Today was going to be another busy day. Up early for breakfast then back on the bus by 9:45am. I love breakfast because you never knew who you will be sharing the first meal of the day with and the interesting conversations that would ensue. Today we ate with Ken, Lynn, Mary Ellen, Richard plus two couples from Illinois that were traveling with another group.
Our first stop for the day was at the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. Oh, my, the ‘Hughes Brothers’ was such an understatement. The show actually had the five brothers, their wives and all 32 children singing, dancing, playing instruments, performing comedic acts and, in general, filling everyone with amazement all during their show. The entire family was talented. It truly was amazing.
I especially enjoyed the segment of the show that had Santa explaining the symbols of Christmas. It was very, very moving. Like the previous day, all veterans and active duty military personnel were asked to stand and be recognized.
During the short intermission, several from the group including me, could not resist buying these great sequined hats that blink in three different sequences. I bought a red one for my granddaughter Maddy.
After the show we were taken back to the hotel where everyone ran in different directions to get a bite of lunch before returning to the bus for our next scheduled stop for the day. Randy, me, John and Lorraine decided to walk down the hill to Panera Bread. I love Panera Bread because you can always rely on the food being fresh and delicious.
Next stop for the day was just perfect for young and old alike. We traveled a bit outside of Branson to an amusement park called Silver Dollar City. By now you can tell that the entire city of Branson and outskirts were decorated for Christmas. Silver Dollar City was Christmas personified. Every inch of the amusement park was decorated with millions of lights of every color, beautiful wreaths and a myriad of beautiful trees.
We spent our day with Ken, Lynn, John and Lorraine and had a great time. The more adventurous of us wanted to spend their time at the park riding roller coasters. We set off to find roller coasters called Outlaw Run and the Powder Keg. I do not ride roller coasters which left me to taking care of everyone’s belongings and taking pictures. The second coaster took its toll on several members of our brave group and, so, we decided to walk around the park in search of calmer adventures.
Now standing behind a cutout of a gingerbread man was more my speed.
We ran into several people from our group asking us if we had taken the train ride around the park yet. So, off we went to find the train. What fun! The train chugged along at a slow speed through the park passing many wonderful lights of snowflakes high in the trees, animals all lit up and hidden here and there among the trees. We were delighted when the train came to a stop halfway through the ride to watch as a man told the story of Christmas. As he related the story, figures of an angel, shepherds, lambs, wise men, Joseph, Mary and the infant child came to life. We loved it. We continued on our journey with the conductor leading us in several holiday songs. Just as we entered the train station the conductor asked us to yell out, “Ho, ho, ho”. What a fun ride.
Two Broadway-style shows, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” among other shows were scheduled, but we decided to just enjoy being outside and enjoying the crisp air walking around the park. Of course, that was not as easy as it sounded. The park, just like the rest of Branson is quite hilly. We definitely got our exercise.
Dusk was enveloping the park and, all of a sudden, you realized just how many lights there were. Every building, every tree, everything was alive with beautiful lights. We made our way to the center of the park in anticipation of the holiday light parade.
We found a spot and then went on the hunt for a restaurant to have dinner. Ken talked to the hostess at the Reunion Hall and she assured him that there would be no problem for us to find a table after the parade. Eventually, 22 members of our group made their way to the restaurant all enjoying a delicious buffet dinner.
There was a 5-story special effects Christmas tree on Main Street. According to what I read, the tree is, “Covered from head-to-toe in over 850 oversized ornaments and 350,000 LED lights that glow and dance in unison with the illuminations adorning the surrounding 10 storefronts, more than 20 street festoons and over 230 trees…nearly one million lights in all!” Can you imagine?
Before leaving the park, we stop to take a photo with one our favorite personalities, Santa.
We decided to regroup at the hotel’s Heroes Café and have a drink and talk about our day and were joined by Brad, Jane and Frank Mason.
The show was entertaining, the amusement park was wonderful, the lights were spectacular, the Santa parade was colorful and fun, the trees with icicle lights were dazzling; and the prime rib dinner buffet was delicious. It may be a cliché, but as far as I am concerned it was a perfect day.
Tomorrow we are back on the bus and heading for another busy day having fun.