Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day Road Trip

Shawn and I were both off work on Labor Day so I wanted us to take a road trip for the day and go somewhere fun to eat and do some activities while we were there.  Shawn had golf plans for the morning but after that he was mine. 

I wanted to go to the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth to eat but Shawn didn't want to go there.  We've been a couple times and I've actually been craving it.  Before he left for golf, he mentioned an Amish place up around Washington/Montgomery called Knepp's he had went to before when him and a friend were playing golf and they said it was good.  I agreed to go there and tried to call them to see if they were open, but they didn't answer the phone.  I asked on Facebook for some suggestions and got alot of good ideas, but I was still wanting to go to the Overlook.  

As soon as Shawn and his friend got to the golf course, the sky opened up and poured buckets of water down so the guys weren't able to golf.  Boo for them, yeah for me, cause we are heading to the Overlook now!  I looked on the Overlook's menu and didn't see the one dish I had been craving :(  But was ok with that, they have lots of other yummy food.  I also planned our route back home with some sightseeing stops along the way.  

I was still getting ready when Shawn got home, so he started looking around for someplace different to go.  Someone had suggested the Schnitzelbank in Jasper, so Shawn mentioned that.  We had never been, so I was fine with that, but then started looking at their menu online and wasn't too sure about it.  I said let's just go to the Overlook.  But then right before we walked out the door, Shawn said, why don't we go to Patti's in Grand Rivers.  Fine with me!  I've actually been wanting to go there and eat and then drive around the Elk & Bison Prairie that is near there.  So I gathered up all my paperwork and maps that I had already printed out for there and out the door we went!  


We left the house a few minutes after 11:00.  Shawn called Patti's to make reservations for us for 1:30.  Patti's didn't have anything available until 2:45, but could get us into Bill's at 1:30, so after finding out what Bill's was, we took that time.  Bill's is exactly the same as Patti's.  Same location, you order off the same menu, the food comes from the same kitchen, it's just in a different building from Patti's.  


Based on all the mixed reviews on Trip Advisor and from friends, I really wasn't sure what to expect when we got there or how the food would taste.  We definitely weren't disappointed.  We got there a few minutes before our reservation time, went to bathroom, and then were immediately seated at our table.  We ordered our drinks and meals and then they brought out some of their flower pot bread and homemade strawberry butter.  It was definitely yummy! 


We both had a side salad and it was really good too.  I had ranch dressing which was good, Shawn got honey mustard which was better!  I actually ended up asking for some honey mustard myself.  All of their dressings are homemade, however they don't sell them in any of their gift shops :(  


I got the chicken linguine.  It was good, but needed some garlic in it for my taste.


Shawn was torn between the catfish meal and their famous two-inch thick pork chop.  He opted for the catfish at the recommendation of the server, but wishes he would of got the pork chop meal.  He said the fish was good, but some parts of it were chewy and overcooked.


I was going to get dessert, but was entirely fool from our food, and I didn't even eat all of my food.  I was actually miserable.  HAHA!  They have alot of different desserts and I really wanted coconut cream pie, however I don't like the meringue and didn't want to pay $7 for a slice of pie with 7 inches of meringue on it.


We walked around the grounds of the restaurant and went into a couple of the different shops.  



They have a putt-putt course there too and Shawn wanted to play, but I couldn't.  I was completely full from lunch and it was hot outside.  Plus I was packing my purse and camera and was not in my usual comfy t-shirt.  I actually was miserable and just wanted to get in the car and turn the air on.  I had already went to the bathroom once after eating so I should of taken this as a sign for the times to come.  LOL!!

After lunch we drove down to the Elk & Bison Prairie.  The drive was a little longer than I thought it was going to be.  I guess I thought everything was together and even though in a way it was, it was still 20 miles south.  The drive there was nice, and in the fall time, I know the drive will be so much nicer with all of the foliage changing colors!  There was quite a few pull offs, parks, and sight seeing stops along the way that we were going to do on the way back.  Well that was the plan anyways!

Once you got to the Elk & Bison Prairie, there was a $5 entrance fee and then it's a 3.5 mile one way driving loop, where you could possibly see elk, bison, deer, turkey, other small wildlife and then all kinds of wildflowers.  I was excited to go.  It reminds me so much of driving through Cades Cove in Gatlinburg looking for bear.  After you pay, you have to drive through another set of gates and then there is a stop sign to stop at with a board of rules to read.  One of the rules was that you could get out of your car, but not if the bison was within 200 feet of your car.  They showed you how far 200 feet away was with a speed limit size the distance away from the rules sign.  There was also park rangers driving around too that you could ask questions of and such.  






We were probably around a mile and half into it when we spotted a bunch of stopped traffic and then saw all these bison.  They were all on the passenger side of the road and what I thought was a far enough distance, so I got out of the car and just stood by the car to try and zoom in a little bit better to get a picture.  Some other cars went past us and then a car was going by with a little boy hanging out the window (shouldn't he of been belted in?!?!) saying "you aren't supposed to be out of the car, you aren't supposed to be out of the car." 

I snapped a couple pictures and then got back in the car.  As soon as I shut the door, the park ranger truck coming flying down the road with his blinkers on going the opposite direction of traffic on a one way road and stopped at our car and asked me what I was doing.  I told him I got out real quick to take some pictures.  He asked me if I read the rules sign coming in and I said yes and that I thought the bison were far enough away.  He assured me they weren't and then went on to tell me that they can run 35 mph which is faster than he and I could run.  I thought about telling him anything can run faster than this fat girl can run, but figured I better not!  LOL!! 




And that's the end of the pictures!  Why?  Because about 2 miles into the loop, I started getting some serious stomach cramps and thought I was going to have some serious bathroom issues in my car. Seriously! And there is nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom and being MILES away from a bathroom and being stuck in slow moving traffic!  I had to end up passing the camera to Shawn, rolling the windows up, and blasting the air on cold on me.  I started looking for gas stations or restaurants on the GPS and there was none at all in the area!  I seriously thought I was going to have a panic attack at this point!  We finally made it through the exit and Shawn remembered seeing a sign for a welcome center about a mile down the road.  We got there and as I was running (ok, a fat girl can run) up the sidewalk, I saw a sign that said they were only open till 5.  I asked Shawn what time it was and he said 4:45.  Fat girl ran a little bit faster!  Only to get there and pull on the handle and it was locked. What the heck!!  You had to enter them from inside the visitor center.  Shew!  Close call!  
We left there and instead of going back the way we came and stopping at some of the sight seeing places along the lakes and picnic areas, I just wanted to start heading home incase anymore situations arose.  Good thing too cause we were only a couple miles away and I had to go to the bathroom again.  Thankful for gas stations, Sprite, and stomach pills.  

I was fine the rest of the way home and enjoyed singing into my Sprite bottle like it was a microphone.  I thought Shawn was going to die and I know he wanted to pull his phone out and video it, but I had my eye on that sly fox!  

Even though there was a few little mishaps, we had a great time and want to go back again this fall and spend the night so we have a couple days to do things.  There is also a couple golf courses Shawn wants to golf at.  

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