Friday, July 10, 2009
Family Vacation 2009: Branson, MO. Back in March/April, Bren got a frantic email from her sister that we HAVE to get the cousins together this year. I did not relish the idea of two days in the car with three kids and a cranky wife: Family Vacation 2008. But an equidistant location seemed to spread the pain for all. Branson, MO was decided as the ideal location. Cabins in the woods, boat on the lake, Grandma and Bonnie & Larry in next door cabin for emergency babysitting. Perfect.
Pine Ridge Log Cabins right off Table Rock Lake was the destination. Bill brought the boat and Grandma plus family. Bonnie & Larry came up from Little Rock. We brought the kids and Sally. A little terrified but made the trip ok and had a ball.
First thing was Branson Landing Fireworks show which we had to wait 4 hours and a Journey cover band to finally see the 12 minute extravaganza at 10pm! The kids had fun running around and we were parked on the river promenade but it took way too long. There's only one road in and out one lane a side and when we finally got back to the car it took an hour to go 3 blocks to the freeway. This is why dad never wanted to do these things.
The rest of the week was lake and boat time. Took the kids out on the lake and found an island to picnic on. The kids found a flock of Canadian Geese and shared their snacks. The twins weren't too thrilled with all the water yet but Ginny had a ball. Bill had an oversized inner tube trailing behind the boat for the kids to ride in. Ginny was right at home.
Just so happens my birthday was that week. 38 was a welcome stage. Bonnie and Larry even baked a cake. Date night with the wife for the State-of-the-Family update. Phoenix. Discworld. Even managed to put two and two together and got the cousin Carl to come down from St. Louis with Nicholle and Maggie to visit for dinner. 4 hour drive, 4 hour stay and 4 hours back. Amazed it worked out so well.
And to prove I was no longer a young man, Bill took me out one last day for water skiing. I haven't been on skis since I was 13 and I sucked then too. After about 10 attempts and some really hard wipeouts, I called it quits. I ended up pulling a muscle in my chest and lost my sunglasses to the lake. It hurts to sneeze.
I really hope we get to go back someday. These are the family vacations you dream about.