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Monday, August 1, 2011

Trip to Branson, Mo

Hello Everyone!

Ok, so I am finally getting around to telling you all about our vacation to Branson.  We went in the middle of last week.  I think this was a good thing because it was less crowded than the weekend.  However, it is still summer so it was still busy.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, we started off down at the landing where there are lots of shops and a big Bass Pro Store.  This is where we split up.  Hubby and son to Bass Pro and myself and daughter to the other shops. ;)  We weren't there very long so we didn't do any major shopping.  I picked up a couple of books and my daughter spent some of her birthday money on some perfume.  Hubby picked up the trout tags he would need for fishing the next day and a few other supplies.  Then it was off to the motel to check in.  After stowing our stuff,  we headed to a late lunch / early dinner at Charlie's Steakhouse. 
We had to share our room with the kayaks. Got a bit crowded but you do what you gotta do.
Charlie's.  Not a very good picture. But the place was full of rustic, antique items.  Way cool.
So from lunch/dinner, we went to the IMAX theatre.  The show we wanted to see was about the Great Lakes but we missed that one.  It only had one viewing a day and that had been at 3:00pm.  So instead, we saw Born to Be Wild.  This one was about two women in two different parts of the world who have dedicated their lives to helping orphaned animals to be raised and re-introduced into the wild.  We really wanted to see the Great Lakes one so we bought bounce back tickets to use at a later date.  Did you know you could do that?  They are half of the original price.  Great deal.  We finished off the evening with the kids taking a dip in the pool at the motel.  Did I mention it was very hot?

The next morning, we loaded up the kayaks and I dropped my hubby & son off up at the top of Taneycomo Lake.  They spent the day floating and fishing the lake.  It is really like a big river. 
My son getting ready to push off.

I wanted to get a picture of them taking off but the river was moving fast enough that they floated away before I could get it.  I hopped into the truck and drove up the river a bit to try and get ahead of them but I didn't make it.  The above picture I took through a bunch of brush as they floated by.  Not a very good one I'm afraid.  So off they went and off we went to the outlet mall.  Did you know that outlet malls are really kind of a joke.  (my opinion only)  You can find some good deals but most of the stores there are the higher end stores anyway so their prices are still above my budget.  We did pick up a few things and there were a few sales so we did alright.  We did stop at a dollar jewelry store and had a little fun there.

Here is what we ended up with.  
Now I have to say that I loved everything I bought except for the wallet.  I think it is adorable but it just wasn't big enough for me.  It is a hard sided thing and just doesn't expand very much.  It just didn't have enough room for all the things I keep in my wallet.  I tried to take it back the next day and they told me that they didn't do returns.  I tried to find something else to do an exchange only to be told that they didn't do exchanges either.  I was a bit lot put out about that because the wallet wasn't no $1.  It was $12!  I have learned a lesson though.  Always check a stores return and exchange policy; especially if you are on vacation.
(PS. this wallet is for sale if anyone is interested.)

After doing our shopping in the heat, we decided (my daughter begged) to go back to the motel and swim.  We did that for a bit and then got cleaned up and ready to pick up the guys.  We had plans that night to go see Noah the Musical at the Sight and Sound Theater.  After a mad rush to pick them up, let them get cleaned up and a quick bite to eat, we made it to the play.  We had dinner at a really great pizza joint called Luigi's.
The pizza is good but their House Italian Salad Dressing is to die for.
Then off to the theater.  Now I have to tell you that I didn't get very many pictures here.  I was told that they don't allow pictures so I decided to leave my camera in the car.  I took this one of the outside but that was it.

I didn't realize that they had a lobby with a lot of neat photo ops.  They had a statue of Goliath that was made to his real measurements according to the Bible account.  I would have loved to have a picture of that.   I debated about asking my sweet hubby to go back and get it for me but I didn't know how much time we would have so I just skipped it.  I decided to enjoy the time without having to have a picture of everything.  (You other bloggers know how that is.  You don't want to miss any pictures!)  Anyway, it was a great show and I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Branson.  (There are some live animals.)  It is great for kids.  It is ending this year, I think in Oct., so if you can, see it before it ends. 

The next day, our last, we had to go to one of those 90 min. sales presentations where the travel companies try to take your life savings sell you the vacation of your dreams for just pennies.  We just smiled sweetly, nodded our head that, "Yes, it is a wonderful deal." and said, "No, thanks.".  We did get a great rate on this vacation but we had to endure the salespersons.  (Yes, that is plural persons on purpose.)  After that was over, we headed to Table Rock Lake for a quick dip.  (Did I mention it was hot?)  Oh yeah, I already said that.  Sorry. ;)  Then we grabbed lunch at BTBones.

This was a little like Charlie's.  It was a little pricier but good.  We learned our lesson from Charlie's and split meals this time.  I think I forgot to mention that Charlie's gives you a lot of food.  We all got a main plate and unfortunately wasted too much food.  If we had split with the kids, we all would have been full at half the price.  Anyway, after lunch it was off to IMAX again for the Great Lakes film. 
When that was over, it was time to head for home.  We were all a little tired and the money had pretty much run out.  We did stop at a used book store and Andy's Frozen Custard in Springfield on the way home.

This may seem long but believe me, this is the Cliff's Notes version.  I took a lot of pictures.  I will leave you with just a few of the more scenic ones.
One of the shows had this King Kong on the side of the building.
Another attraction that we didn't go see.
The museum shaped like the Titanic
Lake Taneycomo with the dam for Table Rock Lake in the distance.
Overlooking Branson from the other side of Taneycomo Lake.
Taneycomo Lake where my guys floated.  See, it looks more like a big river.
Hubby & kids getting the low down from one of the local fisherman.
That is it for now.  Keep checking back.  I am working on my niece's wedding gift this week.  The shower is this weekend so I've got to get busy.  I will share with you next week all her goodies.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

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