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Trip report: I just spent a suprisingly wonderful weekend in Nebraska City, NE

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Who would have thought??...what a hidden little gem in the middle of rural America! We took an hour drive south of Omaha to the home of Arbor Day (J Sterling Morton). Arnold Palmer just opened up a golf course he designed, which was the reason for our trip. (ArborLinks)


We arrived Friday night at the Arbor Day Farm Leid Conference Center Lodge.


Room was very nice. Actually, it was a bit rustic & quaint. They are super big into recycling and fuel energy. The only hotel I have ever stayed at that has 4 different types of trash cans in your room (ones for paper, glass, plastic and other!) Dinner was either off the menu or a buffet. We picked a Beringer Sav. Blanc and tried the buffet. It was good...but the fish selection was over-done.

Saturday we had a 10:10am tee time for 18 holes. The $60/pp fee included cart, cooler with bottled water, baseball cap, course book w/tips, driving range with free bucket of range balls. Front 9 was incredibly do-able. I surprised myself with the number of pars I could accomplish. (Links course with very few trees!) Stopped in the club house for lunch. Back 9 was a different story, with many par 4s that could have easily been listed as par 5s for me! Lots of water, beaches and ravines. Very hot day!

Went back to the lodge and swam for a couple of hours before dinner. Nice indoor pool...only goes to 4 1/2 feet...but great for volleyball and swimming laps.

Dinner was off the menu with a bottle of Rosemont Shiraz. Good meal, but not 5 star. I would rate it only a little less than a 4. They did have a good Creme Brulee.

We drove around town for a bit, looked like a lot of activities going on for the July 4th weekend. John Brown's cave just had a grand re-opening after $100,000 renovation, addition, etc. (part of the underground railroad) We did not do this "tourist" attraction since they closed by the time we finished golf. The actual Arbor Lodge (home of the Morton's) was open as were their orchards. Again, we did not do these attractions. The Leid Center also has an on-site working woodfuel energy facility, on-going research projects of hazelnut orchards, country carriage rides and horseback riding if you are interested in those activities.

We are planning a return trip in September when they have the annual AppleJack fest, craft fair, acutions and orchard harvests. (and of course...to golf!) As an aside, it for those of you who have been to the area, Kimmel orchard has recently rebuilt their entire complex and will have a grand opening this fall in time for harvest)

All in all, it was a refreshing weekend that was really surprising.