butterflies the size of bats

Branson trip part deux.

After running out of Pizza Hut as fast as we could we hopped back in the car, made a quick stop at a Wal-Mart for hand sanitizer (see the Pizza Hut incident for why) and batteries for Princess Peach’s GameBoy and we were off again. The rest of the drive was uneventful. We stopped at a Tourism Information Center looking for brochures on a couple of shows/events in Branson. Unfortunately the place could be more aptly named Jimbo’s Scam O’Rama Ticket Outlet and we didn’t get the info we wanted. We made a second stop at a much more reputable Scam O’Rama Ticket Outlet got the info we wanted as well as advanced tickets to one of the stops we wanted to make on our trip. Next stop, Big Cedar.

At this point I should stop and say that driving in Branson is not for the faint of heart. It appears that at the time they built many of the roads in Branson that guard rails and shoulders were optional on the edges of 75 foot vertical drops and that a 40 percent grade was preferable to leveling the land just a tad. There’s nothing quite like driving your own car through a roller coaster track.

Big Cedar is beautiful beyond description. It has been landscaped to combine the rustic feel of wilderness and outdoors with the luxury feel of a resort. We stayed in the Falls Lodge. We had a fantastic view and a patio that led right out into the grassy walking trails that wander through the grounds.

So on to the highlights of our trip. Our first stop in Branson was Butterfly Palace. Such a name indicates you will be entering a wondrous beauty of architectural engineering filled with butterflies. Not so much. This ‘palace’ turned out to be ¾’s butterfly gift shop and ¼ butterfly observatory. Princess Peach still loved it and we were able to see butterfly’s the size of small bats, many of which enjoy diving down to swoop by our unsuspecting heads as we walk through the green house. It was fun but not worth the money.

One of the coolest things we saw was the New Shanghai Acrobats of China. They were amazing. The show was two hours long and both kids were entertained the entire time. The show was a mix of acts of strength, dexterity, contortion and pure insanity. One of the coolest acts was a girl who could bend herself in half and stuff herself into increasingly longer tubes that were no more than about 16 inches in diameter. Definitely worth seeing.

We tried to keep the trip relaxing so a lot of our time was spent exploring and just hanging out together. We hit the arcade, we saw Horton Hears a Who, we went to a museum, we rode go-carts, we walked the grounds at Big Cedar, we rented movies, we had a Ninetendo DS tournament – well as much of one as you can have with two adults and a 3 year old.

There are two stories left to be told and I shall leave them for my Branson finale – dinner at the best Mexican restaurant I have ever eaten at and our trip to Silver Dollar City. Stay tuned.

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