Pondering vacations

Somehow I’ve managed to work four-day weeks for the past 5 weeks. In theory, at least. In reality, I’ve probably worked six-day weeks, but some of those days have been when I’m on weekend trips.

Nevertheless, you’d think that after a fun long weekend in Vegas, I’d be pumped and ready to take on any challenge at work. Instead, I’ve found myself dreading getting up in the morning, sleeping restlessly due to my “to do” list bouncing around in my head, and generally feeling so far behind that I’ll never dig out. (That’s what recovering from Pacific Time will do for you, I suppose.)

So tonight, I’m taking a spin back to the carefree days of childhood vacations!

Let’s talk about Branson.


For whatever reason, Branson was the vacation mecca for central Kansans. I vaguely remember my first trip there — was it in the green Chevy pick-up, or the red? At any rate, I clearly recall using the tall stick-of-a-gearshift as my personal CB microphone to talk to everyone going by. (Ironic that as a child I liked playing “telephone”, but now really think twice about answering it.)

That trip was at age 3, with mom, dad and baby DIY. We were pulling my grandparents’ fifth-wheel trailer. The high points of the trip were swimming, and spotting my first silver Airstream camping trailer. I was fascinated.

Trip number two was a couple years later, at age 5. Grandma and grandpa were taking all the grandkids to Branson, and I apparently threw a fit when they tried to tell me I was too young to go. We stayed at a much cooler campground that time — it had a waterslide. I fell asleep during “Shepherd of the Hills,” but I do recall the scene of burning down the cabin. Most memorably, I was small enough that I’d come to a complete stop half-way down those big watersildes, and my cousin Nan would have to tail me to scoop me up.

I went on “Branson hiatus” for 7 years, as my next trip was in junior high with my church group. The only thing I remember was having some sort of “come to Jesus” experience (literally) in the Gaslight Theater at Silver Dollar City.

The next (and final) trip was probably 7 or 8 years ago, when I spent a rainy Thanksgiving weekend there with my parents, grandparents an aunts/uncle.

It had become the geriatric capital of the central U.S. There were tour buses everywhere, carting gray-hairs to hokey shows.

The first night we saw Dino, the “pianist extrodinaire”. I had always thought he was a little cheesy, but I was nevertheless interested in going. Disappointing, really. It was all badly-done pouffy glitz and no substance.


The next night we saw Shoji Tabuchi. He’s a Japanese violinist who really puts on a good show, dispite his fancy for bad hair.


Finally, we hit Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.

Dixie stampede

All in all, we had a nice but damp time, and we got some good deals at the outlet malls.

If there is a next time (which I’m sure there will be, considering my extended family’s fondness of the place), I vote for a houseboat on Table Rock. Or even better, a spa weekend at Lake of the Ozarks.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Pastor Tom said,


    I am sure you’ll be able to convince your Dad to go a spa at Lake Of The Ozarks,
    if it has a provision for a good Colonic! I was just talking to your Dad tonight about
    Dr. Kellogg as portrayed in the movie, “The Road To Wellville”
    who had a spa in Battle Creek, Michigan – of course the people were fed a lot of
    Kelloggs Corn Flakes
    (hey, I was trying to get him off the subject of politics)
    he seemed to be as fascinated as I was about good colon health.
    So give it a shot – find out if they serve corn flakes with bananas – then he will
    go for it! :>)

    Pastor Tom

  2. 2

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Branson! Sounds like you’re up for outdoors activities the next time you’re in town. Be sure to check out several of the local marinas online before and you should be able to find a deal. You also mentioned a spa. The Chateau on the Lake here just opened up a multi-million dollar spa that you should check out, you can find pics on their website. Hope you have a great getaway!

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