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April 9

Oh oh, it's Magic!

It's cold again.  We found out this morning that a record was set in Missouri the last couple of days.  The lowest low temperature on record for this day.  In fact, I think it was a low for the whole month of April, 20 degrees...  Looks like we were fortunate, though.  At least we didn't go to Pennsylvania like we had originally planned.  I think they got snow there!

We started out with some breakfast at the condo, pancakes cooked in a less than optimal pan.  I convinced Ethan that they were called panakookens in Missouri, so if you see him, please corroborate my story.  After some breakfast, we went out hunting for show tickets.  We had decided that we wanted to see two shows while here, a singing show and a magic show.  The plan was to see Six, an a-capella group on one day and a magic show the next.  Branson is fairly dead on a Monday after Easter, so we had no problem getting in to get both sets of tickets.  Of course, we did not get any discounts.  Those are apparently for people that don't mind sitting through a timeshare presentation.

After getting our tickets, we went back to the condo for some quiet time and a light lunch.  I had hoped to get a run in this morning, but it is impossible for me to run around our condo since the hills are very severe, not to mention that it was still only 39 degrees by 11:00 AM.  Instead, we settled for an adventure down by the water.  Our condo overlooks a lake, so we went down to check it out.  While there we learned to skip rocks, raced a little, and saw two cats, one without a tail!  We decided to leave the cats alone...

After lunch, we booked over to the Kirby VanBurch Theater to see Kirby and his wife Bambi perform their magic.  We didn't really want to see this particular show for various reasons.  More than anything, we saw their billboards and they looked like people from Team America, World Police.  Not very flattering pictures!  We also sort of fell for this other magician in town who was instructed by Sigfried and Roy themselves.  Plus his billboards were better!  Anyway, that particular magician did not have any shows this week as it is Branson Fest and he was performing at that, so we opted to go see the VanBurch's instead.  I'm glad we did.  After taking our seats, the em-cee informed us that Kirby and Bambi have made several appearances on the Tonight show as well as performed at the White House and several other important sounding venus.  They employ many different big cats in their show, which Ethan really enjoyed, and did some fund raising for saving the white tigers.  They have also, apparently, won several magic awards, including the "Oscar" of the magic world, the Merlin award.  At any rate, they have both won some awards.  The performance was much better than we expected.  They put some interesting twists on some old stand-bys.  For example, he did the "sawing the lady in half" bit, but did it with two ladies in different boxes.  When he re-assembled the ladies, though, he switched the torsos and feet so that they each had the other's feet.  Quite clever.  Bambi did another trick later where she did a similar thing to a chicken and a duck.  That was quite disturbing, actually.  One of my favorite tricks was one of the simplest, one where Kirby went throughout the audience and asked people to show him an object, while Bambi stood on stage, blindfolded, and guessed what he was being shown.  Jenny and I had some theories about how they did it, but they took it a step further when they guessed somebody's name birthday from their driver's license.  In the end, it was quite a good show.  We bought Ethan a stuffed white tiger to help save the white tigers, and he had it signed by Bambi (one of the pictures on the right) after the show.

After the show we went over to Dinosaur Canyon Mini-Golf to shoot some putt-putt.  Ethan had a blast, and so did I.  Jenny didn't do very well and her competitiveness prevents her from having a good time at anything she's not winning!  Ethan's hooked now and wants to go to another mini-golf course later this week.  Score one for me because I love mini-golfing and now I have somebody to go with!  Highlights of the course were golfing inside a volcano and Ethan scoring a hole in one on a twisty hole in the middle of the round.

The evening ended up at Shorty Smalls, a bar-b-que place outside of town.  It looked very much like Famous Dave's, and the food was quite good.  We're not sure if it is a chain or not, but when we get back to civilization with Internet access, we'll check it out at

The evening is winding down now.  We're hunkered down in front of the television watching Aladin.  I think Jenny is sleeping and Ethan is about to be.  In their  defense, it is 7:30...  Tomorrow we go see another show and will likely check out the Branson Landing.  Hopefully the weather improves by then!

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