Summer means that it is time once again for trips around Nebraska collecting stamps for the Nebraska Passport (sponsored by the Nebraska Tourism Office) as well as the Nebraska Wine Passport. A week and a half ago we set out on just such a trip and enjoyed every stop we made.
We began our adventure on Thursday morning, July 14th, by heading to Seward to see the Nebraska National Guard Museum. We watched a very informative ten-minute video at the start of the tour which summarized the work of the National Guard from its inception. The most impressive display was the weapon room which had several beautiful wooden cabinets filled with all kinds of guns, etc. I was disappointed that they didn’t have anything that mentioned the Nebraska National Guard Band as that is a stellar organization in our state.
Just 15 minutes down the road we stopped at the Old Cottonwood Antiques shop in Utica. It is housed in an historic building - as an antique shop should be! - where we found lots of fun things to see. There was a gorgeous bench and a table that I would have loved to have if only I had a place to put it in my house. Instead we bought some old children’s wooden blocks that spelled “Ruby” and “Henry”.
In York we visited the McLean Beef Company - a meat market and cafe. Unfortunately we were too early for lunch and on the first part of our two-day trip so unable to purchase any meat. We were interested to see that you could buy their meat from two vending machines. As we learned when Lindsay did marketing for the Wittern Group in Des Moines there are vending machines for everything. A trip to York is not complete without a stop at Goody Pop’s - a yummy popcorn shop that was on last year’s Passport. Our purchases there kept us in snacks for the whole trip.
We then headed north to visit The Fiber Mill in Stromsburg. Their claim to fame is that they do custom orders to turn your fleece into any type of yarn you might want. We were interested to learn about the different yarns in the shop but were disappointed that we didn’t get a tour of the mill to see how it was made. We also stopped at the Frocks and Flowers Boutique and the Townhouse gift shop that we discovered on our adventure last fall.
After having lunch in Stromsburg at the Corner Cafe we headed to the Gathering Grounds coffee house in Osceola where we had a delicious almond and poppy seed muffin for dessert. We then headed back to Stromsburg - only 10 minutes away - for a glass of wine at the Rose Colored Glass - a stop on the Nebraska Wine Passport.
Our longest drive of the day was an hour long trip to Newman Grove where we stopped at Betz’s Little Shoppe. It was well worth the drive as this place had antiques, flowers, and FABRIC!! There were so many fun things to look at! I found a couple of patriotic decorations that would have looked so nice on our patio but passed them up as there really isn’t any place to put them. I did buy a yard of fabric for my Quilt of Valor group as well as a fall kit that I plan to make for our PEO auction. Beth was a very friendly lady and we had fun talking about quilting and PEO.
Our next stop was near Albion at Valley View Flowers, a U-pick flower farm where you can pick your own bouquet. Unfortunately they have been closed since a devastating storm in May. We collected our stamp anyway and headed south to Central City.
The Prairie Creek winery - a stop on the Nebraska Wine Passport - was our last stop of the day. We shared a bottle of wine and talked about when and where our next adventures would take us.
We spent the night in Grand Island after enjoying dinner at Tommy Gunz, a restaurant not too far from our hotel that we discovered on the 2021 Passport. In all we collected seven Nebraska Passport stamps and two Nebraska Wine Passport stamps. Stay tuned for day two of our adventure in the next blog post.