Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weekend in Branson

We finally had some rain last night! Our last measurable rain was May 2, so this was dearly needed. As a result, I can't work in the garden this morning and have the day off. I feel like a kid on a snow day and have a million things I'd like to do, but first I want to catch up on blogging. Not only have I not made any posts in awhile, I haven't got to read any others.

Update, Wednesday evening: While it sounded like we had a good rain, and we had a big puddle on the driveway, I worked in a front flower bed this evening and it was dry as a bone. So I took the day off for nothing.

I left off with our trip to Arkansas, so I'll take up with our visit to Branson. We stayed at a condo at Still Waters Resort with a view of Table Rock Lake. Still Waters Resort is out by Silver Dollar City. The drive from Little Rock to Branson was on a small highway that went through small towns and beautiful scenery. So much nicer than driving the interstate, and our weather was fine until just south of Branson, when it began to rain. That evening we had dinner with childhood friends who own a condo in Forsyth. That's when we learned of the one disadvantage of staying near the lake: there's only one way in or out. Somewhere between the condo and the first intersection, there was an accident. We finally got there, though over an hour later. It was dark and foggy when we began our drive back to the condo, and it seemed like there were twice the number of hills than when we drove in. Hubby drove like it was broad daylight and my heart was in my mouth the entire way.

The resort even came with a wake up service. These guys came by the condo early every morning for breakfast. I'm not sure if their honking was to let the others know what they found or warn them to keep away.

Keep away I think.

These little cuties were down at the loading dock.

Since we had a full kitchen in our condo, we needed to make a grocery run the next morning, and wouldn't you know it, the first store we found was Walmart? Drive 175 miles just to wind up at a Walmart that looks just like the one at home. But we stocked up for the weekend, and then met some friends at Lambert's Cafe just outside Springfield. Lambert's is a real treat, both in the food they serve and they way they serve it. We ordered an entrée and two sides, and waiters came around every few minutes with buckets of fried okra, blackeyed peas, and fried potatoes. Another waiter had a tub of fresh rolls, but instead of bringing them to the table, he watched for people to signal him and then he threw them from across the room. It was all delicious and portions too large to finish.

That afternoon, Brownie drove in from Tulsa and we ate dinner, and later, Lil and her boyfriend GW arrived from St. Louis. The next morning we all went to Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours. There was a problem with a previous tour so we had to wait awhile for our tour to start. I don't know what I expected, but it really wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be. There were twelve in our group (which is the maximum), and the course we signed up for had five towers with lines between and a suspension bridge. We had two guides, a leader and a follower, both friendly and helpful. Except while standing on the towers, which was how we spent most of the time on the tour, there isn't a lot of time to look at the scenery, especially while on the zip lines. The lead guide went ahead to the next tower to aid those coming in, while the follower guide gets each person ready to go. We were supposed to watch the lead guide as he gave signals to help us go faster or slower as we came in. The time of actual zipping was at most five minutes, but the time standing in the towers was about ninety minutes. My back was killing me from all the standing by the time we finished.

That night we went to the Dixie Stampede because that's where all the kids wanted to go. I could see why as there were more young people there than at other shows we've seen. It's a cross between a rodeo and a horse show with some competitive events, an announcer, a clown, some comedy, and a full dinner. They get the audience involved by creating a Civil War atmosphere, half the audience was assigned to cheer for the North and half the audience was to cheer for the South. But as Hubby pointed out, they had the U.S. flag on both sides. There was a pregame show with a juggler who was really good. The stampede show was good, especially if you like rodeo events like pole bending and barrel racing. The meal was served without utensils. I suppose that's part of the fun but I wasn't crazy about eating a whole rotisserie chicken with my fingers. It did make me grateful to whoever invented the knife and fork though.

The next morning after breakfast, the kids and Hubby went down to the lake and made use of the free paddleboats, and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. We all came back tired - walking up and down those hills is as tiring as paddling. After lunch, the kids headed home and we decided to stay one more day. That evening we went to Branson Landing which had flooded just days before. It was cleaned up and everything seemed to be open again.

It was really hard to leave the next morning. I think I could have stayed there all summer.
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