James went to a medical conference in Branson this past weekend and rather than stay at home we decided to tag along and turn the extended weekend into a mini-vacation. We had a great time, the girls and I, even though we missed Daddy while we went on many adventures!
(at the Landing)
We stayed at the much-recommended Grand Country Inn. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. (I could write a whole review on this place!) There was a lot of hype over this hotel. Grand Country Inn calls itself a "resort"…and, well, for Branson I suppose it is. Alas, I'm spoiled…or even maybe a little bit of a snob, after staying at Disney and nice timeshares in Orlando I found that it was not up to par. The room was dinky, the top blanket on my bed smelled like someones perfume (ewww!), there was no mini-fridge, no microwave, and a lot of the freebies that you appreciate from a higher quality hotel were not there either like the "laundry bag," conditioner, soaps, etc. (They had a shampoo/conditioner, a face soap, and a body soap). They use old fashioned room keys! We stayed in room 503 but both the 5 and the 3 had fallen off… We walked by the same dead yellow-jacket in the entry way all 4 days we were there so its obvious they don't sweep very often.
(the fountain at the Landing)
Anyway, the indoor water park really was fun. The girls had a great time and so that offered some redeeming qualities to Grand Country Inn. They also had an arcade with mini-golf and a playground (that costs you over 3.00 per child to play in!) The arcade was sort of like Chuck E. Cheese with a ticket system. They had laser tag too. Anyway, I didn't get an pictures of the water park, too afraid that I'd take my camera for a swim, but I did get some photos of the black light mini-golf.
We also had free tickets to go see the Amazing Pets Show. It was pretty neat. They had parrots flying over our heads and cats and dogs did all kinds of tricks. Kayley thought it was great. Maggie was ready to go long before intermission. I was a little disappointed when Kayley asked, during intermission, if she could pet the dog and the trainer gave her a very curt "NO." Seriously dude, I get it that you can't touch the dog, but this is a kids show and that response hurt my daughters feelings. Put your kid filter on and at least respond politely! That kind of ruined the rest of the show for me after that. Rude.
We also had free tickets that I won a long time ago to go to the Butterfly Palace. So we headed out to do that…it was really fun!
The live angel statue was really neat.
This butterfly landed on Kayley's shoulder and
tagged along with her for a good 15 minutes.
The girls got to participate in a live butterfly release!
They had craft projects to do at the Butterfly Palace too.
The girls made Christmas ornaments for the birds!
We also puttered around down at Branson Landing for a while...
We rode the "Toy Shoppe Train" which cost way too much and was relatively lame. Oh, they also sat on Santa's lap but since Kayley became "in the know" about Santa this year she didn't enjoy it. And Maggie wasn't sure what to make of it. The poor Santa asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas this year and both were like "uh…I don't know." LOL. At least they got a candy cane out of it...
Ohhhh… did I mention that Grand Country Inn doesn't have breakfast? That was a bummer. So we were pretty much forced to leave early to get something to eat. With no mini-fridge, no microwave, and we didn't plan out bringing an ice chest (because I assumed mini-fridge and microwave)…well…needless to say with how insanely busy Branson is on Veteran's Day weekend here we are eating an impromptu McDonalds picnic. The girls thought it was great…I personally thought it was a little chilly, but there were NO seats inside…
Speaking of eating. One afternoon we stopped at Jimmy Johns for lunch and this elderly gentleman complimented my girls on their good behavior and gave them a handful of change… So sweet.
We got to go one evening over to the Ripley's Museum too.
They had the carpet cleaner from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. How cool is that?
The highlight of the trip for James…LOL
We also scoped out the Promised Land Zoo. I think this was probably the highlight of the trip for the girls. It was pretty much a large petting zoo but the vast majority of the animals were babies and very, very loving! (Can you see this owl looking at Kayley? That was really awesome!)
You could go into the parakeet house and feed them! That was really fun!
They had baby deer…they were SO adorable.
That is a baby Bison!
And a kangaroo.
The girls helped bottle-feed the baby Bison...
A trip to Branson is not complete without spending some time at Silver Dollar City…
Outlaw Run! We were shocked that Kayley grew 1/2 inch since we were there last time and she could ride! LOL. After she got off she said, "I do NOT want to do THAT again."
Well, that was our weekend! We are glad to be home back in our own beds, but we sure had a good time!