We spent the last week in Branson.
About six months ago, the Hubster and I were feeling very adventurous and thought Washington, D.C. would be the perfect spot for our family vacation: two out of three children are old enough to enjoy the Smithsonians, and those same children also yearn to ride a subway. The last child we figured would happily follow along with whatever brother and sister told her was fun, as she's prone to do when she's in a good mood.
But then Hubby and I talked with a childhood friend who is one of those Get It Done! types and she talked about how it was a hard two days of driving to D.C. (where she now lives) even for her.
So, no D.C. with two grade-schoolers and one toddler.
Then we thought: Denver! Yeah! It'll be COOL and a closer drive and we can hike and really we were sold on it just because it's cooler there than it is here. But then one day about a month ago we looked at each other and just KNEW: Denver is too far a drive with Baby Chickadee. It might work for some other supah-chill toddler, but our beloved daughter does not fall into that supah-chill category.
So we looked at what's within a five-hour drive of us and found Kansas City, Branson and Dallas. But Dallas was never a consideration since it is always well over 120 degrees starting sometime in April. (But it's been semi-cool this past week? What up with that?) And since we went to KC last year for our family vacay... Well, we spent the last week in Branson.
First thing, we found us a place to stay. Most important to my children is that it have a pool and big breakfast. Most important to me is that it have separate sleeping quarters for the young and old. Because when you have a week of familytogethernesswhereyouareALWAYStogether, at the end of the day I need a quiet place to sit with my husband or stare at the wall, as long as I can do so in peace.
After the hotel that fit all our requirements was booked, I didn't care much about whatever else we did. We went to Silver Dollar City two days where I pushed around Baby Chickadee in a stroller while the other three rode the fun rides (my stomach is a major loser and can't handle the fun stuff), we went to the swimming beach, saw "Joseph" on stage, swam every single day and ate a whole lot. About right for a trip to Branson.
In between meltdowns (some of theirs and some of mine, I admit it) and sunburns (all of ours), we had a pretty good time. And maybe, just maybe, we'll make it further on the map next year.
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette . Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage, www.augustagazette.com.