Thursday, September 18, 2008

On 9/18/2008 2:05 PM, Amanda L. Kuhn wrote:
Hi Everyone!

We are back from our trip and had such a great time!! We left on Friday 08/29/08 after work and made the 3 hour drive (which turned into 4 with the holiday traffic) up to Forest Lakes, AZ. Nanette, Michelle and Baby Zack were up for the weekend so we got to see our cute little God Son-- he sure is growing now. Barb and Dave made it up late that night and we visited with them before we left too.
Saturday morning we left bright and early 4AM and drove thru New Mexico and on to Texas. We stopped at the Cadillac Ranch and sprayed painted a heart with our initials. It was pretty fun. Then we headed to our RV park. The spot was nice because we had our own little yard for the dogs. That evening we went out for a Steak Dinner at the Big Texan. It was such a cute restaurant!! They have a challenge if you can eat a 72 oz stake and the fixins its free!! We didn't partake in that, but enjoyed our 21 oz steak we shared and had some left for the dogs.
The next morning we took off just before sunrise.We drove thru Oklahoma and made it into Maumella Park in Arkansas that evening. Our spot was so awesome-- right on the Arkansas River. The next morning we drove up to Petitie Jean mountain and had breakfast at Mather Lodge. The food was good and the view was amazing!! That afternoon we went to a get together at Kenny's cousin Peggy's house. She invited friends and family and it was so nice to see/meet everyone. She has such a beautiful home you will have to check out the pictures to see her Razerback room!!
The next morning we headed to Branson, MO. We got a lot of rain from the Hurricane and it didn't stop for 3 days!! We went shopping at the craft malls (poor Kenny) and saw two fun shows- Mickey Gilley (09/02) and Dixie Stampede (09/03). Mickey Gilley was really fun and much better than I expected since Kenny and I don't have the same love for older country music. Joey his side kick was so funny and really made the show. Dixie Stampede was our favorite though- and we had front row seats!! Its dinner and a show and kind of interactive you cheer for the North or South depending on which side you are on. The food you eat with your hands only and it was baked potatoes, corn on the cob and a Cornish hen-- so good. We ended up being part of the show!! The asked if we wanted to be in the show- I said yes and Kenny said no, but they needed a couple so Kenny decided to do it. We were going to ride horses- sounded fine to me. We go down to the arena with 3 other couples and they tell the men to choose their horse. There are 6 beautiful women on horses and they run and pick on. Then the announcer says no guys those are the women's horses here are yours-- and hands them each stick horses (you know like a horse head on a stick). We had to ride it together and compete against the other couples- it was really funny.
Next we headed on to Springfield, IL but not before stopping in St Louis for some frozen custard - recommended by our coworker. Ted Drews Frozen Custard- yum. We made it into Springfield--still getting rained on... and met up with Kenny's Uncle Jerry, Aunt Kathy and cousins Jerry Jr and Brett. They took us out to an awesome restaurant called O'Charley's. The food was great and we ended up talking until after the resturant closed! It was really a nice time.
The next day (Saturday 09/06/08) we drove to Arthur Illinois to visit Amish country. I read a fictional book a while back that talked about Amish and one of the things I remembered from the book was the amazing cinnamon swirl bread - so we tracked that down and got some. Also, I wanted to get an Amish Quilt, but they were well out of my price range ($700+) so I settled for a really neat framed quilt block. The Amish we saw were Mennonites and from what I understand they are more open to technology but it still kinda weird to see people decked out in Amish clothing get into a mini van OR a man in a buggy pulled by a horse talking on a cell phone. It was a fun experience though. After that we drove into Kenny's home town of Clinton, IL and saw the house his mom and dad lived in and the Hardee's they owned. We drove back to Springfield and did some shopping at the White Oaks mall then had dinner with the Kuhns again. After dinner we went back to their house and Jerry Jr taught us how to play craps. It was SO much fun.
The next morning we met up with everyone again at the cracker barrel for breakfast before we left. For lunch that day we met up with Kenny's Aunt Donna and her son David and one of her granddaughters. We ate at Stake and Shake-- yum. After that we visited Ron's (Kenny's dad)  grave sight. The cemetery really is a beautiful place. Then we headed up to see Susie (Kenny's step mom). That night we ended up going to a demolition derby - my first and a fair in a nearby town. It was SO awesome!!! We met up with Kenny's step sister Jennifer and her family. Sunday, Susie and I went to a fun store called maple City - it is a candy and gift store and Kenny stayed at Susie's and relaxed. The store was amazing it is 3 stories and endless rooms of cute stuff. Later that day Susie took us to Fun City in Iowa. They have a casino so Kenny tried his luck at the craps table and did awesome!! We won like $80--- he gave it all back but had a lot of fun doing it. I won $10 on penny machine which was pretty fun too. We played lots of video games and Susie bought us lunch at the restaurant there.
Monday (09/08/08) we took off and drove through Iowa and on to Nebraska. We stayed the night and pretty much headed out first thing to Denver Co. We stayed 2 days in Co and had such a blast. Idaho Springs outside of Denver is where we stayed and it was just beautiful. We were near a place called Central City which was an old mining town 'where the gold rush began' they say. We enjoyed walking around the near old town and found a neat Deal or No Deal penny slot machine (since there were no chaps tables there) to play. We at at a restaurant called Beau Jo's, recommended by coworker, both nights we were there. They had "mountain pies" which is yummy pizza. On 09/11/08 we headed on to Utah and then headed home on 09/12. We used the weekend to recoup, clean out the trailer etc.
We feel really lucky to have been able to see so much of this beautiful country. It was a nice trip.
Sunday we went to PIR with Barb and Dave for a Dodge Challenge Event. They were introducing the 2009 Dodge Truck. They had several courses set up where you could test drive the Dodge along with several competitors- Ford, Chevy and Toyota Trucks threw the test courses. It was really fun and at the end we got free T-shirts, hats and other Dodge stuff. Afterwards we headed over to Barb's for a B-day dinner for Bubba.

Monday we started our bowling league and really had a fun time. We ended up winning 2/3 of the games. We are playing with our friend Blair and a 4th lady we haven't met yet. It should be a fun season.

Well we are back to work and busy busy-- hope to hear from you soon!!