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April 8

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!!!  Today was Easter Sunday.  It started out, as most days have lately, around 7:00 AM.  This morning was particular torture for Ethan since he knew the Easter Bunny was on his way.  But he powered through until 7:00 before he woke his mom up and had her help him find his Easter eggs and basket.  The Easter Bunny was good this year, supplying candy, money, and coloring books.

After Easter Morning, we set out to attend church, which we had located earlier yesterday.  Funny thing, Missouri, there just aren't that many Catholics.  We were lucky to find a church just outside of Downton Branson.  It looked big enough, so we figured it would be able to hold us and the other inevitable visitors to this area on this most holy of days.  Since we had been up since 7:00, we got an early start on church, so we decided to scope out the local Starbucks in hopes that we might find a location for an Internet Fix.

Having found the Starbucks, used the restrooms, and having gotten a large Chai Tea Latte, we headed back out for Church.  We used our well earned Branson knowledge to get back to Church by using back roads to make the trip quicker.  We arrived a full 20 minutes prior to mass starting, even though we were easily a half mile away and traffic was brutal in the direction of the Church districts.  Little did we know that 20 minutes would be enough by barely minutes.

Having found a seat that could hold all three of us, we sat back and relaxed through a lovely mass.  The church, though large, was packed to the gills.  Several rows of people were standing in the back of the church.  In our pews we found a sheet explaining how Southwest Missouri was only 5% Catholic.  Of course, the church was brand new, capable of holding 1300 people, way more than necessary to house the local parishoners, solely to house all the visitors to the area.  This was all explained, of course, so that the visitors would dig deeper into their pocketbooks and support this wonderful church.

Again, the mass itself was lovely.  We were initially surprised to hear a drumline as well as a professional sounding choir to lead us in our songs.  Throughout the mass, Jenny and I commented to each other on more than one occasion how they must use local professional talent to fill out their choir and band.  Even the priest reminded us of an entertainer.  Overall, it was a very nice Easter mass.

After mass we headed back to our condo for a traditional Easter lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches and french fries.  It was delicious.

After lunch we headed out for some more exploring.  We first went west of town to see the riverboat and state parks.  The riverboat was closed, but we were able to look at the dam and fish hatchery, which were both interesting.  After that we headed back to Starbucks to get our Internet fix, which we barely got due to their lowly 11 Mbps connection and Jenny's inability to connect through her VPN to get her work e-mail.  Hotmail was having problems as well, so if you sent us e-mail there, we apologize that we haven't gotten back to you.  After our Internet fix, we took in an Imax show about Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world, and followed that up with a viewing of "Meet the Robinsons," the newest Disney offering.

Now back in our condo, we've taken in a light dinner and settled down for the evening.  Tomorrow promises some mini-golf and a show.  Should make for a good time.

A couple of observational notes.  Ethan has declared that X and O Cheetos are by far the best Cheetos, and therefore the best snack food in the world.  Also, we've noted that Missouri has a funny way of declaring anything near a WalMart as being a mall...  Not sure why that is...

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