Saturday, August 31, 2013

Branson Vacay- Days 1 & 2

I think the pictures will speak for themselves but to stop all your suspense, we had an AMAZING vacation!!! The kids were wonderful, Reese and Dono got along so well and played together like I have never seen, the weather was great, everyone was healthy (for the most part) and I could not have wished it to go any better. Without further ado I will recap the trip.

Thurs Aug 22- Day 1: My parents and sister met us at the house at 10am and we all set off pretty dang on time. We stopped at Lebanon to eat and for a potty break and after that stop the kids actually both took naps until we got to Branson.  We all stayed in a 3 bedroom condo right off of the lake and it was beautiful! Before we were even unpacked the kids were begging to hit the pool so we obliged. Only when I was about to get Reese dressed for swimming did I realize that of all of the things to forget, I forgot to pack her any swimsuits. So homegirl got to go swimming in some undies and a t-shirt while the grandparents ran out for an emergency swimsuit shopping spree. She did not care in the least.

The kids loved the pool! We practically had the whole thing to ourselves for almost every day so it was awesome! As it turns out, Reese is a natural swimmer! This is the first time she swam in a big pool with only her floaties on and she did awesome! Swam all over by herself and was calm as could be. She would flutter kick and actually get herself places in a hurry. Then sometimes she would dolphin kick and use her hands to propel her, it was amazing! She has never even had A lesson before. My parents said I was a natural too so I am taking the credit. She even could float on her back and on her stomach as calm as could be.

Her brother on the other hand, well, his initial swimming attempts looked more like a drowning dog. (see below).

He improved pretty fast over the several days that we went swimming but the start was pretty funny especially because Reese was so dang good at it.  Before long they were both jumping in to the water unassisted. It was fun.

That night we went down to Branson Landing, which we had never been to before and ate dinner and walked along the lake (which actually looks more like a river). As it was cooling off and turning to night a fog grew over the water and it was absolutely beautiful. We had bar-b-q, which made my dad happy, and Dono and I got to see a man catch a trout, which made Dono happy. Then we watched a fire and water show and headed home to get some rest for our big day #2.

Friday- Second # 2

We woke up all bright and early the next day, excited for our first Day at Silver Dollar City. We got there before the park opened and ate breakfast at the restaurant inside the park, which it totes the way to go to beat the crowds and make your tummy happy (although not well prepared to ride lots of roller coasters right away). First stop after breakfast was the old trusty "flooded mine" ride, an oldie but a goodie. Next stop was the kiddie ride area where Reese was measured and came out to be 35 inches and 3/4. Ahhhhh! A quarter inch too short to ride most of the rides. Dang. Even so everyone had a great time. They both loved the frogs and the caterpillars and butterfly ride.

Donovan got to ride the kid rollercoaster, the elephants, the small pirate ship and this big pirate ship with me while Reese went some more rounds on the frogs and butterflies. We had a great time.

Reese got several (I think it was 5) turns on the Carousel, a favorite of hers and a non-favorite of Donovan's (he usually refuses to ride or only will go on the bench, which is comical as he will go on Roller coasters).

Next was the "American Plunge". It was a favorite last year and since Reese is over 34 inches this year, she could go too. We went 2 times, the first with everyone sans my mom, the next Jenna sat out too. The kids loved it and we liked that we got wet enough that it cooled us all down considerably from the low 90s heat. My dad was in the back both rides and ended up getting completely soaked. He was a good sport about it though and took it like a (wet) champ.

This is my favorite picture of my sister Jenna since one taken during my wedding (6.5 yrs ago). Too funny. This was in "grandfathers mansion" in which everything is all wonky. I refused to go in it this year as it made me feel drunk last year.

Tom and Jenna got to break off from the rest of our group and try out some big kid rides. They were disappointed as the big wooden roller coaster they were excited to try was having problems so they didn't get to ride it.

By 2 both kids were exhausted. Dono was sleeping in the stroller while Reese had tuckered herself out from a fit she threw. So we headed back to the house for some more swimming.

There are many pluses to traveling with my parents but one of the best is that they are the best kind of paparazzi. I love these awesome shots my dad got of the kids jumping in the water.

Didn't you love that form? By the end of swimming day 2 both kids were wearing their goggles and putting their faces in the water (Reese more so than Donovan). It was fun and a nice cool down from a hot day.
More vacation recap to come!

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