Once my husband and I started a family, we knew we wanted to turn seasonal activities into family traditions.

Traditions are special. They create dates on our calendars to look forward to, and they make memories that generate nostalgia.

The day after Thanksgiving, my husband, daughter D and I headed to The Durham Museum for holiday fun and the community countdown to the lighting of the region’s largest indoor tree. D saw Santa, decorated a cookie and sipped milk before we made our way to the Great Hall along with legions of other

A Tale of Two Rivers: Part 2

Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:00 PM by Homegrown Iowa Girl

Welcome to Part 2 of our family’s river adventures! My last post chronicled our time in Dubuque, Iowa and the fun we found near the Mighty Mississippi River. As I indicated then, our summer was filled with many little trips canvasing one side of the state to the other. If you haven’t guessed it already, you are about to read about our time near another beautiful body of water: The Missouri River.

Restaurant Week: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

My husband and I chose Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for Omaha Restaurant Week, since we had never been there before. We made reservations painlessly online.

Fleming's exterior

We received a warm welcome at the door into a rich, elegant environment. Each table was beautifully set up with the romantic ambiance of a flickering candle. They offered us the choice of black linens as we both had darker attire on instead of the basic white linen napkins. Then our server Katie asked if we prefer tap or bottled water.

OMAHA, Neb. -  How Midwestern is Omaha?

It’s so Midwestern that hotel rooms come with descriptions explaining the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. It’s so Midwestern that several important establishments are named Ak-Sar-Ben — that’s Nebraska spelled backward. It’s so Midwestern that a pedestrian bridge spanning the Missouri River is named Bob.

Surprise Concert at Hotel Deco

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:00 PM by Whitney the Weekender

I stepped inside the chic Hotel Deco XV and was met with piano music. Then the music dissolved.

“Is the pianist returning?” I asked. Nope; he’d left after his volunteer shift.

I asked if there was a piano player on staff. A valet driver volunteered, “My coworker Brandon plays for his church, and he’s really good.” Was Brandon available? He would be after parking a car.

He emerged, hesitated, but made his way over to play. As a few guests came from right and left this mid-afternoon, I found a spot to enjoy the music. It was as if he was

When Molly at Fontenelle Forest excitedly recommended we explore a forest hidden gem, we headed east.

On the other side of 19 miles of trails and 1,400 acres of land are the wetlands, where a triangle of trails takes visitors “in the know” on a unique journey.

A quarter-mile long boardwalk leads to a double-decker observation blind overlooking a sprawling marsh. We crossed a former dumping ground on a path ingrained with centuries-old brick and earthenware. We crossed a bridge ingeniously made of a downed cottonwood tree, completing our trek

While at The Durham Museum, a National Historic Landmark, I had a question.

“Where is Truman’s press car?” I asked Dick, a volunteer. His face lit up. The restored 1924 club car, used during President Harry Truman’s 1968 “whistlestop” campaign tour, is his favorite.

We crossed the forward compartment (pictured) to the back dining area, where he recollected waving with his wife from the back platform on a train ride out of Minneapolis in the 1960s. The car was donated to the museum in 1974.

Dick regaled me with more history until I regretfully