Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brownie Stampede

We're back from Branson. We've actually been back since late Sunday night, but I was so busy yesterday day and then so exhausted last night that I crashed and the blogging had to wait. But I know y'all have just been sitting there at your computers wondering how it all went.


I got up Saturday morning and put my hair up in a towel after my shower, which is what I do on the days I'm going to straighten it. It helps pull out the curl, ya know. So I started getting ready, just by chance looked outside and saw rain. Lots of rain. I whipped that towel off my head and prayed it wasn't too late. I shouldn't have worried. By the time we reached Branson that afternoon we were soaked, fuzzy-headed and web-footed. There was plenty of curl in my hair to go around. I had Incredible Shrinking Hair. A veritable poodle-do. (Not to be confused with poodle doo.)

It poured on us while we waited to leave from Miami. I was passing out tie-dyed shirts in the rain, taking care of money in the rain, and cursing a lot in the rain.

We drove to IHOP in Joplin. In the rain.

BUT . . .

I had this for breakfast so it was all okay.
I *heart* stuffed French toast.
(And please don't be a smartaleck and ask me how many Points were in it. I didn't care. It was just too dang yummy.)

But when I got my receipt I couldn't help but wonder ...... if maybe they were concerned that I had eaten too many Points and I needed one of these -

We drove from Joplin to Branson. In the torrential rain. I'm not a fast driver, rarely do I exceed the speed limit, but it would've been nice to have actually been able to set the cruise control a hair over. Instead we just drove in the rain. The torrential rain.

Here's a pic of my girls at the Stampede -

I was serious when I said we'd look like a group of grapes that had been in a paintball war.

And the whole group. Yes, most of us wore the grapealicious shirts.

That's Tater on the far left - she just had to be different. She didn't go for the paintball look. Smart woman. She just looked like she'd run into a freshly-painted fence.

And I never realize just how red my hair is until I see it in a picture where I'm standing next to normal-color haired people. Yikes. Must. Tone. That. Down.

Evidently it was Girl Scout day at the Stampede and they gave us ubercool patches to commemorate our rainy stampede-y day.

Which, later TotOne decided to display on Tater's chest.

This has to be my most favoritest picture of the whole trip. I took the picture of the row of girls and moms at the pre-show. But I had to crop Taylor out because she just looked so, "Nuh UH, oh no. she. did. NOT!" Doesn't she? It cracks me up.

After the Stampede, where I got dirt and horse turds flipped up into my delicious cheddar garlic biscuit, so Hillbilly Mom, I, too, have experienced the full Dixie Stampede Experience, we went to the motel with the indoor water park.

(Note: Please know that I refrained from eating the amazing cream of vegetable soup at the Stampede that is made from heavy cream and half-and-half. I didn't eat it to keep myself from freaking out over the fact that I had eaten a Stuffed French Toast for breakfast and was about to eat a whole chicken for lunch. Just know that, okay?)

Here's Abby coming down off of the water slide. It took me forever to get the child to try the slide, but once she went down it once I couldn't keep her off of it. MagnetLady, MagnetSister, Tater and Melissa all went down it as well. I just couldn't quit thinking that I had just eaten a Stuffed French Toast AND a whole chicken and didn't want a water slide debacle to go along with my roller coaster experience. I'd have died a thousand deaths if they'd have had to dismantle the slide to get my fat rear out. I just didn't wanna chance it.

That's what everyone looked like coming off the slide. With looks like that on their faces, it just just didn't look fun enough for me to try. Plus, hello! It's water and we all know how terrified I am of the stuff.

And this is what it looks like when the bell goes off and the bucket dumps 40 gazillion gallons of water on everyone in the place. Yeah. Whoo hoo.

The girls played in the water for a couple of hours and yes, Cousin Stacey, they do have a lazy river, but as I told you in the email, there was nothing lazy about it while I was escorting my 9 year old on her tube. I walked the lazy river. Great exercise if you want that, not great if you want lazy. Then the girls wanted to swim, so we gathered our lifeguard and all but two of them and headed to the indoor pool. I actually got in the water and it was kind of nice. Till we got used to it and then we all froze. Well, the mommas froze because we were all hanging out along the wall. The lifeguard and the girls didn't because they were like ferrets on crack down in the deep end.

There had been talk of dinner and talk of bribing the lifeguard into watching the girls while we walked the strip, but after Abby got out of the shower and into her SpongeBob pj's she just deflated. She didn't even want dinner. We had brought snacks and she was totally content with snacking in the room. So Tater, TotOne, Abby and I hung out in our pj's while the rest of the group hit Fuddruckers. The girls crashed and Tater and I watched The Weather Channel, our favorite channel next to CMT. We also talked with Mom on the phone and decided that the weather forecast was just too cold and wet and gloomy for her to drive up with the other three kids. We decided that on Sunday we'd pay a quick visit to Silver Dollar City to check out the new rides, do some shopping and come home.

Then we slept. Hard.

Sunday morning we got up and around, hung out with some of the other moms in the room, then left the motel around 10:15. We headed straight for SDC. And the traffic was backed up nearly to Shepherd of the Hills. For those of you who know Branson know that that is WAY backed up. For those that don't, dudes, that's WAY backed up. After over 30 minutes in traffic Tater called some friends that were meeting us in the park because she was going to get them in free, but they said if we were that far out they'd just buy their tickets and go on in. She had just talked to someone who had waited in traffic for over 2 hours and over an hour just to get tickets. So we turned around and headed back into town. We shopped, shopped and of course, hit the Krispy Kreme (5 points per original glazed, btw, for those wondering), found major bargains at the Disney Store and then shopped some more. Then we drove on to Springfield.

The mall called to me with its ever-present homing beacon. We pulled into the parking lot and I was home. *sigh*

We piddled around the mall awhile, then the girls finally wore us down and we agreed to check out Build A Bear Workshop. OMG, that place is freaking AWESOME. We went in totally prepared to tell our girls no, no bears would be built. Then ... well, those things are just too awesome to NOT build. They built bears. And I cried.

Yes, I cried in Build A Bear Workshop. I just couldn't help it. Abby is at that age where she wants so badly to be a big girl, but at the same time is still very much a little girl. She wanted a bear, but got self-conscious when the gal had them rub the hearts to make them warm, rub them on their heads to make them smart, etc. and I knew she wanted to do it and believe in it. I was willing her to just give in and believe and when she did that was it, the waterworks started. And I totally caved again when the girls found Girl Scout outfits for their bears. Abby's was just going to leave with bows in her ears and panties on her little bear booty, but they had Girl Scout outfits, for cryin' out loud! What respectable Girl Scout Leader/Mom could resist?

Lizzie left in a GS Junior skirt and sash and Krissy left in a Brownie skirt and sash. And both girls and bears got the GS patch for doing it all. And Tater and I left with $10 coupons for JC Penney. They were happy girls and so were we.

And I bought some gauchos. I said I wouldn't. But I did.

From the mall we went to Incredible Pizza. And while I was disappointed that Fantastic Caverns weren't fantastic, well, Incredible Pizza is definitely incredible. There was no disappointment. We ate pizza while we watched cartoons on the big screen and then we hit the game room.

Abby is the skee-ball queen and offered me her card so I could play, too. I did a couple of no-point rolls and she looked over at me while she lobbed the ball into the 5000 point hole by spinning around three times, crossing her eyes and throwing it over her shoulder (okay, slight exaggeration there) and said with much disdain, "Mom, you really stink at this." Then, the next roll I hit the really hard to hit 10,000 point hole and she high-fived me and screamed, "My mom's got SKILLZ!"

When we all dragged our tired carcasses to the van, the girls crawled into the back, picked up their newly-built bears and both of them, in unison, said, "This has been the best day of my life!"

And I got skee-ball skillz.


Hillbilly Mom said...

OK, now you will get 'butt pan' searches, and that freakish 'I'm going to Miami, I'm going to the fair, to meet a seniorita, with flowers in her hair'.

And if you weren't, you sure are now! Bwahaha! Maybe I'll type them a few more times. Or maybe I'll just say 'bwahaha' some more. Methinks.

So glad to hear you ate the chicken, but refused the soup. How 'bout that apple turnover thingy? And did you see my Dolly's likeness on the big screen?
I love Branson. It's Hillbilly Heaven.

Queen Of Cheese said...

We've left Build-A-Bear with a pink poodle, a monkey, a fluffy bear, a soft bear, a frog and a duck. Apparently I can't say no either! Who needs a monkey in a Army outfit, we did when our Cousin was in Afghanistan- it was therapy for the kids, or at least that's how I rationalized the $45.00 I'd just spent!

Redneck Diva said...

Hillbilly Mom, agh! I didn't even think about the searches I'll get!! This should keep you entertained awhile.

"Bwahaha" is just something methinks must be said repeatedly.

That chicken at DS is to die for. So is the soup, but have I mentioned that I refrained? And yeah, I did eat my turnover... Hey, I can only do so much! I was just too into the moment and God forbid I hurt Dolly's feelings by not partaking of her delightful pastry!

Yes, Dolly did make her screened appearance while the flags were ridden around the arena. But I was too choked up at the fact that my girls all stood when the flags came out, so I didn't get as into her performance as I'm sure you would've.

I *heart* Branson.

Jen, it was!! You name the date, sister, and we will take Branson by storm!

Mrs. Coach, ever since we came home Sam and Kady ask every day when it's going to be their turn to build a bear. They even have Mr. Diva all kinds of into it and HE wants to build a bear! Although, he'd never admit it outside of this house, so if you mention it to him, expect him to deny, deny, deny.

My rationalization for spending $30 on a stuffed animal - That $30 made my daughter a lot happier than losing $30 at the casino would've made me. So now I'm going to spend $60 more and hope I stay happy about it, lol.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...