Monday, June 16, 2008

Back From Vacation

Didja even notice I was gone? Seriously, it's not necessary to tell me if you didn't miss me. We just returned today from our little mini-vacation.

We went to... drum roll...

Branson, MO. Whoopidee Doo.

For those of you unfamiliar with Branson, or those who think it is just the place where Old Country Music Has-Beens come to build a theater to memorialize themselves before they die, it is so much more than that. There's shopping out the wazoo, and... well, there's mini-golf, and let's see... There's Go-Cart places every 20 feet along the main strip. T Shirt places. Ummm... Bait and Tackle places... And hey- there's mosquitoes! I have bites in places I can't discuss. Oh, and there's a whole butt load of places that spell "C" words with a "K," as in: "Kountry Kuzins Jamboree," just Kuz they think it's Kute, I guess. There's Silver Dollar City, which is both a theme park set in the late 1800's, and an amazing geographical oddity where everything seems to cost $7,995.00. That's for a burger with cold fries and a warm Pepsi. But they have rides. The kids love it. You can't ask for more than that.

Branson is a corny, cheesy, touristy, craptacular celebration of all things hillbilly. It has restaurants like "Starvin' Marvin's" and billboards with words like "pickin'" or "fixin's." Sounds fun, right? Is this a good time to mention I hate pretty much all country music and hillbilly-related endeavors? But we love our trips to Branson. Go figure.

It's also where the Incredible Acrobats of China show is performed, at the New Shanghai Theater, and they held a special event for (China) adoptive families for the second year in a row. We went down for that and made a long weekend out of it. There's nothing like watching a 15 year old shaped like a pencil fold herself in half backwards, with her rear end resting on her head, while lifting off the ground on one hand and supporting the weight of two other people standing on her thighs to make one feel like an ancient, decrepit, fat, fart. Of course, I couldn't do those things even before I was ancient and fat, so... I might as well prop up my feet and have a cookie. Bri loves the acrobats, but she was a little ticked this year not to get a photo op with her favorite performer. The performers had to go right when it was finally Bri's turn. Bummer.

We stayed on the gorgeous lake. The boys love getting out on the lake to jet ski, fish and swim, and I love to look at the lake from the window, after I return from shopping at all the same stores I have at home, and do supremely geeky things like... (major NERD alert!)... go to the Titanic exhibit, not once, but TWICE!! TWO TIMES! What a dork. I looovvvved it!

You know how it seems like people who have geeky interests like this are usually these really intellectual, smarty-pants types? Whaddya suppose happened to me, then? I got a dose of geek without the follow-up of smarts. Not fair.

There's a perfectly logical reason for going to Titanic twice, though. The first time was with Darrell and the three little kids, right after the acrobat show. Call me crazy, but walking around a museum full of irreplaceable and expensive artifacts, painstakingly detailed re-creations, models, and tons of information displayed for my perusal, with three little people who never want to see what's right HERE in front of their adorable faces right NOW, but are only interested in hurrying to the next room to see what's IN THERE- all while The Hub is oblivious and happily immersed in reading and looking at every single thing- does not induce my abilities to relax, focus, and take it all in. My, my, my- that was a long way of saying: I missed a lot. Most of my time was spent walking quickly past a display I ree-hee-heeally wanted to see, in favor of one that appeared to be more kid-friendly, all the while trying to make my
clenched teeth look like a smile while hissing the phrase, "I said get over here right now!"

So... a couple days later I went back with Evan, who had stayed behind the first time to fish with the older boys, and was disappointed when he'd heard we had gone to see it without him. We had a great time. We took our time, and even got those little audio tour- earphone thingies to raise the geek factor a little bit. It was soooo interesting. I think I've told you guys before about my slight (read: "freakish") Titanic fascination, and it's an awesome museum if you're into that sort of thing.

And the best part about a second visit? I didn't have to answer any questions like:
"Hey, Mom? What are we doing after this? Do you know? Can we swim in the pool when we get back to our cabin? What's for dinner tonight? Is there going to be another bathroom coming up soon? Okay then- can we turn around and go back to that last one? Huh? Do you think I'll be able to see The Incredible Hulk? Can you ask Dad if I can? Mom? Hey. Don't you get bored reading all these signs? I do. I mean, this is interesting, but it's just a little boring. Don't you think so, too? Mom. Where's Dad? (Actually, this was one question I was asking as well... Where the #%*! is your father?) Hey... Mom? Did you say we CAN swim tonight? I didn't hear your answer. Mom, do you hear me? Am I talking in your good ear, Mom? Hey. I must be on your deaf side. MOM! MOMMY! Oh. Are you STILL trying to read this stuff, Mom?"

Yeah. Good times. Great memories created for all involved.

We all really did have a lot of fun, but didn't get many pictures to show for it. I guess that's because we were busy having all that fun. You know me- the pictures would have been cruddy anyway.

Next event:
This coming Friday is my son's wedding. It's going to be a long, hectic beautiful, exciting, glorious day. We're going two hours up there and two hours back, all in the same day. The rehearsal is in the morning, followed by a rehearsal lunch, then getting two flower girls dressed and hairdos done (which I am doing myself- FRAP), then pictures, the wedding, and reception, then home at O Dark Thirty Hours. Each of the kids has been enlisted to do something. And then, there's the little matter of trying to stuff a horse into a Tinkerbell costume... Oh, dear.

It's going to be a lovely, lovely day. One we'll remember fondly for years.
It's going to be a lovely, lovely day. One we'll remember fondly for years.
It's going to be a lovely, lovely day. One we'll remember fondly for years.
It's going to be a lovely, lovely day. One we'll remember fondly for years...

I'm sure I'll have pics to post afterwards. You'll want to check back for those, huh?


Lina said...

Well, I missed you! I have never been to Branson, but have always wanted to I don't. Just teasing - it sounds fun. Glad it went well. I saw a Titanic exhibit when it passed through MN - very interesting.

Christina said...

Welcome home! That vacation! Hee, actually it sounds very much like every single one of our family vacations. And I thought the Titanic exhibit was really cool when it came to our science museum, so I don't think that's too geeky. (but then, I'm probably a geek...)
Best wishes on the wedding! May it be smooth and stress-free and dare I say, even FUN?! :-)

sassy chic said...

Glad your back friend, see you at lunch tomorrow!