Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brownville, NE & Small Town Wonder

This Saturday Kerry and I embarked on short, but much needed detour outside of Omaha. We decided to visit The Antiquarium bookstore which in I believe around 2008 shut its downtown location and relocate to the small, tourist town of Brownville, NE.

We began the day at Leo's diner in Benson. If you've never been there, hit it up this weekend.  For your first visit, order off of their specials board, and on your second visit try the Fantasy Island.

Kerry's Fantasy Island named for one of the cooks at Leo's. To break it down for you a Fantasy Island starts with a bed of hash browns,  then comes the gravy, then whatever ingredients are special to the Fantasy Island itself.  Kerry's had turkey, bacon and cheddar while mine had green chile and actual chili along with some Monterey Jack cheese. Did we mention there are two buttermilk biscuits being slathered by all of these delicious ingredients? To top it all off, you get two eggs however you want em. 
My Condidos Fantasy Island, both before and after I was done eating it

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we took to the open road. Unfortunately, we drove directly into the rain. As the car approached the dark gray cloud our radio calmed us down with such hilarious hits as Rack City and Birthday Cake - Kerry reading the lyrics to these songs to me was both uncomfortable and hilarious.

We went from Nebraska, into Iowa, into Missouri and finally back into Nebraska. In total, the trip took us about an hour. It's a very easy drive as well, just hop on I-29 South and you'll eventually run into it. 

Here's a picture of The Antiquarium from the outside. It's actually the old Teacher's Association building and don't let this picture fool you, it's HUGE on the inside.

See what we mean?

Since the store is essentially an old school there's a stage that you have to walk on in order to get to the second floor which is where all of the fiction is.

Here's a view in the opposite direction. There's a lot of chairs and areas for visitors to sit, read or get in a lively discussion with Antiquarium owner/resident Tom. 

After our visit to the bookstore (even though both of us walked away with only 3 books) we decided to drive about a mile up to the winery Whisky Run Creek. For just $3 you get to taste five of their wines and the tasting is free if you buy a bottle of their wine.

The second story of the building was completely lined with wood. It was very pretty, especially with the sunlight that finally decided to grace us with it's presence. 

Before we left town we wanted to check out their little town "museum". There are three houses in Brownville which the historical society owns and opens to the public to take tours through.

We stopped at the Captain Bailey Museum which was run by a very talkative woman who had lived in Brownville her entire life and lived next door to the house growing up. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures of the main floor of the house which was truly beautiful. The upstairs, well the upstairs was a little creepy. According to legend, the house is haunted. We're not surprised because according to the Bailey family's history, a whole lot of people got poisoned.

Here's a picture of the second town museum. 

On our way back home we stopped at the nearest firework store and both Kerry and I dropped about $50 of stuff to blow up. It was so fun running around the store and buying the coolest looking fireworks. We were bad and shot some off later that night, but come on, who could blame us?

All in all it was a really fun five hour trip that costs next to nothing to enjoy. So if you're bored one Saturday or Sunday, head on down to Brownville. In summer time, there's also a bunch of other local events like a music series and a huge flea market. Check out the town's website for more info.

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