Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break 2012 - Branson, Baby!

I really am going to start doing better on this whole blog thing.  The mister just got me a super sweet new MacBook Air, and he keeps stressing to me that it's exclusively mine.  So instead of questioning his motives (is he plotting on something bigger and better for himself??), I'm going to accept it and move on.

Anyway, this beautiful new computer which has never had a Coke spilled on it, a meal eaten over it, or been dropped from great heights, is all the motivation I need to get back on the blogwagon.  The keys don't stick, the mouse works, and it doesn't take forever to do everything.  What's stopping me?

Instead of trying to catch you up on the past few months, I'll just move forward like we never stopped.  Here's the LoweDown on our last great adventure - Branson Spring Break 2012!

At the end of Alli's Spring Break, which was last week, Ryan and I decided to take Thursday and Friday off and do a mini-vacation to Branson, MO.  Usually, our vacations are either centered around our beloved Razorbacks or our beloved ocean, but this time we decided to take a trip almost completely focused on our beloved bebe, Alli!

On the way to Branson - so excited!
We booked our stay at the Grand Country Inn, a kid-friendly hotel complex, complete with a game center, music hall, restaurant, and indoor water park.  The lodging wasn't that spectacular - our room was older, but clean - but the amenities can't be beat for a family with kids!  When we arrived, we were immediately met with the constant question "When can we go to the water park??" over and over from Alli, but we had to get ready for dinner - at the one and only Dixie Stampede.  I've only been to Branson one other time, but the only thing I wanted to when I was there was go to the Dixie Stampede.  A dinner featuring horses?  It was my childhood dream come true.  I didn't get to go then, but you'd better believe we went this time.

We couldn't take any pictures inside, but we had a great time.  If you don't know, the theme of the show is the Civil War, and the audience and cast are split into sides (North vs. South) and compete against each other.  All the while, they serve you dinner, which you have to eat with your hands - no silverware.  I cannot believe I picked the carcass of a Cornish hen.  We were on the South team, and they actually asked Ryan and I to participate in the show!  We would have had to leave Alli alone for about 10 minutes, so we declined, but Ryan pouted about it the rest of the night (until he saw that the task was riding a stick horse around the arena).  Our side won almost all of the battles, but then lost at the very end.  Alli was pretty distressed until she got her new stuffed horse to console her.

Much happier after a loss with a new pony 
Big Belgian at Dixie Stampede
After Dixie Stampede, we headed to the water park for about an hour and a half, and Alli was asleep before we could get her out of her swimsuit.  The next day (Friday) was pretty rainy, so we opted to hang close to the complex.  We went to see a show called Amazing Pets, which Alli really enjoyed, and then spent some time in the gaming center and mini-golf part of our hotel.  After that, we hit some outlets, where Alli and Ryan racked up.  You know your girl well enough to know she can't outlet shop very well for herself - digging through racks of clothes that are supposed to be rejects and really aren't that much cheaper just ain't my thing.  We went to dinner at Cantina Laredo on the Landing where the margaritas were to die for and we saw some really neat fountains.

Saturday was our last day, and our first stop was the Gone With the Wind museum that I spied on the way to the Landing the night before.  Mr. Lowe very politely toured it with me, and Alli griped the whole time.  I really needed my mom and some peace and quiet to fully enjoy it.  After that, it was off to Silver Dollar City.  The traffic was INTENSE!  We waited 2 hours in traffic just to park the car, and then we could barely navigate the crowd to get anywhere.  I got pretty cranky when we waited in line 45 minutes for a hot dog, and people kept telling us that it had never been this crowded.  I guess the beautiful Saturday after 3 days of cold rain was the culprit.  However, it ended up that we all had an awesome time, but need another day there to do everything we wanted to.  I suspect we will head back there soon - it's only an hour and a half from our front door, so making a day trip doesn't sound too terrible.

Alli rode some roller coasters, and had to keep telling her mommy to stop grabbing her.  I was so afraid our little skinny minnie would fly out!!  She rode Thunderation three times in a row and probably would have kept going if the park hadn't been closing.  We grabbed a quick dinner and headed home, getting in around 10PM and I bet everyone was knocked out by 10:05PM.  All in all, a great little weekend trip for our family, and we're definitely planning a return in the near future.

Worn out after Day 1 in Branson - She slept well!!