September 20, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Little Rock to Branson, Missouri

Robby and I woke right up with our alarms at 5:30 this morning. We did stay up a bit later than planned but we were able to empty the dishwasher and do some laundry. Those were things that we would have had to do early this morning.

By 6, Robby and I were ready and began waking up the kids. They woke up fairly easily-all except for Whitman. After I had made his bed, he climbed right back into it and managed to sleep a bit more since I lost track of where he was. He has started sneaking off-to watch his movies, avoid school work or to just disobey. This morning, he wasn't doing any of those; he was sleeping.

Our goal was to leave at 6:30 this morning, but it was about 6:40 when we pulled out of the driveway. This morning Whitman and Reagan were in the back of the van. Keaton and Campbell were next to the back row, and Graham and Anderson were on the second row. Every other spare inch of the car was packed full of clothes and food.

The first hour of our trip was spent listening to a book on tape. Then we moved on to watching a Netflix movie. However, the movie didn't work out too well. I then tried one of our movies, Home Alone, and it did work perfectly. So hopefully, we just had a bad netflix movie since I am sure that we watch quite a few more over the next week.

We stopped only once on our way to Silver Dollar City. I had just pulled out my computer to begin the blog right before we stopped. However, when I came back to the car, Robby was sitting in my spot. Now, I did oblige and drive the rest of the way to Branson.

The kids were super excited when they realized where we were this morning. It did seem like our drive was fairly short. We pulled into the parking lot at Silver Dollar City about 15 minutes after they opened. The parking lot seemed a bit light so we were pleased with that.

Indeed, the crowds were wonderful today. The kids were able to ride whatever they wanted over and over again. The longest wait was probably for Time Traveler but that was just about 20 minutes. Despite the great lines, the weather was still a bit warm. It did reach 90 or a little above.

We began in the General Store. We let them know that we had 3 September birthdays so they handed Reagan, Keaton and Robby birthday buttons. They also gave them a little bag of taffy. The lady also gave us a map and circled the other placed that we needed to stop for their birthday goodies. Of course, we made it a priority to find all of those other stops. They were given a little bag of kettle corn and a tiny ice cream cone. And the whole family enjoyed their 2 dollar off coupons on cinnamon bread. And yes, we bought 3 loaves of cinnamon bread-we ate 2 and saved one in the car.

We did Thunderation, which is Whitman's favorite ride, followed by Time Traveler. Then we walked over to the kiddie section. We were able to ride everything there. I always leave that area a bit woozy because I have to ride the swings twice, once with Keaton and then with Whitman. I also have to ride both pirate ships with the kids.

Now, Robby missed out on this section of the trip because he was doing some work. Somebody has to pay the bills. He actually went to our secret spot-behind the cooking school on the back porch. It is cool and shady back there and is actually where I plan on coming to sit when I am old!

By this time, we were hot and a bit cranky. Well, we weren't that cranky. We bought a few drinks and along with chicken and beef nachos. We gobbled them down; I think that the heat made us all a bit hungry. From there, we headed to Fire in the Hole followed by the bigger roller coasters.

Now I think that the next stop was the log ride. As soon as we stepped off of that ride, it started to sprinkle. We refilled our drinks and then sat down for a few minutes. At some point during the day, we sat down in a show. Robby was quick to point out that Whitman was already sound asleep. I remember glancing that direction and looking at him, and then I don't remember much else about the show. I had fallen asleep as well and snoozed until Robby tapped me suggesting that we go ahead and leave.

From there, we headed on to more big roller coasters. Then we did ride the circle raft water ride. Since I was already soaking wet by that point, I volunteered to go on the soaking wet raft ride with Whitman. I was drenched and still even a bit chilly from that ride.

I was happy then to walk to the car because it gave me a chance to dry off. Our next stop was to buy shoes for Reagan. She needed new tennis shoes and gracious me, shoes are expensive. It was a buy one get one half off deal, so Anderson also ended up with a new pair of shoes.

Then it was a short jaunt to the motel. We are staying in the same motel that Robby and I stayed at when we came here a few months ago. It is an older motel that has been completely redone. Reagan said that she thought that was the nicest hotel ever.

It probably seems super nice since we are in two rooms tonight. Our room, the girls room, is quite a bit bigger. The boys room connects to ours so we are all super spread out. Now, I will honestly say, that our room is much more organized than the boys' room.

As soon as we walked into the room, kids started cycling through the showers while I began heating up the BBQ. This was our first trip to ever bring BBQ on. Many nights we struggle finding something to eat. We just don't want to grab fast food nor do we want to sit down at an okay-ish restaurant. Now, tonight, we could have certainly eaten at Billy Boy's Dairyland which is our Branson favorite place right now, but we opted for our first meal of BBQ.

It was delicious and hit the spot. We also had crackers and cheese so everyone was stuffed by the end of our supper. It worked out perfectly. Afterwards, we did our nightly laundry load and then it was bedtime. Now, doing laundry tonight helped wonderfully since we were hot and wet today!

The original plan was to have another night here in Branson with another rain free day at Silver Dollar City. However, it doesn't look like the weather is going to cooperate with us so as of 10 tonight, we will be heading on North tomorrow.

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