Odyssey through Nebraska logo Along with birthdays and anniversaries, July 1st has become a milestone for me.  When I started my blog about Nebraska exactly two years ago, I did not understand just how much my life would change.  In some ways, I have become more purposeful in where we visit and what we do as a family.  In some ways, I have let the blog take over.  Learning to balance “work” and family is always a challenge.  Mostly exploring the great state of Nebraska over the past two years and meeting people across the state has brought joy to our lives.

Picking my favorite destinations from the past year is again too hard. Picking my favorite blog posts is easier because certain posts are attached to stronger memories.  Getting to recall these moments is enjoyable.  Interesting how I now have an online journal to present to my kids someday of our experience together.  My favorite ten posts in descending order …

10.  For years, I drove by Wyuka Cemetery without realizing what an amazingly beautiful and peaceful place was located in the center of town.  Even though I have driven through a few times and even read background information, I do feel like there is so much more to explore.

9. Hudson Cabin is another Lincoln location that I simply missed.  Learning how this small place was connected to early Lincoln is so interesting.  Perhaps this was even more of an adventure because I followed my youngest two on their quest to explore.  Loved the fact that they were on an odyssey of their own.

8. Trying to figure out all of the places that I would want to eat for Mother’s Day was quite fun.  This will never happen in my lifetime.  Partly because convincing my husband to drive across the state from one restaurant to the next in one day will not happen.  The fact that two of the restaurants are closed on Sunday may also affect my ability to go there then.  But I do hope to eat at all three places again sometime.  Just probably not on the same day.

7. Oh, Kaneko Gallery, where have you been all of my life?  Obviously you made quite an impression since I featured your wonderful exhibits THREE separate times.  This is one place where I am certain we will continue to return again and again.  Glad that we “discovered” you during Blog Year 2 or think of all the adventures we would have missed.

6. Holen One Farms was another name frequently mentioned on blog year 2  for 2 good reasons: 1) My Grandma was a Holen, so getting to promote the wonderful Nebraska business of my Mom’s cousins was a fun privilege.  The other main reason?  Their barbecue products really are amazing.  Available locally in Nebraska,  you can also order them online.

5. Ever since Wessels Living History Farm opened several years ago, I have been wanting to visit.  This was FINALLY our year!  They were so kind and let us have a sneak peak of their Christmas decorations right before they opened for that season.  I am so glad that we were able to enjoy exploring.  Another place we will visit again – hopefully for one of their farm days.

4. Attending the Nebraska gymnastics meet had to be highlight because of the company.  Going on a Mommy date with my favorite girl was quite fun.  Despite the fact that I have been watching her for several years as she has been learning the sport, I still do not know enough about the sport.  I do know that I enjoy watching, especially with her!

3. Although we had been to Martin’s Hillside Orchard several years ago to pick strawberries, we had not been there in the fall.  This time we went back twice.  Riding the hayride, eating apples fresh off the tree, the tire tower and being with friends were all highlights.  One of the biggest joys was having my mom along and getting to celebrate her birthday there.

2. Possibly one topic took over my blog this year.  Cooking around the United States.  This was a big part of our school year.  Remembering to take pictures was hard, yet I do feel rather proud that we accomplished making all of those meals.  If I knew that someone attempted making even five of the recipes that I tested, this might have been my top pick.

1. Since Henry Doorly Zoo has again been rated the top zoo in the world, how could I not have my post on this Omaha attraction be my favorite?  Actually why I liked the post so much was again the company.  Getting to hang out with my kids and with my college roommate and her family on a beautiful summer day resulted in great memories.  Another reason I liked this post?  Compiling the highlights of Henry Doorly Zoo from A to Z took quite a bit of time.   Finishing that post was quite the accomplishment.

As I begin year three, I am excited to see where this blog will take us next.  I do know that I have FOUR weeks of celebrations planned in honor of my bloGIVErsary.  Stay tuned – more will be coming soon!



Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.