Friday, September 3, 2010


To squeeze in as much fun as we possibly could into the summer, we made a last minute trip to Branson, Missouri for shopping and Silver Dollar City. Shawn's parents have had season passes for years and are given free passes to share:) Mom always says that if we come pick her up and pay for gas she'll cover the hotel.

How can you say no to that?

We've gone with just them, and with the entire family more times than I can count. Since it's not a horribly long drive we have gone as many as four times a year. Since they have different festivals they have different decorations, shows, displays, demonstrations, and things to buy. It's almost like a new place every time you go! They even had new rides this time!

The Craftspeople Festival is my favorite. Demonstrations everywhere. There are certain craftspeople that are always there, but for the festival, there's extra.

Part of the festival this time was interesting facts. I loved walking around and reading them.

I did not know that.

We got in early and went to stand right by the chains so that we could head straight to the ride that all four of us wanted to do. (Shawn wasn't with us because his call schedule is made a month ahead.) When we saw this sign, we knew we were in the right place.Powder Keg. I have never been a ride rider....until Disney World. With an even number of people, I had to ride it all. I learned that I wouldn't get sick on rides like I always assumed I would. So as we were discussing who wanted to ride, Reagan said she did. That meant I was riding. I was willing, but if I didn't need to, I wasn't going to. We got into line and soon enough were standing in the bays. McKinley with Reagan, Kennedy with me. But as we waited Reagan started getting nervous. We all gave her pep talks. We reminded her of what she'd ridden in Florida. She decided she could do it. So we took off. Literally. It shoots you from 0-60 in about 3 seconds. After several drops and twists we slowed down to climb a hill. I had slightly heard Kennedy's screams over mine and grabbed her hand to thank her for letting me ride with her. She, who hadn't been nervous at all, looked me in the eye and screamed, "Let go of my hand so I can hold on to something!" Apparently she'd decided halfway through that she wasn't enjoying herself. Luckily we all survived.

Well, except the cat.After that we headed to Fire In The Hole. Until Disney World it was the only roller coaster I'd get on. There's one hill, and since it's indoor and in the dark, you don't even know. You also get shot with water when you least expect it so it's lots of fun. On a choir trip in high school I rode it with my teacher. (I absolutely loved her.) When we got off she sat down on the sidewalk and started leaving butt prints from her wet jeans. She yelled at the girls with me to join her and so we all did. Every time I get off that ride I have a huge smile on my face.

The ride is okay for Kennedy.

No matter what this picture shows.And in all my trips, I never knew this!The year round decorations are wonderful. The whole place is set in the late 1800's so most things go along with that. What I love most about it is if you're not a ride rider there are plenty of other things to do. Also the big rides aren't visible. To keep the 1800 look they build the big roller coasters behind trees. You can't even tell you're about to get on a roller coaster until you're about three people from getting on.

There's fun stuff all around. I think I see something new every time we visit.I don't do water rides. I don't like wet clothes. I don't like walking in wet clothes. Luckily Gogo is a water ride rider. But after being in line for a while the girls said they'd be fine and Gogo came to watch.And that's why I didn't get on.

See? 1800 decor.This, this cracked me up. My mother-in-law, she laughed as well.Can you read it? 'You can lose 150 lbs. Lose your mother-in-law.' I love the one right next to it. 'Are you spinning this silly wheel?'

This happens every time we visit. Poor things.The flowers and plants are astounding. No matter what season. I need a big black metal trunk. I need one. Really. Anyone want to give me one?This is a must. A tradition. I love looking at the old ones.We decided on a quick lunch and were so intrigued by Potato On A Stick. They were cute and delicious. But messy! I spent the rest of the day with an oil stain on my shorts.Seriously, why can't I get a normal picture of this child? Even my threats to put them all on Facebook doesn't help.Mom and I went to a cooking demonstration while Dad took the girls to the Grand Exposition area. When we met up with them Kennedy and McKinley begged to go on a ride that Reagan swore she'd never set foot on again. While they stood in line we played with our new friend. And saved him numerous times from strollers and toddlers.Just watching this ride made my stomach churn. The disc they're sitting on turned in a circle.But the thing the disc was on pulled it back and forth. From the top to the middle to the top on the other side.I think Reagan was smart not to do it again.

I got myself a man shortly after that. And hello humidity. My hair was perfectly straight when we got there that morning.As our time was coming to an end we started discussing the things we had to do before we left. McKinley checked the map to plan our attack.I had to have a swinging bridge picture. Isn't the setting beautiful? Just a few feet away is a roller coaster. You'd never know.The old water wheel is also a must. We always stay until we see two loads of water dump.Have I mentioned how much I love the plants and flowers?? My hostas never get that big. My sweet potato though? That I can grow.Forget the foliage for a minute. Holy skunk tail Batman! What is in that backpack??These girls...they never listen.By the time we stopped at the candy shop so I could get my traditional taffy they were done for the day. This was the last batch of peanut brittle. Luckily we got a really big sample taste:)We crossed the bridge to head to the exit and I had to take a picture of two of my favorite things.Oh, but the glass blower stopped us before we left. I love watching them! This guy was the youngest I've ever seen. He was great with the crowd and made two things I'd never seen before.

Can you imagine how hot he must be?? 2200 degrees!!Oh wait! I'm suddenly distracted by the lady with the ruffle tail!Okay, I'm back. Look at those beautiful globes they're using as a decoration. I could put those so many places in my house. Surely no one would notice if I took a few. I'm sure they were all looking at the tail anyway.Soon enough it was time to go. We'd done as much as we could. It had been another wonderful time.

But wait, one more tidbit.Well who knew?? Time to rent me some Beverly Hillbillies!

I love the place! The whole town is wonderful. From shows to outlet shopping to theme parks. And gorgeous scenery around every turn.

And my favorite part? The memories and the time spent with my wonderful in-laws. I love them!

Have you all been to Branson?


Robin said...

You are totally making me want to get in the car and drive to Branson right now!!! We love SDC! I'd rather go there than Disneyland.

sportzmom said...

Looks like a blast. Love the potato on a stick! YUMMY!

Sheila said...

I went to SDC way back in 74 or 75 (I was quite young). My cousins lived in MO and we did a road trip. It was excellent! I think it was a two lane highway into Branson, there wasn't much in the town yet. Fire in the Hole was an awesome ride! I got rock candy and a turquoise ring and a blistering sunburn! Thanks for the memories, looks like you you had a blast!