Our Nebraska Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 835 miles, and drove for 16 hours and 8 minutes during our week in Nebraska while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Factory tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Nebraska over the past week.

Famous person: Fred Astaire (Unable to tour house)

Famous food: Kool-Aid

Roadside attraction: World’s Largest Porch Swing

State Capitol/Museum: Lincoln, NE

National Park: Homestead National Monument of America

Historic Location: Chimney Rock

Can't miss attraction: Henry Dorley Zoo

Made in the USA Factory tour: Wessels Living History Farm

Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Nebraska.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $160.00

$ 2.39 gal. in Lexington, NE was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.51 gal. in York, NE was highest price paid.


Gas prices rose by 25% across the country in response to the hurricanes in the Gulf.

Groceries: $90.00

Walmart $44.00

Costco $46.00


We did great in this category

Dining out $ $76.00

Modern Love $51.00 (budgeted, average vegan dinner)

Dairy Queen $4.00 (unbudgeted, pair of soft serve cones)

Chances R $21.00 (budgeted, yummy salad bar at a local restaurant)


Finally, we did great in this category!

Entertainment: $77.00

Henry Doorly Zoo $38.00 (budgeted, admission x2)

Redbox $4.00 (movies x2)

Wessles Farm $20.00 (budgeted admission x2)

Hastings Museum $15.00 (budgeted admission x2)


We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $20.00

Walmart $ 0.00 (slept in parking lot x6 nights)

Campsite $20.00 (unbudgeted, but we’re in the middle of nowhere)


We continue to do great in this category

Miscellaneous: $9.00

Parking $3.00 (cost of parking in Lincoln)

Laundry $6.00 (budgeted expense)


Of course, we did great in this category

Nebraska Expenses Grand Total: $ 432.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Nebraska Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 4

“Agriculture makes up the majority of the state’s economy, and I worry the state is putting all of its economic eggs in one basket”

Lori: 4

“Nebraska per capita income is $31,339, which is 25th in the nation”

Economy score: 4

Cost of Living:

Nate: 4

“With a sales tax as high as 7.5 % after local surcharges, and a 6.84 % income tax, it would be cheaper to live in Connecticut.

Lori: 4

“Considering many farms we came across during our week in the state, I was disappointed to see hardly any roadside produce stands or farmer markets, and we had to buy most of our food in big box stores”

Cost of living score: 4

Quality of life:

Nate: 4

“Nebraska lies in the heart of tornado ally in the summer, and in the winter has a history of getting pounded with blizzards”

Lori: 5

“Outside of Omaha, Nebraska was a clean state, and I always felt safe”

Quality of life score: 4.5


Nate: 8

“The state has very traditional values such as growing crops and maintaining close ties with the family and community, which we liked a lot! ”

Lori: 8

“The citizens of Nebraska were the most wholesome, genuine, warm, and friendly people we have come across thus far on out trip”

Culture Score: 8


Nate: 8

“Although a rural state, there was always a decent sized town within an hour’s drive no matter where you currently were. This was very unique to Nebraska compared to other Midwestern states!”

Lori: 8

“Every town we visited within the state, the business appeared to be open and flourishing”

Environment Score: 8

The verdict is in:

The final score for Nebraska was 5.7, and it will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Michigan 8.3

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Virginia 6.6

Pennsylvania 6.5

West Virginia 6.0

Nebraska 5.7

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

Minnesota 4.2

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9