buildings in the university were clean, welcoming, and pretty! The faculty and staff were kind (I wish I'd have known Alissa from Planet of the Apels when I was there!!), and everything was very organized and well put together.

Spezia in Omaha

Spezia was my favorite place to eat in Omaha, and hubby liked it but preferred the bustling (but still charming!) downtown area, and I admit I loved it there too. Omaha, like Lincoln, was filled with good food, nice people, and had charming additions like musicians on the street and horse-drawn carriage rides. Though I am true blue (or true red?) to Lincoln, both my husband and I actually liked the city of Omaha better. It had a homier feel to it.


One of the things the class did that I was in was take a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. That was a very (and again surprisingly so) cool thing to do, and I wished hubby and the children could have seen it too, but while I was in there, they enjoyed the zoo and the butterfly house.

Inside the Butterfly & Insect Pavilion at Henry Doorly Zoo

I liked everything I heard while at the zoo. There are a lot of educational programs going on there, and the administration seems to have a strong community bent that extends way beyond networking (very cool!).


All in all, Nebraska was just a huge surprise for me, and I loved everything about it. Of course, I've never spent a winter there, and if I did that might change my mind. I like my state just fine too, until winter rolls around. ;)


Some trips you expect to be fun, majestic, wonderful, whatever, and they might turn out 'meh.'

Nebraska trips for us turned out to be just the opposite. I thought Nebraska was going to be boring, but it turned out to be anything, but (as you can tell from my unusually long post!! lol). I like Nebraska, and if you ever get a chance to go, I say give the nod, and get to packing. :)

116 comments:

  1. Who knew there was so much to do in Nebraska? I love that people are nice there. Living in the Boston area, people around here are known for generally NOT being so nice, so it must be a refreshing change to be around pleasant people all the time :)

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    1. It was so strange!! But nice strange. :)

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  2. So beautiful - I would never have guessed their would be so much to do there either!

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    1. Def. so much to do there, it was fun!

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  3. Hi Rosey .. I've seen others post about Nebraska and how interesting it is - well done for finishing off your campus studies .. now to finish off the degree - good for you. Lovely photos .. and lucky you to see behind the scenes ...

    I'm starting to so appreciate Museums, galleries etc .. and I love food! Cheers Hilary

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    1. I really like museums...it's an easy way to instantly take a step back in time.

      Thank you for your visit, Hilary. Always happy to see you. :)

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  4. Seriously, loved all the pictures and details you shared about your trip to Nebraska. Never really thought twice about this state living in NY on the East Coast, but definitely sounds like a wonderful place to visit!!

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    1. It's a lot more relaxed than NY. ;) I've been to Long Island, NYC, and Islip. I wouldn't say it was like any of those (well of course not like NYC).

      I do love NYC though!!! I think you're lucky to live there. :)

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  5. LOVE these pictures and I wish you the very best of luck on your dissertation.

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    1. Whew, I need it. I get burnt out on it, I'm ready to be done...but that's not for awhile still. The red tape too makes everything so s-l-oooooo-w.

      Thanks for the visit. :)

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  6. i love exploring new places....and how cool on getting another degree led to you finding all these new sights....i have been to nebraska only so briefly.....

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    1. We did a short (didn't even spend the night) stopover in Iowa on the way home...that seemed nice too. :)

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this. So nice to hear about somewhere new.

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

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    1. Says the gal who goes back and forth between the UK & Italy!!! I LOVE reading your posts!

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  8. I've never been to Nebraska. Your post makes me want to go there one day.

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    1. Good food, good people...good places to visit. We really liked it!

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  9. Always fun to see a new spot, unless cornfields is all you see. Then the aliens might try and probe thee lol glad it wasn't meh, and even the cats are nice. No way mine would sit there haha

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    1. That cat was very nice. He didn't try to follow when we left though...he just stayed on his step. :)

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  10. I LOVE Nebraska! I went to college in Missouri, so we used to jump across state lines all the time. I had many friends who lived there and I always had a nice time and enjoyed the scenery!

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    1. I bet it was a fun place to go while in college. There were a lot of young people downtown!

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  11. We saw the Capitol building and the natural history museum this summer. It was fun.

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    1. That's right, you went to the children's museum!! My hubby went there, but I had to stay in school that day. I heard it was awesome!

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  12. You are better than me, I finished my Master's got into multiple PhD programs and decided not to go :) For me money wise it would have cost more than my husband would have made and with two kids relocating wouldn't have worked. It probably doesn't help that there are very few PhD programs in my field anyways so they all require regular school schedules. I think it's awesome that you finished your degree and only have your dissertation, maybe one day I will finish mine too :) Congrats!

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    1. I think my husband's going to go all the way too...he says he's stopping, but I bet he keeps going. ;)

      I like school. I'm tired of it now though.

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  13. I've never been to Nebraska but after reading this I would sure like to visit. Very well said.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

      You have a terrific day too!! :)

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  14. I've never been to Nebraska. Isn't it nice to be pleasantly surprised by something you thought was going to be an awful boring experience ending up to be one of the greatest things ever? =0)
    It's also funny how things that are mandatory (course work) can lead to other things that end up being fun (your trips to Nebraska).

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    1. School does always open other doors, I agree. :)

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  15. My best friend moved to Chadron to become a professor at that college so I'm hearing all about it. I want to visit so bad!

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  16. What a wonderful surprise! One never knows what to expect in places that sound like prairie states.

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    1. That's it exactly, I had the prairie mentality in mind...which would have been fine too,, I'm sure, but it was completely different and we loved it. :)

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  17. I have never been there, and never had the desire to really go, but after taking your little tour, it definitely looks like a fun place to explore!

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    1. Def. two surprise cities. I liked Iowa too, though we were only there briefly (not even overnight).

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  18. I've never been to Nebraska and never gave it much though before, but it does look like a nice place with lots to do!

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    1. The fam. didn't have any problems staying occupied while I was in class, and I thought that was great!

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  19. lol. how funny... i could have never cared about visiting Nebraska... but now that i "know" alissa, i would love to go... and now that you posted this, it makes it even more appealing :)

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    1. I haven't visited any of the states around those parts, but learning I liked one I thought I wouldn't has made me curious. :)

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  20. To be utterly honesty - it's really never occurred to me to spend time visiting Nebraska - though we have driven through it (on our way to someplace else) AND back in college when I minored in Journalism and Broadcast Journalism where we were sternly taught that to succeed in TV and most especially radio broadcasting one MUST master/learn how to speak "Nebraska English" - which after careful study, research and analysis had beend detemined to be or represent THE AUTHENTIC AMERICAN ENGLISH - salt of the earth, midwestern heartland.

    I also have a good friend who is very talented and brilliant and she loves living there, And if I STILL needed further convincing - I found it in the marvelous, heartwarming Sculpture Bench and your son making a chubby new friend is just magical! Thanks for sharing.

    Jesselyn A/Jesstinger
    jessterlyn(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I'm trying to think of the Nebraska English... lol!! They do talk well, I just never noticed it until you said it. :)

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  21. I love the pic. of your hubs doing the Rocky pose on the capital building. I hope you were sampling the wine and cheese also! :) I've never been to Nebraska, in fact, I've never been west of Pennsylvania. I would love to check out some of the fine dining!! :)

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  22. Who knew there was so much to do in Nebraska is right! It's a state that I almost forget about but worth a trip with my kiddos.

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    1. It is a great place for kids to visit!! There's as children's museum there too, that my hubby said is just amazing (hands on play).

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  23. I've never been there, and I feel now like I've seen a bit after reading your post and seeing the photos :)
    I hope one day to visit myself

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    1. Thanks, Winnie. It was a fun place to visit. :)

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  24. It's a state I've never been to nor have I considered visiting there.
    However after viewing and reading your well written and beautifully photographed post, I find myself intrigued by its charm, fine dinning, places to visit, and its warm, friendly people. It looks like a lovely place with a great deal to offer.

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    1. You're sweet to have read that post. :) I know it was long, I couldn't stop though, once I started. I have a soft spot in my heart for Nebraska, I guess. :)

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  25. You travel a lot and I love seeing recaps of your adventures! I've never been to Nebraska - but honestly the people that I have met from Nebraska are all incredibly kind and warm hearted!

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    1. We don't travel enough. ;)

      Thanks for your visit!

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  26. I like Nebraska. I know there are downfalls (like cold winters and small cities, or no city at all). Overall it's a nice place to live. Did you make it up to Omaha? We have the zoo that everyone raves about.

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    1. We did make it to Omaha and to the zoo. ;)

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  27. You went to Nebraska, but you didn't see the world's longest porch swing in Hebron?

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2013/10/wordless-wednesday-lea-hans-drive.html

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  28. Never been there, sounds like a nice spot

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    1. Not what I thought it would be at all, and I liked it quite a bit. :)

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  29. We like visiting the vineyards too... Not in Nebraska where we haven't been yet. I would love to take a trip here one day.

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  30. Nice that you could finish your degree in that way.
    Most places are quite interesting if you take the time to look around. Some things may not be big and flashy and obvious, but that doesn't mean they aren't rewarding.

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  31. Well now look, you have me all interested in checking it out for myself! I have enrolled three times over the years in college to advance my degree and every time we moved before I could start. I finally gave up. Good on you for getting it done!

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    1. And you have me interested in New Orleans!

      You may go back to advance your degree someday, if you feel like it. The urge kind of sneaks up on you, I think. ;)

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  32. Now with all these beautiful pictures and words, you got me thinking NEBRASKA!
    Maybe next summer.

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    1. I haven't been in the winter, but I hear it's brutally cold and we get enough of that where we're at. ;)

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  33. I thought Nebraska was boring too...I mean I heard about it from various sources. Your photos say the otherwise. Cool!

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    1. It was cool. There was corn... but it was still very fun. :)

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  34. Nebraska is really fascinating. Interesting post with beautiful pictures. It is great that you are pursuing your doctorate Rosey! My very best wishes to you.

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    1. Thank you, Judy! I thought I was too old for it, but lots of students there are my age. :)

      Have a great Wednesday!

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  35. I would love to see it actually. We once took 2 1/2 day train trip(Amtrak) from Tucson to Chicago, and went up through the middle of the country from El Paso, Texas. It's so interesting to see a bit of that vast mid section of our country, and some day I will get up there near Nebraska too. Love seeing all of these details!

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    1. We've been to Chicago many times, that's a reasonable drive for us, and I love it there. I'd like to see Arizona though too!

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  36. Nebraska is a wonderful place. But is it in US?? I missed my big old days studied in Australia, too. : )

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  37. If I got the chance to visit, I absolutely would.
    I love traveling and learning about new places.

    And I like the hybrid option of the university. For me to have that experience while studying, would work very well.

    What a great adventure you had!

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    1. It was a unique spin on the studies, for sure!!

      Have a great day, Colette! :)

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  38. Interesting! I never would have thought Nebraska would be much. I think I'll add it to my ever-growing list of places to visit. :)

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    1. Whew, my places to visit list is long too. ;)

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  39. i love vacations that turn out to be even better than what you expected!! the vineyard looks like so much fun and so pretty...makes me want a glass of wine right now...i just said to my mom a bit ago "i need a glass of wine!" :)
    thanks for always sharing your getaways with us, rosey! i hope you're having a relaxing night! xooxx
    maria

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    1. Wishing you a great weekend too, Maria! Thanks for stopping over. Traveling is fun to me. I'd do it a lot more often if I could. :)

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  40. Okay! Putting Nebraska on my lists of places to visit. :)

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    1. It's fun when you get a happy travel surprise. :)

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  41. my nephew would love that train station.

    knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

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    1. They had a little play are for kids there too, it was great. :)

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  42. I've never been to Nebraska. It's fun seeing the world through your eyes. I know I do much traveling. Enjoy every trip you can take.

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    1. We do, and I know there's not near enough time (or money) to see everything I want to see. :) Thank you for your visit.

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    1. I thought that train station was rocking too. Nostalgia is great sometimes.

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  44. I've never been to Nebraska and am trying to think.. where is it at on the map? No wasn't good at Geography. Looks beautiful and fun tho.

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  45. Nebraska sounds like loads of fun.

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  46. SO many great things to do and try....I may have to Add Nebraska to my bucket list.

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  47. Awwww I can read inbetween the lines there girlfriend you really did miss it didn't you? But also I read that you had a great time there too! Quality time with the family is always missed. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  48. I've never been to Nebraska but you've certainly piqued my interest. I think we drove through it one time as we drove back East

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  49. Good for you for going after what you want and making it fit your lifestyle. Ive never been to Nebraska and thought the same thing. Glad to know it's nicer than I imagined.

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  50. How big is the zoo? Are there live performances of animals there? I've never known that Nebraska has a lot of great places to visit.

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    1. Here's a link to the zoo that'll answer your questions. It's pretty fun there. :) http://www.omahazoo.com

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  51. Nebraska looks like a great place to live and visit. I would like to fo tobthe Natural History Museum.

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  52. I laughed so hard at Cornhusker HWY and the fat statue! They need a little more inspiration out here!

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  53. awww this looks like a great vacation!

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  54. It looks like you had an awesome time. Great pictures too.

    Michelle F>

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  55. Great trip, thanks for sharing! The midwest is so underrated!

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  56. Congrats on being almost done with your degree! I completely understand how hybrid can be a great option- I am getting my MBA entirely online, because traditional courses just don't work for me. Thanks for sharing lots of great things about Nebraska- I'd love to check out the vineyard!

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  57. Congrats to you for going back to school. I have now added Nebraska to my list of places I want to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  58. Wow! So cool! I have never been there but would love to see it! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  59. I love that buttefly pictures. =) Thanks for sharing your experience in Nebraska. I've never been and probably will never make it there but I love seeing and hearing of other places and everything to enjoy there.

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  60. Who knew it would be a fun place to visit? Never thought of Nebraska as a destination!

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  61. What a fun place to visit! My boys would love seeing those trains and that dinosaur is pretty cool today. I'll have to remember this!

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  62. Looks like you had a great time! I've never been to Nebraska, but I know my son would love to see the dinosaur fossils at the State Museum of Natural History.

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  63. What a facinating place to visit! It looks like so much fun and there is a lot of history to it.

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  64. I have to say, I loved your blog post. I knew very little (almost to be truthful) about Nebraska. I love that you found a place that surprised you but made you happy. I am all about the food so I have to say, I would love to try some local treats. Thanks for the great post. Good luck when you have to defend your thesis.

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  65. What a beautiful campus! I'll have to add Nebraska to my list of places to visit!

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  66. wow nebraska! my husband does teach in a university and online as well for doctoral its called globalnxt university

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  67. I haven't had the pleasure to travel through Nebraska yet! I am a West Coast gal and have been up NE, but not there. Looks lovely.

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  68. Like you, I've had nothing but great experiences in the Midwest/Mountain region. The folk there still use their common sense, live sensibly, and are friendly. My experiences are similar to yours and the terrain is beautiful too.

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  69. I wish I could have experienced all these things too.

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  70. I love travelling... and while reading and looking at pics, I so wanted to be there and then...... Thanks for sharing

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  71. Looks like a lot of diverse experiences are available in Nebraska. Who knew!

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