Branson Trip Thanksgiving 2013

  We were blessed to have a family vacation over Fall Break!  We live in the Midwest, so Branson is a really easy vacation spot for us, plus we adore the fact that the entire town talks about their faith without apology!

  The plan was to leave at 7am, HOWEVER, when I said that I knew it would be at least an hour later, because let’s be realistic…it just never quite happens that way.  I was thankful to be in the car and on the road by 8! 

  The kids did so great, reading and playing with car activities, that I got a whole book read on the way down. Its been ages since I have gotten an entire fiction finished, man I miss curling up with a book every night!!! 🙂  At one point, when I was on bed rest with Paxton, I had read nearly every book in the Christian Fiction section of our library. Now I just look at them longingly, as I walk to the kids section!!! haha  🙂Trip 1

After our last road trip to Georgia for Aunt Ashley’s wedding, we had decided these canning box “Lap Trays” were the best thing since sliced bread, so we packed them again. It makes it so easy to hand back snacks for each child, or a new coloring page or activity!

Trip 2

From our house to Missouri is about 6 hours, just enough time to read books, play a game or two, eat some snacks, start to get cranky and put on one long movie.  🙂

  AND, when we pulled into Springfield, 30 minutes from our destination, we decided to visit Bass Pro Shop.

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  The store itself is jaw dropping incredible!  Real looking skies up above on the tallest ceilings with sky lights I have ever seen! Real waterfalls, animals everywhere, games and toys for kids, it’s so neat!

trip 5  They even had a whole Christmas land set up with carousel and duck hunting, race car driving and shooting ranges. 

  So, as you can see below, somehow Avery lost one of her sparkly shoes in the car, and no amount of tearing apart could find it!!! Alas, she was isolated to her shopping cart for most of our store tour.

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She still had a good time playing from inside the cart!

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Daddy showed everyone how to shoot at the mini hunting range, it was pretty stinkin’ cute to see them all squint their one eye, just like he did…..

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  Opposite from the toy section, there is a part of the store that is a little more dim-lit.  When you look up at the ceiling, its like you are under water! You can see fishing lures, duck feet, a boys legs hanging off the dock, wading boots and more.  It was sooo cool!  They also had lots of neat fish tanks.trip 13

  Pax says the big fish is going to SNAP him just like this:Trip 12

  Before the kids were done, we decided we better hit the road.  Papa and Drea drove 1000 miles from Florida to meet us in Branson and we were going to have supper with them as soon as we got settled!

Clearly, playing at such a fun store is HARD WORK, because Pax was out before we left the parking lot!

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Oh, and if you were wondering about Avery’s shoe….

  We found it down in the bottom of the bag of library books.  Go figure!

  We were able to get a sweet deal through Spinnaker Resorts….IF we sat through a time share presentation.  Hey, you want to save my family $700 for a nice condo, I will sit through any presentation you want!!!!  It was a really nice 2 bedroom “house” for us for the week.

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  Papa and Drea came with a pot of soup and loaf of bread, it was so good to see them!  I found I have a lot less photos than normal this time.  Honestly? I was sick of holding my camera.  I had just finished shooting and editing 22 sessions in an end of the year push.  Typically, I take that many in 3 months, not 3 weeks!!!!!!

  That being said, it should be no surprise that one of my favorite parts of the trip, was just playing games and being a family.  No computer, no phone, no edits, just FAMILY FUN!

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Papa and Drea are always sweet to bring us great clothes from Florida for the kiddos! And they had a wonderful surprise planned for night 2….dinner and a show on the Branson Belle!

It was COLD!  And too windy to leave the dock, but it was still a wonderful show.  2 of the acts were going to be, or had been on America’s Got Talent!!!  They were incredibly funny and talented….

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The next day we were supposed to go to the Happiest Place On Earth….

  Nope, not Disney.  When you are a Ferguson, it’s SILVER DOLLAR CITY!  {Dale calls it Christian Disney}  Too bad it was 20 degrees out, and too cold for any of the rides to be going. So we switched gears and went to Branson Landing to go shopping at their outdoor mall.  Brr!   They have a neat fire and lights show we didn’t stick around for, just grabbed lunch, some butter infused olive oil {oh my amazing}and the kids, who were talking about the Candy Store from our last trip 3 years ago……insisted we stop again.  Ok, ok, twist my arm! 

Actually, I had already promised them we’d stop weeks ago.

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  I told the kids to show you how excited they were that they got SIX pieces of candy of their choice…..trip 28

  This is Paxton, um, enjoying his?  I asked him how many gummies he had in there of his 6. He is showing you 3.  Yup, that’s my Pax!  Everyone else, just savored theirs.  This is, after all, a once in a blue moon opportunity!

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  That night we got tickets to the Site and Sound Theaters production of the Nativity.  It was by far the best show I have seen! WOW.  No cameras allowed, so here is one from their site:

You all, it was BREATHTAKING!!!!!  A great way to spend a cold evening for sure!

  The next morning was Thanksgiving, we slept in until you know, 7 am.  No just teasing, I think it was almost 8, which is a miracle!  And then took the kids to the swimming pool.  This Spinnaker place is big, so we had to drive to the main building for the pool and it was 20* out, so the blurry pic up top is how we dressed to go: boots with swimsuits and coats.  Fashionistas all the way!

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  Do you remember when your mom would not only swim with you, but get her HAIR WET!? I don’t know about you, but I was always SOOOO excited when my mom would go under and swim with us.  I was SO that mom on this day.  And it was super fun!  🙂

  We spent the afternoon together, just hanging out and coloring.  Our big plans for the evening was the Dixie Stampede dinner show.  Think 4 course feast, with no silverware, which the kids thought was SO cool, horses and music galore.  Again no cameras, so just go to their site and check it out. trip 31trip 32trip 33

  Friday was time to go home.  We checked out at 10 and met Papa & Drea for brunch at Cracker Barrel before they started their long drive home.  {again, no photos! Ack! I am so bad!!!}

  We were supposed to hit the road too, but we had 2 day passes to Silver Dollar City, our FAVORITE place on earth, that we hadn’t even used yet.  So since it was 50 degrees, we decided to check out of the condo as planned, and spend the day at SDC, even if it meant getting home later.

  I am so glad we did!  If you are looking for a place where you step back in time, have some clean family fun, ride fun rides, catch shows, or watch craftsman work, then this is the place for you!

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  So, Dale and Destiny decide to ride the Giant Barn Swing, at the last-minute, Ty decides to go too.  Ok, brave boy!  Here is what SDC has to say about The GIANT Barn Swing

“Join thirty-one other courageous souls as you’re seated back-to-back on two giant pendulum arms.

Then hold on tight as you launch through the barn doors at 45 mph, bursting over 7 stories into the sky and nearly upside down! You’ll fly a full 230 degrees from one side of the barn to the other!”

  SOoo, had we known all this, we PROBABLY would’ve suggested Ty stay back with me and the little kids.  But too late, he was on for the duration of the ride.

  Dale says he was FROZEN.  No, not cold, but like jaw dropped, can’t move, drool dripping, mid-air! Bahaha! Poor kiddo.  He was all smiles when he came off though.  He knew he had done something super cool and brave!

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  This is the end of my photos.  We did one last ride, took a kiddy photo on the giant rocking chair and headed out to the car.  We did pj’s and tooth brushing, and hit the road, pulling in to our driveway at close to 1 am.  Thankfully, we still had Saturday and Sunday left of Fall Break before school started.  We don’t usually do quite so many fun things on vacation, so we were all beat!trip 37

  Thanks for letting me share Thanksgiving with you!  I love being able to get on the blog and look back at these moments with the kids, just like a photo album. This one just comes with a narrator ! 😉

Hugs, T


10 thoughts on “Branson Trip Thanksgiving 2013

  1. Oh Wow!!! It looks so fun! I only wish that Branson was not so far away from us. I think tho that we are going to have to make a trip of it some day! It must not have been to busy that time of year tho. I am totally going to keep this as an option in the back of my mind for the future. Thanks for sharing your fun family time with us. It is ALWAYS fun to see!:)

    • Oh and I forgot to mention how Pax looks like such a BIG boy!:( I was just looking thru old pics of our kiddos and realizing that they are not babies anymore.:( I am so sad about that. I am sure you are too!

  2. You were in my neck of the woods 🙂 We are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood and make the trip through to Springfield after church on Sunday sometimes. My Dad lives about 45 minutes from Branson near Table Rock Lake, so when we visit him we usually stop and shop…lol! My husband and I were actually there on the Friday after Thanksgiving for a much needed date night, so we just missed you 😉 Your pictures are awesome and really tell the story of how much fun your family had!! If you ever end up near Fort Leonard Wood and want a personal tour, just let me know!

  3. You were in my stomping grounds!
    I am all too familiar with the Springfield Bass Pro (as in, I think they know my husband by name!). We were actually just there on Saturday. My daughter loved that carousel as well. So fun!
    Isn’t Spinnaker nice? My in-laws stay there whenever they stay in Branson.
    I’m assuming you come through Joplin and Springfield. So, next time you head to Branson, stop off in Mt Vernon for lunch. (it’s about 40 minutes past Joplin. There is a cute country restaurant called Red Barn Cafe and Hen House Bakery. Great food and fantastic soup bar!
    Oh, and at the Landing, try the White River Fish House. Great food on the dock next to the Branson Bass Pro.
    Glad you guys had an enjoyable time. 🙂

  4. Girlfriend! You are sooo amazing to share so many fabulous photos! What fun to look at all the smiles & scenes of your good times together. That Pax sure is looking OLD….boo hoo. =( It’s so refreshing to have time away for fun with family. LOVE all the family shots….thankful to know you all enjoyed a fabulous time, despite the cold. Thanks much for sharing.

  5. We’ve been going to Branson the last week of August for 20 years. We meet up with another couple at Cracker Barrel at 4pm, and go to our cabin in the woods (just down the road from SDC). We love the people of Branson, and the shows, too. SIX is the most amazing show! And of course, Smoke on the Mountain (which we see every year). It’s a wonderful getaway for fun family times. I had a friend tell me that there’s a really good bar in town….I’m proud to say I didn’t even know there WAS a bar! And downtown? We go to the Five and Dime, and of course to the Landing for that candy. Glad you and your family enjoyed it!

    • When Dale and I got away for our 11th anniversary we got to see SIX, they were SO amazing! Def. the best “grown up” show we have seen. I think when the kids are older that will be a fun one to do again 🙂
      I haven’t done Five and Dime, where is that at?

      • It’s downtown (on the left) on the way to Branson Landing. It’s got old wooden creaky floors and it’s jam-packed with really cool junk! There’s also a restaurant at the top of the hill (going towards the Landing) that has the most awesome desserts! A good place to sit for a while after shopping at the Five and Dime. 🙂

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