July 4, 2019: 2019’s 4th trip to Branson on July 4th

(click here for today's pictures)

There is nothing like hotel sleeping. We all slept well, and Robby and I slept longer than anyone else. The kids were all in the one room with 2 beds and a couch so they were all stirring much before us. 

When I did go to make sure that everyone was dressed or at least getting dressed, I found Keaton, Campbell and Whitman in the bathroom. They were playing beauty shop and doing Whitan’s hair. Later, I was in the other bathroom getting ready, and I could hear Whitman say, “Can I see my hair do?” The very next words he said caused me to burst out laughing. After looking at himself in the mirror, he exclaimed, “Well, I can’t tell a difference.” 

The girls didn’t seem too disappointed that all of their hard work was in vain. They were all tickled that the three of them had on Under Armour shirts that all had a big Under Armour sing on the front. 

Once everyone was ready, we did head to breakfast. They did have some homemade pancakes, but I wasn’t too pleased with the breakfast myself-no granola, flavored cream cheese or even no bagels. I did manage with some toast and yogurt though.

It didn’t take long to load the car today. We have the back seat out like we usually do, so loading just consists of throwing everything in the back instead of having to strategically place each item in a certain spot under the seats. Now, there is a few trade offs to this-a row of kids are sitting right near us (sometimes it is just good to have a conversation by ourselves) and also we are bit more crowded up front. This seating/packing arrangement will definitely need some tweaking if we are to use it for a long trip. 

Our first stop this morning was to Walmart. Then we headed to Springfield where we bought gas at Sams. They had a car wash there that we were able to go through for free. However, Robby never really acts like he knows how tall the car is. So during the car wash, I went through trying to help the car duck so it wouldn’t be too tall. We made it through successfully and no parts of the car were ripped off in the process. 

We then stopped at Sams to pick up a few things that we didn’t really need. We are thinking about our few Disney trips and what is best to pack the car. I might just be easier to fly down there or to have an RV or to just stay at home.

We did make another stop in Springfield at the Bass Pro. It is the largest Bass Pro and man, it is big. They had little museums about their history and about their racing. The kids climbed on more atvs and boats than ever. After looking at and touching pretty much in the store, we headed to the car. 

We grabbed our lunch supplies and headed down the road. As soon as we were finished with our lunches, I passed out the fudge that we had bought at the Bass Pro store. We all agreed that the fudge from today was much better than the fudge that we had bought in Mackinaw Island. We bought almost the same amount today and paid about ⅓ less. It didn’t take long for us to devour it though!

We soon arrived in Mansfield and found the Laura Ingalls Wilder historic home and farm. This is the house that she moved back to in her later years. First we toured the home that she died in. It was pretty neat to hear that her husband, Almonzo, had built much of the house and most of the furniture in it. Old houses are so neat to me seeing how they were built. This house had tiny little rooms, but a room for everything-library, music room, writing room, etc.

We then went through the museum which started with a short film. The museum part was small yet interesting. We have read most of the books so most everyone remembers quite a bit of the story. I do think that it is time that we restart the reading and listening to her books. I could have browsed through all of the books in the gift shop a little bit longer because there sure are a lot of books about Laura and her daughter Rose.

Next up was a quick walk through the Rock House which is a home that Laura and Almonzo briefly lived in during their retirement years. It was sparsely furnished so their wasn’t too much to see, but it was a pretty cottage style house. 

We then drove through downtown Mansfield, which was shut up tight for the 4th. It was actually a sad small town and would have still been pretty sad if things were going strong. That town needed a Pioneer Woman to come through and open a few stores.

Since we had sandwiches for lunch, we needed something for supper. Robby wanted to try Godfather Pizza. We ended up just getting the buffet since it was easier than ordering a pizza. I was super glad about this because I have been wanting to go to Larry’s Pizza at home. This way, I have gotten my fill of pizza buffets and won’t have to go to another for awhile.

Really though, there is nothing more American then going to a buffet so that was probably a great way to celebrate the 4th. The pizza was good and the dessert pizza was even better. I do believe that the mac and cheese was a hit with most of the kids. 

After supper, we drove to the Coleman store. We have already bought an ice chest on the trip so there wasn’t a reason to buy one today. We browsed their outside tent sale and then also went inside the store. 

As Campbell and I were leaving the bathroom at the store, we walked passed a girl who was looking down at some merchandise. I briefly thought that she looked like a mannequin. However, Campbell must have really thought that she looked like a mannequin because Campbell tapped the girl on the shoulder. She quickly realized that she was real, and we both had to walk a way quickly because we couldn’t stop laughing. It was one of my favorite parts of the day. 

The last stop of the day was the hotel. We had debated going and watching more fireworks but decided that one firework show was enough! The kids all wanted to go swimming-which actually frustrates me some because my boys never want to go swimming at home, but always do at a hotel. 

They all did have fun swimming which was good. After they finished swimming we went back to the room. The kids went through the showers as Robby tried to start the laundry. His first attempt was in vain since they were all full. There is nothing more frustrating than that.

We watched some tv and vegged out in the room until it was finally time for bed. We heard fireworks all around us and at one point, Campbell was standing in the window watching them! Laundry didn't finish until too late, but we passed the time watching an old National Treasure movie. Tomorrow we head home...maybe.

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