The trip to Branson was absolutely wonderful. We awakened to snow on Thursday morning (yes, snow!) and three girls screaming in my bedroom, "ARE WE STILL GOING??? ARE WE STILL GOING??? It stayed cold and miserable that day but warmed up to a tolerable temp by the time we hit Silver Dollar City on Friday. The food was good (if you're into McDonald's and other kid fare) and best of all everyone played pretty. No peanut butter sandwiches at all! The only thing I can find to complain about was a serious lack of sleep, since all five of us slept in one room and one of us (who shall remain nameless) has a SERIOUS snoring problem.
Big Cedar as always was amazing. When Chief Potter and I retire and our kids are grown, we plan to move there and find part-time jobs. I certainly wouldn't mind being a Cookie Lady (one of the charming and very gracious women who take gingersnaps to the guests each night and turn down their sheets), and I'm certain that my sweet hubby would make an amazing gardener or shuttle driver :-)
Okay, there is one other complaint and that is that I did an absolutely TERRIBLE job of packing for this trip. If I listed all the things that were forgotten, it would take the entire afternoon. Suffice it to say that we stopped at the OshKosh outlet and bought windbreakers for my girls and at Wal-Mart to purchase several other necessities, and I thought I had all the bases covered. Until that evening when they were ready to hit the pool and we realized that the two big girls were without swimsuits. There was great sorrow and many tears until I promised them that they could swim as long as they wanted the next night.
Alas, the next evening came, we had suits for everyone, and at the close of SDC at 6 p.m. we decided to drive a few miles north to Lambert's in Ozark, MO, the legendary home of Throwed Rolls. To our great disappointment, we found a 60-minute waiting list with the wait being outdoors in the cold wind. No thanks. We turned around to head back to Branson and ended up going through a Mickey D's drive thru at 7:15 p.m. Needless to say, by the time we returned to Big Cedar, finished our McNuggets, got everyone suited up and to the pool, our swimming time was limited.
Back to my hasty packing, though ... In my rush, I did NOT forget to take along a stash of movies. We watched Cheaper By the Dozen on Thursday night. I had heard that it was a great family movie and, indeed, there were a number of laughs as the movie chronicled the lives of Tom and Kate Baker and their 12 children. However, had I read Plugged In Online in advance like I usually try to do, I'm fairly certain that I wouldn't have rented it for a trio of girls under 7. The message that big families are wonderful came through loud and clear, but there were several objectionable words (d--m and sucks, to be specific). Also bothersome to me was the fact that Nora, the oldest Baker daughter, had moved out of the house and in with her narcissistic and very condescending boyfriend. I kept waiting for my oldest to comment on the fact that they weren't married and ask why they were living together, but thankfully, that fact must have gone right over her head.
Much better was the following night's entertainment, Pride and Prejudice, a retelling of Jane Austen's classic work. Keira Knightly was absolutely wonderful as Elizabeth Bennet, and I was so delighted by the movie's end that I backed it up halfway and watched it all over again. Somehow I managed to make it through high school, college, grad school and three years of teaching English without reading this great work, so I'm heading to Barnes and Noble tonight to pick up a copy. To my surprise, I discovered this morning that the entire novel can also be read online with a great many annotations.
I will save the rest of the weekend's activities (and a few more pictures) for tomorrow's post.