Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Little Slice of Branson

I'm not sure how much you know about Branson, Missouri. Maybe you are a frequent visitor and know all the ins and outs of the town. Maybe you've never heard of Branson or Missouri. I don't know because you never write about it. You should start a blog so I can find out what you already know!

Since this is my blog, I will write about what I know. Branson is located deep in the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri. Sure, the Ozarks aren't "mountains" in the same regard as the Rocky Mountains are, but they are very beautiful, nonetheless. They reminded me a lot of the Black Hills in South Dakota. What, you've never heard of South Dakota, either?!? I will write about it later. For now, let's stick with Branson, shall we?

Branson is well known for all of the lavish shows you can see in town. It should also be known as a beautiful area with lots of outdoorsy things to do, but I'm not sure some people realize that. We camped at the beautiful, and surprisingly quiet, Table Rock State Park, about 5 miles from downtown Branson. The Park is located right on the shores of the huge Table Rock Lake, a man-made concoction that stretches for miles in several directions. There are countless things to do in the great outdoors in the Branson area.

Although the biggest attractions in Branson probably are the shows, I never thought I would actually go to one. But, last week, we joined the rest of the Wife's family in the Branson area to celebrate the in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary, and a lavish show, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, was on the agenda. I guess, since there are a ton of horses, stagecoaches, ostrich races, and even a few bison thrown in, this show isn't quite as lavish as some others. But there was still a lot of singing, dancing, and flowing gowns, so I wasn't sure I would like it.
Photo courtesy of dixiestampede.com
Let me tell you, it was awesome! There was non-stop action, high-quality musical numbers, some comedy sprinkled in, and even a little bit of Old West history thrown in for good measure. Two of our kids (the Girl & the Boy) were completely enthralled with what was going on in front of them. The other one (the Baby) was not nearly as entertained, but in her own sinister way, she did keep Mommy and Daddy from being able to watch the entire show, since we were walking around with her to keep her quiet, so I'm sure she got some satisfaction from that.

The show was really good, but my favorite part of the evening was the food. Everyone in the arena got a huge meal, which consisted of, in order, a cheesy biscuit, a big bowl of cream of veggie soup, a whole roasted chicken (!), a slice of pork loin, corn on the cob, a half a potato, and a huge flaky apple turnover type thing for dessert. But guess what we didn't get - any utensils! Yup we got to eat all this food with our bare hands. It was awesome! The chicken was especially good, and I can attest to that because we brought the Girl's and Boy's chickens home for Daddy to eat. They made the entire trip back to Minnesota and were still delicious.

I'm not really in the business of critiquing restaurants, shows, or any other places of business, but if you are ever in the Branson area, I would definitely suggest you consider taking the kids to the Dixie Stampede. It's totally family-friendly, and I think everyone will enjoy it. And, if you don't finish your chicken, bring it home for me, please!

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