Saturday, September 29, 2012

Travels To Branson - Day Two, Part Three

This was certainly a day for fun activities.  Later in the afternoon, we went to see the Acrobats of China.  It was funny because we had gotten a coupon for the show back when we went to the Kansas State Fair!  We all enjoyed it.  It was a show of acrobatics and strength, from regular juggling combined with acrobatics to foot juggling (these amazing women could juggle anything with their feet, from umbrellas to tables, even another person!) to springboarding through tall stacks of hoops to springboarding a stack of men four high, standing on top of each others' shoulders.  There was a woman who could not only walk on a wire, but bicycle on it and also balance a ladder on it as she climbed the ladder!  Those were just a few of the acts we saw.

The New Shanghai Theatre

Waiting for the show to start.  We were one of the few families with children there.  Most of the audience were 60 and above.  So we got lots of stares and attention.

We were not allowed to take pictures during the show, but afterwards we could take pictures with the performers.  Catherine liked the girl in white.

Anne liked the girl in pink.

A fun time was had by all.

After all this activity, we stopped for dinner at the Rib Crib (yummy), went back to the hotel, rested a little, and then went swimming again.  I was ready for bed when the kids were!  End of Day Two!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Travels To Branson - Day Two, Part Two

After our morning hike on the nature trail, we went to the Ripley's Believe or Not Museum, which is located on the main strip in Branson.  What a neat museum!  Expensive, but neat.

The crazy exterior of the museum.

One of the first things you see when entering is this hologram depicting Mr. Ripley talking about collecting things all over the world.  At the end of his "talk," he disappears, leaving a skeleton in his place.  Anthony took one look at the skeleton and was terrified, screaming and running around the room.  Poor guy!  After we calmed him down, he was okay, though I was nervous for the rest of the museum!

The stagecoach made entirely out of toothpicks!

Many of the rooms had interactive displays, such as this.

A two-headed calf.  Anthony tried to climb through the rails so he could pet the calf.  I stopped him just in time.

A vacuum cleaner.

The tallest man in history.

The kids absolutely loved the crazy mirrors.

We laughed and laughed.

The Coliseum made out of playing cards.

I think this was one of the favorites of the whole museum - the dizzy tunnel.  You walked through on a bridge while the whole tunnel rotated around and around, and it was funny how it was very difficult to walk straight.  When you came out of the tunnel there was a mirror which added to the effect, except that Anthony walked full speed ahead right into it and came away with a goose egg on his forehead.  Surprisingly, he didn't cry, just laughed.

What a fun and fully entertaining museum to explore.  These are just a few of the things we saw in it.  There were a couple of things in there not so appropriate, like the real shrunken head, complete with video explaining how the natives of the country made them after killing their enemies, but they just provided an opportunity for discussion.  Overall though, we had an very enjoyable time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Travels To Branson - Day Two

On our first full day in Branson, it was supposed to get hot that day, so in the morning we went to an area with different nature trails while it was still cooler.  We chose the 1.1 mile trail.  Here are the kids at the lookout before our little hike:
Of course, Anthony had to immediately try to hoist himself up onto the railing!

Off we went down the trail, the boys leading the way.

Happy face for now.

After a few falls, Anthony ended up doing a lot of this.  Daddy got a workout!

We checked the map to make sure we went the right way.

At another lookout.  Anne was hoping to see lots of animals.

Tried to get another picture of the kids.

Now if Daddy gets in the picture, it's a lot easier!

The trail got very rocky in spots.

Time for a break.

Mommy made it into a picture.

Besides this creepy-crawly, we saw some salamanders (they all got away too fast for a picture) and a few squirrels.

A little off-trail exploring.

I have to say, that 1.1 miles seemed much longer than we thought 1.1 miles should be.   However, it was fun to get out and see some natural scenery. 

Day Two, to be continued!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Travels To Branson - Day One

Two weeks ago, we went on a vacation to Branson, MO.  It took about 6 hours or so to get there.  We drove through southeast Kansas, where we hit multiple sites of road construction.  I'm not talking slow-down-a-bit road construction.  I'm talking the kind where there is only one lane for both directions and you have to wait 5 minutes for the pilot car to come back and lead you through.  Then in Missouri, there was a bridge closed for construction and we had to take a very long detour on a narrow, curvy, and hilly road.  Luckily no one got sick.  Anthony did reasonable well in the car:

Look how all those books are squishing him over! 
After we settled in at the hotel, which had a living area connecting two bedrooms, and a small kitchen/dining area, hooray, we went down to the Branson Landing by Lake Taneycomo, which is so skinny it looks more like a river.
Looking out over the lake.

Nice picture of all the kids looking out.

Okay, everyone, look this way.

This is about as good as it gets.

Then, while we were standing there, all of a sudden the fountains started spraying so fiercely, we all got wet.  At the same time, there was a loud boom and fire starting shooting out of the tops of these columns.  Evidently we got there right in time for the fire and light show.

Joseph got so excited he was jumping up and down.

Of course, the kids loved getting wet.

After that excitement, we walked along the long bridge.  It was 9/11, hence the flag at half-mast.

We spent a bit more time walking around the Branson Landing Shopping Center, got ice cream, and the kids played at a playground there.  Then it was back to the hotel for a dinner made in our little kitchen, and later we went to the hotel pool.  Woohoo!  Day one accounted for. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Day At The Fair!

Two weeks ago today, we went to the Kansas State Fair.  We couldn't believe it had been three years since we went!

I think the kids' favorite part was riding the ponies.  Dominic on Diego.

Joseph on Sonny.

Anthony was thrilled!  He rode on Jake.

Anne on Jack.

Catherine was a little bit too big for the ponies, but they let her ride anyway.  She was excited to ride on Magic, the same horse she rode 3 years ago.

Anthony just grinned and laughed the whole time he rode.

I tried to get a picture of all the kids afterwards, but you know how that goes!

Checking out the exotic petting zoo.

We went through the rabbits and poultry sheds.

Farmer Joe

This man explained how cotton is processed with this machine simulating a cotton gin.

Anne and Anthony, and the pig.

It got hot in the afternoon, so we stopped by the fountains to cool off.

Fun to play in the spray!

Funny Joseph!

 We saw a lot of neat things at the fair, including the biggest pumpkin, a butter sculpture, a wheat fountain, and a weeds exhibit.  We ate lots of food, including cotton candy and a red velvet funnel cake, and some meatballs wrapped in bacon, all on a stick.  We did not ride any rides for a reason you will know later, but all agreed it was a great day!