Well...it has been nearly two weeks since I started a "Terrific Two Weeks", but VBS and other activities, ministry have intervened. Today, I will try to finish what I started...
We really enjoyed our vacation time with our friends, the Forrester family. I have told many folks, it may have been the best vacation we have had from the standpoint of just having some family time to play together. We had planned to get going on our way to Branson early Sunday morning, and our friends were going to be some hours ahead of us. An amazing thing happened just outside of Sherman when we connected with them on the road, much to our surprise. Whodathunk...what were the odds? Astronomical, I am certain. We were both behind schedule that day, but is worked out well, as we were able to travel together on to our destination.
We stayed in a beautiful resort in Branson called the Holiday Hills Resort. Once we figured out our way around the construction, things went pretty smoothly. There was a pool on the property that were able to enjoy...and we all took advantage of it nearly every day. We spent a day and a half at Silver Dollar City, the amusement park connected to Branson. I have never been to a large park that you cannot see until you are actually on the doorstep, but such as is it, because of the hills and the trees that surround it. We visited many shops, including the Christmas store, which seemed to be a favorite for all of us. We also had some special jerky, including "cajun gator"...not sure I would buy a bunch of it, but it was good. The roller coasters were a highlight, particularly the Wildfire, which is probably my all-time favorite with its two-three minutes of hills, drops, loops and corkscrews (think "Batman" at Six Flags, but twice as long and twice as good). The Powderkeg is hidden from view...and for good reason. Those in line said -- boring. Not a chance! I shoots you out at 70 mph up and over a hill...quite exciting. The biggest shock was actually "Thunderation" which we figured was like the Mine Train ride at Six Flags. Once again...we were wrong. It was much faster and more intense...a fun ride. The Great Amercian Country show was enjoyable, especially given the fact that the last quarter of their program was Christian contemporary/Gospel music. I am certain that it was a surprise to some, but quite pleasing for our families.
My favorite part of the trip was Wednesday when we went to the downtown mini-mall. So many great stores...a Thomas Kincaid gallery, another Christmas store, a Sports store and a savory store of wonderful treats where we tasted some good chips, dips (much like A Matter of Taste in Leavenworth, WA -- in fact, one of the reasons the Branson experience was so fun was that it is a tourist trap much like Leavenworth). The best part of the mall (and of the whole trip for me) was Mel's Hard Luck Diner where we went to eat dinner. I had the best red beans and rice soup I have ever had there...highly recommend it. But, the singing waiters and waitresses were terrific. We were serenaded by John Sager, who did a great job...and even embarrassed Emily a bit by singing to her. :-) Jason Yeager is a waiter there -- he was an Americal Idol top 24 finalist in 2007...another superb voice. The specialty store connected to the diner was also a fun place to buy some souvenirs.
We went to a show one evening call "The Cat's Pajamas," an acapella group, that was very entertaining. They really involved the audience and were personable as they sang a variety of music, but mostly from the 50s and 60s. They are going to be in the competition "Sing Off" this Fall, so look for them. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Alyssa had her little "Perry the Platypus" critter from Phineas and Ferb with us, who had his picture taken with one of the "Cats"...and he also appeared in many, many other pictures...just one more bit of entertainment of all of us. We really had fun that evening with the Forresters -- we just thoroughly enjoyed our special time to visit with our Forrester friends during the entire week...it was a wonderful time for our families. Hope you have a blessed day!