Tag Archives: Illinois

The Craziness Continues

This past weekend marked the first time I’ve seen The Texas Tenors since that crazy trip to North Carolina. Of course, all of the same people that were at the concert in North Carolina were there yesterday as well, plus several more. If I were Marcus, John, or JC, I would have been scared to see all of us together again!

Our trip was eventful as always. Why is it impossible for us to go somewhere without something strange happening? Aside from the dire urge some of us had to find a bathroom despite the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere in Illinois (and they call Iowa flat and desolate?), the most interesting part was our drive into Pella from Newton. This is the view we saw in front of us. Seriously?

12 tractor parade into town

There were eight of us that arrived in Alton, IL Saturday afternoon (the tractors fortunately didn’t slow us down too much). We immediately picked up where we left off in Keokuk. After quite a bit of chatting upon our arrivals, we finally made our way toward food. Naturally, it was dinnertime at that point, and none of us had eaten breakfast or lunch. Well, I take that back. Between all of us, we had consumed a bag of chips, a doughnut, a roll, and a candy bar. Talk about eating healthily!

We ended up at the Applebee’s, mainly because Mom didn’t want Chinese, Kathy didn’t want Mexican, and Red Lobster was too expensive. Nonetheless, it was really good. Of course, I think anything would have tasted good at that point since we were so hungry! I don’t think I’ve eaten that much in a long time! Why did Kathy and Judy have to get Blonde Brownies for dessert? They were too tempting for their own good!

After dinner, it was back to the hotel to continue our favorite game of Imaginiff. It’s definitely a riot. We couldn’t stop laughing! I’m not going to share some of the answers we came up with this time; they are too embarrassing for certain people and mildly inappropriate. Jeanette managed to win both games. I think she was cheating. Maybe she kept moving herself forward and conveniently forgetting to move everyone else’s pawn?

The night was over way too soon. We made sure to get our chairs moved back to our respective rooms so we wouldn’t get in trouble, and we moved Judy’s furniture back into place (although we thought about leaving it there). Bedtime. And one step closer to Tenor time.

The next day, we ended up at the mall to eat lunch at Olga’s Kitchen. This was especially funny for us after our game the night before. One of the questions asked was which female name my mother would be, and one of the options was Olga. Coincidence? I think not! We were having trouble deciding whether we wanted to go in or not initially, so we stood outside talking about it for a few minutes. At that point, one of the employees (Olga?) came up to us and asked us if we were coming in. Does that remind anyone else of the lady at the “bakery” in Nauvoo? Does our group have some magnet that causes people like that to be attracted to coming up to us?

Our group in front of Olga’s Kitchen, courtesy of Sabra Rieck

It was a very strange restaurant. Judy convinced me to eat the three-cheese curds appetizer as my meal since I wasn’t very hungry. It turned out to be delicious, and it gave me the opportunity to ogle at everyone else’s unique foods. For instance, Kathy had purple potatoes in her salad, and Glenda’s chicken was green. That’s not something you see every day!

At the end of lunch, Judy was struck with the brilliant idea to get something for John for his birthday. Even though it isn’t until the 12th, we knew that none of us (except for Sabra) would be in Branson that day to celebrate. Judy and I walked next door to the cookie place to purchase a huge decorated cookie that said “Happy birthday John” on it. They even put T’s on all of the balloons!

John’s cookie

Cookie in hand (more like in pizza box in hand), we headed over to the concert at the Lewis and Clark Community College. Two hours early! Our tickets were General Admission, so we wanted to be sure we were at the front of the line in order to get front row seats.

Our group in front of the venue

I have never seen so many people as worried about getting into a concert as these people! As we were standing by the main door into the auditorium trying to listen in on rehearsal, a man walked out and wanted to know if he could help us. We were caught. He told us to try going in one of the side entrances since not many people use it. That sounded like a good solution to me, but the others were worried that the side door wouldn’t be unlocked at the same time as the other doors. Then they discussed the possibility of posting several people at each door. Talk about a lot of work for front row seats!

We ended up staking out the side door like the man had suggested after he helped us hide John’s cookie. The doors opened 15 minutes early, and we raced in, only to discover we didn’t like the view from the front row after all. There were speakers in the way of several seats, and it was so close to the stage you had almost no legroom. Most of us moved to the second row.

Of course, the concert was absolutely fantastic (as usual). Instead of a live band, Jeff Hughes was playing the piano for The Texas Tenors. This was my first time hearing him, and I was extremely impressed.

Courtesy of Teena Carter

In other news, Marcus got his hair cut! According to him, he won’t have a chance again to have his regular hairdresser cut it until the end of December, and he doesn’t trust anyone else. I don’t know about you, but I like it!

Courtesy of Teena Carter

The concert was over way too soon. Sabra ended up being the lucky person to win the raffle for the huge concert poster signed by The Texas Tenors. I think the rest of us are extremely envious! Wouldn’t that look perfect hanging on the ceiling above my bed? I do, however, know it will earn an honorary spot in her new condo in Branson.

Courtesy of Sabra Rieck

We all waited until the end of the line to talk to the guys as usual. Teena and I were next in line to get pictures when they decided they needed to go take pictures with the board, and the line dissolved. For some reason that always seems to happen to me! What are they trying to tell me?!  When we got them reeled back over to us, we took our picture with them at last.

Courtesy of Teena Carter

Once the pictures were over, we finally got to present the cookie to John. He seemed to love it!

Courtesy of Teena Carter

Unfortunately, this meant the day was nearly over, and we still had the long trek home to look forward to. There’s nothing better than a weekend getaway with some of your best friends that’s filled with lots of love, lyrics, and laughs. Thank you to The Texas Tenors for bringing us all together. Here’s to many more special memories in the future!


Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Music, Travel


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