Tuesday, October 27


Last week, Milo had Thursday and Friday off school, so the Langfords decided to take a mini-vacation to Branson. We've traveled quite a bit with our families, and we've visited friends, but we've never taken a trip with just the four of us--something we've looked forward to doing for a long time.

The days leading up to the trip were less than promising. Everyone had been or was feeling sick. The day before, I was so ill I really didn't have the energy to pack anything or prep in any way. This is so against my personality, I had a headache and eye tick all day as a result. There was also a lot of rain in the forecast, so I was doubting our decision to go at all. But Andrew convinced me all would be well, and (spoiler alert) it was.

We stayed in a cute little cabin in an RV park. It had a great loft area where the kids slept, and they loved the ladder. Nervous about coming down the ladder the first time or two, but then they were just making random trips up and down for kicks. The RV park had a tiny playground too, with one of those double swings where the kids sit back to back. They laughed and swung for a solid 30 minutes.

Since we had to pack nearly everything in the morning of our departure, we didn't arrive in Branson until about 2:30pm. We had time for a quick snack and a stop by the cabin to drop off our stuff (and kill all the wasps) before heading to Dixie Stampede.

(Oh, you want more of the wasp story? Basically, when we walked up to the front door of the cabin, I noticed a wasp inside the window. I told Andrew, asked him to try to kill it before the kids saw. Well. Turns out that wasp was not alone. All told, there were probably ten or more wasps just hanging out in the cabin. Needless to say, the kids noticed. We got wasp spray from the office, and sprayed the hell out the cabin. Then we left so the poison could dissipate, and went to our show. We didn't see another wasp the whole time.)

The kids loved Dixie Stampede. The pre-show juggling was only okay (Andrew and I thought it was cool though), but they enjoyed the horses, the costumes, the singing, and the fact that we got to eat while watching the show. Milo ate nearly his whole chicken, and Olive ate the inside "no crust" part of her biscuit.


Day 2 was our full day at Silver Dollar City. We arrived there a little before they opened, around 9:45. We stayed until they closed at 6:00pm. The kids were exhausted, and so were we, but we all had a great time. It's so fun to see the kids enjoying the rides and being so excited. Their favorite ride was the green roller coaster, a small kids coaster that they rode several times. Milo was proud because this was one where he was tall enough to ride without a grown-up. It wasn't crowded at all, so there weren't any lines, and we got to ride everything more than once. Except Fire in the Hole. The kids HATED Fire in the Hole. Passionately.

We ate delicious cinnamon rolls, potato-and-sausage hash and root beer floats (for the grown-ups), corn dogs and chicken tenders (for the kids), a cookie as big as your face, and salt water taffy. We walked about 13,000 steps. And we slept hard that night.

When we left the park, we ate dinner at this super yummy pizza place called Mr. G's. Loved it there, wish we could have stayed a little longer to enjoy the ambiance, the wine, and the Royals ALCS championship game, but the kids were exhausted and beyond ready for bed. (Royals won, BTW--on to the World Series!)

On Saturday, we went to the fish hatchery and learned about that. Kids got to feed the fish, which wasn't quite as exciting as feeding the goats or sheep at the zoo. From there, we went to Top of the Rock. We didn't have time, really, to fully explore the place or take the tours, so we just wandered a bit and had lunch at Arnie's Barn. Very tasty food, and an even better view. I'd love to go there on a grown-ups only night and enjoy some drinks on the patio next to the fireplace.

From there, we headed up to Springfield to visit our friends Katie, Eli, and their almost-three-year-old, Oliver. Kid-sized Jeeps were driven in the backyard, cats were chased, delicious food was eaten, and fun was had by all.

It was a wonderful trip. And the best parts? No one got sick and it didn't rain at all. Can't wait until we can take another vacation together.