Brainstorming about Branson

Several years ago, Fuzzy’s family decided to hold a Thanksgiving celebration / reunion in Branson, MO. Since we were living in Texas at the time, we agreed to go. I wasn’t looking forward to it – travel over holidays is never fun and the drive through Oklahoma severely depressed me, but once we got to Arkansas, everything changed. I fell in love with the green scenery, the twisty mountain roads, the clear skies.

Branson itself is charming. Oh, it’s pretty much a company town that caters to the tourist trade, but unlike Vegas, it’s largely smoke free, and family-friendly doesn’t mean “the casino offers babysitting services.”

We didn’t have an organization like planning our Branson Missouri vacation, and I sort of wish we had, because while we didn’t mind spending $500 to rent a friend’s timeshare, for roughly the same money we could have had a great 4 day/3 night package that included tickets to some of the shows – everything from Mickey Gilley to Shoji Tabuchi, from Broadway musicals (we saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but it’s long since closed) to vintage American Bandstand performers AND hotel accommodations much closer to the center of town. They even offer different levels of hotel packages, so that couples who want to be spoiled can get that, but families can stay in places where their kids won’t feel out of place.

While our trip included tickets to the Silver Dollar City theme park (which is an old western town that has it’s own shows, crafters, a cave tour and an amusement park) they were a gift from Fuzzy’s mother, not included in any package, and we were so overwhelmed by family stuff that we didn’t even realize Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Ozarks” where she lived with Almanzo and Rose was just an hour or so up the highway. The package deals don’t offer anything to do with Laura, but they do include options for the various theme parks, as well as the shows.

My favorite memory of our original trip to Branson was standing near a grill in Silver Dollar City with my sister-in-law eating a potato stir fry in the crisp fall air, while her daughter and our nieces rode the boats. I would dearly love to return to the area without the family, and with more time to explore, and see shows.

Of course, I’d also love to shop – there’s nothing like retail therapy while on vacation – and also has all the information one could want about the different shopping areas, not just the mall, but the cute shops. (I am all about the cute shops).

Added to my to-do list: arrange for a Branson vacation with Fuzzy for later this year. Probably early fall. And I’ll definitely be using