branson weekend getaway

Our home life has been less than pleasant lately.  I should rephrase that… our home life has not been BAD, but Matt + I have both been distracted by a lot of other things lately to really have time to spend on each other and, more importantly, our kiddos.  We both really just needed a weekend away to sort of relax and recharge.  So, Matt got out of one of his track meets so that we could take a quick little trip down to Branson with the kids.

Matt has already instilled his love of Branson and Silver Dollar City in MacKenna.  She has been asking for MONTHS to go down to SDC to ride all the rides.  This year, they opened a new section called Fireman’s Landing.  Fireman’s Landing is filled with tons of new things for toddler and kids to do, from rides to a splash pad and a new updated play area.  Matt showed Kenna the pictures of the new area a few weeks ago and she has been excited to go ever since.

We left late Friday evening and arrived even later that night.  MacKenna was sooooo funny when we got there (well after her bedtime) – she commented on how she loved EVERYTHING.  “I love this room!  I love this kitchen!  I love this potty!  I love Branson!”  Ha!  She was too cute for words – and thankfully, went to sleep pretty quickly too.

I know I don’t talk extensively on where we stay or what we do, but for the most part, I don’t ever get to plan those things since we normally go with Matt’s family.  However, this was our first family (of 4!) trip down by ourselves, so I got to do all the planning.  We stay at the Tribesman Resort, which is located on Indian Point, a few miles past Silver Dollar City and about 10-15 minutes outside of the Hwy 76/The Strip.  It’s a nice resort on Table Rock Lake that is not too expensive and has a lot of different room options.  They also have several pools, including an indoor one, and play areas.  Plus, the option of renting a pontoon boat for the lake, if that’s more your style.  We rented a 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen that I felt was pretty reasonably priced for the off-season (which is through May).  (Before we had kids, we would find the cheapest hotel option available, but now, we enjoy having a little bit more privacy and a place to stretch out with the kiddos.)

Kenna was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30 Saturday morning, excited to head into “The City.”  She kept asking to get dressed so we could leave, and we kept having to explain to her that SDC wasn’t opened yet and we needed to wait a little longer.  We left the cabin around 9:30, right when the gates were opening.  It was PACKED for a Saturday in the off-season.  We think there was some sort of band or choir competition because it was full of middle and high school students.  The good thing is that they spend most of their time waiting in lines for the rides that we can’t ride with kids, so that made it a little bit better for us.

Kenna’s first request was to ride the balloons and meet Lucky the Dog in Fireman’s Landing.  The new addition was awesome!  It looks so much nicer than what used to be there and fits the theme of the park really well.  We rode the dogs, the balloons, and Kenna got to play in the new and improved “ball pit”, which I went and nursed Miles (they have a few nursing stations, which is really nice).

 Kenna and I split a soft pretzel before heading to do more rides, including the butterflies, frogs, and carousel.  She’s about an inch too short to ride some of the rides by herself, but we figure that by the time we come back this summer, she’ll be able to ride them.  (We even told her that if she eats her fruits and vegetables, she’ll be able to ride them next time.  Guess who asked for broccoli at dinner?!)

 Even though Miles didn’t get to ride any of the rides, he had a good time for his first trip to Silver Dollar City.  Matt is determined to teach them young to love this place like he does…

 After several hours and a sunburn later at Silver Dollar City, we headed back to the cabin so I could feed Miles and we could relax for a little bit.  Then, we headed into Branson to hit up a few places (the Amish store and Macadoodles for beer).  We had barely left the resort before both kids were snoozing, so Matt and I took turns running into the stores to determine what we wanted.  We decided to wake them up to take them into the grocery store to get dinner, with which both kids had complete meltdowns.  I had to escort MacKenna back to the car for her behavior (I don’t tolerate tantrums in public), and we each headed in again on our own to load up on food at the salad bar.

We had promised MacKenna ice cream, so we of course ended up driving through Andy’s Frozen Custard (my favorite) to take home and put in the freezer for after dinner.  Our beer (4 Hands Downfall was AMAZING!), salad, and ice cream were the perfect ending to a very long day.

 MacKenna requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast (the bakery in SDC makes the best cinnamon rolls – it’s worth just walking through to smell them) and going back into Silver Dollar City on Sunday, and since we didn’t want to deny her another day in the City and had nothing else to do, we headed in for another few hours before hitting the road home.

  This was our first trip as a family of 4, and it definitely made things interesting in the car, especially with a toddler who is potty training.  The way down was easy, but we made several extra stops (like every 60-90 minutes) so that Kenna could use the potty and so I could feed Miles.  She certainly got her use of the iPad this weekend too!  It will be interesting when we take a 12 hour car ride down to Gulf Shores this summer.  I have a feeling we will be driving through the night – and needing a much bigger car!  (We borrowed my parents for the weekend, and I think we will be going car shopping in the next few weeks.  My little Corolla just isn’t cutting it anymore.)