Our next day in Nebraska started with an introduction to Midwest summer weather - pouring rain and crazy lightning storms one minute, blue skies the next, with temperatures pushing 100°F. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Fortunately, it stopped raining when we stopped for gas, because I would not have passed up the chance to photograph the random raccoon and corn art.
We drove 90 minutes to Beatrice (pronounced be-AT-ris) where Homestead National Monument is located. We were learning before we even entered the building! The parking lot is flagged to show the exact dimensions of one acre. The 'Living Wall' shows what percentage of land was successfully homesteaded in each state.
There are four different buildings to explore, as well as many outdoor trails. We didn't get to do any hiking because of the storm, but the rest kept us very busy. Trevor completed the Junior Ranger program. I was thrilled to learn they had a No-So-Junior Ranger program for adults! Of course I completed it. So cool.
Literally everyone who heard we were vacationing in Nebraska told us that we HAD to try a Runza, so we stopped there for a late lunch. Runza is a Nebraska fast food chain that started in 1949.
Their signature item, the Runza, is a hot sandwich. But it's not on split bread like a normal sandwich. The filling (seasoned ground beef mixed with grilled onions and cabbage) is stuffed inside soft bread. There were three different versions on the menu at this particular Runza, so we ordered all three and split them amongst the three of us. We also got a container of Frings (fries and onion rings in the same bag so you don't have to choose between them). Everything was delicious. All three deRosiers give Runza two thumbs up!
Our next stop was the National Museum of Roller Skating. We spent about an hour looking at all the artifacts and displays. It was very interesting. And the price is right - admission is free!
Next, we went to the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters. Admission is free and the museum is very well done and interesting, so in that sense I recommend it. However, we were not expecting that a missionary would walk with our family the entire time. We would have preferred to explore on our own and read things at our own pace, and we were not prepared for the evangelizing. It could just have been the particular missionary we got, but our experience at Temple Square was completely different.
Omaha has big blue pushpins marking their top attractions. We made it a priority to visit as many as we could. One down, fourteen to go!
Dinner was at Crave. Yum.
More Nebraska adventures tomorrow!