Yep, we went to Branson. Why? Because we felt like it. We have never been there and I "heard" that it was a fun family place for the kids. P.S. I am not sure I can name a person who said they liked it and had actually been there. Did we have fun? YES. Is it a place we will visit again unless we are carrying an AARP card? NO.
We left the day after school got out and headed to the airport. We flew 2 1/2 hours to Tulsa, OK, where we got a cool Dodge Charger rental car and drove 3 hours to Branson. The "Are We There Yet's" had reached an all time high, but the drive to Branson was nice and it was GREEN, which is a color we don't see much around here.
We finally got to our place when it was dark, because we had lost 2 hours traveling East. Brett wanted to know when we would make up those 2 hours of his life that he lost, he was actually upset. Anyway, we got ourself this cool looking cabin that had two bedrooms, a kitchen and dining room and family room, so the boys were really excited. I was too!
We had fun relaxing, sight-seeing and going to an amusement parks.
Here we are in the Rec center. Josh playing checkers and the boys always playing ping pong. Brett and Josh found a friend named Jacob who they played and swam with everyday. He was there with his Grandma for the week.
Notice the snack bar in the background, that came in handy for late night ping pong tournaments.
For those of you that haven't been to Branson, which is most, it kind of looks like a mini Las Vegas. Here are some pictures I took of "The Strip" as they call it.
"The Dutton's" show house. The Dutton's are a Mormon family that were on "America's Got Talent", they also play here in Mesa in the Winter's. A few different acts play at this Theatre, but the Dutton's are the main attraction.
Here is a Wax Museum, another attraction on the strip.
They had 3 different Go-Cart/water slide places on the strip as well. We stopped to do this huge Bungee jump/swing thing. The crane pulled us up and let us go and we swung back and forth. I am usually not scared of most rides, this one, I was actually scared of as they pulled us up. Brett had the controls and he was in charge of pulling the cord to let us go, THAT WAS SCARY!
Here is a video of it, if you want to hear a mother screaming louder than her child.
We then went on this cool ride called "Ride the Ducks" it was a big truck that showed us all around Branson. We traveled up to the mountains and then it took us into the water! Josh and Brett both got turns driving the boat. We had these funny duck beak whistles that they encouraged everyone to blow at passing cars and to be all around obnoxious with. Can you imagine what we did with those whistles when we came home? They "Duck" fairy came to collect them and they would magically reappear when the kids got back to Mesa.
Brett driving the Boat..
Josh just finished driving the Boat...
We visited a Fun amusement parks called Silver Dollar City. They had some fun roller coasters as well as little shops and exhibits portraying the Ozark way of life back in the 1900's. All of the park attendants wear period clothing. Josh was a little leary of the rides, so he stayed clear. The only one he wanted to go on was the log ride! I went on it once and got soaked. The boys and Mike went on it a second time.
They are in there somewhere..
They did have some awesome coasters with a view that was amazing! Josh finally went on one roller coaster that went upside down. Of course, he didn't know what was ahead of him. When the ride finished, he threw his hands in the air and yelled, "That was awesome!" Phew, that could have turned ugly, so we were lucky.
Mike and Brett were in front on this crazy one!
Here is a couple more pics of the amusement park. They also had a cave that was one mile deep! That was the original attraction in Branson, then they started to build some attractions to keep the visitors busy while they waited to visit the cave. Then the attractions got so popular, that became the main attraction and the cave is just a side note.
Finally we spent some time in Old Downtown Branson, next to the river. We played some football, climbed trees and ate lunch.
Finaally we sit down to eat!!
Mr. B's Ice Cream--That is one of Brett's nick names :)
Mike got some rounds in, he was pretty bummed he wouldn't be able to golf on his vacation.
We did get to see some entertainment. About 15 to 20 of the shows around Branson, came to the resort to give a preview of their acts. We got to see an abbreviated version of the best Branson has to offer. Plenty of singing, magic shows, roping tricks and general entertainment. Josh was even part of the show.
Three of the Dutton's
The last attraction we went to was the "Butterfly Palace." Brett really wanted to go here since the beginning of the trip. We saved it for last, aka, nothing else left to do. It was interesting. They had 5,000 butterflies in this room, which you could not touch. They gave the kids magnifying glasses to observe the butterflies, I am glad we went.
We are almost done..On our way out, we visited an amazing eatery that we saw on the Food Channel, it is called Lambert's cafe. They are famous for "throwing rolls" at the customers. They come out and yell, "Fire up!" and you hold up your hands and they throw your dinner rolls to you. They also come around with "sides" for your dish like, Black Eyed peas and Fried Okra. Real Country Food!
This guy in the corner is eyeing Brett to throw a roll too.
One more stop..The Second Largest McDonalds (first is in Orlando, Florida) is in Vinita Oklahoma! Who knew? Definately not us. It spans the freeway. My kids HAD to stop and get nuggets, there is always room for Chicken Nuggets!