A few weekends ago, we (The Mister, kids, parents and sister) packed up and headed Northwest through rolling green hills of reservation territory and farmland to Cuthills Vineyard in Pierce, Nebraska. It was a place we had stopped at when I was little and when I was planning our mini-getaway for the summer, I knew it would be on our wishlist.
We went inside the dusty door and enjoyed a meandering chat with the owner, along with half a dozen or so tastes from various bottles. We bought a few to take home and slipped outside. A walk in the back revealed rows of vines and fruit for harvest. The kids ran around as we roamed and soon enough it was time for dinner - a sublime spot for foodie-lovers called Black Cow Fat Pig, a must-eat in Norfolk. The Mister and I chowed down on pulled-pork nachos, a magnificent burger called The Yard (BBQ pulled-pork, bacon, cheddar, & onion strings), baked mac and cheese with bacon for the kids to share, and a strawberry basil mojito for mama. We were very happy :)
After stuffing ourselves on good eats, we made camp at Holiday Inn Express for some pool time and rest. It was Alice & Milo's first time at a hotel and it was a hit! They loved swimming and bouncing on the beds, and mama loved not having to make breakfast. Packing and sleeping away from home is always a challenge, though, no matter how nice the accommodations.
The next morning, we made our way downtown for fuel at Downtown Coffee Company. The drinks were rather on the sweet side, but enjoyable nonetheless and then we road-tripped out to Ash Falls Fossil Beds for exploring and digging. The big sky and billowing clouds were the perfect backdrop for a cool July Saturday outing and we got to learn about how Nebraska had once been in the ocean, then jungle, then grass prairie, and now forested. Did you know camels and rhinos were once native here? There was a camel-giraffe and saber-toothed deer and all manner of creatures I didn't know existed! Alice and Milo dug around to their heart's content, and nothing could keep Alice from making "snow-angels" next to some fossil bones. Once our bellies starting grumbling we left for a small mom-and-pop diner in Neligh, NE for lunch and enjoyed more good, cheap eats before we hit the road home.
It was short, but the perfect little trip for a summer family vacation! Thanks, family, for coming with us and making memories.