Run for the Border

 Missouri border, that is.
We hadn’t taken a vacation this summer and school starts next week so we decided to
take the kids to Branson on a whim.
Leaving at 8:30, we got to see fireworks almost the entire drive up because we follow a country highway from Little Rock to Branson (3 hour drive.)  Sort of cool to see people celebrating the holiday (even if it was premature.)
We checked into the hotel and crashed, got up early and headed to Silver Dollar City.   It was really a fun day.  Silver Dollar City has a lot of wonderful landscaping and lots of trees so we never felt hot, despite the crazy summer temperatures. 

Max getting kissed by a pretty cowgirl before the saloon show

Target Shooting!
 Even though it was busy it didn’t feel like it and we only had to wait in one line for awhile, and that was due to a technical problem.  They have some great roller-coasters which hubby enjoyed!  The boys loved the Dog Show that was part of the Kid’s Fest they have going on now.  

Scott Ready to Ride
Not Even Half of This Ride!

Do you think they’d sell me this?
We left when they closed and went to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede for dinner. 
I thought the kids would like the rodeo type show and cowboy dinner, which they did. 
Super Cheesy- Branson style.  The 6 year old’s quote when we left. 
“Wow, that was SUPER cheesy and funny.” 
Their favorite part was getting to see the horses up close on the way in and out. 
My favorite part was watching the buffalos roll in the dirt like puppies.
Dixie Stampede
Long day and we made it home by midnight. 
Think the kids might forgive us now for no “real” vacation…

Quick Break

We decided Friday to make a run for the border.  (Missouri border that is,) so we headed up to Branson.  We hadn’t been there in years and thought we’d give it another chance.  I found a free room at this place everyone said was great with kids The Castle Rock Resort and Hotel.
The hotel has an actual waterpark with 2 large slides, large kiddie pool, lazy river, and two other pools indoors.  Now, I have to admit the beds were so horrible we didn’t sleep a wink, but there was an alcove for the boys with bunkbeds and their own TV which they loved (we don’t do cable etc. at home so they don’t watch TV normally.)  The upswing was the waterpark part is all part of your room fees, and we did get the room free thanks to AMEX points!  (EVEN BETTER!)

Half of the waterpark
Loving the Lazy River
They loved it.

After they played a bit we drove around looking for things that were open (it’s the off-season in Branson so not much was open.)  We toured the Butterfly Palace.  A bit expensive for my tastes- I’d been in better butterfly habitats that weren’t so pricey. 

Butterfly Bar 

Then we found a new open-air mall down on the river called Branson Landing where the Bass Pro Shop was.   We ate at an awful restaurant somehow connected with Bass Pro called The Fish House (I think.)  Yuck.  Downtown Branson has really changed since we were there about 4 years ago to ride Thomas the Tank Engine!

Got back to the hotel and the boys went to swim for another three hours or so in the waterpark while Emily and I went to the room and vegetated.  (The chlorine in the pool was so strong it was making us sick.)

This morning we woke up and hit the town. 

Today we got up and hit the town.
First, we toured the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum.  (Complete with shrunken heads and world’s largest ball of twine!)

World’s Largest Ball of Twine! (really, aren’t you impressed?)

Next, we did the Titanic Museum.  Yes, pretty depressing, but the kids seemed to like touching the cold water and “iceberg.”  Very interesting to say the least.

Then we headed back to Branson Landing to some place the kids really wanted to go,  Ridemakerz, where they build their own car (think Build-A-Bear for boys.) I normally don’t fall for that corporate junk but the kids are really happy with their dumb cars. 

All in all it was a fun, cheesy trip, but I think I’ve had enough of Branson for another ten years or so.