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Old 06-28-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default An Amy in Illinois Tale....

Well folks, I have been busy the last few days. I was lucky enough to travel with my boyfriend and children to Illinois to check out the sights and hang out. Our flight was at 6:15 am out of NC so we were up super early to make sure we made it on time. The flight was uneventul and we landed in St Louis at 8:15 local time. Since we had no set plans the first couple of days we decided to just roam St Louis since we were already there. We went to see the Arch and even got to go up to the top. Here are a couple of pictures from it:

The shadow of the Arch as viewed from the top:

The city:


We walked around and explored all morning and then were heading out of town towards our hotel in Illinois near Mac's house, yes Mac of the forums was allowing US to his town to visit!! We got out of town and Matt called and asked our plans. Since we were right nearby I asked if my boyfriend, Andy, could do his wrestling class which would start at 5 pm. He was gracious enough to say yes. So we headed out towards the gym. We had a little time to kill so we drove up the road a short ways to a Lewis and Clark monument that we could go up in and see where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers merge. That was really cool. The rivers are flooded right now so it was quite a sight.

We got to the gym a little before 5 and saw that Matt was already there going through fan mail. You know who else was there??? BoomTown!! Andy joined in the class when it started. It was no joke. Andy made it almost through the whole class without having to stop due to feeling the need to puke. Here is a picture of him in the class. If you look closely, you can see Matt in the background.

Andy is in the white t-shirt:

Matt is in the background here doing pullups:


I hung out with Boomer watching the class. Thanks to Matt and The HIT Squad for letting Andy do the class. Robbie was there and even remembered who I am!! What a great guy. He made a point to tell me bye before he left the gym for the evening.

We were exhausted after all that so we drove to a hotel in Litchfield to stay after cancelling our original hotel plans. We wanted to stay closer to St Louis so we could have more choices in what we wanted to do on Friday.

Friday morning we hit Decatur to a zoo there. That was fun. It was small but had quite a few animals and a great petting area.

This is a Llama picture I took that reminded me of our Mark Llama and even sent it to him via text message:

Here are the baby goats that we got to walk among. They chewed anything and everything including Andy's shorts:


After that we hit the online store which is run by Brian Patton who is an extremely nice guy. He let us dig through the merchandise and even let us play with one of Matt's belts. I ended up finding a lot of things to buy.


We really wanted to go see the fights in Butler at the fair and support The HIT Squad. Here are a couple of pictures from a night of great fights. I believe we had 6 wins total!!! How great is that?

Here is Boomer taking a picture of me taking a picture of him:



So we had tickets to sit in the stands and were happily minding our own business when lo and behold I spot Danny, aka Silverback. Let's just say he is a troublemaker and a half. He talked us into going down there even though we had no passes. My kids met his kids. Everything seemed fine.... Mark walked up and gave me a big hug and told me he'd been waiting for this. Uh oh. He made me wait until the next day to find out what he'd been waiting for exactly. He was kind enough to bring my kids a coke each. Guess who showed up then? MAC!!!! It was my first time meeting Mac and let's just say he was the reason we all got thrown out of the VIP area for not having pit passes. I'll let him tell that story.... After we got kicked out we left. It was getting late by then and we were all tired and hot.

I'll close this post and continue with Saturday's activities in another one.


~Amy
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Last edited by TexasRN; 06-28-2010 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:20 AM
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Great tale so far Amy! I'm flattered that such a magnificent creature reminded you of me
Sounds like a great time.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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How did you get to the top, Amy? I would NEVER be able to go that high.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:24 AM
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How did you get to the top, Amy? I would NEVER be able to go that high.
We rode in the tram they have to do it. It's like sitting in a tiny egg. My head was hitting the top even when I was sitting and all of our knees were touching. Close quarters.... If they had let us take the stairs, we would have but that is not allowed. It was worth fighting the claustrophobia to get up there.


~Amy
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:39 AM
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So we had tickets to sit in the stands and were happily minding our own business when lo and behold I spot Danny, aka Silverback. Let's just say he is a troublemaker and a half. He talked us into going down there even though we had no passes.

~Amy[/QUOTE]

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Old 06-28-2010, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasRN View Post
We rode in the tram they have to do it. It's like sitting in a tiny egg. My head was hitting the top even when I was sitting and all of our knees were touching. Close quarters.... If they had let us take the stairs, we would have but that is not allowed. It was worth fighting the claustrophobia to get up there.


~Amy
Unless they give me my own egg that I can lay down in, it sounds lke I may never make it to the top, then!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:42 PM
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Saturday morning rolls around and we decided to drive in to St Louis to see the big zoo. Admission was free but we had to pay to park. It was already very hot with a heat index over 100 degrees and we were walking around outside. We were all nasty sweaty by the time we left to make the 2 hour drive to Mac's house.
For any of you who have never been to that part of Illinois let me describe it for you. Corn. There were corn fields everywhere. They had a great crop this year. If you want to find Mac's house just turn past the corn, across from the corn, but before the sunflowers. We checked into the hotel about 3:30 pm and called Mac. He told us how to get there and we made it by 4.
Here I am with Mac:


These are the forum people who were there:


Mac asked if Andy and I wanted to play washers with him and Boomer and of course we said yes. Andy and I won but I think we had help from the kids. Hank and a few other little ones kept walking in between everything all over to help pick up the washers as they were thrown. It was adorable but meant that at the last second you sometimes had to pull your throw due to a small one walking by.





Here are some pictures of cooking and food:
Danny's contribution had sausage, potatoes, and green beans and was great:



Matt made shrimp that were out of this world:



Mark and Mac had a wing cook off that Mark won. There were things for the kids to do, there was a volleyball net set up, a basketball goal, a sandpile, washers, etc. Mac showed my kids his cars and even took them for a ride in this one:


We were having so much fun that it didn't surprise anyone the cops showed up:

Mac said anytime they smell smoke they all come over.
We all sat around and talked, laughed, cut up, and carried on. I got to meet Mac's dad who swore to him that I was a crazy internet witch doctor who was trying to kill him when I gave him my family's poison ivy cure that he was desperate enough to try. It worked and he lived so his dad got a kick out of meeting me. He and Mac's mom are such good people!!

Boomer brought the desserts. Yummy! I think he bought out the entire dessert counter at the store. This is when I found out what Mark had been waiting for. He was beside me while Boomer was cutting up the cakes. When the lid came off the lemon cake Mark said, "Amy, you have got to find out how good this cake smells." So I lean down a little to smell it, waiting to for my olfactory sense to send me to heaven when I feel a hand clamp over the back of my head and find my face rushing towards the lemon cake! He stopped right before my nose went in but I think he only stopped to make sure we had enough dessert for everyone. I can't believe I fell for that.

It wasn't too long after that when we decided we had to go back to the hotel to shower. We had been in the heat all day from the zoo until then and we had to be smelling as bad as the wild hogs. After our showers and cooling off I texted Mac to see if he could tell us how to get out to the lake. We wanted to go star gazing out there at night. Mac said he was already on his way to town and that he'd stop by and by and pick us up to show us around his town. He showed up in that pink Bel Air in the picture!!! So we drove around town, around parts of the lake, and then he bought us milkshakes before dropping us back off at the hotel. What a great guy.

We had a 7:20 flight at St Louis so we had to get on to bed. We woke up at 3 am and off we drove to end the trip. We have great memories and I finally got to meet Mac and Mark and Danny. Oh and I met Jessi!!! This girl needs to post more, she's a sweetheart.

Thanks to everyone there, we had a blast.


~Amy
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:57 PM
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Was Mac bragging about how his was bigger than Mark's?

(Talking about the grill of course.)
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:27 PM
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
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Was Mac bragging about how his was bigger than Mark's?

(Talking about the grill of course.)
They were Mike , they so were . you were talking about chicken wings right ? lol

And he is where Amys modesty came into play lol . Me and Mark decided Boomer would be our totally non biased judge . I madea buffalo style wing that was fall off the bone good and Mark made this little dry rub black things he called chicken wings . Boomer liked the Kingsford wings better . Amy said she liked mine better because she doesnt like Burnt food Seriously . But since Boomer was the agreed upon judge i am bound by law to say Mark won the competion ........................ But my wings are still better
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