Just a few things…

Good afternoon fellow bloggers!

There are just a few quick things I wanted to hit on today, so it won’t take long!


#1 Why is EVERYONE a Nebraska-Lincoln fan?

I’m sure there are other big universities here? Creighton, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Bellevue? Anyone?




Go Iowa Hawkeyes…


#2 It has rained every single day since I have been here.

I’ve been here since last Monday, so ten days. And it has rained. Every. Day. Maybe not during the day, but at one time or another in a twenty four hour period it has dribbled or poured rain. I’m ready for the summer sunshine. It’s almost June.



Historical church at the Lincoln County Historical Museum

#3 I am impressed with the Lincoln County Historical Museum

I love museums, and I always have. My siblings would curse me for asking to do something educational during vacations. They hated me for it, but I loved it. And for this one being as small as it is on the inside, it is packed with so many different things. I got to learn about the North Platte Canteen, the popcorn ball marriage, and even how the WWII soldiers were able to tell the countries apart from their helmets. It was a very cool place and I will be going back for a full tour. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t been, or who hasn’t been lately, to go.


#4 I am getting unreasonably excited for NEBRASKAland Days

I am told to hide from the tourists, but I think some people are just over exaggerating. I have been looking through the brochure and some of the activities that go on during the festival seem like so much fun. Aside from the obvious attractions like Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, and the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, there are other events that would be just as much fun! Things like Splatterbox Laser Tag, Root Beer Floats and Water slides, even a cake bake. And to whoever thought of cowboy kickball, thank you.

But seriously pick up a brochure and take a look at all of the things that are going on!


#5 Is it going to stop raining anytime soon?



Also, I will be headed home this weekend for my little brother’s high school graduation and some family birthdays! See you in a few weeks North Platte community!


Last but not least: I am sending out thoughts and prayers to the Lord above to look over those teens that were lost in the river. I will keep the friends and families in my prayers, stay strong.

Hello again! This past week has been filled with so many fun things to and to talk about. I went north of Sutherland up into the sandhills and got some awesome pictures of cows, the Bubble Bash was a blast to photograph (what a mouthful!), and I got to enjoy some awesome local Mexican food!



Murphy the golden retriever


A cow mooing

First off, the trip up into the sandhills was amazing. It is a 22 thousand square mile land of stabilized sand dunes. There is just so much open land, and even more cows! There were copious amounts of cows, prairie dogs, antelope, turkeys, birds, and even some cowboys walking the roads on their horses. But the neat thing about the sandhills is that the land is basically one big sandbox. But you would never know it. It is covered in grass that actually grows on the sand. Like what? To me this is just crazy. Who knew that grass, trees and other plants could grow in sand? We stopped and I got some pictures of the cows, and of course Murphy, the golden retriever that I am staying with for the summer. I would highly recommend a trip up into the sandhills. Take some lunch, a camera, and a buddy because you are going to want to see this.


Sunday after church I splurged and went out to eat. I wanted to try something local. And I picked the right place. La Hacienda is rated the number two place to eat in North Platte on TripAdvisor, I thought it would be worth the try. La Hacienda is a cute little Mexican eatery in the downtown area. It was a little hard to see; the only signs they have are the ones that are on the building, but the restaurant is perpendicular and in the suite furthest away, so you would have to look very hard to find it. This wasn’t a problem for me because I was hungry!


Flauntas at La Hacienda

I was there probably right at open, which is 11am. I was kind of disappointed with the chips because they were pretty cold rather than being warm. My family always gets a bowl of queso dip beforehand, so of course I had to try theirs out. The salsa and queso were pretty darn okay. They were not bad by any means, but I’ve had better.  But for it being in western Nebraska it is probably going to be the best you can buy.


Chips a queso at La Hacienda

When I go out to Mexican restaurants I always get the same dish. Flauntas. Which is basically a bigger version than taquitos. Now I might be biased, but seriously I have tried flauntas everywhere I go and the best place I have had them are at Villa’s Patio in Marion, Iowa. La Hacienda is a great contender though. They had juicy chicken and were fried perfectly. The ends were the crispiest part, as always, but the middle parts had a flaky outside and a fluffy interior. This is pretty bold to me (not that I am a Mexican food expert or anything) but all of the other flauntas I have eaten were crispy throughout. So it was nice to try it differently than other ones. The best part about flauntas is that they can be dipped in almost anything. I usually just eat them with lettuce and sour cream, but the fluffiness of the interior led me to dip it into both the queso and the salsa. Holy yummy. This was probably the best decision I made all day. No joke. The queso gave the essence of melted cheese, which is always a good thing, and the salsa gave them the lime taste. It was basically a Mexican fiesta in my mouth.

Now besides my food, the atmosphere was just okay. The music sounded like it came from an old western/Mexican themed cartoon that Disneyland would play to their guest while waiting in line for Splash Mountain. So yeah.


“Don’t touch the bubbles!”

Later on Sunday was the Bubble Bash. I was deemed official photographer for the event, so of course I had fun! I got to watch so many little kids dance around and play in bubbles and see people run through giant bubble walls. I took 1,300 pictures during the event. That alone just tells you how many people were there and things were going on. My favorite part was watching parents push their kids in strollers through the bubble wall at the end of the run. The event was a success as $5,000 was raised!


I have to add another funny thing about this place.

I was driving to the visitor’s bureau today for work and I pass an alfalfa field on my way there. All the sudden a turkey pops up out of nowhere. Full feathers out and everything. So I kind of slow down to see it, and then about ten more turkeys pop up. But just their heads, like they were peeking over the wall of plants to see what was going on. It was so funny I almost had to completely stop my car just to keep from going in the river.


This Thursday evening is the North Platte Children’s Museum’s fundraiser, the Twisted Fork. And boy am I excited. There are going to be local chefs there who are bringing their twisted version of their favorite childhood snack/meal. It is $35 to get in, and for all of the 21 and overs out there, there will be a cash bar. It’s at 6pm and a live auction will take place at 7:30pm. So bring your cash, checkbook, and ticket, because this is something that you will not want to miss.

Tickets are available at the museum or at Nebraskaland Bank locations.


And one last thing, are you following us on social media?? I’ve been posting so many neat things that are worth checking out. So keep up with us! The links are at the top of the page!

Today is day number three into my internship. And let me tell you something, it has been going by so fast already! I hope this just means I am having fun and that time flying is a good thing. I have only been here since Monday afternoon, and I have already done so many things on the job. What do you know, my teacher was right, everything we learned in class, I used in the first three days of work. So kids, pay attention in school.

Anyways, there are several things I would like to hit on today. 1) Things I find funny in the area 2) The Espresso Shoppe and 3) The Bubble Bash.

So here we go.

1) Funny things…

For starters, I think it is just absolutely hilarious that tumbleweeds actually fly across the roads. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the city but I know country living (for the most part). In Iowa, I have never seen an actual tumbleweed fly across the road. It is just something that I would envision in a western cartoon, but no, they’re real. Who knows, maybe I’m just not in the right place to see them in Iowa.

Also, the drivers here really do make me laugh out loud. I got honked at for stopping at a yellow light. I’m sorry, but as far as I’m concerned yellow means slow down and stop, not press the gas and hope I don’t get a red-light ticket. I don’t know if it’s the area or if that one person just really had to go to the bathroom, but I like to follow the rules of the road.

What’s with the radio stations? As much as I love the country stations back in Cedar Rapids/Marion, the stations out here are way better. Within the first ten minutes of coming off of the interstate, my presets on my radio were already preset. If country isn’t doing it for me, there is always a great throwback song on another station. If there is one thing that I like the most about Lincoln County so far, it would be the radio stations.

Last but not least, why is there not a Target in the area? Target is my homebase, my mothership, my worship temple. Where am I supposed to waste time now? (Hint; Netflix)


2) The Espresso Shoppe


Yes, I took off the tomato…

Today I had my first taste of local food at the Espresso Shoppe. And boy, was I impressed. I ordered a ham panini, which came with chips, and a Heath ‘chiller.’ For starters, as part of the rules, I must tell the truth, so will. I almost forgot to take a picture of my food before I shoved the panini into my mouth, and that right there means something. I’m that annoying person who has more food pictures than selfies on their phone. And I am darn proud of that. If I forget, I must be really intrigued in the food.

Anyways, when I took my first bite, I was overwhelmed with the taste of yummy goodness. I got an even bite of ciabatta bread, ham, provolone cheese (? don’t quote me on that), and what tasted like an onion and chive cream cheese. And the good Lord knows how much I love my cream cheese. So having that on the sandwich was a good surprise. I paired that with the good pick of mesquite bbq kettle chips and a Heath ‘chiller.’

Now let me tell you something about the ‘chiller.’ It was just as good as the onion and chive cream cheese, but sweeter, obviously. It is comparable to a Starbucks frappuccino, or a McDonald’s frappe, but not comparable (That doesn’t make sense does it?). It is modeled after that realm of coffee, but the Heath takes it up another notch. I would pass up my usual venti peppermint mocha frappuccino with extra coffee and no whip cream just for another small Heath ‘chiller.’ That’s how good this little, sweet delight is.     P.S. I’m still sipping on it…melted…

Highly recommend this little shoppe to anyone in town, and any people traveling through.

This is also where open mic night is held every couple of weeks. So enjoy the live entertainment


3) The Bubble Bash


Muriel Clark of North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau and Kent Winder of KNOP T.V.

Coming up this Sunday is the Bubble Bash 5k. I am that person who will do anything, and I mean almost anything, to get out of running a 5k. But apparently you don’t have to run. So count me in.

Muriel Clark and I stopped into the KNOP T.V. station today to talk about it live. Okay, let’s be clear. I watched her on live T.V. If I went on live T.V. I could just think of all the embarrassing things that would happen. A camera would fall on me, I would repeat the same thing over and over, or (the most real possibility) I would mess up and just alway with my palm to my face, trying not to cry.

But all seriousness, it was pretty cool to see this happen live. Who knows, maybe someday I could be working in a place like that. ( Not on T.V.)

If weather permits, don’t forget to giddy on up to the Bubble Bash this sunday. The fun will be real and half of the ticket sales will go to charity. So make sure to come on out, whether you are running or not, I’m sure it will be fun to watch people.

To register, hit up the visitnorthplatte.com home page, there’s a link first thing on the page.


What’s the next restaurant I should try?

Email me at kierstenekiene@gmail.com

Check out my website to learn more about me and past projects I have done in school! KiestenKiene.com

Hi guys, my name is Kiersten Kiene. I am from Marion, Iowa and graduated from Marion High School in 2013. I now attend Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa and will graduate from the Digital Mass Communications program in the spring of 2016. I am here for the summer working for the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, focusing on digital media.

I have been to Nebraska before, but never in North Platte. I am excited to get to know the town and attend some of the summer events.
One of the reasons why I came to North Platte is to help extend the tourism desire in and around the community. There are many ways that this can be done, one of the things that I would like to focus on is local community attractions that you can’t find anywhere else. When I travel, I like to explore places that I have never been and do things that I cannot do at home. I feel like this is a goal that many travelers would, and do have.
Personally, when I travel I always look ahead. Before I even leave, I explore the town/city on the internet, finding the best places to dine, see, and do. I read reviews, blogs, and look at the pictures that people have posted. Why would I want to try something that nobody likes, or do something that is a waste of money? The key to finding good places is at your fingertips, use the internet as a travel tool.
While I am in North Platte, there are several things that I would like to try. Now of course I am going to go to Nebraskaland days, check out the Golden Spike Tower, and all of the other traditional sightseeing things in town. But as an outsider, my goal is to help bring in other outsiders, putting the town on the must-go tourist map.
Being from Marion, I am very passionate about my hometown. I believe that Marion is one of the best places that a family can settle down while still hitting up all of the events in the area. And this is how the North Platte area feels about their hometowns. We all have a special bond tying us to home and our hometown. So I feel that if tourists and travelers get to know about the town better from somebody who is also a tourist and a traveler, North Platte and the surrounding communities could bring in more people and revenue.
Public Lands Featured ImageI drove here from Fort Dodge, Iowa, which is about a seven hour drive. I split this up into two days, giving me plenty of time to dream up some goals for my internship this summer. Some of these goals will go hand in hand with the job, others will be extra time spent.
Rather than making myself seem as though I am in love with the town from day 1 (which isn’t realistic), I want my readers see my journey from day one into North Platte, to my last day on the job. I want the community members, Nebraskans, and tourists and travelers to live this journey with me. I want to be able to share my experiences through the use of blogging. Therefore I must set some rules, and some goals.


1. I must post a blog once a week. (Sun – Sat)
Because I do not have a set 9 – 5 schedule, there are going to be times when I am at events, and cannot blog. This does not mean that I will not blog, it simply means that I will at a later time. As long as I get one in in the Sunday through Saturday timeframe, it counts.
2. I must tell the truth.
My goal is to help shine light on North Platte and the surrounding communities, and bring attention to the lesser known places. I want to share my experiences with others, so that when travelers do come to North Platte, they can experience the same thing that I did. As for restaurants in particular, I will tell the truth of what I thought in a decent manner, and I will keep class while doing so. I am not here to beat up everyplace that I go to. That is not my goal.


1. As per restaurants, I would like to try local places. Now there are some places here that are regional or chain based that I have not been too, but the point of this summer is to keep the focus on the North Platte area, therefore that I wil. I will not be reviewing Perkins, I’ve seen Perkins on every interstate exit on the way over here.
2. Visit places that make North Platte, well, North Platte. Example: the Veteran’s Memorial, or Dusty Trails.
3. When reviewing attractions, restaurants, etc. There will be a sort of outline that will be used. And when the time comes, the outline will be stated.
4. Enjoy my time. It’s as simple as that.


Cody Go-Karts_RNeibelWith this being my first time in the area, If there are any other goals you think I should set or places that I need to see, just send me an email and I might just add it onto my list. I am open for ideas and suggestions any time of day.


Junktoberfest 2015JunktoberFest is a vintage and artisan market that will be held in North Platte’s D & N Event Center, 501 E. Walker Road on April 25 and 26. Saturday hours are 9am to 6pm and Sunday hours are 11am to 3pm.

You can find more information about JunktoberFest on their Facebook page.

OrourkeThe James O’Rourke Memorial Triathlons, based in North Platte, are a group of open, inclusive events that provide athletes at every skill level the opportunity to participate in the sport of triathlon.

The event offers three divisions – Competitive, for experienced athletes; Fitness, for triathletes who are getting started on their journey; and Relay, which allows teams of three to share the triathlon experience. In addition, specially-tailored triathlon events for children are offered. The triathlons begin and end at the North Platte Recreation Center, located at 1300 South McDonald Road in North Platte.

For more information or to register for the event, visit their website: James O’Rourke Memorial Triathlon.

West Brady WMA Map

2015 Country Bluegrass
An all-star lineup of Bluegrass greats is heading to North Platte’s Lincoln County Fairgrounds on April 23 -25 for Nebraska’s finest Bluegrass festival now in its 15th year. Artists include The Grascals; Ralph Stanley II; Reno & Harrell; Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers; Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome; Phillip Steinmetz and his Sunny Tennessians; The Lindsey Family; Finley River Boys (formerly Acoustic Essays); One More River; Homeward Bound; High Plains Tradition and Republican River Ramblers.

All concerts are indoors at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds beef barn. Bleachers are available, or you’re welcome to bring your own lawn chairs.

Single day tickets are available for $22; tickets for the entire three day festival are available for $55. Tickets are available on the North Platte Country Bluegrass Festival Website.

More information can be found on the Country Bluegrass Festival Website and Facebook page. For more information contact Courtney Ewald at 308-340-4552 or npbluegrassfestival@yahoo.com.

SteamLocomotive1Railfans won’t want to miss the 21st annual train show. Billed as the largest train show west of Lincoln and east of Denver, the show is hosted by the Nebraska West-Central Dividion of the National Model Railroad Association.

The event is held at North Platte’s D & N Event Center, 501 E. Walker Road. Hours 9-5 Saturday the 18th and 10-4 Sunday the 19th. One day admission $4.00 per adult, $1.00 for children under 12 (under 5 free with paid adult). Union Pacific extra fare bus tours on Saturday only.

Fling Golf
FlingGolf™ is to golf what snowboarding is to skiing.

FlingGolf appeals to a younger athletic crowd. Kids love it. It’s easy to learn. And even those who have left golf will be enticed to come back for the fun of FlingGolf.

The rules are simple. Players fling the golf ball along the course and putt with the face of the FlingStick.

FlingGolf is a dynamic new sport that can be played alongside golfers on existing courses. (Think snowboarding and skiing.) It’s fun, inexpensive and easy to learn. Instead of hitting the ball with a club, a player flings a golf ball with a patent-pending FlingStick. A good fling can travel over 200 yards. And for an entire round, all players need to carry is one very light FlingStick.

See for yourself on Saturday April 11, 1pm to 3pm on the driving range at the Sutherland Oregon Trail Golf Course. You can find more information on the Oregon Trail Golf Course website and Facebook page.