Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our week in Branson

We are just about to head north to Kansas City after a week in one of our favorite towns, Branson, MO.  There is just something comfortable about Branson.  That is what Tom says.  We have been here many times, in fact the picture we use on our business card was taken July 4th in Branson.  We have stayed in 5-6 different parks when we visit Branson and we are very happy with our site in Turkey Creek, an Escapee RV Park in Hollister which is just outside Branson.  It takes us less than 3 minutes to get to Branson.
We were surprised to see all the tornado damage done to many of the hotels, shops and theaters on February 29th this year.  Some are in the process of being repaired though we have heard from some of shop people that insurance companies are making it difficult for owners to rebuild.
This is one of the hotels.
This was one of our favorite shops where I have bought glass jewelry and Tom really liked the woodworker’s pieces and bought a wooden Kaleidoscope. Very sad.

On Sunday, Father’s Day, Tom was in charge of our activities for the day. We had our mouths all set for breakfast but we were late in getting started.  We have eaten  at the Uptown Restaurant almost every trip to Branson. We love their breakfast buffet. We arrived at 12:10 for the buffet. As we walked in the aroma of the waffles was mouthwatering. We were seated and given our menus – lunch menus. We asked about the breakfast buffet and our very nice waitress said it closed at noon. We apologized and asked if there were any restaurants nearby still serving breakfast. Not only did she give us 3 restaurant names, she was more than gracious about our leaving. We will certainly eat there when ever we can when we return to Branson and recommend their food and entertainment for those visiting Branson.
Tom got calls from both Jason and Jenny wishing him a happy day.  Late in the afternoon we went for dinner.  The only restaurant open on Sunday afternoon in Hollister was the Hook and Ladder Pizza Company.  This restaurant is a hidden treasure in the area.  It is run by one of the Hollister Volunteer Fireman and the décor is so cute.  The first thing we saw as we walked in the door was the back end of a fire truck.  Pretty cool. The waitress’s were dressed in the fireman’s bright yellow overalls, boots, and hats. We had a delightful talk with the owner. We have spent many July 4th fireworks celebrations in the little town of Hollister run by the Volunteer Fire Department. This owner supports neighboring volunteer fire department by purchasing equipment for the less-funded departments with the profits of this restaurant.

One of the services of the Turkey Creek Campground is the option to order show tickets at a discount.  We took advantage of that and ordered tickets to the Sons of the Pioneers Chuckwagon dinner show at the Shepherd of the Hills.  We wanted to see the Ricky Boen and the Texas Mud Show that we see each time we visit.  We found that he no longer has his own show, but he does play with the Sons of the Pioneers.
At intermission we had the chance to talk to Ricky, 2nd from the left above, and Mark, on the  right who we have met over the years.  Our local music group, Sons of the San Joaquin, is known to these great musicians and Mark has even played with the Sons of the SJ.  We loved this show.
As fulltime RV’ers it is always amazing to me how close technology has allowed us to be with our family.  While at the show Tom got a phone call from granddaughter, Julie, who was at Pier 39 in San Francisco.  He talked to her, returned to the show, and when I was talking to Ricky, mentioned that Julie, who met Ricky when in Branson with us a couple of years ago, called from Pier 39.  Ricky said, “in San Francisco?, well tell her hi”. He remembers us because of our association with the Sons of the San Joaquin.
Another show we saw was The Duttons.  These are mom and dad, brothers, sisters, in-laws and children who all play musical instruments.  The talent in this group is fabulous.  They sing, dance, and play lots of instruments.  We loved this show,
One of the brothers plays horns strapped to his body by bending his elbows, knees, and squeezing the horn’s bulb with his hands.  He played melodies including chords in a dual with his brother on the banjo.  We were impressed and entertained.
The Duttons play country western as well as classical music.  This was a Vivaldi piece beautifully performed.
The children of the performers get into the act at a very young age.
This was a Variety Show and there was a lot of variety acts. This was from the movie, Oh Brother Where Art Thou.
This next picture may be a little hard to appreciate, but each brother and sister in the line is playing the instrument of the person next to them.  And it sounded great.
The Duttons was an afternoon show that we got tickets for $5 each by listening to a sales pitch, our first, for a travel package.  We found it interesting, but definitely not for us.
We had bought discount tickets for Golden Corral, 2 breakfasts or 2 lunches for $10.  Unfortunately, lunch ended at 4 pm and we arrived at 4:20, but the cashier just said go ahead and even gave us our drinks for free.  We checked out a couple of stores before going to our next show, The Haygoods
This last year Roy Rogers, Jr. auctioned all the artifacts that were in the Roy Rogers’ Museum.  He said his father’s fans were now too old to visit the museum and the younger generation did not know who Roy Rogers was.  As we were sitting in the Haygoods lobby where Buttermilk, Dale Evans’ stuffed horse, Trigger, Roy’s stuffed horse, and Bullet, the stuffed dog were displayed, teenagers walked by and say what’s that horse? and have no idea the significance of Buttermilk, Trigger and Bullet.  These animals brought back so many memories of our Saturdays spent at the morning movies as we were growing up.
The Haygoods have been voted the “Best Show” in Branson. We were not disappointed. Again, a family of 6 boys and 1 girl who sing everything from rock and roll, country western, and even some hard rock. They also played instruments from guitar, banjo, violin, saxophone, harp, drums and tapped danced too.  The lights, pyro and laser show was great.
There was audience participation, too.
We have seen 3 really good shows, eaten at many delicious restaurants, shopped at lots of shops and generally had our usual ‘Branson good time’.  We are leaving tomorrow morning for Kansas City for the SkillsUSA competition, but we will return to Branson again and again.

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