Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Behind the Scenes} In Branson

We celebrated Thanksgiving and even a little of Christmas in Branson with my husband's brothers and their families. Altogether, that's eight kids ages almost 10, 8, 6.5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 2.5, and 7 months. And, yes, my mother-in-law, who is the best trip planner ever, got all the kids coordinating pajamas from Gymboree.

A big untraditional, but our Thanksgiving dinner was served by a tall elf at Dixie Stampede. And we didn't use utensils to eat our whole baked turkey, half of a roasted potato, corn on the cob, roll, creamy vegetable soup, and apple turnover. The food was delicious and the show was entertaining.

In a merging of the holidays, we went to a Christmas ornament store on Thanksgiving morning and each of the kids picked out two ornaments and each family picked out another. These were hung on a tree my mother-in-law put up in her condo for the weekend. The kids had the best time decorating it and showing off their new ornaments. Ben's choices of an airplane and dinosaur are predictable. He's all boy. Cate's horse ornament wasn't surprising, but I don't have any words about that bedazzled phone. Except, of course, I hope she knows that's the only phone she's going to get for awhile.

We also went to Silver Dollar City. And, let me tell you, we weren't the only ones who thought spending Black Friday at an amusement park was a good idea. We've been there in the earlier fall and now later fall near Thanksgiving twice. The earlier fall is definitely my favorite time of the year to be there. Either season has lovely decorations.

We did ride some rides and eat a funnel cake. Possibly my favorite ride ever is at Silver Dollar City. And I got my 6-year-old girl on it with me.

The Giant Barn Swing takes riders swinging seven stories high on pendulums that go 230 degrees at 45 mph. It's intense. Cate said she felt like she was upside-down. Technically, she wasn't.

She wasn't sure at first if she liked it. But she's talked about the next time she rides it probably won't be as scary. I guess that means she liked it! As a roller coaster lover, I feel like I'm doing my part to raise my daughter to have an adventurous spirit! Ben wasn't tall enough to ride on The Giant Barn Swing, which he totally would have. But he did manage to photo bomb on our photo - on purpose!

We also saw "The Miracle of Christmas" at the Sights & Sounds Theater, "Frozen" at a local movie theater, ate at my favorite White River Fish House as well as other tasty restaurants. Oh, and we spent hours at the original Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo., on our road trip to Branson. {It's boy heaven, really, although I had some luck Christmas shopping!}

For the record, our family loves Branson. We came in September 2008, October 2010 and Thanksgiving 2011. There's so much to do that every trip has been a little different with some common sights, sounds and tastes.

Each family had its own condo, which was nice for regrouping each evening and allowing for good nights of sleep. Our days were packed with meals and outings together. Truly, this trip was a good balance of the best worlds of a vacation that bridged Thanksgiving and Christmas and gave us time with each other.

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  1. Oh,this sounds amazing!!! I love the pj's and all of the memories that you guys made. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love yours. :)

  2. KristinHillTaylor12/03/2013 4:13 PM

    Oh, thanks, Becky! I'm glad you came over for a visit. We love Branson - it was such a fun trip!

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Loved the pj's picture. My parents have done that too for all their grandchildren and seeing as they have 10 of their own kids it's for MANY grandchildren. lol.
    Sending hugs your way. I've missed you!!

  4. KristinHillTaylor12/03/2013 8:07 PM

    I've missed you, too, Beth! I'm looking forward to linking up with your blog again soon. That adoption series took much of my writing energy last month. :) Hope you're doing well.

  5. Sounds like you all had a fantastic time! (And I love the matching pj's...way too cute!) Now I'm really hoping Branson works out. Praying hard and hoping our (in)RL meeting is soon! :)

  6. Tabitha Myers12/03/2013 10:14 PM

    I love all the pajamas! Looks like you all had a great trip.

  7. KristinHillTaylor12/04/2013 10:11 AM

    Praying and hoping with you!

  8. KristinHillTaylor12/04/2013 10:23 AM

    My mother-in-law and Gymboree for the win! :)

  9. We were supposed to leave tomorrow for a trip just like this. My parents were taking my sister & I and our families for a little Christmas trip. But due to the icy weather forecast, we've had to postpone it. We're all pretty bummed. Also, I love the barn swing! It's one of mine & my husband's favorites. The last two times we've been, we've had our kids with us though & haven't been able to ride any rides. We were really looking forward to this trip so my parents could watch the kids while we rode stuff! Boo.

  10. KristinHillTaylor12/05/2013 8:11 AM

    Crazy weather. We're supposed to get that same ice/snow storm here too, starting tonight. I know what a bummer it is, though to have to postpone the trip. We were supposed to go to Branson the day after Christmas last year and snow kept us away. I love that your family loves Branson like we do. How far from Branson are you?

  11. Yes we do! We're 4 hours away. There have been very few years in my life we haven't been to Branson at least once!

  12. KristinHillTaylor12/05/2013 9:55 AM

    Such a fun tradition! We're about six hours away and I'm so glad my in-laws started taking us there.