Posted by Donna MacMeans Jul 15 2015, 11:47 pm
Last month we talked about family reunions and this month I’m reporting back on mine .
At the end of June, my husband and I packed up the car and left Ohio in the midst of a rainstorm to end to sunny Missouri. The sun is important as we haven’t seen much of it since we returned to Ohio (sigh). It’s been way too rainy here.
Our first stop, the iconic St. Louis arch. I didn’t realize you could go to the top of the arch, but you can! (They are remaking and landscaping the park beneath the arch – hence all the dirt.) If you decide to “do” the arch, book your ticket online before you make the trip. We had to stand in line, to stand in line, to stand in line – but you, intelligent reader, and skip all that. While we were waiting beneath the arch for our time to stand in line for the pod to take us to the top, I found this carving. Note the woman at the bottom. She was the one with the idea to build something to note that St. Louis, on the eastern side of Missouri, is the gateway to America’s West. If not for her, the arch would not be. The arch is 630 ft high. The handsome guy by the marker is my husband . The muddy water is one of the views out the tiny windows in the top of the arch.
After a good night’s rest, we drove on to Branson which is in the south-west corner of Missouri, in the Ozarks. It’s a beautiful piece of real estate with lots of view and vistas. Branson is billed as the entertainment capital of the West. It might have been twenty years or so ago, but the city has definitely passed its prime. Branson advertises that it has more theater seats for shows than anywhere else in the world, but based on the shows we attended (one included the Elvis impersonator to the left), the theaters are only 25% to 33% filled.
But we weren’t there for the shows, we were there for family. We had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my brothers and sister again, as well as all my nieces and nephews and their children. One of the things we did was a golf cart tour of the top of one of the mountains. Beautiful scenery. Here’s some pics of the waterfalls and streams. At one point we drove the cart into a cave – there was a bar inside! A drive-up bar selling alcohol drinks LOL. After the stop (you thought we’d just drive by ) we continued on. My pictures don’t do the scenery justice.
Our next stop was a local museum. Lots of family collections of “things.” We saw homemade dresses, clock collections, taxidermy of animals from around the world, costumes and instruments from several country stars – all sorts of stuff – including this plate. Can you see the peacock? LOL. They had a stuffed peacock but I couldn’t take a good pic.
Lots of family time. The guys played golf a few times. Four o’clock was the official happy hour and we had no shortage of various times of bourbon, gin, and whiskey.My sister brought her violin while my brother in law brought his mandolin. Those pics are just too dark to see clearly. By the end of the week, my sister and sister-in-law decided to head out for a ladies trip. My sister, Sharon, had never been on a train, so we took a scenic rain ride. The trip is advertised as 40 miles that dips into Arkansas. I thought they were talking about a 40 mile long circle, but no! The train goes out 20 miles towing an engine. Stops. Then goes back the same 20 miles it traveled out. We went through two tunnels that were pitch black, and one curved train trestle which gave me a nice shot of the train (we were in an observation car with windows all around). That’s my sister on the left.
While out shopping for souvenirs, my husband and I noticed this truck. I posted it on Facebook, but if you missed it – here it is again. The truck says “Rogue Investigators of the Paranormal. I’m not sure if the crew were just staying in the motel or if they were investigating. Your choice!
As I mentioned, the trip was all about family. We had four of my siblings, four nieces and their husbands, and eight great nieces and nephews. Here’s two.
Many years ago I inherited my mother’s spoon collection and I have to admit, I’ve been adding to it with our various trips. Here’s the three I added from Missouri. Can you tell what they represent? I’ll send a $10 Amazon card to someone with a proper identification. But you won’t get the guitar flyswatter! That goes to last month’s prizewinner, Louisa Cornell. I promised her a souvenir from Branson. The flyswatter has “Branson” written on the back. Don’t despair Louisa – I’ll toss another $10 gift card in the envelope as well.
So how about you? Any road trips you wish to share? Have you ever been on a train? How about visited a bar in a cave? Let’s chat.
Posted in Branson, family reunions, Missouri, peacocks, spoons, St. Louis, trains