Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Branson, MO

We just got back from a weeklong trip to Branson, Missouri. What would take us to Branson, you ask? My parents' timeshare. And the prospect of getting away for a week. My parents were planning a trip to Branson and invited us along. We had never been. I didn't know much about it. But, we decided to go and have a little vacation. I don't like to head to a place not knowing anything about it, so I started to research just what Branson might have to offer. I soon learned that Branson is touted as being the Midwest version of Las Vegas. Well, Las Vegas it is not. I mean, there are things to do in Branson, and we had a good time. But, let's compare.


Las Vegas:

You see what I mean? When I first visited Vegas, I decided that it is not my cup of tea. So, I was worried about what I would think of Branson, it's much more wholesome and conservative little brother. Having quickly established that they are, in fact, not very similar at all and should not be considered related in any way, I was then able to take in Branson as its own entity without having it linked to Vegas.

So, just what did we do in the very unVegas-like Branson? Well, let me show you. Actually, I will have to tell you about some things because cameras were not allowed in many of the venues we attended. So, this will be a very literal show-and-tell.
Good news - I saw a hawk today. Hawks are much more plentiful in Branson than in Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, so Mr. Frisby took a picture.

We also went to the fish hatchery and saw the fishies in all different sizes. These are some of the little guys. And Mr. Frisby checking them out.

We also went for a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway. This is an hour and 45 minutes train ride through the Ozarks. An added benefit was that it took us into Arkansas a little bit. Why is that an added benefit? I don't know. But, it seems like it should be one. Here's the train. Then there's my parents and my sister as we get ready to head out. And finally a shot while chugging through the Ozarks.

Now for some tell. Then we'll do more show.

They have built a pretty awesome Titanic museum in Branson. Why they built it in Branson, I don't know. But, I'm glad they did because it was fascinating. We spent about 3 hours in there learning about the Titanic and it was pretty sweet. Especially the part when we got to meet the little Titanic dogs that are a tribute to all of the dogs aboard the ship. They were two very nice King Cavalier Spaniels and they were adorable. No pictures because cameras weren't allowed. But, we got to feel how cold the water was (very cold just for my little finger - I can't imagine trying to swim in that water) and we got to feel how steep the deck got as the ship sank and we got to practice sending an SOS message via Morse code. It was awesome.

Also we went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. This I was excited about. It was dinner and a show. But, the show involved lots of horses and wagons. And a contest between the "North" and the "South" which was determined by which side of the arena you were sitting on. Dinner was yummy and we had to eat it all with our hands. No silverware. We got soup, a biscuit, an entire rotisserie chicken, some pork loin, baked potato, corn on the cob, and an apple turnover for dessert. Mmmmm. Good times at the Dixie Stampede, but no pictures.

We also saw a couple shows. We saw a group called Six which were six brothers that did singing/beatboxing, etc. They were pretty good and, in the end, we found out they were Mormon. We also saw Noah, the Musical. It was a musical about, can you guess? Noah and the Ark. It was pretty good. And they had some real animals in the show. The dogs - very cute. I also liked the pigs running across the stage. Good times.

And now, some more show:

We saw some cars. We went to the Branson Auto Museum which was, I think, the highlight for my dad. The best part for me was seeing the decepticon police car from the Transformers movie. We also couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture next to the General Lee and Rosco P. Coltrane's police cruiser which were parked in front of Cooter's. And you thought the midwest didn't have much to offer.

While in Branson, we learned that there are many caves nearby, so we decided to explore one. It was pretty cool, but very wet since it had rained the day before. Here I am by one of the many cave formations we saw inside.

And that was our week in Branson. We were also fortunate, since we flew into Kansas City and had to drive to Branson, to be able to stop at Liberty and Independence which are just outside KC. Here are Mr. Frisby and I at the temple lot in Independence.

Good times and a good vacation. And it was fun spending time with my parents. After such an exciting vacation, you would think we would be ready to settle back into real life, but no. We like to keep things exciting. So, next month we will be heading to Spain. But, more on that later.


Ella said...

I have to admit when I heard you all were in Branson I thought it was SO funny. It's such a strange little place and not one I would chose to go to. But I feel somewhat excited that you all flew into "my" airport. Are you really going to Spain?

Andrea said...

When I heard Matt talking to Jared about Branson I wondered why you'd be going to the old person getaway (my grandma always talked about going there). But, it sounds like it was a lot of fun. :)

Gordita said...

Arkansas and trains, and beatboxing and a musical about Noah? Sounds like a great time to me. And I'm excited about your trip to Spain!

Sharon said...

It ain't a very good campground. Couldn't resist that comment when I saw the church history pics.

Amy said...

I never would have guessed that Branson had that much going on. Not likely to go there anytime soon, but still good to know :) And that is way awesome that you will be going to Spain! Can't wait to hear about where you will be going. I've had fun each time I went and wish I could go again.

Mary Pat said...

Spain! Spain! If you go to spain you've got to go to Portugal. It's been my dream to tour Spain and ol' Port. I can't wait to hear about that!

Also, thank you for writing about Branson, one of my BYU roommates took their honeymoon there. LAME! Glad I won't be going there for that...hehehe

Dana said...

I think I would like Branson better than Las Vegas too :)

LJ, DC and ML said...

So this post was so funny here I am 2 days later posting about it. I wanted you to know that I have seen about a million hawks in the last week, and today saw one dive bomb some poor little critter on the ground. HURRAY!!

Ross said...

Baby-Hey Ma, how 'bout an ice cream cone?
Mom-No dice
Baby-This ain't over