Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring break in Branson

When we saw the long term forecast for southern Missouri (sunshine and warm days -- something that we haven't seen since October!), we knew that we were heading to Branson for spring break this year. Any excuse to go to Branson, really. We might be turning into Midwesterners if we don't watch ourselves!

Upon arrival at our campground (we decided to cabin camp for fun), the shoes and socks came off and a jacketless boy jumped the evening away on the giant bounce pillow: "Look, Mom, no parka!".

Though tired from the long drive, I was also very happy to be outdoors in the sunshine again.

Kellan's big wish for the Branson trip, outside of Silver Dollar City, was mini golf. Lots and lots of mini golf. So, that's what we did. It was his spring break, after all. Who am I to argue?

We started our mini golf adventure at the Grand Country indoor courses, as it was a bit chilly on the first morning. I didn't take any photos there. After we finished 36 holes indoors, we moved on to the Pirate's Cove course.

As soon as the sun came out, we didn't need jackets anymore. Kel lost his ball in the water, but happily retrieved it.

My little left-handed golfer. Always with the tongue.

As we finished our first 18 holes, the sun came out in full force and we got hot. Not to mention squinty.

Off came the long sleeves! It felt soooooo good to bask in the sun. Is this heaven, or what?

When you finish the 36 holes, they give you a little goody bag with a hat. Kel wanted his photo taken with old Blackbeard.

We moved on to Dinosaur Canyon mini golf next. It was now very hot and sunny. Kel didn't want anymore photos. He let me snap a couple with reasonable good grace.

And after a long day of mini golf in the sunshine, can you ask for more than an evening at the Dixie Stampede? I think not.

On St Patrick's Day, we headed off for opening day at Silver Dollar City. It was quite the celebration. This happy face says it all. It was so much fun to welcome in another season at one of our favourite places. Everybody was in high spirits and the sun didn't stop shining!

A few shots while I could actually keep him still, as we waited up at the square for the park to officially open.

Off to our first ride of the season. The first people on the ride, in fact! Here he is waiting to get on the pirate ships. Sun was so bright that photos were a pain, but you can sort of make out the ships behind him there.

Riding the kiddie coaster. Look at that face. Not quite sure...

...but then it was all smiles.

Lots more rides, but I was enjoying them as well, so had the camera packed away. Here's a photo of a rather wet boy after some good old fashioned fun at the Geyser Gulch play area.

Waiting in line for the mine ride. I never can remember the name. You shoot at prisoners and other stuff in a flooded mine. Maybe its called the Flooded Mine. Anyway, its good fun.

Icee break! He got to mix his own. Happy boy.

Kel also insisted that we do the cave tour, so off we went, down, down, down into Marvel Cave. If you enlarge the photo, you can see just how huge this entry room is. Each of those little lanterns is over a flight of stairs, winding their way down the slope.

After a fun day at the City, we went off to Ride the Ducks. Silly tourist attraction, but Kel really really really wanted to do it. So, why not? Highlight of the trip was that Kel got to drive the Duck while we were out on the lake! However, I was seated in a really bad spot with the wrong lens on my camera and with some annoying kid by the name of Caden/Cadyn/Kadyn/Kaden who kept popping up in front of me when I tried to get a photo of Kel driving the Duck. So, this is the best that I got. Kel in the driver's seat with the Duck Captain next to him. You can sort of kind of see it, right?

Some photos that I took from the Duck. This is the Branson Belle. Pretty, no?

We also drove up into the Ozarks a bit. Pretty.

After our adventure on the Ducks, you'll never believe what we decided to do -- yep, more mini golf!

This course was extra awesome because you got to ride a train to the top of the course. Was Kellan in heaven? You better believe it!

On our next day at Silver Dollar City, we decided to hit the water rides. Thus, I packed the camera away in a water proof bag and enjoyed the day in soaking wet clothes. This is the one and only photo that I took, of a soaking wet Kellan going on Tom and Hucks Rafts yet again. I was too wet to venture on anymore.

We had an absolutely fabulous four days in Branson and will be back again for spring break next year -- weather permitting. Which is kind of how things work in the Midwest. This year, it certainly worked in our favour!

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