Branson: July 17, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)


Graham was ready to go pretty early this morning but Reagan and Anderson were exhausted and it took us until 8 to finally wake them up.  They didn’t even stir with Campbell and Graham up talking and getting dressed.  Once they were up, they moved pretty quick to go and ride the rides.  We were at Silver Dollar City before opening and since it was Saturday the parking lot was a little worse.  I was quite proud of us since we were able to get on and off of the tram without any assistance today.  Yesterday, some of the family were always with us.  It is quite a challenge with 1 baby, 1 toddler, 2 preschoolers, 2 strollers and 2 bags but we now have tram boarding and disembarkation down to a science: I hold the baby, bags and Graham’s hands, Reagan and Anderson follow me and Robby gets the strollers. 


I had carried a coupon with us for cinnamon bread from the mill and once we were inside the gates, Robby walked right to the restaurant and we enjoyed the bread.  The boys ate some but Reagan said that she didn’t want any which was fine with us because it was delicious.  We could have eaten a few more loaves of that bread.  I even had a minute to walk through the mill-they had cookbooks inside and for someone who doesn’t cook, I sure do love cookbooks.  We were right behind the chain for when the park was opened and headed to the Flooded Mine-and when we got there, they were still closed.


So we went to the Frogs.  I had never ridden the frogs and it is quite bouncy.  Graham loved it-he made sure that he was able to do it again.  Next up was the Butterflies and then the Roller Coaster for Reagan and Anderson and a snack for Graham.  By then it was already hot in the kiddie area-not a lot of shade.  So we walked towards Anderson’s favorite-The Flooded Mine.  This is the only ride that Campbell can ride and she didn’t mind it.  Her favorite ride though was definitely the tram-she would kick her feet and wave her arms. 


Next we watched folks riding the River Rapids ride.  Robby even spent some money to squirt some people with water as they came down river alley - Reagan said that she wished she had her money-but I encouraged her to spend it more wisely than squirting strangers with water (now, squirting family with water is another story).  Then the kids enjoyed milking a pretend cow-Reagan squealed when Robby squirted the milk in her direction and she thought she was being so sneaky by trying to get him to come and lean down so she could return the squirt.


Next was another ride for Reagan and Anderson-were you sit and hoist yourself up by pulling a rope.  I went with Anderson and then Robby went with Reagan and it was a work out.  They wanted to ride again but I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the top at all.  We then met the rest of the family and the kids had some snacks.  I had a snack too but I made sure to sit at the other end of the bench with my back turned so no one spotted my ice cream and strawberries.  It was delicious.  The big kids went to Fire in the Hole next so I did have to share mine with Graham and Campbell-she smacked her lips until she was given some. 


After that ride, we started heading towards the exit.  Robby did make sure that he picked up his piece of taffy.  And the boys and Reagan played on the wooden train, truck and tractor.  They could have played on these all day long.  I had wanted to go through Grandfather’s Mansion last time we were here and we never found it and this time we had to look hard for it (even though it is right in the middle of things)


Inside there is a mirror that you look in and then your reflection changed into a scary man’s reflection.  Anderson’s eyes were huge when he saw that reflection-his expression was priceless.  It was hysterical.  Next we walked through the slanted room that makes you feel like you are walking crooked.  It is amazing how our minds fool us.  Graham really had a hard time walking in the room.  As soon as we were outside, Reagan and Anderson asked to do it again-but Anderson didn’t want to look in the mirror this time.  In the slanted room the next time, we just sat on the benches and watched the people and Robby and I could have done that all day long. 


Next we were out the front gates, to the tram and then in the car.  On the way back to the hotel, Robby picked up a pizza and we had that for a snack before swimming.  Graham had fallen asleep in the car and slept for quite awhile in the stroller while back in the room while Reagan and Anderson played.  A little before 3 we were suited up and were ready to head downstairs.  We explored the small kiddie pool and 2 new slides outside until the sun came out and then we went back to the lazy river.  The kids still loved it and stayed in there until Campbell needed to get out because she was fussy.   She found her paci and slept in my lap while I watched Anderson in the kiddie pool for awhile.  After swimming for a little bit we came upstairs for baths and a little more down time.


We then met everyone at Danna’s BBQ.  The food was really good and that was evident because you had to fight for a table.  Afterwards, traffic was pretty bad so it took us awhile to get to the custard place and since we had a little bit of time before the Titanic crew made it, we decided to do go-carts.  It was quite the ordeal finding go-carts that everyone could do-height and age requirements on different ones.  Reagan could ride the kiddie carts by herself and she chose to do this but since Robby miscounted she was able to ride the grown-up carts too.


To ride the go carts with another adult, you have to be 36 inches tall.  Remember, Graham is only 35 inches.  We thought that we should try it-otherwise he was going to have a huge meltdown.  Robby stood in line with him and as they opened the gate, Robby held Graham’s hand so high up that Graham’s toes were barely touching the ground as they high-tailed it to the first go cart that could find to sit down in.  Graham was ecstatic and I was relieved that he could do them.  On the pictures, you can barely see the top of Graham’s head but every time they passed us he was grinning from ear to ear.


Next up, I took Anderson and Robby took Reagan (her bonus ride since Robby bought too many tickets).  Les and Shelley each took Lilly and Cash on this ride.  Anderson was a little upset that he didn’t get to steer but he had soon forgotten about it and was telling me how to drive.  Twice we were bumped and he kept asking me “why did you do that?” and one time he even yelled “brake, brake.”  We had a slow car so we barely kept up with Robby and Reagan.  Reagan kept looking back for us and wanted to make sure that they were the winners.


After our rides were over, we walked over to let Reagan ride her go cart ride.  Robby had talked to her about the gas and brake and didn’t know if she understood.  When the cars started and she put her foot on the gas, she sped forward which made her head jerk.  She looked startled and then had this look like “wow, I am really driving this thing.”  She did great and was quite the speed demon.  Reagan managed to wave at us each turn and during a few of those waves, we would end up yelling “watch where you are going!”


Next up was a short walk to the custard place.  Robby and I didn’t split one tonight and we should have but it was still delicious (even though I don’t want ice cream now for a long time-stuffed).  The kids ate most of theirs but they seemed more interested in drinking and holding their own water cups.  After ice cream, we were back in the hotel and getting ready for bed.  It seems that everyone is asleep now and we are about to follow them.

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