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April 12

Silver Dollar City

Almost!  It was still cool this morning when we got up.  Jenny was hoping for the 70 degree weather they were promising all week, but alas, it didn't show up.  Instead, it was at least sunny, and the temperature did get up into the 60's by the end of the day, but the start of the day was a different story altogether.  It was a rough night to boot.  For some reason, sleep evaded me for most of the night, so I'm writing this on pure adrenaline.  Not sure if it will stack up to the already high standard laid out by the other entries of this blog...

Anyway, today was Silver Dollar City day.  The whole day was set aside for visiting the park and doing whatever it is you do at amusement parks.  We got into the gates around 10:00 AM, opening time.  We hadn't had a very big breakfast, so we stopped at a bakery on the way into the park and got a cinnamon roll and a Coke.  Ethan wanted a pretzel...  Weird kid.  Anyway, the first show started at 10:30, so we went right to the theater.  Let me step back.  Silver Dollar City is sort of the best Branson can offer.  It is full of enjoyable theme park rides themed after the old south, as well as a bunch of different theaters showing miniature versions of what you pay lots of money to see in town.  The first show we went to see was the Zunyi Chinese Acrobats.  I'm not sure why, but acrobats always make me nervous.  My palms were sweating just waiting for one of them to fall off of their trapeze or their fellow acrobat and land head first on the floor or into an elderly person in the crowd.

After the show, which was excellent, we got on a small indoor roller coaster (it was still pretty cool outside), then headed over to the more kid friendly area of the park where Ethan cruised from one ride to the next.  He had a moment of pause when he got to the "Galleon," a big pirate ship that rocked back and forth about 40 feet in the air.  After his initial fear subsided, though, he got on it and enjoyed it very much.  He is ready to start taking on bigger roller coasters, but he doesn't know it yet.  Jenny and I weren't able to convince him today.

We grabbed a little lunch, then did a bunch more theme park stuff.  Pretty average theme park day, I would say.  We did do a show later in the day, the Polynesian Paradise Dancers who did some hula and fire dancing (not at the same time).  Again, a pretty good show.

We're back at the condo now, preparing for the long journey home tomorrow.  The plan is to get up and out by 7:30 again.  We're hoping to make St. Louis by lunchtime, perhaps take in the Anheuser Busch tour and the arch, then get home with time to pickup our puppy that evening.

Some observational notes - There are a lot of non-ambulatory people that come to visit Branson.  I've never seen such a business for those electric wheel chair things than I have in this town.  Also, if you love Jesus, come to Branson.  It's definitely in your face wherever you go around here.  I've never seen so many attempts to make money off religion as down here.  It's on shirts, television, billboards, bumper-stickers.  I guess we are in the bible belt down here.  Another thing - the third picture on the right proves that in order to be of consenting age in Missouri, all you have to do is to be 12 years old and 55" tall.

Lastly, speaking of Jesus, we saw some kid with a Superman T-shirt on today, but instead of the S, he had a J.  I assumed, since we were in Branson, that it had something to do with Super Jesus, or something like that.  Ethan had a different idea, however.  He figured the kid just liked "Justice" from the Justice League.

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