Friday, November 15, 2013

Trip to Branson, Day Three

On our third day at Branson, we started by driving to the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, which is a free attraction.  There were some exhibits inside, which we looked at, then we made our way outside.
The fish hatchery is right next to the dam of Table Rock Lake.

I don't remember it being smelly there, but maybe Anthony thought it was.

The kids were fascinated by seeing... many fish in one spot.

Next, we drove over to the Visitor Center next to Table Rock Lake.  It was a fancy, three-story building with a lot of exhibits inside.  It was interesting to read about why they made the lake (to help control flooding).
The view outside the Center wasn't too shabby either!

Up on the highest balcony of the Visitor Center.

We drove a little further and found a picnic spot near the lake.
Lunch time!

After lunch, we went back to Branson, where we decided to go to the Hollywood Wax Museum. 
The kids thought it was a little strange at first, but then warmed up to it.  They didn't know who most of the people were, but that didn't really matter.  The only rough area was the scary movie section, but if your kids freaked out there, you could bypass it.
Joseph thought this guy was quite funny. (Life is like a box of chocolates...)

Beam us up!

Anne was not up for the fight, but Catherine and Dominic were ready to take on the bad guys.

As part of our ticket, we were able to go next door to the Maze of Mirrors and go through as many times as we wanted.  We went through twice and after almost losing a couple of kids the second time around, we thought that was enough.  :)
Anthony being his stinker self for the photo.

The outside of the wax museum.  Anthony was still being a stinker.

We drove through Branson to the old side of the town and went down to the landing on Lake Taneycomo.  It is really more of a river, but since there is a dam on either end of it (many miles apart), it has to be called a lake.  Thus we learned at the Visitor Center.
Down by the water.

Joseph directed the fountain.

Playing in the fountain at the top of the stairs. 

After a break at the hotel, we went to the Dixie Stampede.  This is a wonderful dinner show.  It's in an arena and the show goes through much of American History, told through song and dance, with wagons and races and many live animals, including bison, ostriches, horses, birds, pigs, and others I probably am not remembering.  You could not take pictures during the show.  Then there is this big contest between the North and South, and the audience is part of the contest.  We were part of the North.  There were ostrich races, pig races, lumberjack contests, wagon races, etc.  The whole time this is going on, you are being served a very good dinner.  It was very entertaining.  Even Anthony watched closely.
Before the show, you could walk along and look at the horses.

The girls were in horse heaven!

 Not long after we were seated, our server came and asked if two of our kids would be part of the show.  The twins agreed.  Since this was a Thursday, there weren't that many kids there, so we must have stuck out with our crew!  At the right time in the show, Dan went with the twins down to the edge of the arena.  Dominic and Anne got to represent the North in the chicken-chasing contest.  I thought they would be sure winners, as they've actually had practice chasing chickens.  However, the other kids' chicken just ran straight to the finish line, while Dominic and Anne's chicken ran in the opposite direction. They let Dan take some pictures while this was going on.

Preparing for the contest.

Anne and Dominic were ready to run!  They look patriotic and kind of matching, don't they?

This is a bit fuzzy, but the twins were each receiving a medal and a book with a note in it from Dolly Parton.

The kids were all supposed to chase the goofy guy back, but Dominic just took off running and blew past him.  It was funny.

At every attraction in Branson, they are always wanting to take a family picture.  We liked this one, so we got it.

After the Dixie Stampede, we went down to see one of the performers on her horse.  You can see the twins' medals!

What a busy day!  Dan took a few of the kids swimming when we got back to the hotel, but the rest of us just crashed.

Day Four to come!

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