July 15, 2013: Big City of Branson and 15th Anniversary

(click here for today's pictures)
A day of WET rides!

Robby was the one who started waking everyone up this morning-big day because there was breakfast downstairs in our hotel.  It really doesn't take too much to thrill my kids and that is a good thing.  Campbell and Graham, the easiest to wake up, headed off to breakfast with Robby.
While he was gone, I quickly stirred Reagan and Anderson.  Then I got Keaton ready and tried to straighten the room some before climbing in the shower.  I assumed that Robby had taken the key but I made sure that they knew to not open the door for any reason and even if it was Robby I was to open the door.  But that was a mute point because I was out of my shower before he returned.
When he came back, he brought Keaton back breakfast and Reagan, Anderson and I headed over to eat.  The breakfast area is really neat with the industrial type look.  Breakfast was fine but since I usually don't eat breakfast, anything is a treat for me.  And the juice is the highlight for the kids since we do not have juice at home.  The only time they have juice is juice boxes as our car bribe, at  Nonna or Grannymom's houses or the little ones have apple juice at church.  Robby and I even look forward to flying so we can have orange juice-come to think of it, a jug of OJ might be a bit cheaper than an airplane ticket. 
Silver Dollar City opened this morning at 9:30 and we were in the parking lot at 9:15.  That really isn't too bad since even the kids had been out until 11 last night.  We hoped on the tram and were walking through the gates in no time.  The workers here trying to take your picture are a bit aggressive.  Everyone kept asking us to take our picture and some places we let people take our pictures just to be nice even though we are not going to buy it and then have to act interested.  Anyway, today I just told the person that we had our picture made yesterday.  After the third time for me to tell someone this, Reagan whispered "no we didn't" to me.  I reminded her that yes, Daddy did take our picture yesterday.  Shoo, I was able to get out of that one safely.
The park was pretty crowded this morning and somehow we ended up in a different area of the park than usual.  Actually, I don't think we had ever been on this side of the park.  Somehow we can never efficiently see all of Silver Dollar City.  I don't know why that is since we can cover Disneyland in a long day.  The first thing the kids saw this morning was the last thing that we ever wanted them to see-the log ride!
I had planned on getting wet today and had on some quick drying shorts so I was ready to go!  Robby put Whitman in the carrier and him and Keaton climbed up to watch the boats come down.  I pushed Campbell to come with us but she got upset so we let her stay with Robby.  I ended up soaking wet after that log ride-the kids loved it and begged me to do it again.  We were able to convince Campbell to come with us and she did great even though she left claw marks on my legs from where she was holding on to me so tightly.  
The next stop was Fire in the Hole for the 4 big kids and Robby.  Keaton and I sat out and sang itsy bitsy spider which she loves.  We even walked around for a bit while waiting on the riders.  When they came out the next thing that we did was the Huck Fin ride.  Two facts about that ride-you get wetter than you do when you go swimming and people are vicious.  As we walked up to that ride, we saw that even Keaton could go with us so I turned around and grabbed her from Robby.  I may or may not have planned on using her as my tiny human shield.  
On this ride, you are on a little raft floating along and you have a water cannon in front of you and people on the shore have water cannons.  So those people and people on other boats take delight and joy shooting water on each other.  Seriously, people are ruthless.  It didn't matter that I was holding Keaton in front of me they just kept squirting.  I had to wring out the boys shirts when we got off that ride and even our underwear was soaking wet!  
Next up was the round river raft ride and I let Robby do that one.  We do not usually ride any wet rides because who wants to walk around wearing wet clothes and I am not the mom who brings bathing suits and water shoes to an amusement park.  Hauling 16 extra shoes with me is not my idea of fun!
Anyway, Whitman and Keaton can only be entertained so much.  And by this time Keaton knew that she was getting the short end of the rides today.  So I was pretty surprised when Robby came back with the kids and said that they wanted to take me on the river raft with them.  So they did that ride again and thankfully, I didn't get too much wetter.  But poor Campbell-it was bad enough that Robby asked if I had extra clothes (I only carry extra clothes now if you are 2 our under-maybe that should be re-thought)
Next up we headed to the side of the park that we are familiar with. I really like Silver Dollar City-things just don't seem as hurried there, the food all looks delicious and I kind of like the old timey stuff.  I do have two suggestions-more trains (the train line is always huge and I do not want to be packed on a train like sardines) and no smoking areas (2 reasons-it is nasty and I am afraid that my kids are going to look at someone smoking and say "you are going to die" which they may or may not have heard from me)
Our first stop at the other side of the park was the measuring station.  Well, today Reagan was 1/4 inch shorter so she could not ride any of the rides by herself.  We smiled and walked away.  I don't think that Reagan fully realized the difference but we sure did-this meant that to ride Dumbo  Anderson could ride by himself but I or Robby would have to ride 3 more times (once with Reagan, Graham and Campbell).  So we did that it probably took nearly an hour.  Aaargh!  That is one thing about Silver Dollar City since so many of the kiddie rides still need an adult and if you are out manned or have a baby to watch then it is pretty tough.  
We then rode the fast pirate ships.  We didn't really give Graham or Campbell the choice to ride this since they had said that wanted to ride the teacups.  Then I rode the teacups with all the kids (Keaton is too short for any of these rides) and then we headed to the little rides for Keaton.  Anderson so wanted to ride one of the big spinning rides and I had told him that we could today.  Of course that is when him AND Reagan would have been tall enough to ride it.  Thankfully, he is a patient and understanding boy and was fine with us riding it when we come back in the fall.  Now, to get Reagan to grow a 1/4 of an inch in a few months.  Though I can't complain too much since today's height was probably more accurate than yesterdays because an older lady measured them today instead of a teenage boy.
Anyway, Graham, Keaton, Campbell and I rode the frogs next.  And for a baby ride the frogs are a pretty good ride.  I am always pretty impressed with them and my Keaton loved them.   And our final ride was the flooded mine ride.  Poor Whitman was in my carrier but he was not too pleased on this ride.  But when we finished the ride and I started walking again, he calmed down.  Maybe I was squishing him or maybe he didn't like all of the sights and sounds of the ride.  
Our final stop was at bakery for a cupcake, eclair and cinnamon roll.  The kids wanted an eclair because of Cake Boss.  We devoured every bit of those huge bakery items and then rode the tram back to the car.  The van was parked pretty tightly into our parking spot and Robby was concerned about getting out but we had no problem at all-probably because two cars around us left at the same time as we did.
Back at the hotel, we ate McDonalds that we had picked up and watched a bit of tv.  When we turned on the tv, Anderson and Graham said "American Pickers!"  Apparently this show is watched often at Nonna's house.  All of the kids (well, except Touble and Trouble's Sidekick) watched the show.  I think they must have been having a marathon of that show because it was even on this evening when we turned on the tv for a few minutes.  Maybe that show is on Netflix since my kids seem to like reality tv.
So after a while, we suited up and headed to swim.  Whitman had a bottle and then fell asleep and Keaton tried to swim in the little kiddie pool.  But I think her not having anyone to play with or any toys wasn't too much fun for her.  She did get Anderson and Campbell to play with her some.  But she was happy just sitting with Robby or climbing in my chair.  The others swam and dove for a pair of broken goggles (3 of the kids broke their goggles yesterday while swimming-what in the world were they doing?)
After a good while, we came back to the room and on the way back, Robby put the clothes in the dryer. Our plan was to leave sooner than we did but it had started to rain and rained pretty good so we just waited.  Finally the rain slacked up and we loaded up.  The rain didn't slack up enough for us to walk around at the Landing though.  But it did allow us to eat at Culvers.  We even topped off of meal with custard (it is our anniversary you know) and then went back to the hotel.  Soon the kids were all sound asleep and I am about to follow.