Branson Getaway: Part 2

This is a post about our Branson trip, but it’s the second half, head back one post to get caught up.

   We had just arrived at Silver Dollar City…..

Where we watched local craftsman, listened to folk and gospel music, rode fun rides and ate some good home cookin’.

IMG_2244_thumb1IMG_2245_thumbIMG_2248_thumbIMG_2252_thumbIMG_2262_thumbIMG_2264_thumbIMG_2265_thumbIMG_2268_thumbIMG_2269_thumbIMG_2270_thumbIMG_2271_thumb1

Be still my heart…….

IMG_2272_thumb1

The Breakfast of Champions

IMG_2273_thumb1IMG_2281_thumbIMG_2282_thumbIMG_2283_thumbIMG_2284_thumb

After our, oh so healthy, breakfast….we headed to Marvel Cave. A one hour tour that is actually what started Silver Dollar City!

Marvel Cave is known for being one of the largest caves in Missouri, having one of the largest cave entry rooms (the Cathedral Room) of any cave in North America, and for being one of the longest running tourist attractions in the Ozarks.

If you can’t stoop and fit through here to enter the area to wait in line, you might as well just go do something else, because the cave gets very narrow and very low at times!

IMG_2293_thumb1

3415759822_9f2f29fefa_o_thumb1

IMG_2299_thumbIMG_2315_thumb

The Cathedral Room is one of the largest cave entrance rooms found in North America. The room measures 204 feet high, 225 feet wide, and 411 feet long. Entrance to the cave is made through a sink hole which is 94’ deep. Two large openings are at the bottom of the sink. On July 7, 1963 an underground altitude record was set by Don Piccard, by flying a hot air balloon around the massive room. Later, in 1994 five hot air balloons were flown simultaneously in the Cathedral Room in celebration of the 100th year anniversary of giving cave tours.

Yes, it’s THAT big!

IMG_2324_thumb1IMG_2341_thumbIMG_2348_thumbIMG_2351_thumbIMG_2353_thumbIMG_2355_thumbIMG_2363_thumbIMG_2368_thumbIMG_2379_thumb1IMG_2389_thumb2IMG_2391_thumb1IMG_2401_thumb1

Looking down….

IMG_2397_thumb1

After all that walking, an hour total…the cable train pulls you the last 218 feet out!

IMG_2410_thumbIMG_2415_thumbIMG_2420_thumb1IMG_2424_thumb1

After that, we had fun walking around…..

IMG_2428_thumb1

Watching some crafters at work,

IMG_2431_thumb1

Rode some rides, and walked through Grandfather’s Crazy Mansion with sloped floors…

IMG_2433_thumbIMG_2439_thumbIMG_2444_thumbIMG_2450_thumb1IMG_2452_thumb1IMG_2461_thumb2

Then, this happened.

IMG_2465_thumb1

Which equals this:

IMG_2463_thumb1

After waiting a half hour in a food joint, we decided to head back to the condo, and change into warm, dry clothes and wait out the rain storm there. I couldn’t stop chattering, so I took a swim in the jacuzzi tub. You know its going to be a good soak when you walk in the bathroom and the bubbles are all the way past the top of the tub!!!!!

IMG_2478_thumb1

I left the camera in the condo to dry out, but wished I had taken it back to Silver Dollar City for the AMAZING concert we got to see at the parks close. They offer it for any guest at no additional charge, and it was one of the best ones we have seen!

Branson has something they call, “The Strip”, like Vegas has, but smaller, cleaner and nicer. My favorite part about this town, is unlike Vegas, it is full of the Good News of Jesus Christ. People aren’t afraid to speak, pray and sing about Him at their concerts, or even write a note to Him on their billboards. You can feel the Spirit of the Lord everywhere you go! LOVED it!

There were bad tornadoes recently, and a lot of damaged buildings…thus the sign.

IMG_2468_thumb1IMG_2470_thumb1

Just in case you were confused, this building is SUPPOSED to look like this. 🙂 The kids saw this picture, and thought maybe the tornado got ‘em.

IMG_2472_thumb2IMG_2489_thumbIMG_2491_thumbIMG_2499_thumb1

After much debate, we decided to do the 2 hour Titanic museum instead of some of the other light-hearted ones. It was fascinating!

IMG_2502_thumb1IMG_2518_thumb1IMG_2521_thumb2IMG_2522_thumb1IMG_2528_thumbIMG_2529_thumb1

No cameras allowed inside, so no photos of it, but we were each handed a passenger to “be” as we walked through. At the end you found out if you were a survivor or not.

IMG_2532_thumb1

  Along the way you got to see a stateroom, the grand staircase, feel the crisp, damp, FREEZING air “on deck” of the ship overlooking a starry night. We walked up a length of flooring the exact steepness that night as the ship slowly sank below surface. We also stuck our hands in FREEEEEEEEZING water that the people floated in for up to 20 minutes before hypothermia set in and they passed away. It was horribly cold, I could only stand it about 30 seconds before my finger tips started to sting.  It was well worth it, I’d recommend it to anyone!

 We wanted to go out nice, just once before we headed home, in honor of 10 year anniversary and of course, Beauty from Ashes. Drea bought me a little black dress for my 30th birthday, and I had yet to wear it. IMG_2537_thumb1

This trip seemed like the perfect time to use it! Guess what? It fit!

We went out to eat at this great restaurant called Cosmopolitan….where we had a FANTASTIC 3 course meal. {Special deal of $20 each!!!!!!! PTL!}

Cosmo_thumb1

And then headed to the SIX concert afterwards…..

Each of the singers had a Camaro in “their” color parked out front.

IMG_2579_thumbIMG_2580_thumbIMG_2581_thumbIMG_2586_thumb1IMG_2588_thumb2IMG_2590_thumb1

SIX is six (of 10) brothers that sing together, a capella. They are voted best show on the strip for a reason! We highly recommend this hilarious and jaw dropping show with amazing vocals, sound effects and humor!!!!!

SIX_thumb1

What a great way to end an AMAZING 5 days!

We headed out early Tuesday morning to go see our babies, the trip home seemed to take forever.

We walked in to 4 VERY excited Ferguson’s and a very tired Nana.

And, these:

IMG_2660_thumbIMG_2664_thumb

Welcome-home-text_thumb1

Turns out, our friend Miss Kalene had come over to help the children make a special welcome home for us! Ball jars with painted treasures, and a huge Ball jar full of rocks and sunflowers!!!! What a great surprise!!!!!!

She sent me this collage later, of them working on it….precious.

Kiddos_thumb1

Oh and poor, poor lil’ Peanut got hit in the eye with a match box car by Paxton and now has a lovely shiner to show for it.  And the rug burn on her nose is from a tussle session with Tylan.

IMG_2678_thumb1IMG_2673_thumb1

We came home just in time for school to start the next day!!!!

Praise the Lord for His provisions for this trip, and for great friends, aunts and Nana’s that made it possible for us to go. He knew we were starving for time to invest in US, as a couple.  As Dale and Tonya, learning to live, laugh and love all over again.  I came home to a busy reality, but for the first time in over a year, I am content with Dale and I.  No longer starving, but full and satisfied.  Thank you, Jesus!

What a perfect ending to a great summer….

~T

image-2_thumb1

Advertisements

Branson Getaway: Part 1

  Dale and I had the opportunity to get away from life for a few days the end of August.  It was such a God-thing the way it all worked out, from a friend willing to let us use their time share any where in the world, right down to the available dates being the same as mom’s days off! 

  Of COURSE we’d have loved to somewhere exotic, or even back to Maui, like we did for our honeymoon!  However, we had to realistic on how long we could be gone, and it had to be affordable, only using the money I had saved up from photo sessions this past year…which meant we were driving! 

  So, Nana moved in with our 4 little Ferguson’s, 1 dog, 27 chickens, and 6 barn cats, and we took off for Branson, MO. 

For 5 days!

WOO HOO! 

  The last time we got away for an extended time, was to Palm Springs with Dale’s work, when we were just first pregnant with Tylan, 6 whole years ago.  This trip was JUST what we needed after a tough year!

  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have photos to share, so you better bet the rest of this post will be filled with them!  And of course, we have a number of self portraits since I didn’t want to keep explaining to people how to use my camera.  🙂

  Friday morning, on the road:

  IMG_2022

Dale’s sweet Momma packed us an AMAZING picnic lunch for the road!  Prime rib sandwiches and more…..

IMG_2033IMG_2030IMG_2031

Dale is having “See Food” apparently……

IMG_2032

Classy honey, real classy.

She also sent some appetizers that we enjoyed later in that weekend….

IMG_2065IMG_2071

IMG_2035

Not quite 7 hours later, we start seeing the hills of Missouri!

IMG_2036

This is my “You Are My Sunshine” pendant that hangs from my rear view mirror. It has all the kiddos names on it,  I HAD to photograph it, because I was already missing them!

IMG_2041

The Condo we stayed in was BRAND new and gorgeous!!!!

IMG_2080IMG_2079

Entryway hall

IMG_2050

To the right, our room and bathroom…..

IMG_2048IMG_2047

Down the hall a bit, and to the left…..a room with JUST enough beds for our 4 little Fergusons and a whole bathroom for them to boot.  I have to admit, momentarily, I was like…..

”Awwww, they could’ve come!” 

  IMG_2051 IMG_2052

Then I remembered how ready for Dale & Tonya time we were! 🙂  Never mind.

Family room, dining room and kitchen….

IMG_2064IMG_2057

Back porch

IMG_2061

The first couple days, we just vegged out at the pool, or in our room. 

IMG_2084IMG_2085IMG_2086IMG_2089IMG_2090IMG_2101IMG_2110IMG_2113IMG_2112IMG_2116IMG_2117

  Saturday evening we headed to The Landing, a really cool place to walk around, shop, eat and watch the Water and Fire show.

IMG_2147IMG_2149IMG_2152IMG_2151IMG_2153

We had promised the kids that if they were good, and got 5 stars on their sticker chart while we were gone, then we’d bring them a surprise.

  I didn’t want to do cheap toys or souvenir trinkets, so when I saw this Candy Emporium, I knew, the way to my 4 little Ferguson’s hearts, letting them actually have…..

{gasp}

CANDY! 

Not just any candy…the coolest candy in the whole store…….

IMG_2165IMG_2164IMG_2157IMG_2163IMG_2160

Snakes. 

IMG_2180

BIG long gummy ones!

  So this is like the most unflattering picture ever, but the kids found it totally hysterical, so here you go…..

The Attack of the Killer Gummy Snakes

IMG_2183

A nice lady with a fancy camera, took our photo in front of the water show……..

IMG_2172

  This water and fire show is set to music, and goes every hour, I believe. It was AMAZING!  And it was FREEEEEE!

IMG_2229

IMG_2232IMG_2204IMG_2221

Sunday, we headed to my FAVORITE place in the whole world….

IMG_2243

   But that, my friends, is in post 2 for today!

Come on over…..