Monday, September 22, 2008

My Mini-Vacation

Home! What a wonderful place to be!

Sorry I haven't blogged for a few days.
My husband and I went on a mini-vacation
to Branson.
I have to write about it
at the risk of boring you all to death.
But maybe my experience will help
some of you when choosing a getaway.

It was purely impulse and even though it
cost a bit, the memories are priceless.
It was the first vacation we have gone on alone.
Our anniversary is this Wednesday
(more about that on Wednesday's blog)
and after 33 years,
you'd think we'd have done it all!
It is sad to think you have to get old
before you have the time or money to do things
that you need energy and a young body to do!

I got online Wednesday and started looking for deals.
I ran across a website called Vacations Made Easy.
Here I typed in what nights I wanted and any
ticket events I was interested in.
As you add options, the package price is shown.
This was great because when I reached my budget limit,
I quit - or even went back and deleted a few things
that weren't really necessary or too costly.
I saved about $20 a night by selecting a 2 Queen bed
room instead of 1 King.
I got tickets for Thursday and Friday events,
but left Saturday open.
I recommend that to anyone because there are
more things to see and do
than what you read about in brochures or online sites.

I was a little worried about printing tickets from my computer.
The VME e-mailed me the vouchers after I made a quick payment by phone
with my debit card.
I was so surprised and pleased with the way it all worked.
I presented the printed voucher at the hotel-
no money had to be exchanged-
and everything was as they described.
It wasn't the Hilton, but it was cute and clean and quaint.
And within a few miles distance of everything.

We went to see The Shepherd of the Hills play
in an outdoor theater the first night.
The ticket vouchers all went smoothly again.

The production was nice, but after awhile,
the benches got uncomfortable
and bugs started buzzing.
If you have ever seen the movie version with John Wayne-
it is nothing like that at all.
But the actors were great and they even
burned up a log cabin in one scene
and asked the audience to come down front
and square dance with them.
Needless to say,
we didn't.

Friday we went to our first IMAX theater.
We saw the Ozarks and the next day went to see
the Deep Sea.
The screen is 6 stories tall
and has 22,000 watts of sound.
There were only a handful of people there
so we got our choice of seats.
The only complaint I had is
the shows only last about 45 minutes.

Friday night we showed our ticket voucher
to get on The Branson Belle river boat.
Again, an easy and smooth experience.
We wore our jeans- nothing fancy required here.
We were seated in a large ampi-theatre
and were entertained by singers and dancers while
being served chicken, beef, vegetables and dessert.
There was an acrobat act from Russia
and then our favorite-
Todd Oliver.
He is a ventriloquist with dogs and is so funny.
If you ever get the chance to see him
on the Tonight Show or Comedy Channel,
make sure you watch.
We got to go up top and look at the city lights
during intermission as the boat cruised back to dock.
We had a great time.

Saturday we decided that to go to
Silver Dollar City just to say we had been there.
We were getting in line for the tickets
(which were $54 each !)
and some young lady in the crowd
asked if we wanted tickets and gave us two!
I hugged her!
It saved us over $100 !
I am so glad now that we didn't order the tickets beforehand.
There was a lot of walking, but the smells of
food and burning wood and seeing all the little log cabins
was worth the effort.
The crafts were very expensive,
the food fairly reasonable (we had a cheese pretzel and Coke),
and the place was decorated for the fall festival.
The pumpkins and corn stalks and scarecrows
really got me in the autumn mood.

Having saved some money on that,
we got tickets that evening for The Dixie Stampede.
Several people had recommended it.
The tickets were about the same price as SDC,
but this included dinner.
There was a horse show and singing while
we were served a whole baked chicken each,
bbq pork tenderloin, baked potato,
corn on the cob, and cake, coffee and tea.
No silverware!
Everything had to be eaten with your hands!
The show was neat.
The kids would have liked it.

But even after all the fun and relaxing that we did,
it is wonderful to be home again.
Even to dirty laundry
and cooking and cleaning
and my everyday life.

Home Sweet Home!
I am glad to be back!