Sunday, February 21, 2010

Easing the Winter Blues

Got out of Dodge so to speak this week. The kids had Thursday and Friday off of school because of conferences, so we took off. I love to travel, see new things, and when I see something different and cool, I take note. I have a file folder of things I want to see some day and places I want to go. It keeps getting bigger :) But this week I got to mark off one of the places I have been wanting to go--The Arbor Day Foundation's Lied Lodge. We drove north Thursday morning to Nebraska City, NE to the Arbor Day Farm to stay in the Lied Lodge. This is a picture of the kids from the back of it. Now normally to get rid of winter blues you would go someplace warmer, but no, we didn't do that, we went some place colder and with more snow, but it definitely cured the winter blues for us. The Lied Lodge is a huge, amazingly awesome place, but cozy with a big fire in the lobby, leather chairs, rockers everywhere, a cute gift shop that my kids hit every five minutes causing the lady working to ask laughingly "do you even go to school?" It has an Olympic sized indoor pool that we had all to ourselves--super fun. Huge logs are everywhere in the interior. It reminds me of the cool Yellowstone Lodge. It was awesome to go in the winter because we were the only ones there, but now we want to go back in the spring and see all the trees out.

There were about 7 deer in this spot right before we got there. Of course, we aren't the quietest people, and we scared them off.

A short walk from the Lodge is the Tree Adventure. It is a huge area with trails, tree houses, bridges, and fun sculpture things along the way--and fun places to take pictures.

The 3 bears' chairs were out along the path, so we got a papa bear, momma bear, and little baby bear picture.

They had a lot of cool outdoor things to do including these awesome xylophones that Ben and the kids enjoyed playing and making music for a long time. Again, we were the only ones in the place, so we could stay as long as we wanted and play, play, play.

This is us in the lobby. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is 3 stories high and just beautiful!

After our day/night in Nebraska City we drove 45 minutes farther North to Omaha to go to the amazing Henry Doorly Zoo. We LOVE this zoo! We go there at least once a year. Omaha is about a 4 1/2 hour drive for us. It was cold, windy, and snowing, but thankfully the smart zoo people have almost all the animals inside of really cool buildings. The penguins were a favorite, but Miss E really liked this Octopus.

Miss O and Miss A in the butterfly house. Did you know that butterflies only live 1-4 weeks? They have a butterfly nursery in the butterfly house and they get 500 butterfly cocoons a week that they "hatch" there and then put in the butterfly house. Super cool place! (even though it was very warm in there!)

Mr J drives the safari jeep away in the Jungle as we head for our hotel home to swim. Saturday morning Ben and I were able to attend the Winter Quarters Temple also, which one of the main reasons we went on the trip. So where have you always wanted to go? I was excited I found the Lied Lodge. Sometimes the coolest places are little tucked away things that you don't ever hear much about. I heard about it when I joined the Arbor Day Foundation. So, our winter blues are eased a bit now, and I think we can handle the next (hopefully) few weeks of winter :) but I am already planning when we can get back up to the Lied Lodge again in the spring!


  1. My kids saw the picture of the octopus and thought it was the coolest thing all afternoon :) Glad you guys had a good time!

  2. Hey just popped over from "Or So She Says"
    We live in Gardner, KS. Not sure where you are but probably not too far from us.
    We went to the Omaha Zoo last summer and absolutly loved it, it was the best zoo we have ever been to.