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July 11, 2010
4th of July in Branson
We drove down to Branson, Missouri to spend the 4th of July weekend with Grandma Joyce. On Saturday night, we went to the Landing to wait in line for food at several restaurants and battle a huge crowd of people to find a space to sit for three hours to see twenty minutes of fireworks. It was so worth it!
There are some interesting characters to watch at the Landing like these two gentlemen from a group called Buckets n Boards. For a couple of guys who basically just beat on stuff with sticks, they're remarkably entertaining. Here's a video I found on YouTube showcasing some of their shtick:
We stood in place for a long time, when suddenly a nice man offered Grandma Joyce a couple of chairs. Lucky for the kids, Aunt Tracy volunteered to share her seat. After watching them for awhile, I felt like I was more comfortable just continuing to stand instead of joining them.
The fireworks were supreme as can be seen on our faces. Well, most of our faces.
On Sunday, we rented a pontoon boat to go cruising and tubing on Table Rock Lake.
Uncle Dave was excited to discover that the marina provided free air jobs. This young lady was so friendly and accommodating that we almost felt like we should just spend the entire holiday with her! But we didn't.
Instead, we went out on the lake and thrust our bodies through the air in as many challenging and interesting ways that our minds could create.
The kids all wanted to stay on the tube for the entire four hours we had the boat. Well, all of them did except for Luke. He was having flashbacks to his last tube ride with Uncle David (which can be relived here) so this was about the longest we were able to get him to stay on the raft.
Grandma Joyce didn't witness the Memorial Day Tubing Carnage so we were able to get her to go out there for her first tube ride in her life. She seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Miss Sheri also went for a ride, but didn't seem to enjoy it that much. Something about that whole not being able to swim thing seems to steal some of the tubing joy from her life.
I was the last adult to go, which was probably OK with the children. I tend to take up more than my share of the raft. Grandma Joyce said they all thought I looked like one of the humans from the movie WALL E, but I'm not sure I see it.
I drove the first half of the trip and Uncle Dave drove the second half. Most of our drama happened during his portion of the trip. The big scare came when he thought it would be fun to drag the kids through a huge wake created by a nearby houseboat. So he dropped the hammer and directed us directly in to the path of the huge waves. The thing we didn't anticipate was that the boat might not be able to make it through the wave especially when we found the boat dipping into it and a huge surge of water slamming into all of us seated at the front of the boat. We thought it was funny until we discovered the sheet metal of the boat and been smashed in and the front door latch was busted. That sure is some powerful water they have there in old Table Rock Lake.
Every time we drive down to Branson, we always see the billboards for a place called Fantastic Caverns. It's billed as "The Only Drive Through Cave in the United States" so on Monday we thought we'd go there and see what all the fuss was about.
The kids didn't want to go into the cave without proper headgear and lighting, but we talked them out of it.
I must admit, the cave entrance looked a bit intimidating, but it was too late to turn back now!
I was pretty freaked out to discovered scary cave faces inside, but none of them seemed all that interested in eating us.
Eventually, I was able to just settle down and enjoy spending time with my family 150 feet below Earth's surface. And then I started worrying about falling rocks....
The best part about when we get together is all the dogs that we get to gather together in a small space. Lassie really loves being made to pose so close to Daisy!
Quote of the Week
"Energy and persistence conquer all things."
-- Benjamin Franklin, Inventor
July 4, 2010
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