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to petit jean and back

Over the weekend we loaded up the van and did a whirlwind tour of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.  While Oklahoma was fascinating, Kansas had to be the most exciting landscape we saw during the five days we were on the road.  While I regret not being able to see the 37-inch donkey advertised just east of Hays, Kansas, I’m sure I’ll have another occasion to spend quality time in Kansas.

We traveled to Petit Jean, Arkansas, to celebrate Tonya’s grandma’s 90th birthday.  Nearly everyone on her side of the family was there — aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and me.  We rented cabins and spent the days eating our way from cabin to cabin.  Brisket at cousin Ricky’s won my heart.  Nothing quite says love like a good piece of brisket.

Although I was battling an eye infection, it was good to spend time with Tonya’s two brothers and her parents.  We’re spread out — from California to Colorado to Illinois to Tennessee.  Tod and Tony were both ushers at our wedding (we celebrated our 19th anniversary with them, her parents, and the kids at a Pizza Hut in Morrilton, Arkansas.  Buffet!).  They even helped put in a new battery in the Mercury Villager.

I could write more about Kansas, but I’m trying to stay positive and I wouldn’t want to spoil the mystery for those of you who have never been to Kansas.