Kayla and I went to Branson Friday for a back-to-school bonding mini vacation. I hadn't been to Branson in years and it is still just as crowded as ever. We loved our hotel, though, because it was off the main road with easy access to traffic relief routes. After checking in Friday, we went to Branson Landing--which was a very nice new outdoor shopping center on the lake. It had just about every store and chain restaurant you can think of and a huge water fountain show. We walked around for a while and then ate dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. Afterwards, we got in the traffic line and headed to our show. We saw The Haygood's and they were wonderful. They are seven brothers and one sister--all in their teens and twenties. Their harmony was incredible and they played all their own instruments. It was a very entertaining show. We left and sat in traffic again and decided we had done enough for one day and went back to the hotel and watched the end of the Olympic opening ceremonies.
Saturday, we got up really early and had the free breakfast at our hotel and then headed to Silver Dollar City. I made sure we left way before it opened to beat the traffic and it worked. We were in the park by 9:00 a.m. (it didn't open until 9:30) and got to look through some stores and listen to music before they opened the gates. Once we were in there, we were able to ride a bunch of rides without waiting too long. They had way too many spinning rides though and I started getting sick. I had to time-out on the rides for a while. After we got a little bit wet on Fire in the Hole, we decided to just go for it and ride the Log Ride and the Lost River. I thought we got really wet on those rides but then we rode the Toboggan and got drenched--drenched as in jumping into the pool fully clothed. At that time, it started pouring down rain which didn't matter to us except the temperature was only about 65-70 degrees. We were freezing and decided to head out...along with everybody else in the park. We got back to the hotel and I had the best shower of my life. We then headed out to eat and turned into the first restaurant we came to on the strip--a little Mexican place which turned out to have some of the best mexican food I've ever had. After dinner, we headed to our show, Spirit of the Dance. Kayla loved it because it was all dancing--Irish step dancing, tap and jazz. Then we fell into bed exhausted.
Sunday we slept in and missed our free breakfast so we ate brunch at a country buffet. We then decided to go to the Titanic museum before we left. Kayla loves the Titanic movie and asks questions about the real Titanic all the time so I thought she would enjoy it and she loved it. The museum was in a big ship that looked like the Titanic and it had a lot of artifacts from the real Titanic and a real iceberg you can touch, an exhibit with costumes and set designs from the movie, and lots of pictures and video of the real Titanic. Then we headed home and collapsed from exhaustion last night. But we came home with lots of good memories and good experiences.